Where would you like to spend your holiday this year? Are you looking for vast, endless beaches, and a gentle, yet sun-drenched climate amidst bewitching natural beauty? Are you interested in historical treasures? And along with all these, are comfort and reasonable prices important to you? Turkey offers you all of these. This ideal place to spend your holiday is beautiful country surrounded by seas (the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, the Aegean, and the Sea of Marmara) with 8333 km of coastline around a land that unites Europe and Asia.
Along with its bbountiful sunshine, which lasts for eleven months of the year, and its rich natural beauty, Turkey has also been the cradle of the world’s oldest civilizations.
Since most visits to Turkey begin with İstanbul, that is where we shall begin.
‘’There God, man nature and art have together created and placed the most marvellous view that the human eye can contemplate on earth’’
İstanbul was the capital city of both the Byzantine and Otoman Empires and retains impressive reminders of both. İn this city of minarets rising up on both sides of the İstanbul Bogazi (Bosphorus) you can live at one and the same time between east and west. At every step you will be amazed by its natural beauty and historical richness.
After İstanbul, you may continue your journey eastwards into the heart of Aatolia to the capital, Ankara, or along the Black Sea Coast, or southward along the Agean scoast to the Mediterranean.
İf you follow the Sea of Marmara eastward on your jorney from İstanbul, the hıghway which circles it will bring you to Bursa. Alternatively, you can maket this journey in part by ferry boat to Yalova on the southern Marmara shore and then complete the 60 km to Bursa passing through the famous peach orchards of the province. İt was here that the first capital of the Ottoman Empire was founded by Orhangazi in 1326, and it is here too that amidst lovely natural natural surroundings you can see the first examples of typical Ottoman archıtectural style. Bursa is also a famous thermal center.
On the Agean coast, which can ne reached from Bursa, you find at almost every step the remains of ancient civilizations from various periods of Anatolian history.
Close to the entrance of the Çanakkale Bogazi (the Dardanelles), in the province of Çanakkale, is Homer’s Troy (Truva), where excavations have brought to light the riches of nine different settlements, one on top of another. The inhabitants of these nine settlements show a high level of civilization that stretches back to 3,000 B.C.
Continue your journey through the wonderful holiday towns of Akçay, Ören, Ayvalık and Foça anf you arrive at the ‘’pearl ‘’ of the Aegean, İzmir. Such is the beauty of the area, and the totally relaxıng atmosphere, that the holidaymaker abandons all sense of time. Just 80km west of İzmr is Çesme, famous for its thermal waters and sparkling clear sea.
In this rich region you can visit the famous ‘Arcadian Way’ in Ephesus, lined with elegant, marbel columns. Nearby is the small house where the Virgin Mary is reputed to have spent her last days. Not far from both is the popular resort of Kusadasi or ‘Bird İsland’ where you can reste awhile by the beautiful turquoise waters of the Aegean.
From Kuşadasi you can turn inland toward Denizli, which is near Pamukkale (‘’Cotton Castle’’). Here, thermal spring waters laden with calcium have run off the plateau’s edge, creating a cascade of petrified basins-an extraordinary and marvelous natural work art. The waters have been popular since Roman times for their therapeutic powers, and just behind the basins are the ruins of ancient Hierapolis.
Backtracking to rejoin the Aegean road that continues southwards, we find the great lonian cities of Priene, Miletus ana Didyma, which witnessed some of the great advances of human culture.
Continuing south to the Gulf of Gökova, we come to the lively and popular seaside resort of Bodrum, known in ancient times as Halicarnassus, dominated by a castle built by the Knights of Rhodes. Marmaris, further to the South, can easily be reached by road, but if you really want to savor the full pleasure of this beautiful coastline, take a ‘Blue Voyage’yacht tour. Marmaris is a tourist’s paradise set in deep fjord-like inlet where the pine forests come right down to the shoreline of the beautiful bay lined with comfortable hotels and small guest-houses serving delicious seafood. Its fully-equipped yacht marina is able to accommodate private yachts and there are numerous for charter.
Endless blue sea bathed in sunshine…orange groves, banana plantations, forests of palm and pine that splash the foothills of the Toros Mountains in a rainbow of colors with sandy beaches stretching mile after mile…this is the Turkish Mediterranean. The Mediterranean also has much of historical interest from the ancient theaters of Aspendos, Termessos and Side, to the many Works and monuments that date back to Seljuk times.
