Preparing for your trip

Package: Athens & 7 Day Greek Isles Cruise

Print this page and refer to it as you prepare for your trip!

Printed Oct 21, 2021. Please visit https://static.friendlyplanet.com/before-you-go/?tourId=1352 for the latest updates.

Checklist

Item Due
Ensure you have a current passport valid for at least six months after your return date. ASAP
Complete your registration. You'll receive a link to the registration form after you complete your booking. Within 5 days of booking
Make your final payment, if any balance is due. See your invoice
Request any additions or changes you may still want to make to your trip. by final payment due date
Obtain any necessary travel visas and review any requirements for entry. See below
Print your itinerary and other final documents, which we will send you via email by 14 days prior to travel. Prior to travel
Print your policy documents, if you purchased travel insurance, and carry them with you. Prior to travel
Enroll in The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), if you're a U.S. citizen or national, so the State Dept. can locate and assist you in case of an emergency. Prior to travel

In addition, if you booked flights with your package:

Item Due
Book connecting flights to your departure city, if necessary. (Please confirm your international flight schedule first!) After receiving your e‑tickets
Make advance seat reservations for your international flight, if you have a preference. After receiving your e‑tickets
Confirm your flight times and any special meal requests with the airline, and print and carry a copy of your e-ticket. 72 hours prior to travel
Check in for your flights online and download/print your boarding passes (if available). 24 hours prior to travel
Arrive at the airport, ready for the trip of a lifetime! 3½ hours prior to departure

Documents & Entry Requirements

Entry requirements are provided for your convenience. However, unless otherwise stated, it is your responsibility to determine the requirements that apply to you and your trip and to comply with them, including obtaining any necessary visas or other travel documents by the required deadlines and carrying them with you. Especially with COVID-19, requirements are subject to change, so check back for the latest before you depart.

Please note: Celestyal Cruise Line requires a negative PCR test result taken not more than 72 hours prior to your cruise embarkation regardless of vaccination status. A cruise-specific Public Health Questionnaire is also required to be filled out no earlier than 24 hours prior to sailing and will be provided in the final documents. 

Turkish Visa: For this program, the visas required for your cruise stops will be acquired by Celestyal Cruise lines and you do not need to apply for the eVisa.

GreeceGreece Entry Requirements

Advice from our partner Sherpa

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TurkeyTurkey Entry Requirements

Advice from our partner Sherpa

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General Requirements & Guidelines

  • In general, you must have a passport to travel abroad, which should be valid for at least six months after your return date. Passports expiring before then should be renewed as soon as possible. Passports contain at least 2 blank pages for each country visited. If your passport does not have this many pages, obtain a new passport as soon as possible.
  • if your passport and visa are not in order, airlines and cruise ships may deny boarding, countries may deny entry, and your trip may be disrupted. Travel insurance may not cover such losses.
  • Any changes in names or passport information should be reported to us immediately. Airlines and cruise ships may deny boarding if the name on your passport does not match your tickets.
  • Minors (age 17 or younger) departing and/or returning to the U.S. without parents or with only one parent may be required by U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) to present a notarized parental consent letter and/or unabridged birth certificate (more information). Many other countries have similar entry requirements, especially for minors traveling with a parent/guardian with a different surname; check with the consulates of all countries you'll be visiting to learn more.

COVID-19 Vaccination Required

For the health and safety of all our travelers and to comply with the requirements of many of our destinations, we require all travelers on this package departing on or after Nov. 1, 2021, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at least 14 days prior to departure, except travelers who are too young to be vaccinated.

Final Documents

Your final travel documents will be sent to you via email by 14 days prior to departure. These will include your daily itinerary, hotel and emergency contact information, and other relevant information. Please print your documents and take them with you. If you're departing in less than a week and haven't received your documents, let us know immediately!

Travel Insurance Documents

If you purchased travel insurance, please print and carry your policy documents, including contact information for emergency travel assistance and instructions on how to make a claim. If you purchased the travel protection plan we offer, we recommend you print the full policy.

Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)

We encourage all U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll in the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This free service allows you to receive important updates about safety and security issues in your destination, and makes it easier for the U.S. Embassy, as well as family & friends, to contact you in case of an emergency. To enroll or get more information, please visit the STEP website or any U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Flights, Transfers & Arrival

Questions about your flights before you depart? Read the information below first. If you still have questions, contact our air specialists at 800-555-5765 ext. 2 or [email protected].

