Turkey is a country located in Middle East with name that begins with letter T. Turkey is geographically divided into seven regions: 1.) the hilly, steppe-like Marmara region around Istanbul; 2.) the hilly, intensely landscaped region on the Aegean coast in western Anatolia with historical ancient centers such as Troy and Pergamon; 3.) the wooded, mountainous Black Sea region in northern Anatolia; 4.) the touristically well developed Mediterranean region and 5.) central Anatolia with the capital Ankara; 6.) Furthermore, Eastern Anatolia, where the Ararat is the highest mountain in the country (5,137 m) on the border with Armenia and Iran; and 7.) Southeast Anatolia: The high plateau between the upper reaches of the Euphrates and Tigris is the oldest cultural region in Turkey.
Since April 2014 Austrian citizens have to have a visa for Turkey issued before they travel. German citizens can stay in the country for up to 90 days without a visa.
The country’s climate is as diverse as its topography. Towards the east – in central and eastern Anatolia – it is continentally shaped with cold winters and hot summers. On the coasts of the Mediterranean and Aegean Sea, the Mediterranean influence predominates with hot summers and mild winters. The region with the highest rainfall is the Black Sea coast with an average annual rainfall of approx. 800 mm.
During our travel times in spring and autumn, it is mostly sunny. The temperatures are pleasant, during the day it is usually around 25 °C, in the morning and in the evening it is cool – so ideal “hiking weather”. Lycia has a Mediterranean climate with long, hot summers and mild, often rainy winters. The risk of precipitation is low during our travel times. In the higher elevations of the Taurus Mountains it is of course cooler.
Food and drink
Turkey, the hereditary state of the Ottoman Empire, has also absorbed influences from the former rulers in its culinary arts, and so the incredibly diverse Turkish cuisine contains influences from India, Persia, Arabia and the Mediterranean: a rich selection of starters (meze) meets nutritious ones Meat dishes, whereby the export hit kebab generally means grilled meat. A wide variety of fish, vegetable and rice dishes are also widespread. The desserts like baklava or halwa are peck-sweet. Turkish coffee (Kahve) and black tea (Çay) compete as national drinks.
Apart from the metropolises, the people in Turkey are very firmly anchored in Muslim traditions. So you should dress appropriately when visiting a mosque and take off your shoes when entering. During Ramadan, you should avoid eating, drinking, or smoking in public during the day. If you want to buy something in a bazaar or shop, you have to negotiate the price! However, you should only make a price proposal if you are fundamentally interested in a purchase.
Medical care in Turkey only meets European standards in larger cities. It is advisable to bring a personal first-aid kit with you. To prevent diarrhea, it is advisable to take normal hygiene measures such as frequent hand washing, only drink bottled mineral water and to refrain from consuming salads and raw, unpeeled fruits and vegetables. Caution is also advised with ice cream and minced meat.
The precarious political situation in the neighboring states of Syria and Iraq also casts its shadow on Turkey. Added to this is the conflict-ridden relationship between Turks and Kurds as well as recurring political demonstrations in the country’s major cities. For these reasons, the Austrian Foreign Ministry has currently issued a “high security risk” for trips to Turkey. However, the tourist centers on the Mediterranean are not affected. Only the usual precautions against theft are recommended here.
The export of fossils or ancient goods is prohibited – even if you bought the pieces in a store, you cannot take them out of the country. Attempts can result in pre-trial detention and heavy fines.
All about money
official currency is the Turkish Lira (TRY). 1 EUR = approx. 6.3 Lira (as of Sep 2019)
It’s best to exchange money on site. Although there are exchange fees here too, these are higher in Austria than in Turkey. One should change cash in the numerous free exchange offices (Döviz Bürou). Many ATMs accept EC and credit cards, so you can get cash at any time in this way. Most hotels, restaurants and shops can be used to pay with major credit cards and also with cash (euros). Please contact your house bank for information on possible fees for using your EC or credit card abroad.
You will certainly appreciate attentive and good service too. It is common, but not mandatory, to tip the guide and driver at the end of a tour for good service. Appropriate payment for our local guides and partner agencies is part of our sustainability guidelines. Therefore, please be aware that tips do not replace wages.
Other essential information
The official language is Turkish, but Kurdish, Greek and Arabic can also be heard more often. English and German are particularly widespread in tourist centers.
Summer time has been in place permanently in Turkey since 2016. Therefore, CET +1 applies during Central European summer time, ie the clocks must be set one hour ahead. During our winter time, CET +2 applies, which means that the clocks must be put forward two hours.
The voltage is 220 volts, no adapters are required.
Equipment for hiking:
As with all hikes, you should have these things with you: daypack, ankle-high hiking boots, hiking sticks, (rain) jacket, sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, water. On our trip “Turkey – Lycian Way” you should also bring your bathing suit. It may be that we take a swim break by the sea once or twice.