Holidaying in Turkey- Recharge your Mind, Body and Soul
Last Updated July 24th, 2020
Discovering Turkey | Turkey Holidays
Are you looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of your work and routine and set off on a holiday that would inspire you with a land rich in its history, diverse in its culture and modern in its outlook.
What is Turkey famous for?
Imagine yourself walking through the bustling streets of a country that is probably one of the oldest inhabited regions on the globe. As per historians, the Anatolian Peninsula that holds most of modern Turkey today is the place where the earliest human settlements existed.
The Republic of Turkey is a Eurasian country surrounded by eight countries that include Bulgaria, Greece, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq and Syria. In a country where Asia converges with Europe, the landscape is studded with scenic mountains in the East, golden beaches, mysterious rock formations and the famous Turkish Riviera in the southwest.
Cities To Visit
The most important cities to visit while in Turkey would obviously include those in the Turquoise Coast like
- Bodrum and
- Ankara (the capital),
- Izmir and
Turkish Riviera and The Blue Voyage
Is Turkey worth visiting?
The Turquoise Coast as it is popularly known is the other name for the Turkish Riviera. It has the heady combination of beautiful weather, warm sea, and a coastline that stretches beyond the horizon along the Mediterranean and Aegean seas.
The architectural and natural beauty of this place attracts many tourists every year to soak in the sun and sights. It is believed that during the Roman era, Marc Anthony had presented the Turkish Riviera as the most beautiful wedding gift to Cleopatra.
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The internationally acclaimed Blue Voyage is a weeklong trip for tourists to take on Gulets ( a traditional Turkish sailing boat) along the Turquoise coast.
They sail away to ancient harbors, cities, mausolea and cozy beaches hidden away in the small coves, among the lush forests and sunlit streams that lace the coast.
Is it safe to walk around Istanbul at night?
Istanbul has the modern chaos of a city booming in its economy. Shops and skyscrapers, streets busy with taxis, people and public transport are all the regular sights you would see in any city. But with a map to guide you, drink in the sights of ancient architecture found in the mosques and palaces that have stood the test of time.
Istanbul is the cultural and economic hub of Turkey.
Art, entertainment, tourism, shopping, education, commerce and trade all begin here. It offers a mixed bag of entertaining delights in the form of jazz, rock concerts, theatre, opera, ballet, musicals, classical music and finally good Turkish and International cuisine.
The blend of Byzantine and Ottoman empires and culture is evident in the architectural wizardry. The Blue Mosque built in the 17th century, gets its name from the colored tiles that are placed in the interior upper level.
It was built during the rule of the Ottoman Empire and is one of the most popular sights that silhouette against the horizon.
The Byzantine Hippodrome was the scene of all games during the Ottoman history that scaled 500 years. The monuments that surround the Hippodrome are worth visiting. They include the 3500 year old Obelisk of Theodosius made of Egyptian granite bought in 390 AD by Constantinople from the Emperor Theodosius.
You would find bargains on Turkish carpets that assure you of everything except a flight out of Istanbul, glazed pottery and tiles, meerschaum pipes, expensive alabaster lamps and ashtrays, copper and brassware and…well, possible everything you have on your shopping list!
While you shop and bargain, a good walk to the market is better than taking a taxi that runs through arduous routes. Besides, when you walk, you see more…who knows, you may even find Aladdin’s lost lamp! Beware of pickpockets and bag snatchers.
The market closes at midday for ritualistic prayers and is closed on Sundays. Take your pick from the 4000 odd shops and walk through a maze of colors and treasures that you may never know the real worth of until you buy one!
Also worth visiting are two important places-
- the Hagia Sophia which is a basilica turned mosque and one of the most impressive buildings in Istanbul
- The Topikapi Palace
Istanbul – Lets Discover Europe’s Oriental mirage
The Turkish city of Istanbul is a cosmopolitan destination, full of historical, cultural and artistic diversity. It’s a place of the “mosts” – one of the most important cities in the world, due to its link between Europe and Asia trough the Bosphorus; one of the most populous cities in the world and Turkey’s largest city (though not its capital); one of the most visited tourist destinations; one of the most significant historical sites, gathering together landmarks from some of the most glorious empires ever existed; one of Europe’s best economic centers; and so on, and so on.
With its rich ancestry; known formerly as the glorious Roman and Byzantine capital of Constantinople; plus a strategic role in the notorious Silk Road, Istanbul city is so colorful, intriguing and diverse that even a lifetime might not be enough to get to know it.
What to see & Where to go:
Istanbul is a melting pot of Eastern and Western cultures and customs, more particularly – (mainly, but not only) Byzantine and Ottoman. That’s what makes it so alluring and attractive for visitors from all around the globe.
Probably the city’s most visited and most notable attraction is its historic center, where the most valuable treasures of old are located. Of course, the harbor cannot go unnoticed with the gorgeous Golden Horn inner waterway, so can’t the world-famous Bosphorus – the natural waterway boundary between Europe and Asia.
Here is also located the Galata Tower (known as Christ Tower as well) – a 67m tall stone tower, once used as a dungeon and a watchtower, today it provides a stunning bird’s eye view to the heart-throbbing magnificence of city of Istanbul.
Another great way to take a panoramic vista at the surrounding scenery is by visiting the Sapphire skyscraper. In addition, along the shores of the Bosphorus, you’d see huge mansions, called yalis, belonging to 19th-century Turkish aristocrats.
PALACES & FORTRESSES
The Topikapi Palace
It was a church then it was a mosque and now it’s a museum. Having a stroll around this massive structure is pretty much obligatory, the interior is even more stunning than the exterior and there is a fascinating range of cool things like the world’s oldest door. Learning about Hagia Sophia’s long history makes for an interesting hour or two.
The Topikapi Palace housed the Ottoman sultans for nearly 400 years of their rule where they lived in hundreds of rooms and harems with their concubines, servants and children.Other attractions include the Kapalicarsi, which is the Grand Bazaar that forms a covered labyrinth at many levels.
Dolmabahçe Palace –
the royal family slowly shifted from the older Topkapi Palace to this impressive more contemporary landmark during the late Ottoman period. Located in Beşiktaş, this palace was also used as the seat of the government. It’s design resembles other European palaces, but has this slight
Oriental air –
golden ornaments, Turkish tiles, precious carpets and a unique crystal staircase. Here is also the room in which the Turks beloved Kemal Ataturk died.
The clock has been dead set on the time of his passing and the bed is covered with the Turkish flag. Another great feature of the palace is that it’s located right along the Bosphorus, providing amazing views.
