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.
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.
While in Istanbul, I highly recommend visiting Buyukuda Island. Suggested time: at least 2 nights in Istanbul
Related blog posts:
- Istanbul’s hidden secret – Büyükada Island in the Princes Islands
- Travel tip: Why we will never use a taxi in Istanbul again
- The Best of Istanbul – Photo Essay
- Sultan Ahmed or Blue Mosque, Istanbul – Weekly Photo
- Istanbul Spice Market – Photo Essay
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.
Related blog posts:
- Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel
- Exploring Cappadocia: Why three days is not enough!
- Exploring Çavuşin Castle in Cappadocia: Photo Essay
- Top 10 things to see and do in Cappadocia
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.
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.
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.
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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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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Most Underrated Travel Destinations
Everyone knows about Paris and Rome and London but there are so many other beautiful travel destinations that are amazingly underrated and they are cities on our list to visit again once the Coronavirus allows. The fact that so many beautiful countries go unexplored by travelers is a tragedy and we want to change that after Coronavirus. Not only because so many people are missing out on rich cultures and picturesque views, but also because a lot of these destinations tend to be a lot cheaper to travel to than popular cities.
But what a lot of people don’t know is that there are gorgeous, underrated foreign cities one can visit for a fraction of the price of touristy European cities. Forbes recently published a collection of the ten most underrated destinations you should consider visiting.
Here are a few of them to learn about while stuck at home due to Coronavirus:
Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, is known for its magnificent sights of Mount Ararat, historical monasteries, and its many striking temple ruins. Armenian cuisine is other worldly with classic dishes like rabbit stew, sautéed eggplant rolls, and lamb tartare.
Telč is a colorful town with Italian influences in Czechia. It boasts of Baroque-Renaissance architecture and has a castle of its own with exciting tunnels and passageways that you can explore underneath the town.
Santiago is the capital of Chile and features gorgeous architecture from the neoclassical era. There are towering cathedrals and, of course, plenty of quality Chilean wine. Plus, the city of Santiago is a great place to kick off your exploration of Chile’s wine country.
Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Rotterdam is often ignored due to the popular neighboring city of Amsterdam, but it is a bastion of underground music and street art. The architecture is strikingly modern since the city was heavily bombed during World War II and thus had to be rebuilt from the ground up. The city is filled to the brim with amazing cuisine and museums.
If you are looking for a big city destination, Lagos is a metropolis that has plenty to see and do so that you’ll never be bored. And whenever you need a break from the urban marketplaces, private beaches are just a short drive away.
Con Dao, Vietnam
Con Dao is a Southeast Asian island that makes an excellent beach destination with two resorts and tons of fascinating history. Once host to a brutal French prison, the island is also home to the tomb of the Vietnamese martyr Vo Thi Sau.
Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay
This is one of the oldest cities in Uruguay dating back to the 17th century. The city has a vibrantly decorated historic quarter and a three-century-old convent. It’s also only a short trip away from the bigger city of Montevideo.
A majority of Americans, when asked about traveling abroad, will likely shake their head and say they can’t afford such trips. Many people deal with multiple monthly bills, such as mortgage or rent, student loans, and title loans, which are all stress inducing.
3 Tips For A Luxury Camping Experience
If you are used to travelling in style and staying in high end hotels, camping is probably your idea of hell. Why would you spend a week sitting in a freezing cold tent, hiding from the rain when you could be relaxing around the pool in a nice hotel? But camping gives you a completely different travel experience and if you do it right, it can be very rewarding. If you invest in the right equipment, you can enjoy all of the good things about camping without any of the downsides. If you follow these simple tips, you will have a comfortable experience and fall in love with camping.
The tent is the most important thing if you want a comfortable camping experience. All of those horror stories you hear about leaking tents only happen because people buy cheap tents. If you invest in a good quality tent, it should hold up to the weather and keep you dry and warm.
When you are buying a tent, you need to check the hydrostatic head rating. This gives you an indication of how much rain the tent can stand up to before leaking. The higher the rating, the less likely your tent is to leak. It is also important to consider the size of the tent and how easy it is to put up, especially if you are planning a road trip. You need to make sure that it fits into the car easily, and you also want to avoid anything that is too complicated to put up. However, be careful with pop-up tents because most of them will not stand up to the rain.