Kale (ancient Myra), near Antalya, is the place where St. Nicholas lived and where every year a commemrative St. Nicholas festival is held. Travelling eastward from Antalya, one reaches Alanya, an attractive holiday town built around a magnificent Seljuk castle.
The road continues eastwards, through Anamur, Silifke, Mersin and İskenderun, and is spectacularly beautiful, with pine-clad mountain slopes plunging down to the Mediterranean. From İskenderun the road leads to Antakya, the biblical Antioch, where the diciples were first called ‘’Christians’’. The famous mosaic museum here is the world’s second largest.
Leaving the sunny Mediterranean behind and cutting inland to the heart of Anatolia, one arrives at the capital of modern Turkey, Ankara. Situated near Akara’s historical castle is the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations where relics of the world’s oldest cultures are displayed.
Konya is the home of one of the great Moslem mystic movements. İt was here that the mystic poet and thinker Mevlana founded the sect of Mevlevis known to the West as the ‘’ Whirling Dervishes’’. Here, too, are the best examples of Seljuk architecture in mosques, baths, caravanserais, and medreses.
From Konya, the road leads to Göreme-for many, the high point of a holiday in Turkey. There is no other place like this on earth. Wind and rain have eroded the brittle volcanic tuff of this region into a spectacular, bizarre land scape of rock coes, rock-capped pinnacles (known as fairy chimneys), and fretted ravines. Man, too, has left his mark here by carving dwellings, churches and indeed whole underground cities. The churches are famous for their frescoes, many of which are stil in an excelent state of preservation. Göreme is also well-known for its excellent grapes and wines, carpets and pottery.
Upper Mesopotamia, once the cradle of the world’s greatest civilizations, is in Turkey’s southest region. Here the cities of Diyarbakir, Mardin and Şanli Urfa are each famous for architecture: Diyarbakir for its massive black basalt walls; Mardin for its strikind, white, medieval architecture (unique to this city); Şanli Urfa for ancient relics and nearby Harran.
Among the mountains of Adıyaman at a height of almost 2150 m. is Mount Nemrut on whose peak the spectacular, toppled statues of gods lie. These were erected 2,000 years ago fort he Commagene King Antiochus I.
Farther to the east, in an area of incredibly beautiful mountain scenery is the old Urartian capital of Van. Rhe old city is one on the shore of Lake Van, the largest lake in Turkey.
In the shadow of Mount Agri (Ararat) at Dogubayazit is the intriguing Mosque and Palace of İshak Paşa, built in the 17 century, while to the west in Erzurum and Sivas are many Works of Seljuk art and architecture.
From Eastern Turkey, our jorney takes us to the Black Sea with its mild climate, dense greenery, hazelnut groves and tea plantations. Near Trabzon, on a sheer rock face, is the monastery of Sumela. Built in the 14th century, it is an an impressive location and has interesting frescoes.
Along this long, historically rich coastline are the towns of Giresun, the home of the cherry tree, and Sinop, where the great Cynic philosopher Diogenes was born. At Safranbolu, the best examples of typical Turkish architectural style are found. At Akçakoca, İnkum, Çakraz am-nd Amasra are pleasant sandy beaches, well-served by guest houses. In sumer, boats frequently ply the Black Sea coast from İstanbul, an excellent way to see this coastline.
İstanbul is likely to be the place where you will complete a tour of Anataolia.
With its many Works of art including towers, churches, museums, mosques, palaces and fountains, İstanbul is a living axhibition of Byzantine and otoman achievement. It is also is also ideal for resting after an arduous tour. You can take peaceful boat trips along the Istnbul Boğazi (Bosphorus), stopping at one of the many pleasant villages that line its shores, and lunch or dine at a local fish resaturant.
Turkey-a land rich in history, folklore and nature, complemented by the outstanding hospitality of its people is a country that, once experienced, is a certain to be visited again.
Travel in Turkey
Most of the world’s major cities have flights to İstanbul, Ankara, İzmir, Adana, Antalya and Dalaman International Airports. There are also charter flights to these airports, and internal flights to many popular tourist areas.
