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13 destinations in Turkey that you must visit

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Of our travels so far, Turkey is my favourite country! With crystal blue waters, warm weather and some amazing wonders of the world, how could it not! Fortunately all the main attractions can be reached by travelling in a loop, either clockwise or anti-clockwise. We chose to travel in a clockwise direction, starting and ending in Istanbul.

Istanbul + Buyukuda 2 (800x600)

 

13 destinations in Turkey that you must visit

We were very fortunate to spend an amazing 9 weeks immersing ourselves in the culture and falling in love with Turkey’s coastline. Below I have listed the main attractions and attempted to suggest the amount of time to spend at each. However, of course if you have more time up your sleeves, then stay as long as you can at each destination.

 

Istanbul

While in Istanbul, I highly recommend visiting Buyukuda Island. Suggested time: at least 2 nights in Istanbul

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Cappadocia

You can choose to either fly or bus to Cappadocia from Istanbul, we found cheap flights which cost a similar price to the buses. Suggested time: Spend at least 3 days in Cappadocia.

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Antalya

You can catch an overnight bus from Cappadocia which you can book upon your arrival to Cappadocia.  There isn’t much to do in Antalya, but if you are looking for a big night out at the bars, this is the place to visit. Suggested time: Spend 1 day in Antalya.

 

Olympos

It has an eternal flame, which is a natural wonder that you can take a night tour to, or if you are up for an adventure then you can walk there – we did! The tombs are unbelievable and the water is great for snorkelling. We even saw phosphorescent plankton one evening – It looked amazing through our mask and snorkel! Suggested time: Spend at least 2 days in Olympos.

 

Kas

If you are fit and up for an adventure, catch the ferry to the other side of the harbour and take it as far as you can, then snorkel the rest of the way to the underwater plane wreck! We saw a tonne of huge turtles on the way and even if you can’t freedive, you can still see the plane while snorkelling from the surface (on a clear day). Moss was freediving next to the scuba divers! Suggested time: spend one day in Kas.

 

Fethiye

From Fethiye you can step aboard a 7 day sail Turkey cruise with V-Go Yachting. We also highly recommend a day trip to Saklikent. Suggested time: have one full day to explore, plus 7 days for sail Turkey.

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Marmaris

It is a popular destination for Brittish tourists and we did not like it. Suggested time: stay a maximum of one day in Marmaris.

 

Rhodes Island (Greece)

You can catch the ferry to Rhodes Island from either Fethiye or Marmaris. The island is part of Greece and even though it is cheaper to visit for a day trip, we highly recommend riding a scooter around the island. The entrance to the harbour is also known for the Colossus of Rhodes wonder of the world. Suggested time: stay for at least 2 days.

 

Datca & Knidos

It is hard to find budget accommodation in Datca, so Airbnb might be your best choice. We hired a scooter and did a day trip to the ancient ruins in Knidos. Suggested time: Give yourself a full day to explore Knidos.

 

Bodrum

As well as being home to the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus wonder of the world, Bodrum also has an amazing underwater museum located inside a castle! Suggested time: Give yourself a full day in Bodrum.

 

Ephesus (Efes)

While Ephesus may make most people think of the local Efes beer, it is also a historic site containing a wonder of the world, the Temple of Artemis. It attracts a huge number of tourists and is very impressive. Suggested time: Give yourself half a day to explore the ruins.

 

Pamukkale

A magical place that is truly one of a kind. It is inland from Izmir therefore you can choose when it suits you best to visit. It costs 25TL per person to enter Pamukale and gives you entrance to Hierapolis archaeological site which is certainly worth a look! Suggested time: one full day to explore (we wish we were there from sunrise to sunset).

 

Canakkale & Galippoli

For those fellow Australian’s and New Zealander’s, Galippoli is where the ANZACs battled with the Turks. I highly recommend a day tour – we joined one in Canakkale and the ANZAC Hotel was fantastic accommodation that did not break the bank! From Canakkale you can also visit Troy, however in my opinion the smaller version of the wooden horse in Cannakkale looks cooler. Suggested time: one full day with a paid tour.

Cannakale2 (800x600)

 

What to wear in Turkey?