Tour Only Option

If you purchased this package without flights, you are responsible for booking your own flights in and out of Athens. The touring program will begin at the hotel in Athens on Day 2 of the listed itinerary and will end in Athens on Day 11 or Day 16 if taking the optional Classical Greece extension. Generally, hotel check-in time is at 3 PM and check-out is at 11 AM. 

Find out what to do in case of arrival complications.

Flights & Tickets

If you selected flights with your package, we generally book your flights and issue tickets after your final payment due date.

If you requested flights from another city, our air specialists will research the best options and send you a tentative flight schedule and quote for your approval within 5 business days of your booking (or approximately 330 days prior to travel, if you booked further out than that).

Once we have issued your tickets, we'll send you an "e-ticket receipt" which contains all of your flight information, including times, carriers, an airline booking reference number, and an e-ticket number. If you have not received this, or have questions about the flights we booked for you, please contact our air department. You will not receive paper tickets. We recommend you print and carry a copy of your flight details, including the airline booking reference number and e-ticket number, as some airports require this to enter the terminal. You do not need to reconfirm your flights with the airline prior to your departure, as we will handle this for you.

Want to reserve specific seats?

That depends on the airline. You can usually request a window or aisle seat, and sometimes specific seat numbers (but not exit row and bulkhead seats) ahead of time. Many airlines now charge a fee for this, and such fees are not included in your package price. If you have a seat preference, let us know when you book, in the special requests section, or email us at [email protected] after you book. Then:

If your airline does not charge a fee to pre-assign seats: We'll happily pass along your seat request to the airline and confirm they received it (though we cannot guarantee it will be honored).

If your airline does charge a fee to pre-assign seats: We'll let you know. You'll need to contact the airline directly to request your seats after we have issued your flight tickets, and fees are payable directly to the airline.

If you do not request specific seats: The airline typically assigns them within 24 hours of departure. If you do not like your assigned seats, you may be able to change them, subject to availability, when you check in online or at the counter. Learn more about Advance Seat Reservations.

Want to request a special meal?

You can enter special meal requests when you book with an agent or complete your online registration, shortly after booking. We will relay your requests to the airlines and our representatives abroad, but we cannot guarantee they will be honored. Please double check meal requests with your airline 72 hours before departure, and with our representatives upon arrival.

Looking to earn frequent flyer miles?

You may be able to earn frequent flyer points for your flights. Contact the airline directly once you receive your tickets to enter your frequent flyer number in your flight record, or enter it when you check in. As you travel, check your tickets or ask the check-in or gate agent prior to boarding each flight to ensure the number has been entered properly. And just to be safe, keep your boarding passes and passenger receipt as proof that you have actually flown the miles you want credited to your account.

Interested in upgrading to business class or premium economy?

Cabin upgrades may be available on your flights. Ask us about price and availability when you book online, in the special requests section, or contact our air department after you book. Please note that our special contracted airfare rates generally do not permit upgrading with frequent flyer points, and that upgrade requests may incur change fees if tickets have already been issued.

Flight Schedule

If you selected flights with your package, you may review the sample flight schedule(s) below. This information is for general planning puposes. You will receive your actual flight schedule by email once we issue your tickets.

If you requested flights from another city, our air specialists will research the best options and send you a tentative flight schedule for your approval, and a confirmed schedule once we issue your tickets.

Airlines may change schedules at any time, even after flights have been confirmed, and we are not responsible for such changes. Please check for updates to your flight schedule prior to booking any connecting flights and again 72 hours prior to departure.

If we are unable to confirm any component you selected you have the option to cancel your reservation and receive a full refund of your deposit, which is otherwise non-refundable. If tickets are not issued at the allotted time due to incomplete tour registration or other conditions beyond the control of Friendly Planet Travel, the flights we have confirmed for you will be automatically cancelled. In those cases, we will re- book you on the best available flights at the best possible fare, as soon we receive your passport details. We will then advise you if there are any changes in price. Once tickets are issued, they are non refundable, non transferable, name and date changes are not permitted.

One way to avoid problems with schedule changes is to try and arrive in your gateway city early in the day of your departure. Even better, if your schedule and budget permit the extra time and extra cost, schedule your arrival for the day before your scheduled departure. You can relax knowing you are protected against most connection complications that might arise. You will need the time to navigate the various lines, security checks and duty free shops you'll encounter, and you can use the extra time once you've checked in for your flight to meet fellow Friendly Planet travelers at the gate.

