Turkey’s history is an endless list of invasions and crumbling empires. Scattered around the nation you will find relics of its rather eventful past; Roman theatres, Greek temples, edifices that have served as churches, mosques and museums at different times. But let this not lead you to believe that it’s a stuffy land buried in its past. A fashionably modern empire has risen in this ancient land, where avant-garde buildings and domed structures form an enchantingly incongruous landscape. As for the people, if they are indeed descendents of former invaders, their warlike tendencies have been watered down considerably with generous amounts of raki.
No matter where in this vast country you venture, you will be struck by one unfailing quality of the Turkish people - their genuine warmth and inbred spirit of generosity. It is an inherent part of their heritage, finding its roots in their early nomadic lifestyle in central Asia. Whether you seek dir ections or a favour, most folk are only too willing to help, since the general attitude of everybody here is that visitors are guests sent by God.
Family is very important to the Turkish people, with the elderly revered and deferred to. The most common social practice at a Turkish home is the offering and serving of coffee to visitors. Turkish coffee is quite different from any other kind of coffee, and involves an elaborate brewing process, which differs from one home to another. It is customary for the daughter of the house to prepare the thick, sweet brew, topped with a layer of rich foam. In your travels, count yourself fortunate if you are hosted at a Turkish home; as it offers you a remarkable insight into the traditional way of life.
When it comes to heritage, this country believes in safeguarding all that’s best of the past. This is also true in the case of beauty and relaxation therapies. Dating all the way back to the Roman and Byzantine eras, Turkish hamams (the public baths) still offer several therapeutic treatments for the weary traveller.
These hamams can be found all over the country, but Istanbul is home to two rather historic bathhouses. The Cemberlitas Hamam in the Divanyolu area of the city was built in 1584 and is the work of the renowned architect Sinan. 1741 saw the construction of the Cagaloglu Hamam in Cagaloglu by Sultan Mahmud I. It is much admired for its use of baroque and classic Ottoman architectural motifs, and was the last of the great hamams to be built before Sultan Mustafa III forbade their construction because of the increasing needs for water and wood in Istanbul. Today, there are separate hamams for men and women. The entire procedure consists of a leisurely steam session followed by a bath, a full body scrub and a massage. The combination of light steam, exfoliation and deep massage results in a surprisingly intense cleansing.
For those who seek a slightly different but equally rewarding experience, the hot springs at several parts of the country are worth visiting for their rich mineral water treatments. The Balçova Hot Springs (also known as the Izmir Hot Springs) have been used since Roman times.
The Kangal Hot Springs in the Central Anatolian region is rather unique. It has thermal springs originating from five different sources that propel schools of tiny fish into large pools where bathers recline. It is believed that the fish draw out the diseased areas of the skin, offering cures that modern medicine does not.
A day or two at any of these hamams or hot springs will ease the strain of travel from your mind and body, leaving you refreshed and invigorated, and ready to face the road again.
With its minar ets, intricately woven carpets and aromatic spice markets, one expects Turkey to house oases of e xotic decadence. And the country doesn’t disappoint. While most of its spas are concentrated in the Marmara and Aegean regions of western Turkey, you will come across much lo ved havens even in its other areas.
And as you make your way from spa to spa and region to region you will notice how the treatments vary, complementing the area to which the spa belongs.
This geographical variety is onl y to be expected; this is after all a land lap ped by both the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas, a part of both Eur ope and Asia. The contemporary resorts in the south Aegean region for instance are fed by natural hot springs, and offer classic saunas and Jacuzzis; massage, paraffin, mud and herb baths; underwater gymnastics and diet programs. The spas in T urkey fold neatly into its culture.
Long regarded as one of the world’s three primary cuisines, the Turkish culinary tradition traces its roots to the Ottoman Empire, which in turn drew inspiration from a wealth of cult ures: Persian, Central Asian, Middle Eas tern, Mediterranean, Caucasian and Balkan. This spirit of amalgamation has resulted in an inspired blend of flavours.
