Bespoke holidays and honeymoons to Turkey – city breaks, gulet cruises, beach hotels, family villas and adventure holidays.
Jules visited Turkey (Istanbul and the Bodrum peninsula) in April 2015 so ask her for advice on your Turkey holiday!
With wonderful coastlines, clear seas, amazing scenery and steeped in history (and no Euros!), Turkey has been a favourite holiday destination for decades. But did you know there are some incredible facts and figures about Turkey which are little known to the average tourist …. many people consider Greece to be the place to go for ancient ruins and history, but actually it was Turkey that was the foundation of the original Hellenic Civilisation which saw rulers such as King Midas and the Garden of Eden in the Book of Genesis was said to be watered by a river which gave rise in the mountains of Eastern Turkey. The first church built by man is in Antioch (Antakya) and the oldest known human settlement is said to be in Catalhoyuk which dates from the 8th Millennium BC. The famous Trojan Wars took place in Western Turkey where there is a site today of the Trojan horse.
Istanbul is the only city in the world built on two continents and was named by the EU as the European Capital of Culture in 2010, why not take a city break to Istanbul, or include it in your travels around Turkey? This ancient Byzantium city was once home to the Emperor Constantine and Ottoman sultans and has a huge array of important buildings and modern galleries and museums. Make sure you visit the magnificent Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace plus of course a spot of haggling in the Grand Bazaar! The Sirkeci Train Station in the city was the last stop of the Orient Express (known as the ‘kings of trains and train of kings) which ran from 1883 to 1977 between Paris and Constantinople.
In the early 80’s tourists started to visit Turkey in large numbers and it was then not commercial at all. Now there are some large busy resorts which are best avoided if you want to experience the real Turkey (though if you have a young family you may enjoy some of the larger hotel resorts). The shores of Turkey are lined with gorgeous beaches and harbours, many of them having blue flag status with some of the best beaches being at Belek, Patara and Oludeniz. The largest and liveliest resort with a vibrant nightlife is probably Antalya with it’s palm lined streets, great beaches and lovely marina.
Along the coast and inland, we have a range of gorgeous owner run guest houses and villas. Get in touch with your requirements and we can find you a villa to suit your party size in the right location. Eating out and groceries in Turkey are relatively cheap, so self catering is a good option. Here are a selection of Turkish Villas.
The Turks are amazingly friendly people and love to welcome you to their boutique hotels and guest houses or show you the sights of their ancient country. The Turquoise Coast from Marmaris to Dalyan, was the ancient kingdom of Lycia and there are thousands of rock tombs to be seen, especially around Dalyan and Fethiye. There is a natural harbour and good scuba diving facilities at Fethiye which sits on a secluded bay forming a natural marina. The coast around Kalkan and Kas have a fertile river delta and a rich history with clear waters and miles of beaches. Diving in the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas offers a variety of locations with warm, clear waters. There are underwater tunnels, caves and rocky pinnacles with several wrecks along the coast too.
To the west along the Aegean Coast, you are almost close enough to touch some of the Greek islands and this is one of Turkey’s prettiest areas with small resorts and fishing villages. Visit Ephesus for some of the best preserved sites in the world. The history of this region includes the Trojan War, poems of Homer and King Midas (of the ‘Golden Touch’). Enjoy a luxury Gulet Cruise such as the Queen of Karia from Bodrum.
You can of course experience all manner of Turkish baths & spas around the country, one of the best being the thermal spa in the therapeutic waters of Pamukkale on the Aegean coast, and it’s unique ‘cotton castle’. The mud baths and sulphur pools of Dalyan are also a must do.
Cappadocia is a great area for history and adventure in a lunar landscape, you can even float over this incredible region in a hot air balloon. This is a unique natural landscape of solf colcanic rock which has been sculptured by the elements and resulted in mystical rock formations all around the region. The famous ‘fairy chimneys’ and rose tinted gorges are like nowhere else on earth. Stay in a cave hotel here!
Turkey is a great place for a foodie holiday. Eating out in Turkey is a pleasure with loads of mezes, salads and kebabs, vegetarian food and beans, filo pastry and cheeses and their favourite meat dish a tandoor lamb. Meals here are good value and local drinks such as Efes beer or Raki spirits are available everywhere. Traditional Turkish restaurants often display huge dishes and displayed buffet style to select your own choice, these are authentic local places and a must do. Did you know that the Turks introduced cherries and coffee to Europe? They also introduced tulips to the Netherlands! Make sure you head for the markets and street cafes and experience local food here.
If you love the water and want to be based on a boat, book a sailing holiday on a traditional Gulet fishing boat with cabins and sail around the gorgeous coastline, ask us about Gulet cruises around Turkey. Queen of Karia is a luxury boat which we can charter.
There are plenty of group adventure holidays here too involving kayaking, canyoning, river rafting (through Antalya National Park), cycling and more. There are great walking trails all over the country and for a challenge, there is a trek up to Mount Arrarat, Turkey’s highest peak, where it is said that Noah’s Ark landed. The Taurus Mountains provide a spectacular backdrop to much of the inland regions.
Turkey is a great place for a Natural History holiday with a rich fauna and flora. There are around 9000 species of flowers here of which 3000 are endemic (found no where else). You can try and see the protected Loggerhead Turtles near Dalyan and go walking in the mountains for a great variety of bird and plant life.
If you would like to join a group escorted tour with a local guide to show you the detail of the sights and history, there are lots of options to choose from (see Classic Turkey for an ideal overview). Most group tours can also be done as a tailor made itinerary if you would like a private guide and anything can be tweaked to suit whichever hotels, locations and activities you want to include. There are so many varieties of tours and tailor made options around Turkey, it’s best to get in touch and let us guide you around the options and put together the perfect holiday for you. So, whether you want a group adventure holiday, a family beach holiday or a cultural exploration, Turkey has something for everyone.
Give us a call now on 01728 748209 or complete the enquiry form and we will book your next holiday to Turkey!
Some photos courtesy of Turkish Culture and Tourism Office.