Turkey is paradise country that is on every travelers bucket list. This fascinating land is spread out over two continents and is surrounded by sea from all three sides with pristine mountain ranges that lay parallel to the length of the 8000 km long coastline. The country is engulfed with the Mediterranean Sea to its south, Aegean Sea to its west and Black sea to its north and shares its border with eight countries. This land has been home for twenty fascinating civilizations and history that dates back over 10000 years and excavations are done even now to solve ancient mysteries.
Popularly known to be the best destination for its cultural and rich historical abundance, it is famous for its natural richness with high peaks, extensive coastlines and tranquil lakes. The country also offers a relaxed holiday in it’s never ending beaches and is also a destination that offers delicious, mouth-watering and varied cuisines.
Turkey houses some of the most unique world heritage sites that would leave you in awe – from the fairy chimney houses curved on the rocks in Cappadocia, beholding the age old Byzatine architecture of Istanbul, Kaleichi Camii, a mosque built in 1618 in Kusadasi, to the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, and the hot air balloon festival in Cappadocia, the list of sites is varied and breathtaking.
Whether you are an art lover, a historian, archeologist, nature lover or party goers, Turkey has everything to offer to make your holiday memorable. It is hardly a surprise why millions visit this destination which is ideal for a holiday.
Best Time to Visit
Turkey is a destination that savors and delights tourists all round the year but to enjoy some peace and to escape the warm summers, the ideal time to visit Turkey is during the spring season between April and June, especially in the Aegean and Mediterranean coast as the beaches are less populated and the weather is ideal. The autumn season months of September and October are also great to beat the crowds and enjoy the destination in its splendor.
How to Get There
Turkey is an easily accessible destination via Flight, Cruise, Train, and Bus or by Car. It has various airlines with regular flights to Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, Antalya, Adana, Trabzon and Dalaman from all the major cities around the world. It has two international airports in Istanbul which are connected via Bosporus link. For Indian tourists, there are direct flights from Mumbai and Delhi to Istanbul.
Turkey is surrounded by sea and major cruiseliners include Istanbul and Izmir in their Eastern Mediterranean itineraries.
You can also take direct train from major cities in Europe till Istanbul. There are also direct bus services between Turkey and France, Austria, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Greece and Holland in Europe and Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Syria in Asia.
Must See Places in Turkey
Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and is also the historical heart of the country. The city has been named as the European Capital of Culture and is amongst the top 10 of the best tourist destinations in the world to visit. The city draws the attention of its visitors for its historic embezzle with Byzantine structures and Ottoman mosques along with its richness in cultural and entertainment options spread across the city’s natural harbour with happening restaurants, bars, galleries and clubs.
The large number of Neolithic artifacts which dates back to 7th century BC are found across the city making it a partial world heritage site by UNESCO. The Hagia Sophia built by emperor Justinian in 537 BC and The Blue Mosque with its 260 windows that provides the light and magnificent blue tiles are two of the top sights in Istanbul. Topkapi Palace amongst others is another sight to behold because of its beauty and the holy relics found within the 600 years old Ottoman architecture. The Grand Bazaar with its long lines of unending stalls is an experience to behold. The Hippodrome, which has been the home for chariot races for 1000 years is also worth visiting. An evening sunset boat ride on the Bosporus which offers panoramic views of the spectacular city and views of both the continents, is an experience to cherish.
Situated in Central Turkey, Cappadocia is a dry plateau which is famous all over the world for its moon-like landscape, fairy chimneys, underground churches and ancient troglodyte homes. One who sets foot in Cappadocia would gladly claim that he has ventured into the world of Star Wars. Situated on a high plateau this amazing curvy mushroom houses were build by humans thousands of years ago and that’s not it, this tunnel houses has been an underground city with as much as seven levels of floor underneath.
Enjoy and experience of a life inside the cave by staying at any of the cave hotels and be the prospector of the hot air balloon festival that would definitely make you feel being the Alice in Wonderland. Hike in this amazing volcanic valleys admiring the ancient art of Byzantine architecture or be the spectator of the incredible ancient art.