The average meal her e consists of meat, fish, fresh salads, rice and breads. One begins with soup and the meze, a variety of small cold and hot dishes which are meant to be shar ed. In se veral restaurants, a waiter will bring these around on a tray to help you make your choice. Tarama salad, dolma (vine leaves or pep pers stuffed with rice), and börek (pastries), are some of the mezes found in mos t restaurants. Çoban salatası, a salad of tomato, cucumber, parsley and onion, dressed with olive oil and lemon juice, is a popular side dish. Lamb is the meat of choic e here, and is pr epared in a variety of ways, including şiş kebap (grilled cubes of seasoned meat on sk ewers) and köfte, (small r oundels of minc ed lamb). The stews, especially keşkek (made with meat and wheat) are worth sampling, too.
Most meals end with a sweet. Of Turkey’s several desserts, pistachio or walnut baklava is the most famous. Others include kadayıf’, which uses shr edded yufka; muhallebi, sumuhallebisi, sütlaç (rice pudding), and güllaç, layers of do ugh soaked in milk and rose water, served with pomegranate seeds and walnut.
They say a country’s culture can be experienced almost purely through its cuisine. In Turkey, this form of e xploration can be most rewarding.
For all its imag ery of antiquity and traditional splendour, there exist several completely different facets to Turkey. Take, for instance, its part y scene. Although still nascent, there’s enough happening here to prompt some to predict that the country could soon be one of Eur ope’s hottest party centres.
Istanbul’s nightlife is the liveliest, with pubs and discotheques scattered liberally through every part of the city. It is her e that you will find the country’s most famous meyhanes (local taverns which serve the local br ew raki, wine and beer, and a stunning variety of appetisers), in the Cicek Pasaj in Be yoglu. Here, meyhanes jostle for space with market stalls, and vendors and street musicians wander through the crowd.
Three places in the city that are recommended for their beverage selection, cuisine and ambience are Kemanci, Hayal Kavhesi and Mojo Blues Bar . But the most spectacular of all of these is Suada Istanbul, a floating club in the Bosphorus with an enormous floating swimming pool and beach access. Situated in the water at Kuruçeşme, Suada has a stunning 360 degree view of the Bosphorus. Reina Istanbul, on the edge of the Bosphorus, is another popular club, with several highly rated restaurants and a gigantic danc e floor. Celebrities from across the world are often spotted here. Bodrum and Izmir also have high-octane party scenes. At Bodrum, spend an evening at the outdoor Halikarnas disc otheque. The redevelopment of Izmir’s waterfront was a shot in the arm for this city’s nightlife, with several clubs and pubs springing up her e to make the most of the glorious view.
In your travels, do r emember that no holiday to Turkey can be considered complete unless it includes several evenings at its pubs, and copious quantities of raki. As they say here when they raise a glass, sağlığına!
If you visit Istanbul, you simply must not miss the biggest, most extravagant mall in the country. Istanye Park is a recent addition to the city’s skyline, with no less than 300 of the world’s most exclusive brands, including se veral Turkish brands, under one enormo us smoked glass roof. The mall’s floor space houses brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Dior, Prada, Fendi, Hugo Boss, Max Mara, Zara, Burberry, Miu Miu, De Beers, Mango, M.A.C., DKNY, Armani, Ralph Lauren and Debenhams.
The most high-end brands oc cupy pride of place outside the open-air centre. On Istinye Park Brands’ Street, these shops are interspersed with high-end r estaurants. The Rainforest Café here is Turkey’s first outlet, and is a refreshing change, with its waterfalls and lush tropical ambience. In addition to shopping and dining, visitors here may also choose to watch a movie at the state-of-the-art 12-screen IMAX 3D theatre.
A word to the wise – if you do plan to visit Istinye Park, set aside half a day at the very least. Anything less is a grave underestimation of the captivating qualities of this fabulous mall.
They say it began as an unassuming little masonry warehouse during the time of Mehmet the Conqueror. Then as the years passed, traders began to set up business here. Soon a ceiling was added and along with it lock ed gates and porches. Even if you consider that centuries have passed since its humble origins, it’s simply mystifying to regard the labyrinthine alleys and thousands and thousands of shops that make up what is no w known as The Grand Bazaar.
Today, you will still find tradesmen selling carpets they say hold a hundred tiny stitches in the space covered by a small coin. Wizened gentlemen sipping tea through small blocks of sugar . And of course, old treasures: phrasebooks and tiny engravings among them.