Internally, travel is by train, coach and car, in addition to flights between İstanbul, Ankara and the main cities. In recent years, foreign travel agents have been operating ‘’Blue Voyage’’ yacht cruises along the Aegean coast. These 7- or 15-day cruises are offered as part of holiday charters from London, Paris, Rome, Munich, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Berlin, Stockholm, Oslo, Helsinli, Amsterdam, Tel Aviv, Vienna, Copenhagen, Brussels, Zurich and Madrid. Trains run to Syria, Iran and Iraq.
Those wishing to come to Turkey by car can do so Via Greece or Bulgaria. In summer months, traveling by car is quite easy. In winter, travel has been greatly eased with snow- clearing systems.
Coach travel is the principal form of travel within Turkey. Every day, almost every hour, coaches run between the main cities and towns. With its 8,333 km coastline, Turkey is also well-served by sea transportation.
Turkey is a country so full of diverse scenery, climate and historical monuments, that a traveler is sometimes overwhelmed by the choice of places to visit.
Therefore, some itineraries have been suggested below. For assistance in organizing your route consult any private travel agency organizing package tours in Turkey.
İstanbul is the obvious place to start your tour. It is a fascinating city rich in historical treasures left from its days as the capital of the Byzantine and subsequently, Otoman Empire. There are also many places of natural beauty, The Bosphorus being one of the most popular.
THE UNFORGETTABLE MARVELS OF THE AGEAN
1st day depart from İstanbul to Canakklae via Tekirdağ and Eceabat
2nd day the ruins of Truva(Troy), Behramkale (Assos) and the Gulf of Edremit (olive Riviera)
Spend the 3rd day in Ayvalik, visit the ruins of Bergama(Pergamon)
4th day in Izmir.
5th day, visit the ruins of Efes(Ephesus) then go on to Kusadasi.
6th day, in Kusadasi visit the ruins of Priene, Miletus and Didyma.
7th day route to Pamukkale, visit Aphrodisias.
8th day in Bodrum.
9th day in Marmaris.
10th day visit the ruins of Knidos and the resort town Datça.
11th day, Marmaris visit the ruins of Kaunos and the canal of Dalyan.
12th day in Fethiye, sail to Gocek Gulf.
15th day transfer to Dalaman Airport and fly to İstanbul.
TOUR II THE TURQUOISE MEDITERRANEAN
1st day, fly from İstanbul to Antalya,
2nd day, visit the ancient mountain city of Termessos and historical Karain Cave.
3rd day, in Kemer.
4th day, visit the ruins of Phaselis and Olympos.
5th day, visit the towns of Kale (Myra) , Kaş (Antiphellos), Kalkan and Patara.
6th day visit the ruins of Perge and Aspendos en route to Side.7th day, in Side.
8th day, journey to wonderful Koprulu Canyon National Park.
9th day, in Alanya.
10th day, stop at Anamur and Aydincik on the way to Tasucu,
11th day up into the mountains, visit the ruins of Uzuncaburç.
12th day leave Taşucu, visit the ruins of Korykos, the grottos of Cennet and Cehennem (Heaven and Hell), and Kanlıdivane, then to Mersin.
13th day depart for Antakya via Tarsus, the birthplace of St. Paul.
14th day transfer from Antakya to Adana Airport, fly to İstanbul.
TOUR III PASTORAL CENTRAL ANATOLIA
1st day, depart from İstanbul to Ankara via Lake Abant.
2nd day, in Ankara visit the capital of Turkey.
3rd day, on the way to Amasya visit Hattuşaş, the ancient capital of the Hittites, Alacahöyük and Şapinuva (Ortaköy).
4th day depart for Sivas via Tokat.
5th day in Kayseri.
6th day in Nigde.
7th day, in the fantastic Goreme region (ancient Cappadoica).
8th day in Goreme visit the Kaymaklı and Derinkuyu underground cities.
9th day, visit the Ihlara Valley and the friendly town of Guzelyurt en route to Konya.
10th day in Konya.
11th day depart Konya for Egirdir via Beysehir Lake.
12th day in Eskisehir visit Gordion, the ancient capital of the Phryhgians and th city of Midas en route.
13th day, depart from Eskisehir to Iznik, visit the beautiful town of Sogut en route.
14th day to Bursa,
15th day depart from Bursa to İstanbul via Yalova.