Useful tips: You can only enter here with a group and a tour guide. The number of visits per day is limited so you might want to go there earlier. The ticket for the main part costs 50 TL (about 15 Euro), for the harem only – also 50 TL, but if you buy a ticket for both, it’d only cost you 55 TL (about 18 Euro).
this beautiful fortress, located on a hill on the Bosphorus, at the European side of Istanbul, is also called the Rumelian Castle. It was built right before the Ottomans conquered Constantinople. You’ll know it by the three great towers, rising high in the air.
this is another fortress, built exactly opposite to the Rumelian Castle, on the Asian side of Istanbul. It’s also called the Anatolian Castle. It’s also been built before the conquest of Constantinople. Right beside it you’d notice the second bridge, spanning the Bosphorus – the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge.
Hagia Sophia in Turkey, Istanbul
The Hagia Sophia is located in the present capital city of Turkey in Istanbul. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Turkey and symbolizes the art and culture of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires at different eras. The main features of the Hagia Sophia is the massive central dome as well as the walls, pillars and ceilings which are considered to be great pieces of art and also houses a large collection of holy relics. Today, it is a museum in Istanbul and open to tourist attractions.
The Hagia Sophia was originally built in 360 AD by Constantius II but fires have destroyed over the years before a fire proof structure was rebuilt by Emperor Justinian through his architects Anthemius and Isdorus around 540 AD. The church had been damaged throughout the years due to earthquakes and war. During the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul in the 15th century, he ordered the renovation of the church and converted the Hagia Sophia into a mosque which was known as the Ayasofya Mosque and remained so for 500 years before it was officially converted into a museum in 1943 by Turkey.
The nearest airport to the Hagia Sophia is the Istanbul Ataturk Airport (IST) which is the main international airport for the country serving most of the many major global airlines. From the airport, you can take cab or bus to reach the Sultanahmet Square where the Hagia Sophia is located.
Sultan Ahmed Mosque (the Blue Mosque) –
this is Istanbul’s most favorite religious temple and has been so for many centuries. Its grandeur simply breathes from thousands of sky-blue porcelain tiles, reflecting the sun light and making the domed ceiling and the adorned walls look like the sky itself.
Süleymaniye Mosque –
this is Istanbul’s largest mosque, it’s located on a high hill with great panoramic view to the city and it’s well worth the visit.
St. Stephen’s church (also known as the Iron Church) –
this is a Bulgarian Orthodox church made of iron, thus being the only iron Orthodox temple in the world. It’s located on the Golden Horn and its beautiful white façade could be seen from afar.
The Monastery of Stoudios –
once this was Constantinople’s most significant monastery. Many other Christian denominations (especially the Orthodox) have used the customs of the Studites (the monks from this monastery) as role models. Unfortunately, today only the Cathedral of St. John the Baptists has survived, having been also severely damaged and turned into a mosque.
SQUARES & MONUMENTS
– this is the heart of modern Istanbul. From here all major boulevards run and everything exciting that happens in the city, usually happens right here.
Monument of the Republic
– situated at the core of Taksim square, dedicated to the foundation of the Turkish Republic in 1923, this monument reminds everyone of all the hard obstacles that Turkey had to go through in order to become the modern European country it is today.
Sultan Ahmet Square (Hippodrome of Constantinople)
– this used to be a circus and arena for all kinds of public entertainment, but now it serves as a city square. Only a few fractions of the former structure are left.
The obelisk of Theodosius (obelisk of Thutmose III)
– thus huge monument proudly rises above the cityscape, in the middle of the Hippodrome of Constantinople. The obelisk was brought from The Temple of Karnak in Egypt to the Byzantine capital of Constantinople by emperor Theodosius the Great at the end of the 4th century AD.
The Walled Obelisk
– another obelisk adorns Istanbul’s outlook, at the other end of the Hippodrome. This one used to be covered in gilded bronze plaques and now all you can see are bleak stones.
– fragments of the Roman Aqueduct are still kept today, being one of Istanbul’s most remarkable landmarks.
The Column of Constantine (also known as the Burnet Pillar)
– this is a monument from Roman times, built by emperor Constantine the Great, commemorating the foundation of the Eastern Roman Empire and Constantinople as its capital. It’s located right in the middle between the Sultan Ahmet Square and Beyazit Square.
Istanbul Modern (Istanbul Museum of Modern Art) – this contemporary arts museum is located in the modern part of Istanbul – the Beyoğlu district, right beside the Bosphorus.
The SantralIstanbul – this is an art complex, built upon a former power station. It consists of various separate museums – the modern art museum, the energy museum, the amphitheater, concert halls and the public library. It’s located at the top of Golden Horn.
Istanbul Archeological Museum – you might want to have a whole spare day for this one; thousands of centuries pass by, as you go along exhibitions of authentic artifacts and relics from all around the world.
Sakıp Sabancı Museum – dedicated to Ottoman fine arts, this museum is a must if you want to learn more about this exotic culture. Also, if you’re into the Middle-Eastern customs and arts, you might want to visit the Pera Museum, exhibiting Oriental works, mainly from the 19th century.
Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum – located on the Sultan Ahmet square, this is a real treat for all who desire to merge into the mystical debris of Islamic culture.
There isn’t one main city park in Istanbul Turkey, but there are many nature restoration areas scattered around.
Gülhane Park (lit. Rose house Park) –
located just beside the Topkapi Palace, this park used to be part of the royal residence, but has been separated from it and it’s now used as an urban public park. It’s the oldest and one of the largest parks in Istanbul city of Turkey.
Yildiz Park –
located in Beşiktaş, this is yet another pretty large park with a whole variety of flora, gathered from all around the world. It also used to be part of a palace but has been deached from it. The view to the Bosphorus is also not to be missed. Have a picnic, ride a bike or simply sit down on the grass and enjoy the panorama. There are a few pavilions here – to have a drink or something to eat, open to public.
Fethi Paşa Korusu –
right along the Bosphorus Bridge, on the Asian side of Istanbul, this gorgeous park rises up on a hill above the ancient capital and provides great scenery to the European part of the city.
Emirgan Park –
this park is situated on the exact opposite – on the European side of Istanbul. Every year here is held a great tulip festival. Here are also a few pavilions (mansions), taking you back in the time of Turkish nobles and their luxurious oriental lodgings (Yellow, Pink, White).
Belgrade Forest –
another hot spot for chilling during the summer, especially for the locals.
this miniature park is a real treat for the eyes. Here you get to see all the magnificent Istanbul Turkey landmarks on the palm of your hand.