In Eminönü, you’ll find another symbol of the romanticised Turkey: The Spic e Bazaar, a covered market second in size to the Grand Bazaar. It is her e that you will find the most exquisite pestil (fruit pr essed into sheets) and Turkish Delight; the more dubious love potions and charms; and it goes without saying, mounds of fragrant spices.
By some inexplicable magic, the two bazaars seem to live all the eras they’ve been through at once.
A geographically diverse country, Turkey’s vast coast extends along most of its northern border, with the Black Sea, and the Aegean Sea and Sea of Marmara along the east coast. Eight thousand kilometres of pristine beaches, hidden coves, calm turquoise waters and windy shorelines make for hours of exhilaration. Every beach resort here offers a variety of ways in which to enjoy the waters around the country.
For those who like to go scuba diving , clear warm waters and visibility of up to 30 m. are reason enough to head here. The waters south of Akkum are especially good for diving and surfing. On the Cesme Peninsula, the resort town of Ilica o verlooks a bay that’s popular for sailing, swimming and windsurfing.
Besides water sports, the Black Sea coast offers several other adventurous pursuits. Parachuting from the Sorgun Cliff, a horseback tour of the Comlekciler farms, fishing at Lake Uzungol, hiking at the Kackar Mountains and white water rafting on the wild Coruh River.
Your holiday in Turkey would be incomplete without at least a taste of the country’s varied water sports.
In 2008, the International Association of Golf Tour Operators selected a rather unusual spot as The Best Golf Destination in Europe. Rather than pick the more obvious Scotland and Ireland, the title was bestowed on Turkey.
While this must have come as a revelation to many, golfing enthusiasts who have visited the country’s lush courses weren’t the least bit surprised.
Turkey might not be traditionally inclined to golf, but the past few years have seen a sudden emergence of e xceedingly wellequipped and staggeringly beautiful golf courses. Most of these are scattered across what is kno wn as the Turkish Riviera, especially in Belek, Antalya, Bodrum and Dalaman. Until r ecently, they have been Turkey’s best kept secret.
Today, many of these courses open their doors only to those with a respectable handicap, and a game needs to be boo ked much in advance. Needless to say, on your visit here you’ll be treated as one of the golfing elite. Besides, it’s quite something to walk from a landscape of venerable Turkish buildings and lively streets into an endless field of gr een.
The Blue Voyage, as a sail by Turkish shores is called, is every bit as alluring as its name: azure waters, promising new shores and a sail on a most fascinating vessel - a gulet. A gulet looks rather like across between a well equipped hotel room and something on which you’d expect to find Sinbad the Sailor at the helm.
One major advantage of sailing aboard a gulet, apart from its idyllic charm, is the easy access it affords to secluded and sometimes deserted coves and bays. On the less deserted shores you can observe rustic settlements and areas that are no less pristine.
And of c ourse, you will also see the modern gems of the Turkish Riviera. It’s a cruise quit e different from any other. You are certain to return with many tales from distant lands.
The most common perception of Turkey - all domes and sultry sun - conspicuously ignores one of its incr easingly popular pursuits: skiing. Indeed, so firmly entrenched is the image of Turkey as a sort of far-eastern country, most forget that it is largely a European country and enjoys a continental climate that includes seasonal snow.
Turkey has several picturesque ski resorts located on slopes of forested mountains: very popular locales of Antalya and Bursa, the lesser known slopes of Bolu, the perennially chilly Kars and Erzurum, and the charming city of Kayseri.
Some might argue that Turkey’s resort facilities lack the degree of sop histication that some of Europe’s other ski resorts possess. But it offers something almost completely absent in its more famous counterparts: a flavour of the East. You will find that each place offers its own variety of kebab, an interesting folk culture and people who cherish it. A skiing holiday in Turkey is an experience that blends its dualistic nature (avant-garde Western and richly Eastern) with easy grace that is as subtle as it is enthralling .
The pinnacle of Byzantine architecture, this magnificently domed structure has, over the centuries, served as a Byzantine church and as an Ottoman mosque. Today, its exquisitely patterned mosaic walls and ceilings house a public museum.
For hundreds of years, the palace was home to the royal family and served as the headquarters of the Ottoman Empire, currently housing treasures such as Kasikci - an 86-carat diamond, a 3 kg. emerald and the bejewelled Topkapı dagger. Explore the Imperial Harem, with its occasional glimpse of distant minarets.
