Amateur Traveler Trip – Turkey 2022


We are heading to Turkey for the Amateur Traveler 2022 trip. We are working again with Intrepid for this trip, doing a modified version of their Essential Turkey trip. The normal Essential Turkey trip is limited to 18 to 29-year-olds, but the Amateur Traveler trip is open to all ages. The normal Essential Turkey trip is a Basix trip but we will be upgrading that to Comfort so it will cost a tad more but will have more comfortable hotels.

This was the trip the listeners voted on so if you want to have a say in the vote join the Facebook group at

  • Start: Istanbul, Turkey
  • Finish: Antalya, Turkey
  • Group size: Min 10 (including 2 Christensens), Max 16

No Whining

As with all Amateur Traveler trips our rule is to bring your sense of humor and to bring your flexibility. If you are someone who needs to be waited on hand and foot this is not your trip. If you plan on complaining that “we don’t do it that way at home”, this is not your trip. Things may go wrong, so remember:

“Don’t sweat the petty things and don’t pet the sweaty things”.

Travel Turkey’s Eastern Coast

Start with a kebab in Istanbul, leave for Gallipoli then zoom through Eceabat to Ayvalik for a visit to Troy and harbourside bevvies. On to Selcuk to explore Ephesus (where Antony and Cleopatra hung out), then Pamukkale for its healing pools, Fethiye for beach times, and a cruise for sunbaking and sunken ruins.

Why you’ll love this trip

  • Get to know Istanbul from the inside as you get (deliberately) lost in the maze of bustling backstreets with a local leader.
  • We’ve got the cure for whatever ails ya; the hot springs at Pamukkale, pure white calcium travertines that cascade down the cliffs overlooking the town, are said to have magical healing properties
  • Thought all the best Roman ruins were in Italy? Think again! Turkey is home to one of the best-preserved classical cities in all of Europe. Discover Ephesus just like Anthony and Cleopatra did 2000 years ago
  • While paying your respects, you can’t but be moved by the battles fought and lives lost at the now peaceful scene of the Gallipoli coast

Is this trip right for you?

  • You’ll get an extra taste of local life on this trip, with most travel done on public buses. There are loads of reasons why this is great, but here are just a few: it minimizes our carbon footprint, gives you a real chance to interact with the local community, and these aren’t your regular buses. Most Turkish buses have Wi-Fi and serve coffee and cake. Yes, you heard right, coffee and cake! Oh, and did we mention the in-seat entertainment?
  • This trip puts it in your hands with the options of free time or taking optional tours. Maybe budget a little extra cash for activities that aren’t included.
  • You’re probably pro at packing light and smart, but just in case you’re tempted to bring a big, heavy bag, remember you’ll have to carry it to and from hotels, bus stops, train stations etc.
  • You’ll need your walking shoes, a hat, some sunscreen, and a daypack to explore some of historic sites. All site tours are guided, but you can wander at your own pace if you prefer.

Chris’s Recommendation – Come Early to See Istanbul

This tour starts in Istanbul, but I recommend coming a couple of days early to have time to see the city. Istanbul is one of my favorite cities in the world. You can book the hotel through Intrepid for a couple of extra days if you like.

I would recommend these two posts on Amateur Traveler for suggestions:


Day 1 / Date:  September 3, 2022 – Istanbul

Meals included: None

Kicks off your Turkish adventure in Istanbul – the continent-straddling metropolis that the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Ottomans, and now you – for one night, at least – have called home. You’ve got all of today to explore the capital city before you join up with your travel crew and group leader at an important welcome meeting at 6 pm. Until then, maybe get out into the city streets to see the Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Grand Bazaar and stunning Aya Sofya. Your accommodation is right in the thick of the action, so you won’t have to walk far for your rst kebab. After the meeting, why not head out on an optional group dinner – a good introduction to some fabulous Turkish cuisine is in a street-side cafe.

