Valid for all trips departing January 1st, 2014 - September 19th, 2015 Last Updated:
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Introduction

From pastoral countryside to forbidding forests and magnificent mountain ranges, experience the romance of the east on your way from Budapest to Istanbul. In two well-paced weeks, explore the weathered architecture of Budapest, grand Ottoman palaces and mosques in Istanbul for an introduction to the artistic and cultural heights of two very different empires. With an intriguing combination of cultural colour and outdoor activities, you'll come away with a real feel for this lesser-explored corner of Europe.

  • Discover the rich and varied culture of Eastern Europe
  • Visit 'Dracula's Castle' and charming Slavic villages
  • Explore the spectacular capitals of Budapest and Istanbul
Duration: 14 days
Start/Finish City: Budapest to Istanbul
Service Level: Standard
  • Great value, reasonable prices, quality experiences
  • Comfortable and varied tourist-class accommodations chosen for location and character
  • Mix of public and private transport for the best overall experience
  • All the top highlights included, plus plenty of time to explore on your own
Physical Grading: 2
There'll be some light walking and hiking. Suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.
Travel Style: Classic
The trips we've built our reputation on.

Designed for maximum variety, these trips are geared towards travellers searching for a healthy mix of active exploration, uncommon landscapes, amazing wildlife and local cultures.

Trip Type: Small Group
Group trips average 12 travellers per departure, depending on the adventure. The maximum is usually no more than 16, but some can be smaller or bigger, depending on the trip. Check individual trips for details.

Itinerary

Route map for Budapest to Istanbul (EABI)

Day 1 Budapest

Situated on a beautiful stretch of the Danube, Budapest consists of two parts: Buda and Pest. Buda is the older and more historical part of the city, with old narrow winding streets and medieval buildings. Here you can find Buda’s most ancient sights: the Royal Palace, St. Matthias Church, Fisherman’s Bastion and Castle Hill with its old town. Across the Danube is grand Pest with its vibrant streets such as Váci Utca, which is the bustling main street of Budapest. We recommend booking pre-accommodation to fully explore this breathtaking city.

As your fellow travellers are arriving throughout the day, there are no planned activities until your Group Meeting this evening, so check-in to the hotel (check-in time is approx 3pm) and enjoy the city.
Check the notice boards or ask at reception for the exact time and location of the group meeting. After the meeting, you can head out for a meal at a local restaurant with the group (optional).

Please make every effort to arrive on time for this important welcome meeting. If you are delayed and will arrive late, please inform us - contact numbers are provided in these notes. Your CEO will then leave you a message at the front desk informing you of where and when to meet up.

Day 2 Budapest (1B)

Orientation walk of Budapest, overnight train to Sighisoara.

Day 3 Sighisoara

Explore Sighisoara's fabulous medieval walled citadel with its many cultural attractions and great restaurants and bars.
On Day 3 we have a half-day guided tour of the area. Much of Transylvania harks back to a time gone by, with the traditional rural villages seeming to have stepped straight from the pages of a fairytale. Enjoy the beautiful rolling scenery as we visit medieval villages and fortified churches, and learn about the life and folklore of olden times from our expert local guide.

Be sure to sample some Romanian cuisine while you are here - the Casa Dracula (original home of Vlad, the model for Count Dracula) is now a restaurant specialising in the hearty meat and game dishes of the region.

Estimated travel time Budapest to Sighisoara 9.5 hours

Day 4 Brasov (1B)

Transfer to Brasov (Kronstadt), one of Transylvania’s major cities, beautifully set amidst forested hills. Brasov is a delightful city with baroque architecture, charming squares where you can enjoy the cafe culture, and friendly locals.
Walking in the medieval centre, one of the best preserved in Romania, you can visit The Black Church, the biggest church between Vienna and Constantinople, the City Council Square, the ramparts erected in medieval times by the Saxon colonists, and one of the narrowest streets in Europe, the Binder Street.

Estimated travel time Sighisoara to Brasov 3 hours

Days 5-6 Bucharest (1B)

Today we travel to Romania's capital via Bran Castle and Snagov.
On Day 5, we visit the picturesque Bran Castle. Impressively situated on a rock outcrop and dominating the valley,this fourteenth-century castle is steeped in history and folklore and is an unmissable highlight.It is claimed to be the home of Count Dracula, and more recently was a favourite summer residence of Queen Marie of Romania.
Bucharest has huge squares and imposing buildings (the Palace of Parliament is the second-largest building in the world!) and is a city of contrasts. You can get a sense of Communist times from the grandiose Goverment architecture, visit the magnificent Cathedral, dine in eclectic international restaurants, and check out the burgeoning bar scene - all in one day!