Built in the mid-19th century, the Dolmabahçe Palace occupies a waterfront site on the Bosphorus. Its most spectacular feature is the vast reception salon with 56 columns and the world’s largest crystal chandelier consisting of 750 bulbs. The Bird Pavilion, where birds from all over the world were once kept, is another attraction.
Galata Tower rises majestically over the Golden Horn estuary. It was used in turn by the Genoese, the Romans and the Ottomans. It found fame in the 17th century when Hezârfen Ahmet Celebi attached wings to his arms and flew from the Galata Tower to Üsküdar over the Bosphorus. Today, the landmark is a popular restaurant.
Off the coast from Üsküdar on the Asian side of Istanbul, on a small islet in the Bosporus lies the Leander Tower. Used as a lighthouse for centuries, the tower’s origins are shrouded in romantic legends. Today, the tower houses a restaurant and café that are two of Istanbul’s premiere fine dining spaces.
Stretching over four miles from the Sea of Marmara to the Golden Horn, the walls were built in the fifth century by Emperor Theodosius II. Its many towers and bastions make it the mightiest fortification in Europe. UNESCO has declared these walls and the area they enclose a World Heritage Site.
An archipelago of nine islands in the Sea of Marmara, they are known for their beautiful woods and beaches. Here you can witness modern Turkey’s multicultural society, similar to the social order that existed during the Ottoman Empire. These islands now offer an idyllic, hedonistic respite.
Located in the Eminönü district of Istanbul, near Gülhane Park and Topkapı Palace, this museum is well worth spending an afternoon in. It houses over a million objects that represent nearly all of the eras and civilisations in world history.
Constructed in the sixth century during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I, the Basilica Cistern provided the water filtration system for the Great Palace of Constantinople. It is the largest of the city’s ancient cisterns, with the capacity to store 1,00,000 tonnes of water.
With its massive central dome flanked by six slender minarets, this is the most impressive mosque in the city. Built during the Ottoman reign, it is decorated with more than 20,000 precious Iznik tiles which glow deep blue in the sunlight, giving the building its name.
This is the world’s largest miniature park, with 105 small scale models of architectural works from Istanbul, Anatolia and the Ottoman territories outside Turkey. These include the Temple of Artemis and the Mausoleum of Maussollos. In front of each is a multilingual audio guide and description.
This is a gigantic labyrinth with endless interlinking alleys. 80 streets house 4,000 shops which sell treasures to suit every taste and budget. Still the commercial centre of the old city, it provides an intriguing assortment of Turkish carpets, hand-painted ceramics, antique silver and Russian icons.
In the forested mountain above Ephesus is a modest stone house where the Virgin Mary lived her last days. It is believed that St. John brought Mary to this site after Christ’s crucifixion. The Vatican declared this a holy site in 1967. Today, the ruins are less than 65 km south of Izmir, and a short trip from the Kusadasi harbours.
Ephesus is a beautifully preserved classical city, and a perfect spot to soak in the atmosphere of Roman times, with its grand marble temples and intricate mosaics. The city’s splendid architecture was dedicated to the goddess Artemis, and her enormous temple was once considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
This World Heritage Site consists of white travertine cliffs, where warm calciumenriched mineral waters emerge from the ground. These waters are known for their curative powers, and make for a stunning sight.
Alacati is a town on the west coast of Turkey, an hour from Izmir, which is ideal for windsurfing and kitesurfing (Alacati Windsurfers’ Paradise), with its crystal clear water, steady wind (for an average of 300 days a year) and acclaimed Turkish hospitality.
Take a trip into the past, and meet ancient mariners who sailed around the world, or met their fate in a shipwreck off Anatolian shores. This museum is housed in a medieval castle built from the stones that were once part of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus.
As even seasoned paragliders will tell you, when it comes to aerial views, few come close to Ölüdeniz. This resort town lends even this rather daring sport an air of languid serenity.
At Lycia, Anatolia, you will see columned edifices that seem to have grown out of its rocky cliffs. These are the rock tombs of the Lycians that date back to 400 BC. A short boat trip will take you to the ruins of the trading city of Kaunos, the second leg of your journey into the past.
The Aegean Sea is most welcoming to divers. Warm, calm and almost completely free of tides and currents, it is as near perfection as a diving destination can be.