If you are traveling during the month of March or mid-October to mid-November, please note that each year the airlines traditionally undergo flight schedule changes during this time, when Daylight Savings Time begins and ends. We may only be notified of these schedule changes 60 days or less prior to your tour departure. If you are booking flights separately from your home city to connect with the included flights, we strongly suggest that you allow a 5 - 5½ hours connection time between these flights. This can help prevent any problems that may arise from unexpected airline schedule changes and prevent the unlikely event of missing your flight.

Friendly Planet Travel recommends that you make no payments for connecting airfare, or any other services related to this tour, until your final payment is made. Airline schedules and flights are subject to change at anytime without notice. Friendly Planet Travel is neither responsible nor liable for any costs resulting from a change in airline schedules. This includes, but is not limited to: change or cancellation penalties incurred for tickets, international or domestic, not issued by Friendly Planet Travel; additional nights of hotel before, during, or after one of our tours; and additional airport transportation. Under no circumstances shall Friendly Planet Travel be liable for any special, incidental or consequential damages arising from the foregoing. Friendly Planet Travel recommends that passengers reconfirm their flight times 72 hours prior to departure for all flights. Please review our Terms and Conditions.

Friendly Planet's toll-free number is 800-555-5765. The direct extension for our air department is 208.

Turkish Airlines - 800-874-8875

United Airlines - 800-864-8331

American Airlines - 800-433-7300

British Airways - 800-247-9297

Delta Airlines - 800-241-4141

Air France - 800-237-2747

Swiss Air: 877-359-7947

Lufthansa: 800-645-3880 

Connecting Flights

If you need to fly from (and/or return to) a different U.S. or Canadian city, we suggest you request those flights from us. If feasible, we will try to book all your flights together with a single carrier or a partner network on a single ticket. This ensures that your luggage will be transferred between flights for you, and more importantly, that if there are any schedule changes, flight cancellations, or delays that affect your trip, the airline(s) will adjust your flights to ensure you have sufficient time to make your connections and/or make alternate arrangements to get you to your destination. Besides offering the most peace of mind, this often yields lower fares than purchasing separate connecting flights.

If you plan to purchase connecting flights to your departure city, we strongly suggest waiting until after your final payment due date and after you receive the e-tickets for your international flights, to reduce the chances that that your departure might be cancelled or rescheduled or that your international flight times might change. Before purchasing connecting flights, verify the times for your international flights. Leave at least 3½ hours connecting time between flights, and if you're traveling within a few weeks of Daylight Savings Time changes (in March and November, when flight schedules may change even more dramatically), allow 5–5½ hours between flights. Nobody likes waiting around the airport, but missing your flight is far worse!

Airport Transfers

Scheduled airport transfers at the destination are included with this package. When you exit customs, please look for our representative holding a Friendly Planet sign, who will cheerfully escort you to your transfer vehicle and assist with your luggage. 

If you purchased the tour without flights and you submitted your flight itinerary no later than 30 days before your departure date, airport transfers will be provided. If you did not submit your flight itinerary or you are not arriving/departing from the same airport as the rest of the group, you will need to arrange your own ground transportation to the package start and end points. Note that there is no discount for any unused included transfers. Please send us your independent flight itinerary no later than 30 days prior to your departure date from the U.S. so that we can arrange your arrival and departure transfers accordingly.

Arrival Complications

We make every effort to ensure our tours run smoothly and trouble-free. We don't expect any problems, and nor should you. But when things don't go as planned, here's what to do:

  • You miss your flights, or your flights are cancelled: Please call us immediately. If it's outside our normal business hours, leave a message in our emergency mailbox, with a phone number at which to reach you, and we'll get right back to you.
  • Your flights are delayed and you're worried about missing your included transfers: Please contact us to let us know about the delay, and we will notify our partners in destination. If you are arriving on one of our group flights, or booked your own flights and supplied us with the details, our partners will be tracking your arrival and will plan accordingly.
  • Your package includes transfers, but you can't find our representative at your destination: Don't panic—they may have been unexpectedly delayed. Wait up to 30 minutes. Then contact our local partners in destination, listed on the emergency contact page of your final documents. If you can't reach them, call us. If it's outside our normal business hours, leave a message in our emergency mailbox. If all else fails, make your own way to the starting hotel (or cruise port), and we'll refund you the cost of your transfer.