A small resort town on the Aegean’s coast, Kusadasi has everything for a complete holiday – it’s a centre of art & culture, offers beautiful beaches and a vibrant nightlife with numerous bars and restaurants. Just miles away from Izmir which is the largest metropolitan city in Turkey, it is a destination filled with lazy beach time, boat rides, scuba diving, Turkish baths and ancient historical monuments. Its most famous tourist spot is the SEVEN CHURCHES of the APOCALYPSE and the most famous festival is the Selcuk Camel Wrestling Festival that is held every year in December or January.
Ephesus is a city whose history goes back to 3000BC and one of the most magnificent among all. The birthplace of the great philosopher Heraclitus and was the pilgrimage center for Cybele, Artemis and Virgin Mary. The city has been home for civilizations like Amazons, Greeks, Lydians, and Romans etc. which is why you can see the traces of all mixed into one wonderful old city.
Few of the most notable places that should be in the top of your list during your visit to Ephesus are Basilica of St. John built in 6th century AD, the Temple of Artemis which is one of the seven wonders of the world, the Library of Celsus that once had the capacity to hold 12000 scrolls, the Ephesus theatre that had the capacity of holding 25000 spectators at a time and countless others that would just awe you at every other glance.
Pamukkale meaning cotton castle in Turkish is one of the top attractions mainly because of its cotton look terraces that has been house of the Greco-Roman and Byzantine city of Hierapolis. Spread out over 2700 meters, this valley of white castle can be even seen from the opposite side of the valley. It is said that the extraordinary look of the destination is not the only reason to attract so many tourists from all around the world but also for its health and wellness benefit, where the waters in the valley cures many diseases.
Recommended One week Itinerary for Turkey
Day 1 - Istanbul
Pick up from the airport and transfer to hotel. Gather your keys from the check-in counter and the rest of the day is completely yours. An overnight stay and you can explore Istanbul.
Day 2 - Istanbul
Guided tour to Topkapi palace(closed on Monday), Hippodrone, Blue Mosque, Aya Sophia Museum(close on Tuesday), underground cistern, Grand Bazaar (close on Sunday). Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 3 - Bosphorus & Two Continents
Pick-up from your hotel at 8.30am for an awesome trip to Bosphorus and Asian part of Istanbul. Cruise ride in Bosphorus, lunch and a visit to Dolmabache Palace, Bosphorus Bridge and Asian side. Pick up from hotel for a flight to Kusadasi
Day 4 - Ephesus & House of Virgin Mary
Pick-up at 8.30am from hotel for a tour to ancient city of Ephesus, Virgin Mary’s house, Temple of Diana, Temple of Hadrian, Library of Celcius and Serapis. Lunch in Selcuk. Trip to Last abode of Virgin Mary and Temple of Artemis. Overnight stay in Kusadasi.
Day 5 - Kusadasi & Cappadocia
A day tour on your own till flight time. Pick up from hotel and flight to Cappadocia. Overnight in Cappadocia.
Day 6 - Cappadocia
Pick-up from hotel at 9.30am for a tour to Red valley (4km hiking), Rose Valley(visiting churches), Cavusin(Old Christian Village). Lunch in Pigeon Valley, Kaymakli (underground city) and Ortahisar Castle. Overnight in Cappadocia.
Day 7 - Cappadocia
Pick-up in 9.30am and tour to Devrent Valley, Monk’s Valley, Avanos (lunch), Gerome open air museum, Uchisar. Night flight to Istanbul. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 8 - Istanbul
Check-out to Ataturk Airport after breakfast.
About Odyssey Travels
Odyssey Travels is a leading IATA accredited Travel Company, established in 1992. We specialize in planning customized holidays in India and abroad for our clients which includes air ticketing, worldwide hotel reservations, inclusive tours, sightseeing activities, visa assistance & travel insurance services. For further information or to make a booking contact 020-66442929 or visit http://www.odysseytravels.net/