They are nature’s own spas. Many swear by the therapeutic effects of the mud baths of Dalyan, claiming it does everything from rejuvenate skin to cure illnesses. While there is no scientific evidence to prove either, one cannot deny the therapeutic effect of playing in the mud.
On the Mediterranean coast lies İztuzu Beach, near the village of the same name. This is a popular area for sunbathing and swimming. Interestingly enough, İztuzu, Dalyan’s Turtle Beach, was voted the best beach in the world in 1995.
This tiny resort town has the enviable honour of being one of the most photographed beaches in the Mediterranean. Its other claim to fame is its eponymous aquamarine lagoon. And even as the surrounding area develops rapidly, the lagoon remains untouched.
The coast of Dalyan belongs to the Caretta Caretta. These aquatic creatures have been frequenting the waters near Dalyan for 95 million years. You will still find this protected species here, except of course when they are nesting, for that is when the beach is closed.
An ancient city in Pamphylia, Aspendus is located 25 miles east of Antalya. Although it was founded by the Greeks around 1000 B.C., the range of coinage recorded throughout the ancient world shows that it was the most important city in Pamphylia in 5th century B.C.
Now a resort town on the southern Mediterranean coast of Turkey; Side was once an ancient Greek city in what is now known as Antalya. It is located on the eastern part of the Pamphylian coast and is one of Turkey’s most renowned heritage sites.
Formed by the river Düden, the Düden Waterfalls are a group of waterfalls located to the northeast of Antalya. Over 15 m deep and 20 m wide, the falls drop of the rocky cliff of the Taurus Mountains to flow into the Mediterranean Sea.
Designed by leading architects, the golf courses in Antalya are second to none in their quality, combining a challenging course with stunning landscapes; it provides an unforgettable golfing experience.
Notwithstanding its reputation as a fashionable resort, Antalya has an adventurous streak; as a ride on a raft amidst wild rapids will remind you. But despite the flurry and excitement, you will no doubt appreciate the breathtaking beauty of the cedar forests as you drift by.
Located in the resort region of Antalya, this is Europe’s longest cable car ride, at 4,350 m long. A mere half an hour away from the shores of the Mediterranean, it uniquely connects the coast with the slopes of Mount Tahtali, on which it was built.
Crossing dense forests and winding roads, the jeep safari is an adrenalin-filled ride that takes you through the Taurus Mountains. Drive through valleys and summits, stop by a riverside, and share a cup of tea with the local villagers.
Visit Myra, the hometown of Saint Nicholas, known more popularly as Santa Claus. Now called Demre, the city thrived as part of the Roman Empire and was considered one of the most important cities in ancient Lycia.
Float cloudlike over a strangely moon-like land. When it comes to taking in the beauty of the Cappadocian landscape, one is hard pressed to think of a means more apt, or more enchanting, than a hot-air balloon ride.
Dervishes are ascetics who have taken a vow of poverty. Witness the commemoration ceremony of Mevlevi’s Whirling Dervishes, called semâ. Directed by the chelebi, or sheik, the ceremony starts with a reading from the Koran, followed by their unique, graceful dance.
Discover Cappadocia’s landscape on horseback, as you ride through narrow paths and canyons. A UNESCO World Heritage site, this exhilarating nature trail takes you through local villages, ancient caves and frescoed churches.
Cappadocia is known for its several underground cities, with over a hundred underground settlements in the region. These are believed to have been used since the Bronze Age and in the Byzantine period, when invasions forced residents to build these cities.
The Mount Nemrut region in south eastern Turkey is home to architectural and sculptural pieces commemorating the first century B.C. kingdom of Antiochos I, son of the founder of the independent Commagene kingdom. At the peak of the mountain are eight- to ten-metre high statues representing Antiochos I and several gods and goddesses.
When it was announced that Erzurum would host the 25th Universiade Winter Games, it came as no surprise. For Erzurum is home to Palandöken. With fine-grained light powder snow, steep slopes and the longest ski trail in Turkey, this mountain is a favourite amongst skilled skiers.
Visit one of Turkey’s healing thermal springs and get a relaxing micro massage by doctor fish, also known as the Garra Rufa species of fish. These fish help treat skin diseases by feeding on dead skin areas, leaving you with healthy glowing skin.