Estimated travel time Brasov to Bucharest 4 hours

Days 7-8 Veliko Tarnovo (1B)

We cross into Bulgaria today as we travel to the fascinating town of Veliko Tarnovo
Settled continuously since 4500BC, Veliko Tarnovo is probably one of the most ancient and historic places you will ever visit - no wonder it was capital of the Kingdom of Bulgaria in medieval times! The town still retains a medieval feel, with buildings huddled above an S-shaped gorge in the river Yantra. it is a fantastic place to explore, visit the museums, and sample your first Bulgarian food, which is lighter than Romanian and has some similarities to Greek and Turkish cuisine. We strongly recommend you sample some local Bulgarian wine too, the quality of which will come as a pleasant surprise - Bulgaria's wine industry is not well-known outside the country but produces some very fine vintages!

The Tsarevets fortress just 1km outside central Veliko Tarnovo is a must-see. This huge complex has been an important stronghold for thousands of years, and you can wander at will around the remains of homes, churches and watch towers, dating from the fifth to the twelfth century.

On Day 8 we enjoy a hike uphill to Arbanasi (5km, approx 90 minutes). This hilltop village was the residence of choice for the wealthy Roman elite and is still a country haven for the high-flyers of modern Bulgaria. The views all around and down to Veliko Tarnovo are amazing. We also recommend you pop into the sixteenth-century Church of the Nativity to see the amazing murals.
Afterwards, we walk down to Veliko Tarnovo again.

Estimated travel time Bucharest to Veliko Tarnovo 6 hours

Days 9-10 Belogradchik (2B)

A long journey into the mysterious and beautiful northern Bulgarian countryside takes us to Belogradchik. We venture off the tourist trail and get a feel for the magnificent natural scenery and stunning historic villages of this little-visited area.

The landscape here is simply amazing, with red rock spires, and we make the most of the scenery - both above and underground. On day 10 we take local transport (45 minutes) to Magura and enjoy an underground hiking trail around the stunning Magura cave system, past stalactites and rock formations.
Then we take in the mighty Kaleto fortress overlooking the town. Winding stone stairs lead ever upwards to an ancient fortress, a superb vantage point over the rock spires which surround the town.

Estimated travel time Veliko Tarnovo to Belogradchik 8 hours

Day 11 Sofia (1B)

We arrive in Sofia by mid-afternoon, giving us enough time for a short orientation walk to explore the city. Enjoy a stroll down Sofia's chic pedestrianised Vitosha street, then take in the eclectic Ladies' Market.
Sofia is an intriguing mix of wide graceful Parisian-style boulevards and Communist-era architecture. Don't miss the stunning gold-domed Alexander Nevski church, honouring the Russian liberators whose contribution saw the end of ottoman rule in Bulgaria.
Sofia is an excellent place to sample modern takes on Bulgarian and international food, with some great trendy dining opportunities. Don't forget to bid farewell to Bulgaria with a glass of the excellent home-grown wine either!

Estimated travel time Belogradchik to Sofia 5 hours

Day 12 Plovdiv (1B)

We have time today to take in Plovdiv before continuing by overnight train or bus to Istanbul (dependent on whether the train service is running)
Plovdiv, Bulgaria's second city, is amazingly rich in Roman remains and a fascinating place to while away a few hours. Wander the atmospheric streets of the hilly Old Town, visit the excellent Ethnographic Museum which has a great collection of traditional Bulgarian costumes, or go back nearly two thousand years and tread in the steps of Roman legionnaires by visiting the Theatre of Ancient Philippopolis.
Afterwards, why not relax over a coffee and a Bulgarian baklava, for which this area is known?
Then this evening we will re-group and catch the overnight bus to Istanbul after dinner.

Estimated travel time Sofia to Plovdiv 2 hours, estimated travel time Plovdiv to Istanbul 14 hours (overnight bus or train)

Day 13 Istanbul

On the morning of Day 13 we arrive in the city that is both Europe and Asia. Steeped in centuries of history, this city of turrets and domes is a highlight for any traveller. From the train station, we'll jump on the metro and tram to get us right into the heart of the city, to our hotel in Sultanahmet.