First of all, you will see a lot more men in the streets than women. Some people may tell you that dressing respectably is not necessary, but unless you enjoy having every man on the street gawking at your bare legs, and shoulders I highly recommend packing a maxi dress and tshirt/shawl to wear during your stay in Istanbul (it is far too hot for jeans!). In most other locations outside of Istanbul, I felt fine wearing typical beach attire, however I did receive some harassment from local boys while swimming off the rocks in Antalya – anyone would think they had never seen a girl in a bikini before!

Public Transport in Turkey

I highly recommend catching the buses everywhere! Avoid taxis if you can. For peace of mind it is probably best to book the bus at least one day prior if you have to reach a specific location. But there are usually enough seats to be found on board, just be aware of Ramadan in July as all the locals will be visiting their family, making seats very limited. Booking is easy, simply go to a bus station and choose from the many different bus companies that are going to your destination.

General cost during 2014:

  • Olympos to Fethiye cost 32TL per person
  • Bodrum to Kusadasi cost 33TL per person with Pamukkale buses
  • Izmir to Denizli (near Pamukkale) cost 30TL per person with Pamukkale buses
  • Denizli to Fethiye cost 28TL per person with Pamukkale buses
  • Fethiye to Kas cost 20TL per person with Bati Antalya

Turkish Food

When we first arrived in Turkey I was excited by the food, however, after 9 weeks of eating on a budget with no kitchen available to use, I never wanted another Turkish breakfast or kebab ever again! However, I wouldn’t mind a secret stash of Browni Intense! It is a chocolate brownie bar sold at most stores/supermarkets which are very cheap and delicious!

Budget accommodation in Turkey

For our travels we set ourselves a budget of $NZ25 pp per night. In Turkey, this generally meant we had a private room due to it always being within our limit. There was never a kitchen available to use, however breakfast was nearly always included in the price and purchasing lunch and dinner from street vendors certainly did not break the bank.

Since May 2014, Rebecca has been wearing out her jandals. She loves anything that involves the ocean whether it be scuba diving, wakeboarding, jet skiing or more recently - sailing! Consider following her via RSS Feed, Twitter and Facebook.

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Norman

    July 12, 2015 at 6:27 PM

    Personally speaking i think Turkey is probably one of the most underestimated countriest in europe (well “europe”).
    People know they got nice (and cheap) beaches and of course there is Istanbul- maybe they have heard of Pammuakale – but that’s it.
    Yet the country is soooo big and has so much history and culture to offer.
    So this is a great article!

  2. Jhon Lingkon

    July 13, 2015 at 7:48 AM

    Istanbul is better than others, I have traveled Istanbul for a lot of time

  3. Tom Miller

    July 22, 2015 at 4:43 AM

    Turkey is a fantastic place to spend holidays. Thank you for sharing this information about Turkey.

  4. Steven alex

    July 23, 2015 at 6:28 PM

    Turkey is one of the most traditionally rich and diverse countries, with a blend of modern and old heritage. It is the most economical place to travel and relax. Your blog describes it precisely Rebecca 🙂

  5. Drew

    September 9, 2015 at 2:48 PM

    Nice write-up. I hadn’t considered Turkey for my European vacation next year (I do hope the AUD improves) but I think you’ve changed my mind.

    I notice there are a lot of group shots, does this mean it’s safer to travel in groups or with a guide?

    PS: I really se myself in that Wooden Horse 😉

    • Rebecca Barlow

      September 10, 2015 at 10:08 AM

      Hi Drew, that is awesome to hear you are now considering visiting Turkey! It is safe to travel alone, the reason there are lots of group photos because we made a lot of friends everywhere we went 🙂

  6. Komal

    September 24, 2015 at 9:44 PM

    Great advice to take the ferry. It’s cheap and a nice way to see the straits. Watching the fishermen is also fun.

  7. Leida Pereira

    October 7, 2015 at 5:38 AM

    I love this country, i´ve been here , te place that i most love was Kapadoccia
    great pics!!

  8. komal

    December 7, 2015 at 11:11 PM

    Great journey…Reviel great story with pic’s and experience. I always wanted to go turkey …But reading this picture i really like to go this historic place….

  9. Suraj KC

    February 12, 2016 at 8:41 PM

    Looks like Turkey is a beautiful country. I’ll visit turkery some day.

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Adventure Travel

Hammock vs Tent Camping

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Camping with a hammock is slowly but surely becoming more popular in recent years with new and improved hammock designs being preferred by some campers, compared to the traditional tent.