What to do:
Grand Bazaar –
this is arguably Istanbul’s most famous market. Here you can buy pretty much everything, just don’t forget to bargain for it.
Egyptian market (spice bazaar) –
this is the oldest and second largest market in Istanbul the city of Turkey. It’s a melting pot of spices, aromas, colors and people. It’d definitely give you a taste of the Orient.
If you seek something more fashionable, try strolling down some of the main streets, starting from Taksim Square. If you’re a fan of the shopping malls, Galleria Ataköy is the place for you.
Night life –
belly-dancing, oriental music, curious spicy drinks – Istanbul has it all for a true exotic night. Try Beyoğlu or Beşiktaş districts. Ortaköy is famous for its jazz musicians, especially the street ones, along the Bosphorus.
Take a boat trip on the Bosphorus. It’d give you a hint of what lies beyond or, if you’ve already strolled around the city – a very different perspective of it.
Try smoking hookah (nargile). Tastes vary and the effect is mind-blowing (literally).
What not to do:
Istanbul is a European city and as such Muslim customs are not a necessity for foreigners. Anyway, sometimes and at some places (like the mosques, for example) you have to show respect to the local customs.
Don’t refuse to have a cup of tea with the locals when they invite you. Turkish people are very friendly and like to chat with strangers. It’s a great way to learn some more about the local culture.
What to eat:
Baklava – it’s made of dough, walnuts, loads of sugar, orange peels and rose water. It’s simply mouth-watering.
Turkish delight – another sweet treat. It’s made of rose, but it’s kind of hard to explain, you just have to taste it.
Kebab – a genuine one, made of people whose ancestors did the same hundreds of years ago.
Balik ekmek – it’s kind of a fish sandwich, made only on sailing boats on the Bosphorus. It’s very delicious. Actually, the seafood in Istanbul is great – if you’re a fan of it, don’t miss the chance to try it.
Pişmaniye – you either love it or hate it. It’s made of sugar, fried in butter, sprinkled with chocolate or nuts. It’s a kind of halva – something else, you simply must try.
this is the Turkish variation of a pretzel. It’s best to be had in the morning, when it’s still steaming hot.
What to drink:
Apple tea –
a customary drink, served in small glasses with loads of sugar
Turkish coffee –
much different from our daily instant coffees; it’s made in a cezve with just a hint of cardamom.
Where to sleep: Istanbul in Turkey is a world-famous destination and accommodations here are easy to find. Plus, they could be quite cheap.
How to travel:
There’re various ways to get here and it all depends on the route, vehicle, etc. Anyway, if you want to feel adventurous, you might try the notorious Orient Express. But remember – it only travels once a year, you have to book your trip early and it’s quite expensive. But it’s definitely worth it – you’d feel as if you’re back in time, starting from the good old Europe (Paris, the Alps) and slowly entering the East (Budapest, Bucharest) and eventually exploring the unknown oriental lands in Istanbul.
• Always keep some Turkish Liras in cash with you, just in case.
• If you’re given a gift by a stranger, accept it gladly. Locals are very welcoming and enjoy doing such small presents.
• If you’re called in a restaurant by a waiter, who begs you to give him “your luck” – do it. It means that he asks for your help to attract more customers as you have a coffee at his place, plus the Turkish coffee’s on him.
• Always bargain when on the market or when buying souvenirs. It’s customary.
• Driving here could be a challenge. Keep your eyes open at all times.
• Women should cover their heads when they enter a mosque and at all times be appropriately dressed.
The Best of Istanbul
The haunting, age-old invocation to worship from a hundred minarets mixes with clanging tram bells, western rap music and the commercial bellow of hawkers. In this city of 15 plus million people, situated where Europe meets Asia, the sounds and sights overwhelm the senses and I am left bewildered but excited.
I have arrived with high expectations and already these have been blown away. This is one of the world’s great cities. It’s exotic, cosmopolitan, surprisingly friendly and culturally stunning. While strongly Muslim, I see Western dressed kids in flashy cocktail bars and women in head-to-toe chadors walking in and out of Starbucks and McDonalds.
Aya Sofya, Istanbul
I look around. Within sight are mosques, churches, palaces, Roman ruins, markets and amazing views over the Bosporus. This was the centre of the world and capital of both Christian and Islamic empires for some 1600 years and it shows. We start by paying homage to all the marvellous sights of old Istanbul.
The 1500 year-old Aya Sofya, was once the greatest church in the world. Then, after the city was conquered by the Ottoman Turks, it became a mosque and Islamic additions were made inside and outside which can still be seen today.
In 1935 it became a museum and remains so today. For 1000 years this building had the largest dome and was the largest enclosed space on the planet. It is stunning. We wander around amazed by what we see then spend ages looking at the best of the glittering mosaics lurking in the galleries upstairs.
The former crib of the Ottoman sultans is incredibly impressive and beautiful. Personally I thought the Harem (apartments of the sultans’ wives, concubines and families) was the most interesting part but the entire palace is not to be missed.
Tip: the line to buy your entry ticket to the palace can be incredibly long (like up to an hour long), but by the ticket desk there are self-service machines that everyone seems to miss! To save yourself a lot of time standing around, buy your ticket from the machine and then buy your extra ticket for the harem inside the palace.
Next is the Topkapi Palace, the centre of power for the Ottoman Empire for 400 years. The many buildings are arranged around a series of courtyards on a spectacular site. Sultan Mehmet began to build Topkapi Palace in 1459 and it became home to generations of sultans and their wives, who were closeted in the famous harem.
The palace is divided into four courtyards: The first has three buildings that you must see: Aya Eirine, the mint / outer treasury of the Ottoman Empire, and the Istanbul Archaeological Museum.
The second courtyard served as the working section of the palace, while the third courtyard has the audience hall for visitors to the Sultan and there are also rooms displaying the ceremonial dresses of the Ottoman Sultans, holy relics, portraits of the sultans, a library and the Treasury. The fourth court is more of a garden than a courtyard.
The Blue Mosque aka ‘Sultan Ahmet Mosque’
This really is one of the most beautiful religious buildings I’ve ever seen, the pale blue domes and the towering minarets are very striking. Don’t worry if you don’t think you are dressed modestly enough- people outside the entrance to the mosque interior will give you a wrap-around skirt, headscarf or loose dress to wear inside.
The Hippodrome is the site of a 2000 year-old Roman stadium. Little remains but it now forms a park and a fitting entrance to the attractive Blue Mosque.