Day 14 is yours to spend at leisure in this fascinating city - and there is so much to do!
Don't miss those historical icons, the Haghia Sophia, the Basilica Cistern, the Hippodrome and the legendary Blue Mosque, or the chance to "shop till you drop" at the Grand Bazaar. In the evening, there are plenty of cool little bars and restaurants where we can celebrate the end of an amazing journey over a raki or two.

Day 14 Istanbul (1B)

Allaha ismarladik!

You are free to depart at any time today. Please note that check-out time from the hotel is normally mid-morning, but luggage storage facilities are usually available.

What's Included

Budapest orientation walk. Romanian villages and countryside tour (half-day, from Sighisoara). 'Dracula's Castle' (Bran). Bucharest orientation tour. Hike to Arbanasi village. Kaleto Fortress visit (Belogradchik). Sofia orientation walk. Plovdiv day trip. Istanbul orientation walk.

Highlights

Discover the rich and varied culture of Eastern Europe, visit 'Dracula's Castle' and charming Slavic villages, explore the spectacular capitals of Budapest and Istanbul

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Important Notes

1. Depending on the lunar cycle, Ramadan will fall between June 28 and July 27, 2014. Please note that Ramadan is a month of fasting observed by Muslims throughout the world, during which time the followers of Islam should not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. There may be some limitations to services and disruptions to schedules during Ramadan in Muslim areas, but generally our tours still operate effectively during this period and food is available to non-muslims throughout the day. It is very important to display increased cultural sensitivity during Ramadan. Please wear loose fitting clothes, that cover knees and shoulders, and try to avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public out of respect for those who can't at that time.

2. It is important to note that in Europe, all guiding is based around local guides all of whom are licensed to work only in a particular city. As such, our leaders are able to provide orientation walks which will show you the layout of each town and city as well as the location of local services such as post offices and laundromats, but are unable to legally share historical facts and figures in public places.

3. In Europe it is very rare to find elevators in train stations, hotels or other public places. We use public transport on this trip, which means you will need to carry your luggage from platform to platform, in and out of trains and buses etc. and also possibly up several flights of stairs. You will also need to be able to stow your luggage safely on trains and buses. It is therefore essential that you pack light and bring luggage which is compact and lightweight, and which you can easily transport. The carrying of your luggage remains your responsibility at all times.

4. Vegetarians should be aware that the cuisine of this region is predominantly meat-based. Although you will be able to find and enjoy vegetarian food, please be aware that there will not be the variety or range of choices that you would find at home.

Group Leader Description

This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting - we think it's the best of both worlds.

Group Size Notes

Max 16, avg 12

Meals Included

9 Breakfasts

Meals

Eating is a big part of traveling. G Adventures understands the importance of breakfast to start your day, we strive to include a basic breakfast wherever possible. A typical breakfast may include toast, coffee and tea, however this may vary depending on the city. Should breakfast not be included, your CEO can suggest some local options.

Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip.

For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Meal Budget

Allow EUR335-440 for meals not included.

Transport

Train, public bus, metro, walking

About our Transportation

Intercity transport on this trip will be by local bus and train. The bus and train systems are generally good, but inevitably travelling by public transport can involve delays and frustrations, and we ask you to keep this in mind.

This tour includes some long travel days, but we believe those hours of travel are more than worth it for the reward of seeing so much of this breathtaking region in a short space of time, so unfold your map, pack in your mp3 player and your phrase-book and get ready to enjoy some beautiful landscapes with your Romanian or Bulgarian neighbour.

Between transport and hotels you may be required to carry your luggage short distances (up to 25 mins walk).

Local Flights

If required all local flights are included in the cost of your tours unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.

Solo Travellers

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Hotels/pensions (11 nts), overnight bus/train (2 nts).

My Own Room

Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops

About Accommodation

It is important to note that accommodation in Europe tend to be quite different to other areas of the world you may have travelled in. Buildings and rooms are generally old and may not have been renovated or maintained to the highest standard. Downtown hotels in Europe were not build to be hotels but rich owners houses, which have been changed into hotels. Therefore unusual room sizes are common as large rooms have been partitioned in the past, resulting in rather "thin" walls. Reception areas, rooms and bathrooms tend to be very small as they were often added into an existing room, and may have a hand nozzle rather than a conventional shower head.

