1. Turkey Travel Guide: What to Do in Turkey
Turkey is typically described as a colorful blend of Eastern and Western influences, yet it is about so much more. The noticeable diversity from region to region has enabled the country to accommodate every type of traveler, from the budget conscious to the luxury elite.
Over the last 10 years, it has strengthened its reputation on the international travel market by becoming a leader in spa tourism, adventure sports holidays, beach resort stays and historical exploration. Sites like the ancient ruins of Ephesus receive hundreds of visitors daily, and while the number-one recommended activity might be a Turkish hamam, it’s the unusual holiday pursuits that put the country in a league of its own. Check out our slideshow for 10 offbeat experiences that will spark an everlasting love of Turkey.
Take a Honey Expedition in the Northeast
The northeast of Turkey offers diversity and a chance to get off the beaten path. Much of the scenery resembles the Swiss Alps, with flower-filled green fields and wooden chalets dotted over the landscape. This region is also famous throughout Turkey for the sweet, high-quality honey it produces. Locals provide excursions that focus on honey-harvesting, walking and photography.
Balyolu (translated, it means “honey road”) runs tours that range from four to eight days. Visitors will participate in traditional honey making, taste regional cuisine, learn about culture and traditions, and, if requested, receive expert advice from a professional photographer on how to capture the best holiday photos. Accommodation is split between boutique hotels and the homes of local Turkish families. Visitors who want to take advantage of trekking routes are accompanied by professional guides, and organizers are flexible with itineraries, depending on the number of participants.
Sea Kayak Over the Ruins of Kekova
The Mediterranean coast of Turkey has many ruins, some dating as far back as the 10th century B.C. The sunken ruins of Kekova belong to an ancient city destroyed by an earthquake in the second century. It was rebuilt during Byzantine times but eventually abandoned because of Arab invasions. Scuba diving is prohibited here because many artifacts have been stolen, so the next best method is to see the underwater ruins from a sea kayak.
Bougainville Travel organizes trips that start with an instruction and safety briefing in the sleepy village of Ucagiz. Sea kayakers paddle across the bay to Kekova, then head to the small village of Simena to see a panoramic view from the castle and taste locally made ice cream. Because of the long distances involved, participants should be physically fit, but previous kayaking experience is not necessary. A safety boat follows the group in case anyone is unable to complete the course or someone has a partner who wants to join the experience without doing the actual paddling.
Take a Cooking Class in Istanbul
Turkish cuisine has historically been influenced by a variety of diverse cultures, and today it features a fusion of flavors and cooking techniques that leave people licking their lips. In the cosmopolitan city of Istanbul, where both street food and fine dining are serious business, the culinary experience goes one step further by introducing visitors to ingredients used, their history and traditional Turkish recipes that every cook can replicate at home.
Participants join a class of 10 other cooks to receive instructions from a Turkish food expert. Together, they create regional and local delicacies, such as dolma (stuffed vegetables), sigara boregi (cheese pastries), hunkar begendi (meat and eggplant stew) and yayla corbasi (high mountain soup). Dishes are then paired with suitable Turkish wines, and, when ready, participants sit down to taste the results of their culinary adventure. This class is offered by Turkey Travel Centre.
Read More…………. www.smartertravel.com
2. TRAVELING TO TURKEY? READ THIS FIRST!
In 2015, Turkey was the 6th most visited country in the world. But in 2016, due to internal political unrest, acts of terrorism and conflicts in nearby Syria, they didn’t have a great year in regards to tourism.
So now for 2018, and beyond, the question on everyone’s mind is…. is Turkey safe?
A quick search at any traveler forum on Turkey will show that the most common questions about the destination over the last year have been in regards to whether Turkey is safety or not, rather than its worthiness for a visit. So before we take a look at just the safety, let’s look at the full picture.
Turkey is home to fairy chimneys and hot air balloons, Roman history and kebabs, a world wonder and 16 UNESCO World Heritage sites! In 2017 Turkey will also host many international travel conferences, as it aims to draw more visitors to this historic country.
INFLOW Travel Summit, an initiative from Turkey, is a clear sign of the popular destination’s desire to retain its status as a desired destination, and the government’s support should signify their commitment to traveler safety and the tourism sector. INFLOW marks a significant turning point in Turkey’s quest to reaffirm the traveling community that it is a country not to be missed. Dozens of the world’s most influential brands, bloggers and influencers (we’ll be there!) will be joining forces in mid-April to put Turkey back on the map.
