A. For Kusadasi, Izmir(ADB) is best, Bodrum (BJV) is 2nd - (1hr. + 1/1/2hrs.)
for Marmaris, Antalya, Alanya - Dalaman Airport is the best
Q. What about EntryVisa's?
A. If you are an E.U. National, visas are issued at the airport on arrival in Turkey, you just hand your passport to the person at the desk on the way to passport control and they put a sticker in it, that's it.
The cost varies but currently Irish Passport Holders pay 10Eur. for a multi-entry permit (3 months).
Canadian/U.S. Citizens can also pay on entry
(please remember, if you are on a charter flight to Greece and visit Turkey you may invalidate your return ticket!)
Q. Am I correct to think that the Baggage Porters are ripping me off?
A. YES, avoid them like the plague. (2005 This has improved a lot as baggage carts are available for a small fee now, same as at home) if you use them only pay them the going rate and no more. This rate is clearly displayed on the exit signs (red display), they will try to confuse you with money, if in doubt go back inside the airport or ask one of the holiday reps to help (they may not), don't give them any more than 1 per bag.
Q. Can I get Cash or use C/Cards in Turkey easily? ... Should I take Turkish Currency with me?
A. If you want to get some Turkish Currency before you leave home, DO NOT get any more than £50/50 etc.If you have been to Turkey before, there are a lot of "zero's" on the notes! - This has now changed with the introduction of new notes and coins, in a move to bring Turkey closer to the European norm, i.e. "The Euro" they will be REMOVING 6 ZEROS.
It will certainly make life for us a lot easier but will of course take a bit of getting used to!
For us in the Eurozone, 10 Euro is about 16,500,000 TL (16.5 Million Turkish Liras) - OCT '05
After the change, 10 Euro will be about 16.5 YTL (Sixteen and a half Yeni (New) Turkish Liras)
The coins will out in force again too, known as (Yeni)New KURUS (kooroosh)
If you live in the U.K. then you can work it out for yourselves.... sorry!
...and try to remember there is no such thing as EUROS only EURO (and CENT) even if you have 500 of them they are still called EURO
You will get a much better rate in Turkey when you change your money than at home as our banks love to charge us as much as possible! Almost all shops will accept Visa/Mastercard, you can find ATM's on every street corner, more than at home often! You can easily withdraw money in the bank using your credit cards, some banks have also the option to withdraw in Euro, Debit cards are also usable too (charges are higher by our banks), you will need very little cash on arrival, most towns will have a change office open at almost all times until late.ONE POINT TO REMEMBER.... As yet, many restaurants WILL NOT accept credit cards etc., this is changing rapidly but DO NOT assume they will! ASK FIRST!There is an ATM on the arrivals floor in Izmir airport
Many shops will ask you to pay 3-4% extra if you pay by C/Card, this is very normal....it's your choice, however it is my understanding that the retailers are not actually charged any extra for processing foreign cards so a bit of haggling is certainly a good idea if you feel up to up it!
Duty Free..Is it true that you can buy Duty Free on Arrival AND Departure
Q. How do you get around in the resort?
Without any doubt the best way to get around is the local bus service called a DOLMUS.
They operate in all towns and between towns in Turkey. The price is fixed for all trips and is generally on display. Most trips to the beach for example in Kusadasi (beaches are outside of town a little 5km.) would cost about 2, use the service, it is one of the best things about Turkey and while they can be very busy and full at times, they are a very safe and reliable way to get around. Taxis are a different story! In general, I would advise people to learn the price before calling a taxi, they are in general ok but are well known to charge double or more if they think they can get away with it!
Watch for the meter, make sure it is on! Fix a price for any journey that is not local and pay when you get there not before. Trips to most sites of interest can easily be done by taking the bus and not the taxis but if you are a group then a taxi is ok but agree the price first and pay last!
Q. Why do they hassle me to go to one beach instead of another that I like?
When you go to the bus stop often people will try to get you to one beach or another telling you it is the BEST and you will get a FREE drink or MEAL, so what! Go to the beach you want to go to, this is just a business for these people. They will give you a card for Free Drinks or whatever, what this really means is that they get paid a commission for every card that is handed in to THEIR BOSS. They WORK on tourist at the bus stations for their wages, so again, find a beach that you like and stick to it, who cares about a free drink, it's cheap anyway!
Q. Restaurants - Why do they hassle me on the beach and offer free food and drink?
It is not common in general but in Kusadasi a big problem, you are on the beach enjoying your well earned rest and next you are INVITED to have a CHAT about the best restaurant in the world. Believe me it is rubbish. Tell them to get lost at the earliest chance or better still, call the guy you hired the sunbed from and they will send them away very quickly. These places are rubbish, serving typical tourist food with little or no care for hygiene or quality. The Mayflower in Kusadasi will not only hassle you for half an hour on the beach but treat you to another half hour of men trying to dance and sing while you are TRYING to eat your dinner and get out!. Again, it's your call but I would advise you to try somewhere else.UPDATE 2005 - Mayflower is still one of the biggest problems for hassling people on the street, also a couple more on the way into town after them, a new british owner and he seems to be following the same example, what a pity. If you have good food and service you do not need to do this, people will come. If you feel hassled, complain to the local council office. They speek English and as there is a new law against this type of thing, they will be happy to act for all tourists to improve this very big problem. You will not have to get involved. These people ARE NOT from Kusadasi, they make all the local business people very angry, so don't think everyone is the same as they are not!
Q. If I have a problem, do I go to the Police?
In general, it would be best to go to your travel rep first for all things, they know better than anyone how to help. The Police have improved dramatically over the last few years in Turkey, there are Tourist Police also but unless it is very serious leave it! If you have a serious problem, the Police are approachable, your Hotel manager can also help in most cases, Police are generally very biased in favour of Tourists and will help in any way possible, unless of course you are stupid enough to do drugs or abuse Turkish symbols...to be expected really!
Q. What about Food....Is it safe?
A. This is the hard question! In general, hygiene standards are lower in Turkey (like many) than at home. If you want to try Turkish food, I would advise you to get talking to your Hotel/Apt owners and ask them. Use your head, remember everything in Turkey is commission, when somebody asks you what hotel you are in, often it is to see if they must add on a little to the price for your Hotel bosses! Usually you can walk around and see where the busy places are, watch the people locally, they know better than anyone!
Q. How hot will it be?
In general if you go from mid July-end August it will be very hot 30C-35C+ with very little breeze
Early May to late June is usually 25C-30C with a light breeze
End August - Mid Sept. is usually 30-35C with a stronger breeze (best!)
Nighttime is usually warm until mid Sept. when it gets cool but ok for a long sleeve shirt
This is only a guide, the further south you go the warmer it gets, also inland = less breeze!
More to come if I can remember!
Paul Shelly - Reservations Yuksel/Sun Hotels
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