Packing & Luggage

Baggage allowance: In general, our tours & packages allow per person: one checked bag, not to exceed 44 pounds; one personal item such as a purse or camera bag; and one carry-on bag, which should fit under your seat or in the overhead compartment. If your trip includes domestic flights within your destination and/or travel by motor coach, your carry-on should also fit should also fit under your seat or in the overhead bins on those flights or coaches.

Learn more about Baggage Allowances on your international flights. Note that our baggage allowances may be less than those for your international flights. If you exceed the baggage limits, you may be subject to excess baggage charges levied by the airlines and/or by Friendly Planet.

Regardless of the limits—we recommend a smaller size and weight for both your checked and carry-on bags. It's so much easier and faster for you to get around when you have fewer, lighter bags! For your carry-on, consider a soft-sided bag such as a duffel rather than a hard clamshell-type case, which may not fit as easily into overhead compartments or under your seat, especially on buses. For your protection, we suggest your checked luggage have a TSA-approved lock.

Luggage tags: For your safety, we are no longer mailing Friendly Planet luggage tags to you. We encourage you to use your own. Fill in the luggage tags with your name and contact information and attach to each bag, including carry-ons and camera cases, so that your luggage can be identified should it get misplaced during your trip.

What to pack: Check out our blog post on our Top 10 Must-Haves for International Travel. Pack smart: put your travel documents, medications, one change of clothing, and other essentials in your carry-on, in case your checked baggage is misplaced. And pack light, for your own comfort and convenience. For clothing, we suggest packing a variety of separates with climate and comfort in mind.

What not to pack: U.S. law forbids you to carry hazardous materials aboard aircraft in your checked or carry-on baggage or on your person, including explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids & solids, loaded firearms, poisons, corrosives and radioactive materials. Common examples include paints, lighter fluid, fireworks, mace/tear gas and oxygen bottles. Restricted materials may vary by airline and destination. Some items, in quantities of no more than 70 ounces total, may be carried within baggage, including medicinal or toilet articles such as hairspray, perfume and certain medicines that are necessary during your journey. Please check with the airline and/or visit the FAA website prior to travel if you have any questions.

While on Tour

What to Expect

This is a moderately-paced, independent package. Excursions with local tour guides include a reasonable amount of walking and requires and average level of physical fitness.

The Celestyal Cruise ships are generally smaller than typical ocean liners, because they are better suited for navigating the shallow waters and small ports of the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas. Most of your nights on the cruise will be spent at sea, as the ships cover wide distances so that you can experience a new region of Greece every day. Since you will be sailing at night, be mindful of your ship’s departure time, and be sure to return to the port with enough time for boarding. 

Cash & Currency on the Greek Isles Cruises: Upon boarding, passengers are required to create an account and provide a credit card number that will be pre-approved for a minimum amount.  The card will only be charged at the end of the cruise for the amount actually spent on board. Choose a card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, and be sure to advise your credit card company that you will be traveling outside of the country to avoid any charging issues. If you do not wish to use a credit card to create an on-board account, you can give a deposit of 50 to 100 euros per person in order to activate your account at the reception desk on board the ship. Any unused amount will be returned at the end of the cruise.

The hotels and some stores accept major credit cards. However, for street shopping, you will need local currency. You will be able to exchange US dollars to Euros in Athens. Although ATMs are available at the airport in Athens and at the different ports, we strongly suggest you bring enough cash. The ship has facilities to exchange limited amounts of US dollars to Euros.

Tourist Taxes: As of 2018, the Greek Ministry of Tourism has implemented a tourist tax on hotels/lodgings. We have included the tourist tax with the tour pricing, so that you will not have to pay the tax to your hotels upon check-in.  

Remember that you're a guest in someone else's homeland, and that you're traveling to experience their country and culture. Be sensitive to local customs and manners, as many things may be done differently than what you're used to. And while we have made every effort to secure modern and comfortable accommodations and transportation, please note that the standards in other countries may be different from those you are accustomed to at home. Overall, you will find a polite, positive, patient, and open-minded approach generally yields the best travel experience!

Accommodations

Hotel: The hotels throughout Greece range widely and vary depending on location. The Royal Olympic Hotel boasts beautiful views of the Temple of Zeus and the National Garden, overlooking the Acropolis. Outside of Athens, you will notice a dearth of the skyscrapers, high-rise buildings, and shopping malls typical in the U.S. On the Greek islands, life moves at a slower, more relaxed pace, but you can always find something delicious to eat or try something new and exciting to do!