It is so named because of the beautiful blue Iznik tiles decorating the interior. It was built by Sultan Ahmet from 1609 to 1616. Size is what impresses here and the interior, except for its 20,000 blue tiles, is rather gloomy and sterile. It is open all day except during prayer times and should be on every visitor’s list.
Get to know Karikoy
Not to be confused with Kadikoy (the east side of Istanbul), Karikoy is a trendy, vibrant neighbourhood just across the Galata Bridge from Sultanahmet. I like to describe Kadikoy as the Shoreditch of Istanbul, it used to be considered a rough area but is now a hub of cool cafes and bars where Istanbul’s young and beautiful people congregate.
Just have a stroll around and take in the sounds, sights and smells before you select an arty, dimly lit cafe to look cool in.
Go to a Dance Show at Hodjapasha Theatre
Hodjapasha is a converted mosque with a beautiful interior which puts on a few different shows including a whirling dervish performance, a dramatic belly dancing/traditional dancing show and a showcase of various Turkish dances. I went to see ‘White Rose’ which was a mix of belly dancing and traditional Turkish dance infused into a story about an Ottoman concubine who fell in love with a Dutch Ambassador. The show was very enjoyable and the dancing was exquisite, and don’t even get me started on the costumes. I wanted to be a concubine.
Get on top of Istanbul at the Galata Tower
Beyoğlu is minutes away from Karikoy and the location of the famous Galata Tower. The Rapunzel-esque tower is the tallest building in Istanbul and perfect for getting a great view of the city from above.
The Underground Cistern
The city’s most unexpectedly romantic attraction, the Basilica Cistern, offers an insight into the complicated system that once brought drinking water into the city.
The Underground Basilica Cistern is a great underground chamber which was used in times of siege but mainly as the Byzantine city’s main water storage.
After the conquest of the city by the Ottoman Turks, it was forgotten of and few knew that it existed until it was re-discovered in 1545. Today it is an atmospheric underground cavern with beautiful arches and Roman support columns with opportunities for great photographs.
Don’t miss the upside-down head of Medusa that forms the bottom of one column.
Pose with Medusa at the Basilica Cistern
The basilica cistern was used for water storage by the Romans but now is a cool (in both senses of the word) place to wander. The size of the cistern itself is impressive and the carved columns make the places easy on the eyes, but I think the most fun comes from seeing – and taking pictures with – the famous Medusa head column bases.
The Grand Bazaar
The Grand Bazaar, a bewildering home to 4000 shops is colourful, confusing and utterly fascinating. It is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. It slowly evolved but by the beginning of the seventeenth century the Grand Bazaar had achieved its final shape.
Today it must fight the competition of the giant malls built everywhere in Istanbul, but its beauty and history give it a formidable advantage particularly with visitors. When you visit get ready to swap friendly banter with the hundreds of shopkeepers who will attempt to lure you into their establishments.
We look at carpets, clothing, jewellery and ceramics without buying. We are greeted with cups of tea and graciousness completely unexpected.
Though there’s no doubt that it’s a tourist trap for visitors, it’s also a place where business deals are done between locals, and where import/export businesses flourish. The Grand Bazaar is opened each day except Sundays and bank holidays from 9:00 until 19:00.
What can I buy at the Grand Bazaar?
This huge web of stalls is one of the oldest covered markets in the world. It’s unlike any shopping trip you’ve had before and is a cultural experience, not to mention a veritable goldmine of exotic pictures. You can buy spices, perfumes, woven carpets, gold, teas, sweets, shisha pipes, glass lanterns…you get the picture. The whole atmosphere is reminiscent of 1001 Arabian Nights.
A lot of people seem to get bothered by the men from the stalls, they do heckle sometimes and they do try to hassle you into their shop but I found that if you look at the whole thing with a sense of humour it really improves the experience. The guys from the stalls tend to have a jokey approach so play along with it and it actually becomes quite fun.
Is the Grand Bazaar safe?
Remember they can only rip you off if you agree to buy something, so if you don’t want to buy anything just don’t. If they asked me a question I’d answer, one guy asked me where I was from and I told him I live in London- it turned out that he had lived there for years and we had a lovely little conversation about our favourite London neighbourhoods.
But if you’re in a rush and would rather not be hassled, I find that “no, thank you” is a satisfactory answer to anything.
“You want to look in my shop?” “No, thank you.”
“You want to buy carpet?” “No, thank you.”
“Will you marry me?” “No, thank you.”
Did I mention how much of an ego boost the Grand Bazaar is?
Although it is somewhat difficult to get here except by taxi, the restored Chora Church in the old city walls offers a stunning glimpse of late Byzantine splendour. Its walls and ceilings are adorned with glittering mosaics and breath-taking frescoes and there is a sense of history everywhere you look.
Like Aya Sofya, it has made the journey from Byzantine church to Ottoman mosque and then to modern museum.
It stands in a neighbourhood of restored Ottoman wooden houses, prettily painted in pastel colours which will appeal to all photographers and lovers of architecture.
Today we catch a tram to Kabatas and a funicular to Taksim Square. This is the heart of ’new’ Istanbul. Wide streets radiate through affluent suburbs. Attractive, fashionably dressed women patronise up-market shops and boutiques.
We walk the 1.2 km down pedestrianised Istiklai Caddesi past restaurants, bars, international stores, movie theatres and foreign consulates. We stop for coffee, baklava, Turkish delight and a chance to watch the passing parade. Narrow laneways, lined with little shops disappear downhill. Peddlers and street children sell shoeshines and odd bits and pieces, amid clanging tram bells, blasting music shops, and street chatter.
As we walk further we reach the Galata Tower which was built by a Genoese colony in 1348 as a part of its fortifications. The surrounding quarter in more recent times nurtured a whole diversity of European ethnic minorities, among them Armenians, Venetians, Jews and Greeks but most have now gone.
As the waterway that divides two continents, the narrow Bosporus has a notable place in history. It is something we don’t want to miss so we catch a ferry and watch as the mansions drift by. I am reminded that Istanbul is said to have more millionaires than any city but New York, Moscow and London.
The villages could be on the Mediterranean but then something ‘Turkish’ appears to remind me where I am.
We relax and admire the shoreline of beautiful mosques, lavish palaces and decadent villas. We see Dolmabahce and Beylerbeyi Palaces, Ottoman summer mansions, Ortakoy Mosque, the defensive Rumeli Fortress and two dramatic bridges.
We need more time to explore some of these on land. The waterway itself is alive with ferries, fishing boats, yachts, huge cargo ships and tankers and the cruise ends far too soon.