So if you’re considering Turkey for 2018, and beyond, here are a few key things you don’t want to miss!
The History of Turkey
We all know the song Istanbul, Constantinople… don’t we? (sorry if that’s stuck in your head for the rest of the day). Well, Istanbul (aka the largest city in Europe) is the modern version of Constantinople, the once capital of the Roman Empire. Which means everywhere you go you’re likely to find archaeological remnants and history.
From the Basilica Cistern to the world wonder Hagia Sofia, Istanbul itself is flush with Instagrammable history lessons.
And outside of the city is even more. Pamukkale is known for the white travertine terraces, but also neighbors Hierapolis, one of the largest remnants of the Roman Empire, complete with a thermal spa.
Speaking of the buildings…
One that has nothing to do with the Roman Empire, but is known worldwide, is Istanbul’s Blue Mosque. It isn’t the largest, the oldest or even the bluest, but the Blue Mosque is an Islamic icon and welcomes thousands of visitors annually (both Muslim and non-Muslim). It is also only one of the hundreds of beautiful mosques accenting the Bosphorus skyline. If you’re planning on spending a bit of time around the city, be sure to check the free Istanbul tour to learn more.
The Food in Turkey
Kebabs from the source. Does much more need to be said? Turkey is a predominantly Muslim country, so don’t expect to find much pork. Going vegetarian isn’t impossible, but is much harder than neighboring countries. Street vendors offer mostly bread and cheese (or the aforementioned kebabs), so it will be worth your while to pop into a market when you see one to stock up on more nutritious snacks for exploring.
You’ll find fresh juices everywhere (you can’t go wrong with avocado and honey). If seafood is your thing, you can find fresh fish and oysters easily.
Going to a ḥammām (sounds like ha-mom) is a treat that no traveler should skip. You walk into your gender’s side of the spa, take off your clothes and enjoy. There are tourist versions, but you can visit a local hammām as well. If that’s the case, it is likely you won’t find much English spoken. You will be given a bowl for washing yourself. Some baths have soap, but if you’re particular about your products, bring your own.
If you’d like (we definitely recommend it), go traditional where you can have a wash and massage. A staff member of the hammām (gender appropriate) will be in the bath. S/he will get you all cleaned up and massaged (private parts are your responsibility to wash). Backpackers beware: you will see how much grunge you’ve accumulated over your travels and it is gross!
Read More………. www.dontforgettomove.com
3. 5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Going to Turkey
Trish Sare, Founder and Director of BikeHike Adventures, shares her tips to make your trip a Turkish delight.
Turkey’s diverse landscapes, adventure activities, incredible culture, ancient history, scrumptious food and interesting art make it a very unique place to explore. Before you set off to see the landscapes of Cappadocia, mosques in Istanbul and mighty ancient ruins of Ephesus, here are five handy tips.
1. You Need a Visa*
Turkish customs require nationals from many countries to obtain a visa to enter Turkey. Click here to apply for your visa online and find out if you require one.
Before getting a visa, make sure your passport has six months validity from the date of entry into Turkey, or you may be refused entry to the country. Visas generally take a couple of weeks to obtain, so don’t leave this until the last minute.
*For any information about visas and how that relates to your situation, please contact the Turkish embassy in your country.
2. A Little Effort Goes a Long Way
Turkish people are very friendly, and if you earn yourself an invite into a local family home for Turkish coffee or tea, knowing a little of their langauge will go a long way.
Watch out for men who take advantage of that friendly nature, and find out why «Hello, my friend!»is not always what you want to hear.
3. Carry Cash in Different Currencies
The easiest currencies to convert into Turkish Lira are US Dollars and Euro. Change offices offer the best rates. There are many ATMs throughout Turkey, but don’t solely rely on your ATM card as your main source of cash in the event that you cannot find a machine that accepts your card.
Always have a mixture of cash (in small denominations), an ATM card and a credit card available. Traveler’s checks are not recommended, as most stores won’t accept them and banks and post offices with very long queues are the only places to cash them in.
Make sure you keep your cash and cards safe by following these simple money security tips.
4. Cover Up
Turkey’s land mass straddles eastern Europe and western Asia, creating an incredible fusion culture where east meets west. While most cities are quite cosmopolitan, rural communities retain their old customs and traditions. Wherever you chose to travel in Turkey, be aware of the proper dress etiquette, and dress modestly to avoid unwanted attention – escpecially women traveling outside tourist areas.