Built in 1299, it is an ornately decorated mosque and medical complex in the mountain town of Divriği. Considered one of the most important works of architecture in Anatolia, it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985.
Belonging to the late Seljuk period, the Twin Minaret Madrasa is an architectural school a few years before 1265. It gets its name from the two fluted minarets that crown the monumental façade.
Located in northwest Anatolia, Troy is best known for being the focus of the Trojan War described in the Greek Epic Cycle. A UNESCO World Heritage site, today Troy is a small Turkish city supported by the tourists visiting the Troia archaeological site.
An ancient Greek city in modern day Turkey, it is located 16 miles from the Aegean Sea, north of the river Caicus. Credited for the invention of parchment, it was created by the Attalid dynasty during the mid-third century BC.
Visit the birthplace of St. Paul in Tarsus, now mostly a modern industrial and commercial city on Turkey’s eastern Mediterranean coast. Saint Paul, also called Paul of Tarsus is considered among the most notable of the early Christian leaders.
The Gaziantep Fortress stands in the centre of the city of Zeugma. The Archaeological Museum houses ancient collections from the Neolithic and the Hittite ages. A recent addition to its treasures, are the Roman mosaics from Zeugma.
Once a major Assyrian cultural, commercial and religious centre, Harran is a very ancient city located in southeast Turkey. A valuable archaeological site, the city was the chief home of the Mesopotamian moon god Sin, under the Assyrians and Neo-Babylonians.
Constructed in 1695, The Ishak Pasha Palace is one of the most distinguished examples of 18th century Ottoman architecture. Built at the side of a mountain 5 km east of Doğubeyazıt, it is one of the most famous palaces built in recent decades.
A Greek Orthodox monastery, the Sümela Monastery is a major tourist attraction in Altindere National Park, in Turkey. It stands at the foot of a steep cliff facing the Altindere valley at an altitude of approximately 1200 m.
It was Yeats’ Byzantium and the mighty Constantinople before it became the city we know today. Istanbul has worn many identities; and it has lent to each of them an aura of Eastern romance and exoticism.
Our representative will welcome you on your hard to guess why. arrival at Istanbul and escort you to your hotel. In the evening, take in the local flavours at one of the nightclubs by watching a belly dance performance or a folk show.
Today you will visit the heart of old Istanbul, the Sultanahmet district. This is home to T urkey’s most wellknown symbols. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque, or The Blue Mosque as it is better known as because of the blue tiles that adorn its interiors. The Hippodrome; the historic stadium where you will find the Egyptian obelisk and the serpent column from Delphi. The epicentre of scents and colour that is the Gr and Bazaar. And the legendary Hagia Sophia. If Hagia Sophia is closed ( as it is on Mondays ), you will visit the Chora Church with its famed mosaics and frescoes.
Take a half-day tour at noon. On this trip you will visit the Topkapı Palace, the principle residence of Turkish royalty from the 15th to the 19th century; and the Rüstem Pasha Mosque, known for its elabor ate Iznik tile decoration.
Today you will go on a half -day tour which will begin at Istanbul’s famous Spice Market . Next, embark on a cruise down the Bosphorus, a strait that connects the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. The cruise reveals the two identities of Turkey: Modern European and exotic Asian. On the cruise you will see the old Ottoman villas of Arnavutköy that contrast with the luxurious waterside apartments of Bebek, the massive Rumelihisarı, a fortress built by Fatih the Conqueror, the 19th century mansions of the Ottoman elite and the Sultan’s fanciful gingerbread palaces and hunting lodges.
After breakfast, travel to the airport to catch your flight back home
Its name is always prefixed with a ‘beautiful’. Its inhabitants delight in its treasures with the same enthusiasm as new visitors. Izmir is the darling of its countrymen. Visitors won’t find it hard to guess why.
Welcome to Izmir, the bountiful exporter of hazelnuts and sultanas, home to over 3 million of its countrymen and the birthplace of Homer. Our representative will greet you on your arrival her e and escort you to your hotel. Take a half-day city tour: you will see the R oman Agora, the museum of archaeology with its Hellenistic and Roman relics and Mount Pagos (or Kadifekale) with its impressive hilltop fortress.