TOUR IV – THE VERDANT BEAUTY OF THE BLACK SEA REGION
1st day, depart from İstanbul to Şile via Polonezkoy.
2nd day on the way to Akcakoca visit the resort towns of Agva, Kerpe, Kefken and Karasu.
3rd day, depart from Akcakoca to Bartin via Ereğli and Zonguldak.
4th day from Bartin visit Safranbolu, the open air museum of Turkish architecture.
5th day, on the way to Inebolu visit the resort towns of Inkum, Amasra , Çakraz, Kurucaşile and Cide.
6th day on the way to Sinop visit the towns of Abana, Çatalzeytin and Ayancik.
7th day, in Samsun.
8th day drive along the panoramic coastal road to Giresun via Unye, Fatsa, Yalıkoy and Ordu.
9th day in Trabzon.
10th day, visit the magnificent Monastery of Sumela.
11th day, departure from Trabzon to Rize, visit tea plantations en route.
12th day, explore the Kaçkar Mountains and Paradise Valley with lakes, springs and mountain villages.
13th day, depart from Rize to Hopa visiting Sarp Village.
14th day, in Hopa visit the romantic, wild Çoruh Valley and the city of Artvin.
15th day, transfer from Hopa to Trabzon Airport and fly to İstanbul.
TOUR V – ADVENTURE IN EASTERN ANATOLIA
1st day fly from İstanbul to Erzurum.
2nd day, in Erzurum.
3rd day, depart from Erzurum to Kars via Sarıkamış.
4th day, visit the ruins of Ani and on the way to Doğubayazit pass along the foothhills of Biblical Mount Ararat (Agri).
5th day , visit the spectacular location of the well-preserved reamins of Ihsak Paşa Palace.
6th day depart from Dogubayazit to Van, visit the Van Castle at sunset.
7th day, visit Akdamar Island.
8th day, tour Lake Van, visit the ruins of Adilcevaz, Ahlat and Mt. Nemrut Crater Lake.
9th day, depart from Van to Diyarbakir via Bitlis.
10th day, from Diyarbakir to quaint city of Mardin.
11th day, depart from Nemrut Dag.
12th day, depart fort he city of Sanli Urfa.
13th day, visit biblical of Harran where Abraham lived for a time before proceeding on to Canan.
14th day, depart from Sanli Urfa to Gazi Antep.
15th day,transfer to Gazi Antep Airport and fly to İstanbul.
TOUR VI- MARATHON OF NATURAL WONDERS
1st day fly from İstanbul to Ankara
2nd day depart from Ankara to goreme via Salt Lake.
3rd day in Goreme
4th day in Konya.
5th day in Alanya.
6th day in Antalya, visit the ruins of side, Aspendos and Perge en route.
7th day in Kemer.
8th day drive along the beautiful Lycian Peninsula to Fethiye via Phaselis, Finike, kaş and Kalkan.
9th day, depart from Fethiye to Marmaris via Koycegiz Lake.
10th day in Bodrum.
11th day spend a colorful day in Bodrum.
12th day in Kuşadası, visit the ruins of Didyma,Miletus and Priene en route.
13th day in Pamukkale, visiting Aphrodisias
14th day in Izmir, visiting Efes en route.
15th day transfer to Adnan Menderes Airport and fly to İstanbul.
TOUR VII – CROSSROADS OF CIVILIZATIONS
1st day fly from İstanbul to Samsun,
2nd day drive along the coastal road to Trabzon.
3rd day in Trabzon, visit the plantations en route.
4th day depart from Trabzon to Erzurum via Zigana Pass.
5th day in Erzurum
6th day depart from Erzurum to Kars via Sarikamis.
7th day visit the ruins of Ani,
And on the way to Dogubayazit pass along the foothills of biblical Mount Ararat (Agri).
8th day depart from Dogubayazit to Van.
9th day in Van, visiting Akdamar Island.
10th day depart from Van to Diyarbakir via Bitlis.
11th day depart to the city of Sanli Urfa.
12th day visit biblical Harran.
13th day depart for Nemrut Dagi, the mausoleum of King Antiochus an done of the wonders of Turkey.
14th day depart for Malatya.
15th day transfer to Malatya Airport and fly to Istanbul