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Tour Highlights

  • Guarantee your place in the world-famous Bosphorus Cross Continental Swim in Istanbul

  • Swim from Asia to Europe as one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world is closed for this once-a-year event

  • Join open water swimmers from all over the planet for this truly memorable swimming experience

  • Enjoy the lively atmosphere and friendly nature of the dynamic Bosphorus race village

  • Soak up the history and culture of the fascinating city of Istanbul

Take part in one of the most iconic open water swimming events in the world as SwimTrek offers you GUARANTEED entry into the 2017 Bosphorus Cross Continental Swim. Complete the crossing from Asia to Europe as the Bosphorus strait in Istanbul comes to a standstill for the duration of the event.

As a provider of GUARANTEED places into the event, we take the lottery out of being accepted as one of the limited international swimmers to be granted entry into this heavily over-subscribed race. Join more than 1,500 competitors from all around the world as swimmers take over the Bosphorus waters and one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world is temporarily closed to traffic while you take part in the event.

With all of our our hotels based on the European side of the city, you have a perfect base from which to to explore the 'World's Hippest City' and experience the distinctive Turkish hospitality.

Who is this trip for?

The Bosphorus Cross Continental Swim is a significant open water swim and you should note that conditions during the race may be challenging. A good experience of swimming in all sea conditions is essential and you should have relevant open water knowledge to be confident if such conditions do arise.

What's included?

  • Guaranteed entry into the 2017 Bosphorus Cross Continental Swim
  • Two nights accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • Saturday and Sunday morning transfers to registration and the race village

What's not included?

  • Travel to and from the start of the tour
  • Lunch and evening meals

Related Links


Day 1

Arrive in Istanbul and check in to your hotel ready for a good night's sleep.

Day 2

In the morning we head to the race village to complete local registration in the event village. Please note that the race registration is compulsory. Failure to attend this will mean you will be unable to enter the swim. During race registration, all competitors will be given their swim hats, badges and timing chips in preparation for the swim

In the afternoon, we have an option to join the official boat tour of the race course, learning the importance of which route to follow during the swim. The boat tours are organised by the Turkish Olympic Committee and are for accredited swimmers only (i.e. not supporters).

After this you will have the option of taking some time to relax in preparation for the following day's race or take this opportunity to book an optional sightseeing tour of Istanbul.

Day 3

The Main event! At 08:00, all swimmers meet at Kuruçeşme Cemil Topuzlu Park ready to board the ferries that take us north to the race start point. The race starts at around 10:00 and we swim down the 6½km course, taking in the sights of the city of Istanbul while having the swim of a lifetime!

The race and awards ceremony is expected to be over by 13:00, giving us time to catch an evening flight or enjoy the hospitality of Istanbul.

Trip Schedule

Start Point: Istanbul, Turkey

Start Date: 21 July 2017

Finish Point: Istanbul, Turkey

Finish Date: 23 July 2017

Date Notes
21 July Hotel Check In
22 July Hotel Pick Ups
Registration - Compulsory
Boat Tour Of The Race Course (Accredited Swimmers Only
Optional Sight Seeing Tour Of Istanbul (Additional Booking Required)
23 July Hotel pick ups for transfers to Kuruçeşme Cemil Topuzlu Park
Bosphorus Swim
Awards Ceremony

Please note times will be confirmed close to the event.

Important Paperwork

Profile Details

The race organisers require certain information in order to accept an application; without this we cannot guarantee your place in the event. You MUST complete your SwimTrek profile details within 48 HOURS of making your booking in order to secure your place on this trip. In order to complete the required profile fields, please login to your SwimTrek account and fill out the ‘My Social Profile’, ‘My Travel Details’, ‘My Health Details’ and ‘My Contact Details’ sections.

Pre-Event Medical And Other Paperwork

The Turkish Olympic Committee produces a set of race forms for each registered athlete which will be sent to you after you have made your booking and completed the required profile information on your SwimTrek account. These forms will be forwarded to you directly by the SwimTrek office in January 2017 when we have received them from the Turkish Olympic Committee.

Forms which will be sent out and which will need to be returned to the SwimTrek office include:

  • Form to be completed by a certified medical practitioner
  • Photocopy of passport
  • 2 x passport photos (less than six months old)
  • Proof of fitness to swim. Paperwork to be signed by a qualified swimming coach (copy of valid coaching qualification required).

NOTE: All of the above information is required by the Turkish Olympic Committee and no exceptions can be made. The only photocopy which is accepted is the copy of your passport. All other paperwork must be original.

Please note that this paperwork MUST be completed and sent back to SwimTrek by 15 March 2017, otherwise we cannot guarantee your entry into the event.