Staff can occasionally demonstrate less than perfect customer service. As accommodation is in short supply, especially during the summer months, hotels can charge a premium and there is sometimes little motivation to improve facilities.

On this trip you can expect to stay in small family-run hotels or pensions (with the exception of the start and finish hotels, which are often larger city hotels), which will vary a little in standard and facilities: some may not have elevators, air-conditioning or English-speaking staff, but most importantly all are locally-run, with some traditional character, and in excellent central locations to give you maximum time for exploring the sights. You can expect to find clean, safe, simple accommodation in convenient locations.

In one or two locations we use accommodation with shared bathrooms.

Joining Hotel

Star Inn Hotel Budapest Centrum
Dessewffy u.36.
H-1066 Budapest
Tel.: +36 1 – 472 20 21
Email: k.makkai@starinnhotels.com

PLEASE NOTE - The July 6th 2014 departure will start at:

Cotton House Hotel
Jokai Utca 26
Budapest, Hungary
Tel: +36 1 354 2600
hotel@cottonhouse.hu

Please note the September 7th and 21st, 2014 departures will start at:

City Hotel Mátyás
Március 15.tér 7-8.
Budapest, Hungary
+36 1 318 0595

Joining Instructions

Star Inn Hotel:

From Budapest Ferihegy airport:
For 1-2 people, the official airport shuttle buses can be arranged here http://www.airportshuttle.hu/en/
For 3 or more people it works out cheaper and quicker to get a Zona taxi from the front of the airport.

If you are arriving into Budapest by train into Nyugati station:
From the main exit at the front of the station, cross the street directly in front of you and over the tram tracks. Walk left along the street and take the first left onto Jokai Utca - this is almost opposite the front of the station. Follow Jokai Utca for around 750m and turn left on Dessewffy Utca walk 50m and the Star Inn Hotel is on the right hand side

If you are arriving by train into Deli or Keleti train stations:
We recommend arranging a taxi in advance, the two cheapest companies are: TAXI PLUS nr 0036 1 8 888 000 or FŐTAXI 0036 1 2 222 222. They should cost you around 2000HUF /car (7EUROS) from Keleti station.

If you prefer public transport, the nearest underground station is Nyugati Palyaudvar on Metro line 3 (the blue line). From either Deli or Keleti, take the underground and change at Deak Ter. You will need a single metro ticket (Vonaljegy) ticket for this journey costing 320 HUF. You may want to consider a 24hr or 72hr public transport ticket costing 1550 HUF or 4500 HUF respectively.

Cotton House Hotel:

The cotton house hotel is a charming historic hotel in the centre of Budapest.

From Budapest Ferihegy airport:
For 1-2 people, the official airport shuttle buses can be arranged here http://www.airportshuttle.hu/en/
For 3 or more people it works out cheaper and quicker to get a Zona taxi from the front of the airport.

If you are arriving into Budapest by train into Nyugati station:
From the main exit at the front of the station, cross the street directly in front of you and over the tram tracks. Walk left along the street and take the first left onto Jokai Utca - this is almost opposite the front of the station. Follow Jokai Utca for around 200m and you will see the Cotton House Hotel on your left hand side.

If you are arriving by train into Deli or Keleti train stations:
We recommend arranging a taxi in advance, the two cheapest companies are: TAXI PLUS nr 0036 1 8 888 000 or FŐTAXI 0036 1 2 222 222. They should cost you around 2000HUF /car (7EUROS) from Keleti station.

If you prefer public transport, the nearest underground station is Nyugati Palyaudvar on Metro line 3 (the blue line). From either Deli or Keleti, take the underground and change at Deak Ter. You will need a single metro ticket (Vonaljegy) ticket for this journey costing 320 HUF. You may want to consider a 24hr or 72hr public transport ticket costing 1550 HUF or 4500 HUF respectively.

Arrival Complications

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures UK office (manned UK 8am - 8pm)
+44 (0) 2072439878

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, from calls within North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from within UK: 0844 272 0000
Calls from within Germany: 01805 70 90 30 00
Calls from within Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from within New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

For absolute emergencies after office hours please contact +44 7817 262559
If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, and your call will be returned as soon as possible.

What to Take

You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. We highly recommend using a backpack or light sports bag, whichever you find easiest to carry, plus a small daypack. Luggage space on public transport is limited. You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them between transport and hotels (max. 15-20 mins walking), hopping on and off trains and public buses and up and down stairs.