5. Traditional Turkish Toilets Abound
While many Turkish hotels, museums and restaurants have western toilets, you’ll definitely encounter a few squat toilets on your travels. Beginners will no doubt be challenged with the new skills required to master this task, but soon enough you will become accustomed, and might even enjoy them.
It’s a good idea to remove any objects, such as your phone or wallet, from your pockets before you squat. If you forget to do this, good luck retrieving it.
There is usually a tap with running water (bidet) located next to the squat, which you can use to flush.
Don’t forget to carry toilet paper and small change with you at all times, as most public toilets in Turkey (and toilet paper provided) are not free. Antiseptic wipes aren’t a bad idea, either.
Read More………….. www.worldnomads.com
4. 12 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Turkey
Packed to the brim with ancient monuments left over from a parade of conquerors and endowed with showcase scenery that never fails to impress, Turkey is a dazzling destination that straddles Asia and Europe. Its vibrant culture, famous food, and vast history wow all who venture here, while its glorious landscapes — from the sun-soaked Mediterranean to the mighty mountains and arid steppe — are highlights in themselves. Whether you want to lap up the Byzantine and Ottoman glories of Istanbul on a city break, laze on the beach, delve into history wandering through ruins such as Ephesus, or see some of the world’s most surreal panoramas in Pamukkale and Cappadocia, this country has attractions galore.
1 Aya Sofya
Renowned as one of the most beautiful buildings in the world, the spellbinding Byzantine glory of the Aya Sofya Museum (Hagia Sophia) is not only one of the top things to do in Istanbul, but also in Turkey. The staggering bulk of its exterior is rimmed by the delicate minarets added after the Ottoman conquest, while the sumptuous and cavernous frescoed interior is a grand reminder of old Constantinople’s might and power. This famed monument is a must-do for every tourist visiting the country.
Not to be missed, the mighty ruin of Ephesus is a city of colossal monuments and marble-columned roads. One of the most complete, still-standing Roman cities in the Mediterranean region, this is the place to experience what life must have been like during the golden age of the Roman Empire. A sightseeing trip here will take at least half a day to cover the major highlights and longer, if you really want to explore, so make sure that you plan your visit so you don’t feel rushed.
3 Editor’s ChoiceCappadocia
The surreal swooping rock valleys of Cappadocia are every photographer’s dream. Cliff ridges and hill crests are home to rippling panoramas of wave-like rock or wacky-shaped pinnacles that have been formed by millennia of wind and water action. And if you don’t feel like hiking for the views, this is one of the world’s top destinations to take a hot air balloon ride. If the lunarscape isn’t enough to tempt you, nestled in these valleys are the frescoed rock-cut churches of the Byzantine Era, when this area was an important early Christian site.
4 Topkapı Palace
Sumptuous beyond belief, the Topkapı Palace takes you into the fantastical, opulent world of the sultans. It was from here that the sultans of the Ottoman Era carved out an empire that would extend up into Europe and down through the Middle East and into Africa. The interiors, with their decadently exuberant tiling and lavish jeweled decor, are an unforgettable peek into the Ottoman’s power base. The surrounding public gardens were once the sole domain of the Royal Court but are now open to the public and provide a tranquil, green respite from the city streets.
Read More………… www.planetware.com
5. 25 Best Things to Do in Turkey
Turkey is a gorgeous travel destination filled with beautiful beaches, archaeological wonders, historical sites, and friendly people. It is one of the main destinations for travelers looking to immerse themselves in a different culture, and it doesn’t hurt that the food is so flavorful. One of the great things about visiting Turkey is that visitors can book a tour that will take them through all the hotspots, or they can safely wander about off the beaten path – either way, the trip will be a memorable one! Some sites that shouldn’t be missed include the legendary city of Troy, Suluklugol, the Kevoka Island Sunken Ruins, and one of the largest covered markets in the world, the Grand Bazaar.
1. Ankara Castle
Ankara Castle, or Ankara Kalesi, is a fortification that remains from the early medieval era of Turkey. Though it is unknown when exactly the castle was built, it is estimated to have been established in 7th century AD and was at one point used by the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, Seljuq Turks, the Crusaders, and the Ottoman Empire. Visitors can explore the castle and everything within its 43,000 square kilometers; there are many old Ankara houses within the castle grounds that display the architectural styles of different periods. The mosques on the castle grounds are also worth exploring as they’re filled with stunning architectural aspects and decor.
