Exotic Turkey has become a top tourist destination for good reason. The crossroads of Europe and Asia offer exhilarating sailing on the crystal clear waters of the eastern Aegean, unique shopping at grand bazaars and a vibrant history with more varied archaeological remains than any other region.
Discover the fascinating Turkish Aegean coast and see where eastern culture meets the west. Enjoy exhilarating sailing on the pristine waters of the Turquoise coast while visiting remote beaches, secluded coves and fascinating archaeological sites. The land of the Sultans is steeped in history with countless ancient Lycian, Carian, Greek, Roman, Ottoman and medieval civilizations spread along the forested coastline. Coastal towns offer museums, bustling Turkish bazaars, and healing Turkish baths. In the evenings, indulge in spicy Turkish gastronomy and world famous nightlife under the stars. Sailing the Turkish coast is a journey that can only be described as- a feast for the senses!
Most long-haul international flights to Turkey land at Atatürk Airport which is only 14 miles (24 km) away from Istanbul west of the city.
Turkish Airlines, US Airways and Air Canada fly from North America to Europe with direct flights in many instances. There are also many good connectionns from London, Frankfurt or Munich with Turkish Airlines on low cost European airlines such as easyJet to Antalya airport.
In summer, there many are direct flights with easyJet from major European airports such as Amsterdam, Manchester, London, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Copenhagen to Bodrum Airport. You can also take a ferry from Kos, Greek Island which is only 50 minutes away from Bodrum.
There is a high risk of terroism threats in Turkey. Tourism information is available at airports when you arrive and by contacting the Turkish Tourism Organization prior to travel.
Generally crime levels are low, but street robbery and pick-pocketing are common in the major tourist areas of Istanbul. Turkey is a Muslim country and, although larger centres such as cosmopolitan Bodrum where many gulet and yacht charters commense from, it is advised to dress sensibly to avoid putting yourself at risk.
All nationalities are required to have a visa to enter Turkey. If you’re visiting Turkey as a tourist or on business, you’ll need to get an e-visa. An e-visa costs $20 and you can pay using a credit or debit card. You can apply up to 3 months in advance of your travel date. Turkish visit visas issued on arrival are valid for multiple stays up to a maximum of 90 days in a 180 day period. if you don’t have an e-Visa you can still get a visa on arrival for approximately $20 in cash, although the visa on arrival service is due to be phased out. Getting an e-Visa before you travel will avoid possible problems or delays at the Turkish border.
Turkey’s healthcare system has greatly improved over recent times, but the country has only basic public hospital medical facilities. There is an extensive private health care sector, including private emergency care hospitals, surgeons, dentists and other specialists. Inside major citiies the quality of care in clinics will match standards in Western Europe, but without private health insurance, getting treated will be very expensive. Travel insurance for medical assistance is essential. In the case of a medical emergency call 112. It is advisable to check that your tetanus shot is up to date. Vaccinations against tuberculosis and hepatitis B are sometimes recommended. It is recommended that travellers visiting rural areas, get a rabies vaccination as this may be found in dogs, cats and other animals throughout the countryside. Turkey has very low risk of malaria, with the risk increasing towards the Syrian border in the south east of the country, but keen trekkers may want to stock up on supplies of insect-repellent.
Turkish Lira is the currency used in Turkey and it is better to get Lira in Turkey rather than at home. Traveler’s checks are no longer used. The most convenient way to get Turkish Lira funds is by using your debit card at the ATM machines located as you exit the airport, or from exchange offices at the airport. ATM cash machines are available at most stops. Credit cards can be used for shopping at most islands but are not always accepted at restaurants. The most popular card is VISA, followed by MASTERCARD/ EUROCARD. AMEX is accepted in many of the more expensive places, such as the luxury hotels but not generally in stores.
Voltage on shore in Turkey is 220V, 2-pin European plug so adapters and power converters (110 ~ 220) may be required for your electronic devices. Many cameras and telephones are 110-220V compatible but check your device. Blow dryers and hair curlers are not recommended but can be used at some ports where there is shore power.The best way to charge cell phones, electric razors and video camera batteries is in local cafes and restaurants on shore and it is a very common practice in Turkey.
Provisions can be purchased at supermarkets on most islands. The most established marinas can be found on the southern Aegean and Mediterranean coast; Izmir, Cesme, Kusadasi, Bodrum, Ayvalik, Mersin, Datca, Bozburun, Marmaris, Gocek, Fethiye, Kalkan, Kas, Finike, Kerner and Antalya. All the marinas are well equipped providing all the services and facilities to yachtsmen.
The main service provider is the Turk Telekom half privatized telecommunication company. The telephone numbers have 7 digits in Turkey. Every town/city has its own 3 digit area code. There are four GSM operators, Turkcell, Telsim, Aria and Aycell. Many hotel accomodations now have internet access, in larger cities, wifi is available in Cafés and some restaurants for their customers or there are many Internet cafes where an hourly fee is charged.
Modern-day Turkish cuisine is a melting pot that fuses Middle Eastern, North African and Central Asian cuisines and flavors. Food is often served as a small Meze where waiters present a large tray filled with a wide variety of small plates for you to choose from. Common meze include humus, barbunya pilaki (barotti beans stewed in olive oil) and various eggplant spreads. For main dishes try döner (Turkish gyro,) kofte (meatballs) and kebaps which are made mainly of chicken or beef now that lamb is too pricey.
Tipping is quite normal in Turkey and service charges are not added. Due to low incomes, on many occasions people do expect to be tipped especially if they have provided an extra good service. Usually taxi drivers round up the fare as a tip for their services. In restaurtants tipping is customary between 5% and 10%, depending on service. Don’t tip if you receive bad service. Tips must be in cash, preferably in Turkish Lira, and be given directly to the waiter.