If you want the ultimate comfortable camping experience, you should consider a camper trailer instead. There are some great camper trailers that come with all of the same facilities that you would find in a basic hotel, so you can camp in comfort. If you really hate the idea of camping, this is the best option.
If you are worried about being freezing cold at night while you are camping, you need to get a good quality sleeping bag. A cheap one will not be comfortable and it won’t keep you warm, so you need to make sure that you buy a good thermal one. Sleeping directly on the floor will be uncomfortable as well, so you should invest in a sleeping mat as well. If you are willing to spend a little more on good sleeping equipment, you will be nice and comfortable while camping.
The food is another big issue for people when they go camping, but there is no need to live on beans all week. You can get some great dehydrated camping food packs so, as long as you take a small camping stove, you can still eat proper meals. If you pack a coolbox and freeze some food before you go, it should last a while so you can have barbecues as well. As long as you plan ahead, there’s no reason why you can’t eat well while you are camping.
Camping doesn’t have to be the nightmare experience that you think it does. If you follow these simple tips, you can have a luxury camping experience and enjoy all of the benefits of the great outdoors.
Tips for Planning Your Uluru Tour
Located in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, the magnificent sandstone of Ayers Rock or Uluru stands tall at 1,142 feet above ground. The natural formation is widely known for being one of the most sacred places to the indigineous peoples in Australia. At the same time, it is also popular for attracting tourists from all over the world to the land down under.
If you want to visit Uluru in order to pay tribute to this wonder of nature, then doing so through the right tour is in your best interest. It’s not only because Uluru is located at least a few hours from civilization, but it also because such a tour allows you to enjoy the picturesque sights that come along the way within the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
So what sights are there to see along the way and what other general tours suggestions you should keep in mind while visiting Uluru? To help you answer these and some other important questions, here are 5 top tips to keep in mind while visiting Uluru.
First things first, while it is legal to climb atop Uluru, it is recommended that you do not attempt such an action in order to show your respect to the indigenous peoples.
It is a pretty easy rule to follow when you pay attention to the emotions of the indigenous tribes who have recommended time and again for people to not climb Uluru.
But that doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy the natural beauty that Uluru has to offer. In fact, you are encouraged to visit the sandstone and take in its natural glory by standing right beside the formation. That’s why 4WD tour is highly recommended. The tour guides would be able to tell you what you can and can not do.
Ask anyone who has visited Uluru about the best time to see the formation, and you will instantly get the answer as “sunset.”
It’s because Uluru is not an ordinary monolith, but one that is formed through arkosic sandstone. This allows the rock to actually change its color according to the position of the sun. As a result, you can expect the formation to sport a different color depending upon what time of day you reach it.
At sunset, Uluru projects an amber glow that is surreal to take in, especially when you are seeing the formation in person for the very first time. That’s why, it is recommended that you time your trip in a way that allows you to experience this magnificent sight.
Perhaps the best way to visit Uluru is through the nearby town of Alice Springs, which has various amenities and accommodation options for tourists who are making their way to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
The drive from Alice Springs to Uluru can take around 5 hours, which is why it is recommended that you arrive at least a day before you are planning to tour Uluru.
This way, you can reach the national park while feeling fresh and rested. This also gives you time to plan longer trips to the park in order to enjoy all that it has to offer.
Uluru is not just a wonder to look at by itself, but it also holds several little pieces of wonderful art within it.
The caves at the bottom of the formation hold several pieces of rock art that can only be found at Uluru. If you love learning about other cultures through their art, then this will be a must visit.
Just make sure that you take the time to learn about this art through a local tour guide or via the information provided within these exhibits. This ensures that you have an immersive and informative experience which you can remember for a long time.
Enjoying the breathtaking sight of Uluru sounds rewarding enough for a trip to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. But it’s not all that you can do during a tour of Uluru.
From seeing the red kangaroos and other marsupials to spending some time with the camels, and from seeing the one of a kind formations of Kata Tjuta to taking a walk by the Valley of the Winds, there’s so much to see and do around Uluru.
That is why, it is recommended that you take your time at the park and put aside at least two days to enjoy all of the unique activities that the area has to offer. It would give you a well-deserved break from the hustle and bustle of daily life while also allowing you to make the most out of your long journey to the sandstone.
Meet Cole and Adela
We 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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