In this article we will discuss some of the key benefits and drawbacks of sleeping without a tent, and analyze key criteria so that you can choose your preferred shelter choice!

Weatherproof

Most tents work well in the rain; however, you’ll need to bring a tarp if you’re using a hammock. Traditional hammocks are not waterproof, and are generally open at the top, allowing water to find itself inside if you don’t have an adequate tarp. Moreover, a decent under quilt is also a good idea so that you can stay warm and cozy during cold and stormy nights.

Packing up your hammock after a long night of rain isn’t too bad, whereas packing up a soaking wet tent is always annoying. You almost always get wet in the process.

Setup

For first time campers, pop-up tents are the simplest to setup. All you need to do is find flat ground, and bam, your setup is complete! The beauty of pop-up tents is that you don’t need to worry about figuring out where to insert the poles and erect the tent. Although, traditional tents are usually more robust, and have a longer life span.

Essentially, a tent is simple, but a hammock can become a little more complicated for first timers. You’ll need to find 2 trees facing a good direction and tie each end of the hammock to them. If your hammock setup is too tight, you will generally wake up with sore ancles, but if it’s too loose, you run the risk of the hammock touching the floor, and insects crawling in with you.

If your campground doesn’t have many trees, or if the trees are dead (they could break and injure you), hammock stands come to the rescue! Basically, hammock stands allow you to pitch a hammock if there are no trees nearby. They are portable, adjustable, and are easy to setup. The only drawback is that the ground should be relatively flat, whereas if you were to hang a hammock between 2 trees, there won’t be any stands touching the ground, so a rocky floor wouldn’t be a problem.

Comfort

One of the main reasons for choosing a hammock is the comfort that it provides you! It has a basically has in-built seat which is arguably more comfortable than a standard blow up mattress. You need to pick your tree’s wisely though! You don’t want a pinecone falling on your face mid-sleep.

If you have constant back pain and find it hard to sleep inside tents, you should give hammocks a try as they cause you to sleep sideways, similar to a banana shape, which a lot people find much more comfortable.

Price

Hammocks are usually lighter and don’t include a wealth of poles and gear that tents do. Depending on the type of hammock that you purchase, they are usually quite similar to tents. You can however, find very cheap tents <$60, but they most likely won’t last long.

A good tent or hammock can cost between $200-500 without accessories. If you need a hammock stand, that will add to your cost, just like a mattress and other tent necessities will to its cost.

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Adventure Travel

Yacht Charter Destination Of The Month: The Middle East

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Mysterious and exotic, the Middle East is full of surprises, blending fascinating cultural heritage with stunning contemporary architecture. What’s more, with guaranteed sunshine and warmth, the winter months of November and April are the perfect time to visit. That’s why we’ve made the Middle East our yacht charter destination of the month.

What makes the Middle East such an exciting yacht charter destination?

Dubai: Glamour and shopping

An ideal starting point for your luxury yacht charter, Dubai is famous for its tax-free designer shopping, five-star resorts and world-class gastronomy. Thrill seekers can head into its vast desert for four-wheel-drive adventures across the dunes, while families will love the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, Legoland, or the magnificent water park at Atlantis on The Palm.

Abu Dhabi: Art and architecture

Neighbouring Abu Dhabi offers a more relaxed yacht charter destination – here, lovers of art and architecture will appreciate the iconic Louvre Abu Dhabi, which boasts some 9,200 m2 of galleries within its striking contemporary design.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the world’s largest, and its open-door policy encourages visitors from around the world. The elegant Qasr Al Hosn museum, former home of the ruling family, is Abu Dhabi’s oldest standing structure, and displays artefacts dating back to 6000BC.

Oman: An understated gem

The understated, hidden gem of the Middle East, yacht charter destination Oman has an abundance of natural beauty, from spectacular mountains and wind-blown deserts to a pristine coastline.

At its northernmost tip, visit the red-hued fjords of the Musandam Peninsula. Action-seekers can admire the rugged Al Hajar mountain range by microlight, while land-based activities include desert sand-boarding, jeep rides and quad biking.

Capital city Muscat is steeped in history, with centuries-old souks where you can pick up fine pashminas, spices and frankincense, or even dazzling jewellery in the Gold Souk.