Cruise: The tickets for your cruise ship will be given to you locally upon your arrival. You can find more information about your ship here.

Eating & Drinking

The meals included with your package are listed in the itinerary.

Greek cuisine is reminiscent of Ottoman rule, with dishes based on vegetables, fruits, olives, cheese, bread, and seafood. There are many exceptional restaurants and taverns across Greece that serve both authentic Mediterranean meals and fusion fare.

Non-Included Meals: The cruise portion of your tour includes 3 meals daily, and your stay in Athens includes breakfast daily.  Your Athens hotel has a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Several restaurants and cafes offering variety of cuisines are located near your hotel in Athens. Average cost for lunch (not including drinks) in the local shops and cafes is about $15 - $20 per person, per meal. Average cost for dinner is about $25 - $35 per person, per meal. Your hotel accepts major credit card payments for not-included meals. Most restaurants and cafes accept major credit cards.

Please see above for special meal requests.

Tipping

You will be traveling through Greece in the company of professionals who are very committed to making your tour the dream vacation you are counting on. These people feel great pride in being given a chance to show foreign visitors their country. If your guide, driver and others with whom you are traveling are doing a good job, please take our suggestions for tipping seriously. Naturally, tipping is personal and completely voluntary, and if you have not received good service, your tip should reflect this fact. 

The recommended amounts are as follows: 

  • Local guide on the sightseeing tours/shore excursions: $6-7 per person per day 
  • Driver on transfers and touring days: $3-5 per person per day 
  • Restaurant staff: $1-2 per person per meal 
  • Porters: $3 per bag upon arrival and departure
  • Housekeeping: $1-2 per person per day
  • Tour Manager*: $8-10 per person per day

*Some departures will have a tour manager who will stay with the group throughout the tour.  The tour manager will conduct the sightseeing tours in Athens.  However, the shore excursions will be conducted by local guides. 

Standard gratuity of $10 per adult or $5 per child, per day for the cruise staff is included in the tour price. Celestyal Cruise Lines does not recommend giving tips to individuals. Please contact the reception staff if you wish to change the suggested amount. In general, tipping is, of course, a personal matter and an expression of your satisfaction with services provided to you.

Optional Excursions

To enhance and make your visit more complete and memorable, your local guide will offer optional tours and cultural/dining evening activities. Payments for these tours should be made directly to your guide. Payment must be made by cash (US Dollars or Euro) or by credit card (MasterCard, Visa or Amex). Rates quoted on our website may be subject to currency fluctuation. Please note that tours may be subject to minimum number of passengers. These tours can only be purchased locally.

Independent Activities

Your Athens hotel is a short taxi-ride away from the Plaka. One of the oldest sections of Athens, the Plaka’s winding, cobbled streets are lined with taverns, cafes and shops. The shops range from stores that sell inexpensive souvenir items to exclusive artist-owned showrooms specializing in hand-made original pieces and copies of ancient museum pieces. 

You can leave the group and explore on your own at any time; however, should the group have planned activities for that day, please make sure to inform your Tour Escort in advance. There is NO refund for unused group arrangements. We recommend that you ask the front desk for a business card of the ship and the hotel with local phone numbers.

Every evening onboard the Celestyal Cruise ship, a daily program with scheduled events for the following day will be delivered directly to your cabin. This will include onboard services such as shows, a timetable of shore excursions as well as embarkation and disembarkation times at each port of call. The cruise ship will usually wait a very short amount of time for those who may be late returning to the ship. Please remember that the ship sails on a set course and follows a strict time schedule, so we strongly encourage you to return to port at least 30 minutes prior to the departure time. 

Special Needs & Requests

Please see above for special meal requests and seat requests. If you have any other special requests, including wheelchair or electric cart assistance, please mention your request when you book with an agent, or in the special requests section when you book online. We will do our best to accommodate them!

Country FAQs

GreeceGreece Fast Facts

Overview

Capital: Athens
Population: 10.75 million
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Languages: Greek
Drives on the: Right
Time zone: EET (UTC +2)

Health Precautions & Vaccinations

There are no health requirements for entering Greece. However, you might want to consider getting a hepatitis vaccination. Ask your physician when planning a trip to Greece.