The historical region of Cappadocia can be found in Central Anatolia, Turkey. The hills and rock sites are officially a part of Gerome National Park, which is a declared UNESCO World Heritage Site. The unique cultural and historical heritage of the region, along with its exceptional natural wonders, have made it a popular tourist attraction. Visitors head there to see the unique geological features in the four cities of Cappadocia, which include Aksaray, Nevsehir, Kayseri, and Nigde. One extremely popular activity that visitors should experience when there is hot-air ballooning, which gives a beautiful bird’s eye view of the wonders below.
3. Aqua Vega Aquarium
Located in Ankara, Aqua Vega Aquarium is one of the largest underwater worlds in Europe. Aqua Vega houses the third largest tunnel aquarium and is a fun place for the entire family. There is a total capacity of 4.5 million liters of water in the salt and freshwater aquariums to create the homes of hundreds of fascinating sea creatures from all over the world. Exhibits such as Adrenaline World, the Sea Shell Museum, and Jungle Corner allow visitors to explore this amazing underwater world and get up close and personal with sharks, koi fish, napoleon fish, clown fish, and much more.
4. Ataturk’s Mausoleum
Ataturk Mausoleum, or Anitkabir, is a mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk who was the founder and first president of the Republic of Turkey. Having opened in 1953, the mausoleum is also the resting place of the second President of Turkey, Ismet Inonu. Visitors can explore the cut-stone clad monument and its beautiful Turkish architecture; the marble and stone used were brought in from various parts of Turkey, and the surface reliefs reflect that period. The park that surrounds the monument, Peace Park, is a great place to spend the day as there are over 50,000 decorative plants, flowers, trees, and shrubs from over 25 countries.
Read More……………… vacationidea.com
6. Top 5 Cities to Visit in Turkey
Turkey, a country where two continents meet, despite the unfortunate events in the recent time, is still one of the favourite destinations among tourists from around the world. This is not difficult to understand, since it is one of those places with stunning scenery and rich historic legacy where you can feel the mixture of old and modern culture where the traveler is looking for breathtaking coastlines, remote beaches or heavenly food. If you’re planning a trip to Turkey anytime soon, we will tell you where exactly to go and why!
Turkish capital is the second largest city in the country, as well as the major university centre. It is a modern jungle city popular with tourists and, although it may seem differently at first glance, it is a symbol of independece and Western values. The most important figure of the city is well-known Atatürk, whose legacy is undeniable, which is best observable in Mausoleum of Atatürk, a huge tomb and memorial to the first president of the new Republic of Turkey who declared Ankara as the capital. Don’t forget to include the walking tour of the historical Old Quarters in your visit, because strolling through narrow, cobbled streets surrounded by old red-roofed Ottoman houses is something definitely worth experiencing.
This urban cultural melting pot is something you must visit at least once in your lifetime. Who hasn’t heard of famous Hagia Sophia, the magnificent church turned into a mosque and a symbol of Constantinople or Blue Mosque built in the 17th century? Another reason to go there is Grand Baazar, one of the largest covered markets in the world where you can buy everything, from jewelry and spices to carpets and antiques (don’t forget to bargain there, otherwise you will be ripped off). Apart from so many things to see in this historically rich metropolis offers some of the best views in Turkey, from a boat on the Bosphorus during sunset or the Galata Tower.
Together with Istanbul, Antalya is the most popular tourist region in Turkey. The best way to discover the beauty of the region is to use a cable car to travel up Mount Tahtali, from where you can marvel at the stunning panoramic views of the coastline. After the climb, check out the ruins of Phaselis and gorgeous beaches nearby. It is an ancient Lycian city once ruled by Alexander the Great whose remains also include amphitheatre and houses. For sun lovers, Lara beach is the best destination, as there can you enjoy not only the crystal blue sea, but if you happen to be there during high season in summer, the Antalya sand festival as well, where talented artists create life size figures to impress the visitors.
The coastal Turkish city of Izmir is one of the fastest-growing cruise-ship ports of call on the Aegean Sea and an excellent place to stay if you’re planning a trip to nearby Ephesus and Pergamon. Spend your days browsing the streets and visiting some of the most extensive Roman ruins outside Pompeii. Don’t forget to include Pamukkale in your tour, an amazin geographical phenomenon, unique in the world. It is a mini plateaux with the hot spring water flowing down from the top of the mountain which, on its way down, add white limestone to the ancient plateaux. Visitors can bathe there which are reputed to be good for health. Also, the Izmir Clock Tower is a must-see, it is set in idyllic location for enjoying while gazing at the people passing by and sipping some cooling beverage.