The Kingdom of Bahrain: Home of diving

It is said that diving was invented in Bahrain, and pearl diving is considered the quintessential Bahraini experience. Expect to find up to 30 types of coral and over 200 species of fish, too, making this yacht charter destination ideal for underwater enthusiasts.

Bahrain’s rich trading history is palpable in the Qalat al-Bahrain fort and museum, a registered UNESCO world heritage site. The Bahrain National Museum, found next to the Art and Cultural Centres, blends cultural heritage with contemporary ambience. Or, to indulge in some retail therapy, enjoy a traditional shopping experience at the Manama Souk, selling natural-oil perfumes and incense, fabrics and handicrafts.

The Red Sea: Reefs, diving and beaches

The Red Sea is another popular Middle Eastern yacht charter destination due to its year-round sunshine, warm water, coral reefs and incredible dive sites, including one of the world’s best wreck dives, the WWII British cargo ship SS Thistlegorm. In the south, the relatively undiscovered Marsa’ Alam promises incredible shore or beach diving around its natural fringing reef.

Mysterious, timeless and alluring, the Middle East is a yacht charter destination full of contrasts and surprises. Better still, it’s best visited in winter. What are you waiting for?

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Adventure Travel

Hiking Adventures in Bryce Canyon National Park

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If you are on the lookout for the perfect environment for an adventurous and challenging hike, look no further. Located in the Southern Utah region is the best park that is most suitable for your hiking adventure, the Bryce Canyon National Park. This is a great option to relaxed after you are through playing in $5 minimum deposit casinos.

This park hosts hike lovers from time to time and people even come from other countries in the world to experience the wonder of this park. The landscape and beautiful trails make this a choice venue. There is a rental service at this location if you love to stay behind.

You can enjoy the priceless glimpse of the sunrise and sunset from the different landscape. The part also permits visitors to create traditional camps at different locations for a more adventurous experience.

There are a couple of trails that you can choose from for your hiking adventure, and no matter your level of experience in hiking, you will find a track that matches your taste. Even if you are totally new to hiking, there is something for you at the Bryce Canyon National Park . Below is a list of some of the trails to try when you take a trip to this park.

The Rim Trail

This is the most accessible trail at Bryce Canyon National Park. It is suitable for those who just want to have a good time walking around and savoring the magnificent scenery of the park. From any part of the park, you can connect to this trail as it goes all the way around the park.

When lodging at the Bryce Canyon Lodge, it is a good idea to start your hike from the place known as the sunrise point. Just as the name implies, if you wake up early to start your walk, you’ll be able to watch the sunrise. If you have a camera with you, you’ll take some fantastic pictures.

Also, you’ll get a clear view of the Bryce amphitheater from this point. Just like in an adventure movie, you have to find a way to link up to boat Mesa, and on your way, you walk through some sites like the Mormon temple and Queen garden. This hiking trail is easy, and all you have to deal with is a total of approximately 200 feet elevation. You will surely have a nice time on this trail.

Navajo Loop Trail

On the order of difficulty, this trail comes next after the rim trail. The starting point of this trail begins from the sunset point around the southern area of the Bryce Canyon Lodge. Just like for the rim trail, the trail presents a nice view of the sunset, and with a good camera, you’ll be able to take exciting photo shoots.

Walking this route involves a visit to the Silent City, which is an aesthetic combination of limestone and urban expansion. During the hike, you will also walk through Wall Street, which happens to be a distinctive attraction at the Bryce Canyon park. You won’t ever want to miss the narrow walls. From this point, you may decide to go back to the sunset point or take other shorter hikes like the Peekaboo loop trail and Queen garden trail. Both routes are challenging and adventurous, but you will enjoy every bit of the challenge. After you have done this, you can then go ahead to have some fun in a $5 minimum deposit casino.

Mossy Cave Trail

This Trail presents an entirely different sight than the one that we have previously mentioned. From this trail, you will be able to catch the view of the towers in the park nearby without descending to the amphitheater. This hiking course begins at approximately 4 miles from the entrance to the Bryce Canyon park. However, if you visit this park and would like to enjoy something completely different from the other common tracks, then this is an exciting hiking trail for you to try.

Hiking is more than a walk, it is a fun and adventurous experience. All trails at the Bryce Canyon National Park are worth trying on your next visit. Whether you seek to have some fun or you just want to catch some beautiful scenery and feel close to nature, you will find the right place that suits you. Get ready to have an amazing hiking experience.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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