Travel tip : A boat tour of the Bosphorus is a relaxing way to see some of Istanbul’s mosques, Dolmabahçe Palace, ornate mansions, the maiden’s tower and get a beautiful view of the city from across the water.
If you’re walking along in Eminou you will come across plenty of opportunities for a Bosphorus cruise, don’t go for the first one offered to you, have a look around for the best deal- the best one I could find was 10 lira for a 90 minute cruise.
Tonight we will have our dinner with a local family as part of an Urban Adventure. There are just us, the family of 3 and a guide. The family speak no English, but our bilingual guide translates.
We play with the two-year-old daughter then sit on the floor to enjoy a typical Turkish meal. The home-cooked food is delicious and the atmosphere warm and relaxed. We have brought some fresh baklava as a small gift and we all enjoy it for dessert.
We feel very privileged to get this insight into their lives and it will long remain a highlight of Istanbul. We recommend this to everyone. Afterwards we walk the cobbled back-streets of the area with the guide and drop into a local tea house. While drinking tea, sampling a waterpipe, playing backgammon and enjoying views over the Marmara Sea, we discuss Turkey and its quest for membership of the European Union.
I conclude that while many in Istanbul see a future in Europe, much of the rest of the country and the government is reluctant to give up the culture of its Eastern roots.
The Spice Bazaar
Nowhere are these Eastern roots seen better than at the Spice Bazaar which is filled with the fragrance of the exotic East. Spices,dried fruits, cheeses, sausages, teas, jams, nuts, Turkish Delight and other edibles fill most of the shops. It is busy, colourful, fragrant and crowded. But even here things are changing.
You can buy T-shirts with ‘I love New York’ on them and see bright signs in Japanese, French and Spanish. I talk with some of the merchants and am surprised to find that most think that the country as a whole is not changing as fast as it talks.
Some are concerned there are signs that the Islamist government is heading in a different direction. The main entrance to the Spice Bazaar is via an archway off the pigeon infested plaza next to the New Mosque near GalataBridge. It is open from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., every day.
What spices to buy in Istanbul?
Much like the Grand Bazaar, the Spice Market is not just for shopping, it’s for immersing yourself in Turkish market culture. The deliciously exotic scent of the place and the visual feast of spices, teas and sweets is astounding. I prefer this market because although it is still very much a touristy area, it is also where many locals come to buy their coffee, fruit, vegetables and whatever else they need for the kitchen.
Indulge your sweet tooth at Güllüoğlu, Kadıköy
There are plenty of places to treat yourself to Turkish nutty, syrupy goodness in Istanbul but for the locals, Güllüoğlu cannot be beaten. I had the pleasure of sampling a few sweets such as baklava and fıstıklı dürüm, my mouth is watering right now just thinking about it.
Gorgeous Turkish Sweets
Hint: (Insider tips) if you’re nice to the people at the stalls (Bazaar) and have a chat with them, they might give you some free Turkish delight!
Get a view of the city while you chow down at the Konak Cafe in Beyoğlu
They do a mean menemen at Konak but the real value of the place is the view. Both locals and tourists frequent the place for its excellent (yet reasonably priced) food and stunning view of the city from the rooftop.
Travel tip: This stop is top on the list of food-related recommendations from Istanbul insiders – food with a view
Step back in Time at the Archaeology Museums
There are three museums within the museum complex; the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of the Ancient Orient, and the Museum of Islamic Art. I’ve heard it rumoured that there are a million artefacts in these three museums. That is a hell of a lot of history. I would allow about 3-4 hours to fully explore these museums and I would recommend getting an audio tour guide (15 lira) as it gives you loads of fascinating information about the exhibits.
There are some amazingly famous and important objects at these museums including the Alexander sarcophagus, fragments from the temple of Athena at Assos, parts of statues from the Temple of Zeus, one of the three known tablets of the Treaty of Kadesh and artefacts from some of the most ancient civilisations known to man; Mesopotamia, Egypt and Arabia.
Get scrubbed down in a Hamam
Having a hamam experience is an absolute must in Turkey. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in an ancient tradition that Constantinople adopted from the Romans and Byzantines. The hamam tradition was taken by the Selcuk Turks and transformed into a fundamental part of Turkish society, it was important to honour the Muslim precept of cleanliness but also morphed into a social common area where people could chat and socialise (and mothers could scout out potential wives for their sons).
The place that took about 10 layers of skin off me
The place that robbed me of about 10 layers of skin
What happens at a hammam?
The hamam is divided into women’s (bayan) and men’s (bay) sections, since you generally have to be at least partially naked. You are given a locker to leave your clothes and belongings in and then you enter the main part of the hamam, the ‘hot room’. The hamams tend to be sauna-like domed buildings, with taps and sinks along the walls and a large marble elevated block in the centre. For about twenty minutes you sweat and bathe yourself at the sink before you are called for your scrub and massage. You will leave with incredibly soft and probably incredibly red skin.
Be warned: if you are a female, you will see boobs everywhere.
The choice of accommodation in the city is overwhelming. There are chain hotels, locally-owned properties of all types and hostels for budget travellers. Another option is short-time rental.
Istanbul takes time to explore. Sure, the highlights can be seen in a few days but we leave knowing that six nights has not been enough for us. It has become common to say, ‘we will be back’, but in this case it comes from the heart.
What are the top things to do in Turkey?
It is the capital city and falls in the Anatolian Valley. It offers a host of inexpensive but good restaurants and cafes for the traveler to relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of the city.
Ankara houses the Museum of Anatolian civilizations and Mausoleum of Kemal Ataturk. Near Ulus square lie the ruins of the Temple of Augustus and Rome.
Pamukkale in Turkey, Denizli
Pamukkale which means cotton castle in Turkish is a natural site located in the Denizli province of Turkey. The entire city contains hot springs and travertines together with terraces of carbonate minerals left by the flow of the waters making it an important tourist attraction in the region together with the ancient city of Hierapolis which is built on top of the castle.
Due to its scenic natural beauty, it was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1988. There are a total of 17 natural hot water springs on the Pamukkale’s terraces with temperate ranging from 35 deg to 100 deg and is extremely popular with tourists.
The Romans gain control over the region in 129 BC and built a city named Hierapolis near the Pamukkale which was founded by Apollo. It was considered the sacred hot springs whose gases were associated with Pluto, who was the ruler of the underworld in Greek mythology. The natural hot springs in the Pamukkale has been used as a spa since the Romans took control due to its high mineral content and scenic beauty.
The nearest airport to the Pamukkale is the Denizli Cardak Airport (DNZ) served by flights from the capital Istanbul itself and is 65 km away from Pamukkale. The closest international airport is the Dalaman International Airport (DLM) which is 137 km away from the attraction.