Accommodation: Manesol Galata Hotel or similar

Day 2 / Date: September 4, 2022 – Canakkale

Meals included: Breakfast

Today you’ll take a bus to the shores of Gallipoli (approximately 5.5 hours) – a significant peninsula for Australians and New Zealanders. It is a spot of pilgrimage for many to see the now calm waters and peaceful landscape that reside where such brutal battle took place during the First World War. Take in the reverence and serenity of the region and hear stories of heroism and mateship that shone through the tragedies of war. Continue onwards to Canakkale where you’ll spend the night. This city has young local vibe due to it being a popular university town, so chill on the edge of the Dardanelles with a drink or check out a local band with some of your travel pals.

Included Activities
• Gallipoli – Battlefields Tour

Accommodation: Anzac Hotel or similar

Day 3 / Date: September 5, 2022 – Ayvalik

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Today, there’s the option this morning to take an excursion out to the ruins of Troy, where you can explore the ancient walls, climb around the 4500-year-old ruins, check out the Trojan horse statue and gaze across the Troad (the Plains of Troy) towards the Dardanelles and the hills of the Gallipoli Peninsula. Later on, drive down the coast to Ayvalik (approximately 3.5 hours). Head on a leader-led orientation tour to discover a town that’s a fascinating mix of Greek and Turkish cultures. Check out the cobblestone backstreets, beautiful houses and lively cafes. You could also hop on a boat from Ayvalik to Cunda Island, which is lled with Greek Orthodox churches and known for its dairy farming. The town is set around a harbour and looks out to the Aegean Islands, so what better way to kick of the evening then with a drink at a harbour-side bar, eating a local Ayvalik tost – think a Turkish-style toasted sandwich with all the trimmings

Accommodation: Bacacan Hotel or similar

Day 4 / Date: September 6, 2022 – Selcuk

Meals included: Breakfast

This morning, take a 4-hour journey by local bus to the traditional farming village of Selcuk. Once arrived, take an orientation walk to get your bearings – a town full of history and packed with artefacts and relics that reect its past as an ancient fortress on. Later you can head out to the nearby ruins of Ephesus and explore the streets once walked by Marc Anthony and Cleopatra. This is one of the best-preserved Greco-Roman classical cities in the world. You’ll be amazed by the sophistication of this ancient city, which had running water, public toilets, in-house heating, a medical institute, a brothel and Roman baths. The theatre is also well preserved, but it’s the magnicent library that’s perhaps the coolest structure. Nearby are the remains of the Temple of Artemis – one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Chill out tonight in Selcuk, where you could try some Turkish meze and raki for dinner with some of your travel crew.

Included Activities
• Ephesus – Archaeological site visit

Accommodation: Akay Hotel or similar

Day 5 / Date: September 7, 2022 – Pamukkale

Meals included: Breakfast

Travel east inland to Pamukkale (approximately 4 hours), which literally translates to ‘cotton castle’. Here, spectacular natural hot springs with a high calcium content cascade over the edge of the cliffs, leaving bright white terraces, or ‘cotton’. It’s been used as a spa since the second century BC, and its waters are said to have heaps of healing properties. If you’ve got Cleopatra on the mind after yesterday’s stories, then maybe choose to head out to the ancient city of Hierapolis and take a dip in what used to be her old pool – the transparent water-lled springs sculpted as a gift from Marc to Cleo. You can also check out the other ruins of the city – Hierapolis is known for its abundance of temples and religious structures, and the amphitheatre shouldn’t be missed.

Included Activities
• Pamukkale – Hierapolis and Travertines National Park

Accommodation: Uyum Hotel or similar

Day 6 / Date: September 8, 2022 – Fethiye

Meals included: Breakfast

Jump on a local bus bound for Fethiye (approximately 3.5 hours). Arrive in time to check out this seriously vibrant harbor-side city, and if there’s time, catch a dolmus to Saklikent Gorge or explore the back streets of the Old Town of Fethiye and hunt for a bargain. The best thing is – you’ve got the power to decide. Tonight, enjoy a walk by the harbor with your group, try some local seafood and check out the thriving nightlife scene.