Swimming Information

Equipment to bring along with you

In addition to your daily non-swimming clothes, we also recommend that you bring the following items:

Item Item
Swimming Costumes (x2) Waterproof Sun Cream
Swimming Googles* (x2) Towel
Sunhat and Sunglasses Small Daypack

*Try to bring one clear lens and one tinted lens for different light conditions.

NOTE, due to the nature of the event and the mild water temperature, wetsuits are not allowed. Compulsory swim hats and ankle bands will be given out by the event organisers. You should bring a swim costume, goggles and towel.

Bosphorus Cross Continental Swim

The world’s most concentrated shipping lane is closed to all traffic as we participate in this annual race. You can either race to win it or just go along at your own pace. You should note, however, that conditions during the race may be challenging. Therefore, we advise that you should have relevant open water experience and be confident if such conditions do arise.

Swimming Distances

Swim Distance
Bosphorus 6½km (Swim is current assisted, which is approximately equivalent to 4km)

There is a time limit of two hours to complete the 6½km course. The Turkish Coastguard will remove swimmers from the water if they do not finish the crossing within this time.

Race Organisers

Please be aware that whilst SwimTrek organise the tour part of the package, the Turkish Olympic Committee are the event organisers and are fully responsible for race safety decisions and logistics.

SwimTrek Transfers

We provide transfers between your accommodation and the race village for registration and the boat tour on Saturday 22 July, as well as to the race meeting point on Sunday 23 July.

Swimming Conditions

Swimming in the sea is a fantastic experience, however you should be aware that certain marine life such as sea lice, jellyfish, sea urchins and coral could be present during the swims. In all cases we will work on reducing your contact with these creatures, however if you suffer from anaphylaxis, please consult the office prior to booking.

Temperatures

Month Water Temperature* Air Temperature*
July 23-25˚C l 73-77˚F 28-30˚C l 82-86˚F

*Please note that temperatures are based on 2016 and should be used as a guide only.

Weather Caveat

For safety reasons, we rely on decent weather conditions when carrying out our swims. In the event of bad weather and the swim being cancelled, there are no reserve/alternative times or days available.

Getting There

Istanbul is a popular travel destination and there are a wide range of scheduled flights operating to the city’s two main airports, Istanbul Atatürk Airport and Sabiha Gökçen International Airport, from all around the world. From either airport you can then take a private transfer to your accommodation.

While we have outlined various travel options below, they are subject to change and should be used as a guide only. We always recommend checking www.skyscanner.net prior to making a booking. Whichever route you choose to take, we recommend confirming your flights and other travel arrangements as early as possible in order to avoid price rises and availability issues.

Getting there via Atatürk Airport

A small selection of the airlines which fly into Atatürk from various cities are included below:

Airline Destination Airport
Aeroflot Moscow, New York via Moscow, St Petersburg
Air France CDG Paris Charles de Gaulle
Atlas Global London Stansted, Paris
British Airways London Heathrow
Lufthansa Frankfurt
Turkish Airlines Dublin, Edinburgh, London Gatwick, Malaga, Manchester, Moscow, Munich, New York (JFK), Paris

Private Transfer

If you would like to arrange a private transfer from Istanbul direct to the hotel, this can be arranged through the Swim In Turkey website www.swimtrekturkey.com. If you are happy to share the transfer, it would be best to speak to other swimmers on your trip discussion page prior to booking to save costs.

When arriving the meeting point is on the left hand side of the arrivals gate, when walking out you will see on the ceiling a big sign with ‘Meeting Point One’, this will be where your driver will meet you holding a SWIMTREK / WILUSA sign.

Getting There Via Sabiha Gökçen International Airport

A small selection of the airlines which fly into Atatürk from various cities are included below:

Airline Destination Airport
Turkish Airlines Berlin Tegel, CDG Paris Charles de Gaulle, Frankfurt, London Gatwick

Private Transfer

If you would like to arrange a private transfer from Istanbul direct to the hotel, this can be arranged through the Swim In Turkey website www.swimtrekturkey.com. If you are happy to share the transfer, it would be best to speak to other swimmers on your trip discussion page prior to booking to save costs.

When arriving the meeting point is on the left hand side of the arrivals gate, when walking out you will see on the ceiling a big sign with ‘Meeting Point’, this will be where your driver will meet you with a SWIMTREK / WILUSA sign.

Practical Information

Accommodation

Accommodation We have booked two nights’ accommodation on Friday 21 July and Saturday 22 July at 3-star and 5-star hotels in the Sisli area of Istanbul. Accommodation is based on twin share and en-suite facilities, on a bed and breakfast basis. A small number of single rooms are available for a supplement.