Ephesus and Selcuk
Ephesus that falls on the Asian side of Turkey, was once the capital of the Roman province. One of the Seven Wonders of the World-The Temple of Artemis, The Roman Library of Celsus, and Odeon, are some of the Roman ruins to visit here. Selcuk is a town, 3 km away offering tourist attractions like the Basilica of St John the Apostle and The House of Virgin Mary.
The city is known for its exhibition of art and some of the older parts of Selcuk have retained the traditional Turkish culture.
Ephesus – Virgin Mary’s last retreat
Today an ancient archeological site in Asian Turkey, drawing thousands of tourists every year, once Ephesus was a city of great importance and a place, worthy of the Gods. Having taken the best from the Greek, the Roman and the Christian culture, all that’s left from this monumental site is simply a masterpiece.
Although it had to go through many cataclysms – both human and natural, today Ephesus keeps intact some of Antiquity’s most valuable treasures.
What to see:
The Magnesia Gate & the Harbor Gate – those are the two main gateways to the ancient city. The first one is the upper gate from which to stroll down the hill among the ruins. The Harbor Gate takes you to an uphill walk on the ancient roads.
East Gymnasium – as the old saying goes, “Mens sana in corpore sano” or “a sound mind in a sound body”. This place was used for relaxation and discussing the matters of the day while bathing, plus for exercising and playing games. It’s located right after the Magnesia Gate.
Odeion – this so-called “small theater” (although quite impressive at first sight) was used for entertainment, as well as for a gathering place of the Roman Senate. It was probably covered with a wooden roof, like most buildings and even some of the streets in the ancient city.
Prytaneion – another Roman structure, the Prytaneion was used as a public town hall – people came here to have their appeals heard, as well as to celebrate on different occasions.
The Agora – this was the main gathering place for all citizens of Ephesus. Here’s where it all happened – commerce, public speeches, public meetings and discussions, reading of sentences.
Temple of Isis – this inspired by the Egyptian culture temple was located at the core of the Agora. However, after its collapse during the Roman Emperor Augustus’s reign, it was never rebuilt.
Temple of Domitian – this is the first temple in Ephesus dedicated to an emperor. It’s located on the Domitian Street. Very little remains today, but the remnants prove this used to be a great structure with loads of high columns and beautiful frescos and reliefs.
Temples of the Goddess Rome and of the Divine Caesar (Dea Roma & Divus Julius Caesar) – during the Roman period, the city of Ephesus was a place for worship of the goddess Diana (as she was the Roman version of the Greek goddess Artemis), plus the whole pleiad of Roman deities and the almost divine Julius Caesar.
The temples were located right next to the Odeion.
Temple of Hadrian – you’re bound to notice this magnificent structure when passing on the Curetes Street. With its richly adorned façade, perfectly shaped arches, tall columns and impressive reliefs, this temple is also one of the best preserved buildings in the whole complex.
Temple of Artemis – being the highlight of an Ephesus’ journey, this ancient marvel (from which only one column now stands) is famous for being one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. So imagine how magnificent and impressive it must’ve been in its glorious days.
It was destroyed and rebuilt many times, gradually losing parts of its former grandeur, but still quite spectacular. Statue of the many-breasted mother-goddess is now displayed in the Ephesus Museum.
The Pollio Fountain – located right across the Odeion, this arched structure is quite impressive both by its looks and its size. In a city such as Ephesus, water was very important due to high temperatures and tendency to draught.
It used to contain a number of statues, such as Zeus’s head, the Polyphemus group statue and others from the Temple of Isis, which are now exhibited in the Ephesus Museum.
Trajan Fountain – this is one of Ephesus’ most notable monuments, located along the Curetes Street. Dedicated to the Roman emperor Trajan, this fountain, apart from its stunning outlook, contained a huge statue of the emperor himself from which only his feet and the globe on which they stand are left. Statues of other nobles surrounded that of the ruler; they’re now displayed in the Ephesus Museum.
The Gate of Hercules – adorned with reliefs depicting the Greek hero Hercules, wrapped in the Nemea lion skin (which he’s said to have personally killed), this gorgeous monument is located on the central Curetes Street and it’s definitely a check-out landmark. The purpose of the adjacent columns is to narrow the street and mark the beginning of a pedestrian zone.
Curetes Street – this could be noted as Ephesus’ main street, stretching from the Hercules Gate all the way to the Celsus Library. Many of the city’s landmarks are located on or near it. Its name comes from the curetes who were mythological semi-deities; later on Ephesus’ priests were called that way.
Marble Street – this is Ephesus’ second main street, entirely covered with marble. It’s mind-blowing walking upon this sunbathed pavement, which blinds you with its sun-reflecting surface. This is also the street leading to the Theater from the Celsus Library.
It was used both for carriages and pedestrians. Here also stands the first historic advertisement, carved deep into the marble, leading passengers the way to the brothel.
Harbour Street (Arcadian Avenue) – this is the third main street of Ephesus. It leads to the Theater, from the south side of the city. It’s the place from which traders and sailors must’ve come first into Ephesus. What’s so unique about it is that it was one of the very few streets around the globe which had street lights during the night.
There also used to be Christian statues all along the street.
The Brothel – on the crossroad between the Curetes and Marble Streets an ancient pleasure house is lurking. A small statue of the Greek fertility God Priapus with a huge phallus was found there, as well as depictions of women eating and drinking or feeding men with grapes and wine.
The location of the place, the size of its chambers and their design undoubtedly show the purpose of those premises.
Baths of Scholastica – built during Ephesus’ Christian period, this magnificent building is named after the woman who came up with the idea for it and it still holds her statue, though headless.
Dressing room, cold, warm and hot rooms – this must’ve been a great place for relaxation and restoration, which could almost be perceived once you enter the ground.
Latriana – This is the quite luxurious public toilet of Ephesus, built by the Romans. There was no partition between the toilet seats and there was one square pool in the middle. The gutter passed right beneath the toilet rows.
Romans loved to spend their time here, chatting and discussing important matters. An interesting fact is that, in order for the marble seats to get warm, the men send their servants first and then sat down to do their things.
Hillside Houses (Terrace Houses) – this is the ancient version of Ephesus’ “Orange County”. Here only the richest and noblest of citizens could own a mansion, on top of the slope against the central Curetes Street. Those palaces even had running water and could be heated. The houses were huge, three-storey and had massive courtyards.
They were beautifully designed and decorated with mosaics both inside and outside.