Checklist

Suggested Items:
•Light fleece top
•Light windproof/waterproof jacket
•Small towel and swimwear
•Sun hat
•Personal clothing for mild to hot weather (See also "What to Take" and "Local Dress" sections of this dossier)
•Sturdy walking shoes
•Sunblock
•Sunglasses
•Toiletries (biodegradable)
•Watch or alarm clock
•Water bottle
•Money belt
•First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, bandaids, anti-histamine,
Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, insect
repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)

Optional Items:
•Camera and film
•Reading/writing material
•Binoculars
•Cover for backpacks

Documents:
•Passport (with photocopies)
•Travel insurance (with photocopies)
•Airline tickets (with photocopies)
•EUR cash
•Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
•G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
•Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Visas

Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.

All visitors to the EU (European Union) and EEC (European Economic Community) countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand passport holders do not need a visa to visit the Schengen area (see below), however they may not stay longer than three months in any 6-month period.

For other nationalities, travelling in Europe has been simplified with the introduction of the Schengen visa. As a visitor to the Schengen area (Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Greece, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Portugal, Finland, Italy, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Sweden, Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland) you will enjoy the many advantages of this unified visa system. Generally speaking with a Schengen visa, you may enter one Schengen country and travel freely throughout the Schengen region during the validity of your visa. There are limited border controls at Schengen borders, if any at all.

Please note that the UK and Ireland are NOT part of the Schengen agreement.

A Schengen visa is applied for at the Embassy or Consulate of the Schengen country in which you will be spending the most nights on your trip to the Schengen space. If you are only visiting one country on your trip then you apply for your visa at the Consulate of this Schengen country.

TURKEY

All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your own responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. Visa requirements for your trip will vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as far as possible, but rules do change and sometimes without warning. While we provided the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.

****BEFORE APRIL 9, 2014
Some nationalities may obtain a visa for Turkey on arrival at the airport until April 9th, 2014. Please get into the line to get your visa before going through passport control.

An entry visa is required for citizens of the following countries (not limited to this list):
- U.S.A (US$20),
- Canada (US$60 on arrival; CAD$75 for advance application)
- U.K. (US$20; US$45 for advance application)
- Australia (US$20 on arrival)
- Austria, Belgium, Holland, Ireland, Israel, Portugal & Spain (varies from US$10-100)

Visa costs can change at any time and with little notice depending on the political climate of the region.

For country specific visa information we recommend the following link:http://www.mfa.gov.tr/visa-information-for-foreigners.en.mfa

****AFTER APRIL 9, 2014:

Passengers travelling to Turkey for tourism or trade will be required purchase an electronic visa prior to entering the country. This e-visa can be obtained by visiting the website: www.evisa.gov.tr. This electronic visa will replace the “sticker” and “stamp-type” visas previously issued at Turkish points of entry.

Your passport must be valid for 6 months on the date that you enter Turkey. Length of validity of your visa is dependent on your nationality, but is commonly 3 months.

For country specific visa information we recommend the following link:http://www.mfa.gov.tr/visa-information-for-foreigners.en.mfa

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

Please note that in all countries visited you will need local currency. Below are listed the currencies for each country:

Hungary - Forint (HUF)
Romania - New Lei (RON)
Bulgaria - Lev (BGN)
Turkey - Turkish Lira (TRY)

ATMs are found within main cities in these countries and will generally accept cards on the Visa and Mastercard networks. It is a great idea to travel with both a Visa and Mastercard if at all possible as while there is no hard and fast rule, some banks seem to only work with one brand of card. Please note, your bank will change a fee for overseas withdrawals.

Cash is recommended for times when ATMs are not accessible. Euros, British Pounds and US Dollars are easy to exchange into local currency. Please note - while you should bring some cash with you for emergency situations, carrying cash only is a high safety risk. Money on ATM card/s and some cash is the ideal mix.

Cash advances can also be made with some banks but are time consuming and tend to have high fees attached.
Credit cards are in general not very useful but, they can be used at some larger stores if shopping for big items such as carpets.

As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Tipping

Although not compulsory, tipping is expected and is an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you throughout your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There will be several occasions during this trip where there is the opportunity to tip the local guides that we use. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping local guides range from 3-5 USD/EUR per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service. Ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also, at the end of your trip, if you felt that your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline 20-25 USD/EUR per person, per week can be used.

Health

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.

Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org

Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our Planeterra projects.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.

Newsletter

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.

Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you're interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.