The choice of hotels for 2017 are the following:

Hotel Website
3-Star Harbiye Residence www.harbiyeresidence.com
5-Star Crowne Plaza Harbiye www.cpistanbulharbiye.com
5-Star Point Hotel Barboros www.pointhotel.com
5-Star Renaissance Istanbul Bosphorus Hotel www.marriott.com

If you wish to extend your stay please contact info@swiminturkey.com for more information.

SwimTrek Transfers

We provide transfers between your accommodation and the race village for registration and the boat tour on Saturday 22 July, as well as to the race meeting point on Sunday 23 July.

Supporters Package

There are a limited number of supporters tickets available which includes shared accommodation with a race participant. Please note, supporters will be at the finish line and will not be able to see the start of the race.

Extra Expenses

You should bring extra money with you to cover such items as dinners, drinks, entertainment, souvenirs, etc. The local currency in Turkey is Turkish Lira (TL). Cash machines, bars and restaurants are plentiful in Istanbul city centre.

In addition to the race and accommodation, those that would like to take advantage of an organised city tour can book through our partners (at an additional cost). Please contact info@swiminturkey.com for more information on prices and availability.

Passports and Visas

Turkey is not part of the European Union. Non-residents of Turkey require a full passport to enter the country, which should be valid for six months beyond the expected length of stay. Citizens of most countries, including all E.U. member states, U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand require a visa to enter Turkey, you can apply for this via: www.evisa.gov.tr. Please note that visa regulations are subject to change and we advise that you check your own visa requirements prior to travel.

Vaccinations

There are currently no essential vaccination requirements for Turkey, however it is advisable to re-check this information eight weeks before you travel. You should also ensure that your immunity to tetanus and polio is up-to-date.

  • A challenging swim, but one to brag about! Good organisation by the SwimTrek Team to make it possible.

    Tracey B. UK - 2016
  • Great swim, very well organised...an overall brilliant experience....cannot recommend highly enough!!

    Andrew P. UK - 2016
  • A wonderful trip to a great event in a vibrant city of contrasts, well-organised by the ever- helpful SwimTrek team.

    Ricky M. UK - 2016
  • A fantastic swimming experience - expertly organised!

    Blan W. UK - 2016
  • A fantastic trip, well organised from start to finish without any fuss. Looking forward to the next one!

    Dean D. UK - 2015
  • Swim Trek Office was great and guides on location were super friendly and helpful as well!

    Holger H. Austria - 2015
  • An iconic swim in one of the world's most beautiful and interesting cities. One for the bucket list - do it!

    Barbara J. UK - 2015
  • Swim Trek did a great job, everything was cared for, so we could relax and just focus on keeping our elbows high!

    Kirsten. Germany - 2015
  • Great trip, so much fun, and the swim was awesome!

    Claire C. Hong Kong - 2015
  • Thanks for taking the challenge out of getting in to this most amazing event.

    Paul C. UK - 2015
  • Awe inspiring location, superb event and memory making experience.

    Jenni S. UK - 2015
  • The trip was very well organised, the staff very helpful and enthusiastic & the race experience was amazing !

    Graeme K. UK - 2015
  • Inspiring to be part of such a great event and loved every minute of the swimming. Another one ticked off the bucket list.....thanks to everyone at SwimTrek for making it possible.

    John T. UK 2014

Enter guest details to see which departures can accommodate your party:

Dates Availability Special Type Price From
21 Jul -
23 Jul, 2017
Trip Full
5* Crowne Plaza Hotel On Request
21 Jul -
23 Jul, 2017
Trip Full
5* Barbaros Point Hotel On Request
21 Jul -
23 Jul, 2017
Trip Full
5* Renaissance Hotel On Request

Accommodation

Barbarous point small
Barbaros Point

The Point Hotel Barbaros, the first 5 star Art-Tech hotel of Turkey, is located between Barbaros Hayreddin Paşa Boulvard and Esentepe. In addition to the different artworks in each room, 265 contemporary works of art, including unique sculptures, installations, video art pieces, paintings and photographs, are displayed all around the hotel.

Crown plaza istanbul small
Crowne Plaza

From blackout blinds to comfortable beds the Crowne Plaza Harbiye is designed to provide the best nights sleeps possible when away from home. Situated in the Sisli district of Istanbul it is ideally located for the Cross Continental Swim.

Renaissance istanbul bosphorus small
Renaissance Istanbul Bosphorus Hotel

Offering stunning views of the Bosphorus, the magnificent Renaissance Istanbul Bosphorus Hotel is located on the European side of Istanbul, in Besiktas. The rooms are spacious and well equipped. There is a restaurant, a bar and a bistro in the hotel.