Ephesus Library (the Celsus Library) – this is one of the most famous buildings in the ancient complex. Its façade is made of marble and has numerous beautiful statues of deities, symbolizing different human virtues, plus gorgeous floral ornaments.
Ephesus Theatre – this historic landmark is one of the most popular tourist sites in Ephesus. Many come here only to see the impressive ancient theater. As all theaters from those times, it’s made of three sections: stage, the so-called orchestra (or where the actors played) and auditorium for the public. Today the Ephesus Theater is still used for concerts, plays and other forms of public entertainment.
Ephesus Indoor Museum – whatever’s not on the monumental site, is here – gentle statues, frescos, frizzes, mosaics, sarcophagi and ornaments are kept here in order to prevent their destruction by weather and by men. It’s located in the nearby town of Selçuk and it’s been divided thematically into sections – the Room of Findings from Houses, the Room of Findings from Fountains, the Room of Funeral Findings and the Room of the Ephesian Artemis.
How to travel: The nearby town of Selçuk is the place from which to head to the ancient site. Go on foot, take a bike, a taxi or a minibus. The distance is about 4km.
Getting around the place is entirely on foot. It shouldn’t take you longer than 2-to-3 hours.
Go outside – not many people know that only a few km away is the House of the Virgin Mary, where the Holy Mother is believed to have spent her last years on Earth and where she’s supposed to have been buried. It’s a beautiful small shrine with great, lush forest surrounding it and a “wish wall” – just write down what you wish for with all your heart and the Virgin Mary would make it come true.
In addition, St. John has visited this region as well and he’s also believed to have been buried somewhere around here. The church of St. John used to be a marvelous Byzantine basilica, dating from the 6th century and it’s definitely a must-visit monument.
Accommodation – Ephesus is not inhabited; it’s been used only as a tourist attraction. However, the nearby town of Selçuk provides you with everything needed for a great (and quite inexpensive) trip.
Cappadocia in Turkey, Nevsehir
Cappadocia is a historic region located in the Nevsehir province of Turkey. Cappadocia consists of a region of exceptional natural wonders characterized by its fairy chimneys and unique moon like landscape together with a rich and unique heritage of history and culture in the region. As such, it was listed in the list of World Heritage Sites of UNESCO in 1985. The region of Cappadocia was also notably used as a filming spot for the film Ghost Rider: spirit of Vengeance and the leading actor Nicolas Cage saying he was amazed by the wonders of Cappadocia.
The first recorded history of Cappadocia dates back as early as the 6th century BC, when the name was first mentioned in the trilingual inscriptions of the early Achaemenid kings. During the late Bronze Age, Cappadocia was known as Hatti and was the homeland of the Hittite people. During the era of Alexandra the Great, he tried to rule the area through one of his commanders but somehow a Persian aristocrat became the king of the Cappadocians and extended the borders to as far as the Black Sea.
The following rulers in the area was the Romans and eventually it became part of the Ottoman Empire for the centuries and now remains as part of Turkey as a popular tourist destination with a unique and beautiful landscape coupled by its rich historical and cultural heritages.
The closest airport to the Cappadocia is the Kayseri Erkilet Airport (ASR) which is around a 1 hour bus trip to the destination. Alternatively, a direct bus trip to the Cappadocia from the international airport of Istanbul can be arranged but it would take up to 12 hours to reach the attraction.
How many days do you need in Cappadocia?
Goreme and Urgup lie in this region that has a great visual appeal because of the mysterious formations of rocks and caves. Attractions include visits to the caves, rides in hot air balloons that afford you a majestic view of the landscape below, hikes to the volcanic valleys, walking through underground cities, a visit to the open air museum in Goreme that holds a unique collection of beautifully painted ancient cave churches decorated with Byzantine frescos.
The lodging experience here offers a stay in a cave room with all the comforts of a hotel.
This is an ancient city founded in 2 BC, lying north of Antalya. It has been recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The trip offers a view of the ruins of the Temple of Apollo and the tombs of Necropolis. The Pamukkale springs located close by are believed to have healing powers. Visitors are allowed to bathe in these hot springs.
Their characteristic white frothiness is due to the calcium rich waters.
The monastery is located in the Trabzon province in Northern Turkey and is probably the most inaccessible locations to build anything on. Yet, this amazing and impressive architecture strikes out from the cliff face that is a 1000 foot above the valley! It miraculously clings on like a clam to a rock.
The monastery was founded by Barnabas, a Greek monk in the 4th century.
It houses some of the most beautiful frescoes and relics and is only accessible by foot. You can reach there within 40 minutes by hiking through thick woodland. Check for your wallet before starting out because there is an entrance fee at the top.
Turkey offers something for everyone. History, art, culture, food, music, theatre…it is the perfect blend of everything that can stir your senses and help you relax, rejuvenate and discover yourself in another land.
Buying Property in Turkey
Buying Property in Turkey – Affordable Luxury Where East Meets West
Where East meets West, Turkey is one of the most popular destinations for tourists in Europe. Visitors enjoy magnificent historical sites such as Ephesus, crystal sea, plenty of sunshine and beaches, architectural gems, towering minarets and plenty of good food and cheap shopping.
Many visitors decide to invest in Turkish property to finance their own holidays by renting out when they are not using it. Others invest for their family use and love owning their special place in the sun to visit whenever they choose.
The purchase of real estate in Turkey by foreign nationals is a quite recent development when the laws relating to foreign ownership were liberalized.
There are many benefits to buying a property in Turkey namely affordability and Turkey’s potential admission into the European Union, which will bring distinct advantages for foreign investors and the ease of a European single currency.
Moreover, the property prices are low in Turkey with even luxury villas at very affordable prices and apartments within the reach of most people. Combined with friendly people, perfect sunny climate, and relaxed environment, it is easy to see why Turkey is a popular choice for foreign investors.
Most foreign investors are Buying a second home in the resort areas of the country with villas and apartments being a popular choice. With residual income benefits from property rental, Turkey’s real estate is a very attractive proposition.
Turkey has become a much more stable prospect for holidaymakers and visitor numbers are increasing year on year because of the facilities, value for money and readily available budget airline flights from all parts of Europe and beyond.
Despite the change of law to allow foreign investment, there are still areas of Turkey where the purchase of property by foreigners is prohibited. Properties of this kind are usually located in sensitive areas or in the vicinity of military bases and installations. It is essential that foreign buyers are aware of the location where they wish to purchase.