Accommodation: Yeni Ceri Hotel or similar

Day 7 / Date: September 9, 2022 – Kayakoy

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

This morning, travel to the eerie ghost town of Kayakoy. Wander through deserted stone houses and through the overgrown countryside, and be sure to watch out for the goats. You’ll be setting off on a hike today, so make sure you’re wearing some good shoes. From Kayakoy, continue by foot over the hills to catch a glimpse of the amazing Blue Lagoon in Oludeniz. Once arrived in town, hang out for a bit, quench your thirst and take a swim in the sparkling Mediterranean before jumping back on a local bus and heading to your place to stay tonight. Overnight is back in Kayakoy. Chill out and enjoy an included dinner.

Accommodation: Makri Pansiyon or similar

Day 8 / Date: September 10, 2022 – Kekova

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

This morning you’ll take a local bus to Kas (approximately 3 hours), which is right near the southernmost point of Turkey. With its whitewashed buildings covered in bougainvillea and cobbled streets, Kas is one of the most attractive towns on the Turkish Mediterranean Coast. Spend the night in Kekova tonight.

Accommodation: Likya Pansiyon or similar

Day 9 / Date: September 11, 2022 – Kekova

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast, you’ll board your ship and make waves on a memorable voyage along the coast. The day will be spent swimming, exploring sunken cities, sunbaking and eating fresh seafood. This evening, cruise to Tersane Bay for a swim and then enjoy a home-cooked meal on board, return to Kekova for overnight.

Included Activity • Boat

Accommodation: Likya Pansiyon or similar

Day 10 / Date: September 12, 2022 – Antalya

Meals included: Breakfast

This morning, transfer by public bus approximately 3.5 hours to Antalya – the capital of the Turkish Mediterranean. It’s hard to get a bad photo of Antalya due to it charming cobblestone streets, historic Old City, vibrant marina and the Taurus Mountains framing the city. Head around town with your group leader, jump on the old Nostalgic Tram or go to Konyaalti Beach for some more time chilling out beachside. If you are in the mood for some last-minute history, check out some of the best museums in the country, or get theatrical at Aspendos ancient city with a beautiful, intact theatre from Roman times. Tonight, why stake out some food and shisha with your travel crew – Antalya has a thriving nightlife scene, so use it to your advantage.

Included Activity
• Kaleici walking tour

Accommodation: Mediterra Art Hotel or similar

Day 11 / Date:  September 13, 2022 – Antalya

Meals included: Breakfast

With no activities planned for today, you are free to leave the accommodation at any time after breakfast, provided you comply with your accommodation’s internal check-out times.

Departure Transfer available but not included

Intrepid COVID Policy

As you look to get back on the road, we continue to ensure our trips are safe for everyone. That includes our travelers, our leaders and crew and the people we visit along the way. Our health and safety policies follow recommendations from the World Health Organization and the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Safe Travel protocols for tour operators. Before we resume trips in any destination, our itineraries undergo a comprehensive risk assessment and audit, while leaders and suppliers will complete COVID-19 health and safety training. We have also introduced specific policies around testing and vaccination for your safety.
On the 29th July 2021 we introduced new safety measures that apply on all of our trips, except for tours in Australia and New Zealand. Travellers are required to produce:

• Proof of COVID-19 vaccination

In all cases, you must be fully inoculated. This means you must receive the full dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine and allow enough time for immunity to take effect. Each COVID-19 vaccine has different dosages and timeframes for inoculation, so please check the relevant medical advice associated with your vaccine.

These new safety measures that apply on all of our trips, except for tours in Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands. From the 1st December 2021 travelers are required to produce proof of COVID-19 vaccination on all of our trips.
If you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, you may apply for an exemption. Exemptions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. To apply, you must provide a medical certificate from a medical professional.

Children under 18 are exempt. Children aged between 5 and 17 years old must provide proof of either vaccination, recovery or a negative COVID-19 test. Please see the below section on children for further details. 