Center for Disease Control
World Health Organization

Weather

Greece enjoys relatively mild winters and lovely, temperate autumn and spring. Average temperatures between January and March tend to range between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit, with rain most likely during January. Rain is less likely during February and March. Average temperature in April thru August is about 80 to 90 degrees. In September through November temperatures can range from the mid 60’s to 80’s.

What to wear

Since the weather can be unpredictable anywhere in the world and to be sure you are comfortable during your trip and prepared for all types of weather possibilities, we suggest that you carry a small folding umbrella and take with you a lightweight jacket or sweater. If you have two pairs of comfortable (broken in, not brand new) walking shoes, by all means, take both pairs. Packing to dress in layers is another way to prepare for a variety of weather conditions. Finally, remember that comfort and convenience should dictate your wardrobe for the tour, and casual clothes are in order for most every occasion as you travel.

Please Note: Please dress modestly when visiting religious sites. Arms and legs should be covered. Shorts and sleeveless tops are not permitted. Covered shoulders and skirts below the knee for women, shorts below the knee for men are highly suggested.

Tipping

A small gratuity to your guides and drivers will be greatly appreciated by them. The recommended amount is 7-10 Euros per person per day for the local guide and 2 Euro per person per day for the driver on optional day tours. It is also customary to tip the hotel staff. Our recommended amount is 1EUR per person per day for housekeeping. The same amount is recommended for restaurant staff. In general, tipping is, of course, a personal matter and an expression of your satisfaction with services provided to you.

Money & Credit Cards

The official currency in Greece is the Euro.  Major cities have ATMs. The hotels and some stores will be able to accept major credit cards. However, for street shopping, you will need local currency. You will be able to exchange US dollars to Euros at the airport, bank, or foreign exchange bureau. Although ATMs are available in major cities, we strongly suggest you bring enough cash. Traveler’s checks are not widely accepted in Greece. If you intend to use traveler’s checks during your trip, please verify they are still accepted in the places visited on this tour.

Note for those on the Greek Isles Cruises: Upon boarding the ship, passengers are required to provide a credit card number that will be pre-approved for a minimum amount.  At the end of the cruise, you will only be charged for what you actually spent.  The ship’s reception can exchange a limited amount of USD for Euros.

Always notify your bank prior to departure to avoid any problems using your credit or debit card abroad.

Shopping

You will certainly have time for shopping, and Greece offers a great variety of goods to satisfy different tastes and price ranges. It is always a good idea to comparison-shop, and exercise the “buyer-beware” rule, just as you do at home. Be sure to inspect the merchandise before you leave the store. Most stores will not allow you to return or exchange purchased items.

Electricity & Power Adapters

The electrical current at the hotels in Greece is 230 volts with 50 cycles. On the cruise ships, the electrical current is 220 volts with 50 cycles. We recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit.

Learn more about electrical standards around the world.

Cell Phones & Internet

Want to take your cell phone, tablet or laptop, but not sure how to get cell service or wifi? See our blog posts on using your cell phone abroad and the top 5 ways to get Internet abroad.

Photography

Cameras and video recorders are allowed almost everywhere in Greece, and in fact, you will want to take plenty of pictures of the magnificent panoramas you’ll encounter as you travel. Photography is generally permitted everywhere except at airports and military installations. Memory cards for digital cameras will also be readily available, especially in major cities.

Did you know?
  • The Olympic Games originated in Ancient Greece, with the first event held in 776 BC in Olympia near Greece’s southwest coast.
  • About 16.5 million tourists visit Greece each year, which is more than the country’s entire population.
  • Greece is one of the sunniest countries in the world, averaging more than 250 sunny days per year!
  • Olive trees have been cultivated in Greece since ancient times, and some planted in the thirteenth century are still producing olives today!
  • There are over 2,000 islands in Greece, but only 170 of them are populated.
  • Although 170 of the islands are inhabited, 40% of Greece's total population can be found in Athens.

TurkeyTurkey Fast Facts

Overview

Capital: Ankara
Population:  78.67 million
Currency: Turkish Lira
Languages: Turkish, Kurdish, English, German, Dutch and French
Drives on the: Right
Time zone: UTC +3

Health Precautions & Vaccinations

Immunizations are not currently required for travel to Turkey. However, you may wish to consult your personal physician or local public health authorities about possible vaccinations against typhoid and hepatitis. We also suggest bringing insect repellent.