They should check out prohibited areas so they do not become involved in a transaction that may fail causing unnecessary wasted time and money. Purchasing property in Turkey needs to be undertaken with real attention to detail. For example, it is vital that a thorough title search is done to ensure the property is clear and free form anything preventing absolute transfer to a purchaser.
Title deeds in Turkey are often encumbered by liens and other complications. Be sure to use an experienced professional lawyer who can unravel these title deeds for you.
There are some obvious pitfalls worth looking for.
1. Buy new or fairly new property. The Turkish government introduced new building standards and regulations governing the building of property in Turkey in 2000. These standards and regulations comply with European Union standards.
2. Avoid unregulated real estate agents. Check that your agent is properly registered and licensed so you are assured they are compliant with all legislation.
3. Always use a lawyer who is an expert with Turkish property transactions. Your rights will be protected and all legal matters will be addressed, as they should be.
Investing in Turkey
When a property is found that a buyer wishes to purchase an oral offer should be made to the seller or seller’s agent. Preliminary contracts are drawn up if the offer is accepted.
The buyer has an obligation to put down a non-refundable deposit of between four and ten percent. If the seller backs out or there is no clear title, the deposit is refunded. Final contracts in Turkey are executed at the Land Registry Office where a new title or deed is applied for. These documents are usually issued within three months.
One crucial part of purchasing property in Turkey is that earthquake insurance is compulsory in most parts of the country and is very important. Factor in the cost of the premiums when the property transaction is going through.
A final consideration is to apply for a long-term residency permit in Turkey if you purchase a property rather than leaving and re-entering the country every three months on a temporary visa if you stay there for extended periods.
It is a simple process to fill out and submit a Declaration of Intent form, which will give you residency for five years if approved
All you need to know about Turkish Investment Properties
Turkey is hot – All you need to know about Turkish Investment Properties
Turkey is proving to be a viable investment option for would be property investors. Low property prices, adherence to EU regulations on new builds, a growing economy, potential entry to the European Union make Turkey one of the most exciting investment areas.
Turkey is democracy which is unusual in the Islamic world.
Although challenges have been presented to the democratic government, it has always stood strong and passed the democratic change test not once but many times.
It is a stable region hence its dramatic growth as an investment economy, retirement place and tourist resort.
Turkish Property Investment Advantages
With an unstable global economy, there is little faith in the traditional investment areas of the stock market and other financial investment vehicles. Property has stabilized worldwide in value meaning this is a perfect time to set up a property portfolio or buy a single property for personal use.
This new stability in property prices means we can look forward to slow and steady growth in prices meaning your investment will be safe rather than subject to volatile market forces.
Many reputable investment funds are looking to property in new areas like Turkey for long term growth. Everyone who has ever made an investment especially in recent times will realize that there are no guarantees to the return on your investment, but the probability is good for year on year growth.
A worthwhile option for investors is to have a mortgage that is repaid from rental income with the caveat you have the right property in the right location.
Turkey’s tourist industry is large and constantly growing which creates demand for quality property that appeals to tourists. Turkey has spectacular beaches, ancient historical monuments and cities,a sunny climate that surpasses most of the popular holiday resorts in Europe.
Competitive and cheap flights from budget and charter carriers make flying to Turkey convenient and affordable – ideal for the occasional visitor or for generating holiday traffic to your investment property.
Property prices in Turkish holiday resorts will respond by increasing in value as more tour operators and visitors demand good quality accommodation.
Once Turkey is incorporated into the European Union, its popularity will increase due to the single currency – the Euro.
Not only does this engender a sense of security in visitors but it does away with complex currency conversions.
Buying Property in Turkey
On the home market, with a 80 million population, many visitors to Turkish resorts are from other areas of Turkey so there is a captive marketplace for rentals as well. Strong Turkish economy showing 5.5% GDP Climate beaches and clean sea has established Turkey as a top holiday destination.
* There are longer summers extending the tourist season all good reasons why investment in property is a viable project.
* A 2% population growth in Turkey per annum and 70% population under the age of thirty creates a market that is locally strong.
There is no better time to invest in Turkish property whether apartments, villas, a home of your own or a property portfolio.
Enjoy the returns on your investments
Turkey – The New Kid on the Holiday Block
Is Turkey expensive to visit?
For the past thirty years or more, the holiday hot-spots of Spain, Italy and Greece have welcomed millions of visitors from the United Kingdom, many of them attracted primarily by the stunning climate. When you live in a relatively gloomy country, the chance to spend a week or two on a sun-kissed beach with very little to worry about is always going to be a highly tempting prospect.
Top Ways To Discover Turkey pic.twitter.com/cgmsusspwr
— VR Experts (@VRPExperts) May 12, 2019
In recent years, however, another nation has become a hugely popular destination, and it’s one which is developing an extremely lucrative tourism industry. Turkey has more than 7,000 kilometres of coastline, and is home to several stunning holiday locations. And of course, the country has a superb climate, with decidedly hot temperatures waiting to welcome visitors during the summer months.
Many visitors to the likes of Spain and Italy have become somewhat disillusioned by the apparent lack of any meaningful welcome these days. A number of tourists have come to the conclusion that it’s time for a change, if only because they want their presence to feel more wanted. For them, Turkey is the ideal location, because in most Turkish destinations any tourists are made to feel especially welcome.
What can you see in Turkey in 5 days?
In local restaurants and bars, Turkish proprietors will often ask about the visitor’s name, because they think they should be treated as friends. There is a local proverb that says every guest is a guest of God, and therefore should be treated as such. For UK tourists of a certain age, this is reminiscent of the early days of Spanish package holidays, when the locals made a great effort to make everyone feel welcome.
Although most summer visitors to Turkey will simply want to lie back on their sun-beds and top up their tans, there are others who will want to explore the surrounding area and perhaps to soak up some of the local culture. For them, the good news is that Turkish destinations are surrounded by a whole host of important historical landmarks, many of which date back several thousand years.
Holiday in Turkey
How many days do you need in Turkey?
Amid all the problems with the euro in recent times, it should be noted that the Turkish lira is one of those currencies which have remained out of the headlines. Visitors from all over the world can enjoy favourable exchange rates in a country which still offers excellent value for money. In the coming years, there’s every likely-hood that Turkey’s popularity as a holiday destination will continue to improve.
Joint project written by Elizabeth Dcosta – Travel blogger and Angella Grey, the marketing manager at The Vacation Rentals Experts – an online and offline digital marketing agency that creates marketing solutions for vacation rentals, holiday homes and brands.
Joint us on twitter, Pinterest, follow our LinkedIn company page to learn more and get great tips on market strategy and solutions for your holiday properties.
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