  • Meals
    – 10 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinners
  • Transport –
    Ferry, local bus, Private Bus, Train, Boat
  • Accommodation
    – Pension (2 nights), Hotel (8 nights)
  • Included activities
    • Ephesus – archaeological site
    • Pamukkale – Hierapolis & Travertines National Park


  • Tour as above (twin share basis): $1,375 per person
  • Single Supplement: $345
  • Arrival Transfers 1-3 people per vehicle $80
  • Departure Transfers 1-3 people per vehicle $80
  • Additional Pre-Night Accommodations – Single $135.00
  • Additional Pre-Night Accommodations – Double $135.00
  • Additional Post-Night Accommodations – Single $135.00
  • Additional Post-Night Accommodations – Double $135.00

Intrepid Travel Insurance Policy

UK Residents:

For UK residents we have partnered with InsureFor to provide you with a travel insurance policy that includes Covid- 19 cover. Please call our reservation team on 0808 274 5111 for an exclusive discount on your policy.

North America Residents:

For US residents we have partnered with Allianz Global Assistance. Covid coverage is available through Allianz, please speak with one of their agents for information. You can contact the Allianz reservations team on 1866-884- 3556.

For Canadian residents we have partnered with Allianz Global Assistance. Covid coverage is available through Allianz, please speak with one of their agents for information. You can contact the Allianz reservations team on 1800-491-0851.

Australia Residents:

For Australian residents we have partnered with nib to provide you with a travel insurance policy that includes Covid-19 cover. Please contact your Tailor-Made consultant for a quote.

How to Book

If you are interested in booking include the booking number in your request: 6209606

If you had booked on the 2020 trip which was cancelled by COVID, the old booking number where you may still have credit is 6209606

Brett Murden (He/Him)
Team Leader, Tailor-Made Department
toll free USA: 1 800 970 7299 | toll free Canada: 1 855 299 1211
Toronto: 579 Richmond Street W, Suite 400, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5V 1Y6
New York: 26 Broadway, 3rd Floor, New York, NY, 10004


As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your consultant will contact you when this is required. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends.


Please note that many nationalities require a visit to enter Turkey:

  • Australia: Yes – apply for an e-visa before you go
  • Belgium: Yes – apply for an e-visa before you go+
  • Canada: Yes – apply for an e-visa before you go
  • Germany: No – not required
  • Ireland: Yes – apply for an e-visa before you go
  • Netherlands: Yes – apply for an e-visa before you go
  • New Zealand: No – not required
  • South Africa: Yes – apply for an e-visa before you go
  • Switzerland: No – not required
  • United Kingdom: Yes – apply for an e-visa before you go
  • USA: Yes – apply for an e-visa before you go
  • Other nationalities should check via your local consulate or embassy.

To apply for an e-visa, please go to at least a few weeks before you go. The visa costs can change at any time and with little notice depending on the political climate of the region. From 01 January 2015, foreigners entering Turkey must carry a passport with at least 60 days validity beyond the expiry date of their visa or residence permit.

A valid passport is sufficient for citizens of most other countries including New Zealand, Argentina, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland for stays up to 3 months. All other nationalities please check with your nearest Turkish embassy.

Medical and health information

All travelers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip.

As a rule we recommend you don’t drink tap water, even in hotels, as it may contain much higher levels of different minerals than the water you are used to at home. For local people this is not a problem as their bodies are used to this and can cope, but for visitors drinking the tap water can result in illness. Generally this isn’t serious, an upset stomach being the only symptom, but it’s enough to spoil a day or two of your holiday. Many hotels and lodges provide safe drinking water, while bottled water is another alternative. Water consumption should be about two liters a day. Rehydration salts, motion sickness tablets, and diarrhea blockers are available from many pharmacies.

Food and dietary requirements

Your group leader or representative will endeavor to cater for specific dietary requirements where possible, and vegetarianism and gluten intolerance will be catered for in most instances. There are, however some meals and activities that are fixed in advance and therefore cannot be modified to suit dietary requirements.

Please notify your booking consultant of any dietary requirements at the time of booking. For those suffering from particular food allergies, your group leader or representative will endeavor to disclose to their fullest knowledge the main ingredients in dishes being consumed. It is, however, your personal responsibility to ensure that you do not ingest any foods to which you are allergic.

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