Center for Disease Control
World Health Organization

Weather

Istanbul is temperate, warm, and humid in the summer. Eastern Turkey has short summers and bitterly cold winters. Central Anatolia is dry and hot in the summer, rainy and snowy in the winter. If you plan to visit beaches, June through September is the best time to travel. Southeastern Turkey is very dry and extremely hot in the summer. 

What to wear

The Turkish clothing style is casual. We suggest loose fitting clothes made of cotton or linen, a wide brimmed hat to cover your face and back of your neck, sunglasses, light shawl or scarf, and a light sweater for cool and windy nights are also valuable accessories for your trip. The evening attire at restaurants, casinos, lounges and nightclubs is “country club casual” – relaxed yet elegant. If you plan to visit the beach, be sure to bring a swimsuit, a cover-up, water shoes or sandals, and a good sunscreen. Some excursions may visit religious sites where guests are required to dress modestly. Shorts and sleeveless tops are not permitted; and arms and legs should be covered. Covered shoulders and skirts below the knee for women, shorts below the knee for men are highly suggested. If you have two pairs of comfortable (broken in, not brand new) walking shoes, by all means, take both pairs. Since weather can be unpredictable anywhere in the world and to be sure you are comfortable during your trip and prepared for all types of weather possibilities, we suggest that you carry a small folding umbrella and take with you a lightweight jacket or sweater. Packing to dress in layers is another way to prepare for a variety of weather conditions.  Finally, remember that comfort and convenience should dictate your wardrobe for the tour, and casual clothes are in order for most every occasion as you travel.

Money & Credit Cards

The official currency in Turkey is the Lira. The hotels used on this program as well as some local stores and some restaurants will be able to accept Visa and MasterCard. A few, mostly high-end venues may accept American Express. However, for street shopping you will need the local currency. Your hotels will be able to exchange cash to the local currency.  We highly recommend that you bring crisp, new bills in small denominations. Old, torn, crumpled bills are not accepted. ATMs are also available at the airport and in some of the cities visited. If you wish to use your credit and/or debit cards during your stay in Turkey, we highly recommend that you notify your bank prior to your departure. And be sure to remember your numeric code.

Traveler’s checks are no longer widely accepted. If you intend to use traveler’s checks while on the tour, please verify that they are still accepted in the places visited.

Always notify your bank prior to departure to avoid any problems using your credit or debit card abroad.

Shopping

Turkey is a shopper’s paradise!  From unique, handmade items to fine leather, there is something to please everyone.  Popular items include handwoven rugs and kilims, copper, and brass.  Please be aware that some items labeled “antique” are fake.  If you purchase an antique, be sure to obtain an official permit to export it.  It is always a good idea to comparison-shop, and exercise the “buyer-beware” rule, just as you do at home. Be sure to inspect the merchandise before you leave the store. Most stores will not allow you to return or exchange purchased items.

Electricity & Power Adapters

230 volts. Plugs C & F. You will need a voltage converter and plug adapter in order to use U.S. appliances. We recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit.

Learn more about electrical standards around the world.

Cell Phones & Internet

Want to take your cell phone, tablet or laptop, but not sure how to get cell service or wifi? See our blog posts on using your cell phone abroad and the top 5 ways to get Internet abroad.

Photography

Cameras and video recorders are generally allowed almost everywhere in Turkey, and in fact, you will want to take plenty of pictures of the magnificent panoramas you’ll encounter as you travel. Photography is generally permitted everywhere except at airports and military installations. Memory cards for digital cameras will also be readily available, especially in major cities.

Did you know?
  • Turkey is home to one of the world's oldest and largest malls, the Grand Bazaar located in Istanbul and dating back to 1455.
  • The longest word in Turkish contains 70 letters: Muvaffakiyetsizleştiricileştiriveremeyebileceklerimizdenmişsinizcesine, which means “as if you are from those we may not be able to easily make a maker of unsuccessful ones”.
  • Istanbul is the only city built on two continents: Asia and Europe (although it is mostly located on the Asian continent).
  • Santa Claus, also commonly known as St. Nicholas, wasn’t born in the North Pole, but in the Southwestern part of Turkey, Patara!
  • Turkey is home to over 82,600 mosques

Fine Print

Terms & Conditions: Please review our terms & conditions for this package.

Cancellations: If something comes up and you need to cancel your trip, please let us know as soon as possible. All cancellations must be made in writing. Cancellation fees vary by package; please see the cancellation fees for this package.

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