Tour Ephesus, the trade centre of the ancient world and a religious centre of the early Christians. The ancient city of Ephesus is located in Selçuk, a small town near Kuşadası. Visit the Basilica of S t. John (it was believed that the great evangelist spent his last years around this area), the temple of Artemis ( one of the Seven Wonders of the antique world), and the House of Virgin Mary where Mary spent her last days. Lunch will be served at the local village of Şirince.
After breakfast, drive to Pamukkale. You will visit Hierapolis – the UNESCO World Heritage Site; and the hot springs of Pamukkale, a natural spa since the 2nd century B.C. The great baths were constructed with huge stone blocks, without the use of cement. The complex, an excellent example of vault-type architecture, is now an archaeological museum.
After breakfast, travel to the airport to catch your flight back home.
Watch the sunset at Turkey’s finest beach. Stroll in the company of rare turtles. Play around in mud baths. Dalaman and Dalyan offer an endless variety of ways to do nothing.
Our local representative will meet you on your arrival at Dalaman and escort you to your hotel.
Tour Dalyan, home to one of Turkey’s finest beaches and breeding ground of the Caretta Caretta (loggerhead turtle). You will travel the beach via boat along the river African Queen was filmed. In the cliff face above the river, you’ll see Lycian tombs carved out of rock. Next, it’s a trip to the therapeutic mud baths.
Lounge by the pool and laze ar ound your hotel: today is a day of rest.
After breakfast, travel to the airport and catch your flight back home.
Take four days to explore Cappadocia’s unique topography and subterranean networks. Get a glimpse of the region’s cultural life. And of course, take time off to simply gaze out into the distance.
Touch down at Kayseri or Nevşehir airport, where our local representative will meet you and escort you to your hotel. R est for a while, as your evening has much excitement in store if you choose to watch the traditional Semâ Show, or whirling dervish cer emony. Later, return to your hotel.
Spend the day exploring Cappadocia . First, the Devrent Valley, known for its striking lunar landscape. At Pasabag, earth pillars stand tall in the vineyar d. Pasabag Valley is where you will find some of the most intriguing fairy chimneys, some with twin and even triple rock caps. Stop for lunch at a cave restaurant. Next, a visit to the Göreme Valley, where the region’s finest painted cave churches carved from soft volcanic stone are yours to explore. End your exploration with a visit to Uchisar Natural Rock Castle. Spend the evening as you like.
After breakfast, set off to the Red Valley, where you can explore the hidden rock-cut churches in the valley. Next, hike to the Rose Valley, to explore its cave churches, tunnels and houses, and then to Cavusin, one of the oldest settlements in the area. Stop for lunch at Pigeons Valley. Continue to the citadel of Kaymaklı to explore the underground city, and then to Ortahisar Citadel. Return to your hotel.
Indulge in a hearty br eakfast before you set off to Kayseri or Nevşehir airport to catch your flight home.
Step back in time to the age of kings and heroes. Explore the ancient seaside kingdom of Antalya, where centuries of culture and natural beauty set the stage for an unforgettable holiday.
Arrive at Antalya, where our representative will meet you and escort you to your hotel. Spend the evening exploring the several facilities of your hotel, or take a stroll on the beach.
Spend a part of the day discovering Antalya’s cultural heritage. Stop by at the M useum of Archaeology and Ethnography, Hadrian’s Gate, the Inner Bailey ( also known as Kaleici), Yivli Minare and Yivli Mosque.
Today, you will take a full- day tour of the ancient cities of Side, Perge and Aspendos. At Side (which means pomegranate) and Aspendos, visit the enormous, ancient theatres. Perge served as the capital of the Pamphylia region, and is now completely in ruins.
After a substantial breakfast, head to the airport to catch your flight home.
This seaside town in southwest Turkey is the perfect getaway for those who love nature and the sea. Spend four sunny days in exploration.
Welcome to Bodrum. Our representative will meet you and escort you to your hotel. You are free to spend the rest of the day exploring the ar ea on your own.
Spend half the day discovering the city. Visit the Castle of St. Peter, arguably the city ’s most wellknown monument. Here, you will stop by at Bodrum Underwater Museum where you can view shipwrecks and ancient artefacts.
Today is yours to do with as you please. Explore the area around your hotel, go shopping or swimming, hire a boat or sample the fare at the local restaurants.
After you’ve had a substantial breakfast, travel to the airport to catch your flight home.