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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

Skin-Care Rules to Always Follow When You Travel

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With the holiday season nearly upon us, most of us are hit with a bout of wanderlust. Traveling will take us to different places, and these places likely have completely different climates from what we are used to. Nobody wants to have a skin breakout or any other type of skin problem during vacation. To prevent this problem, this article will give you Skin-care rules to always follow when you travel.

Every time you step on a plane, your skin is exposed to a whole different condition. You are plagued by stale, dry, circulated air that can do wonders to your skin (in a bad way, of course). And that is just your flight. Your actual vacation can be a nightmare for your skin. From weird hotel products to bad sunscreen, to stress from forgetting stuff at home or from family members and a host of other problems.

Thankfully, there are things you can do to keep your skin looking great despite the challenges of travel.

  1. Drink Water…a lot of water

Staying hydrated is extremely important. Being hydrated inside and outside is one of the most important skin routine tips at all times, even when you are not on vacation.

The switch from a hot to a cold climate or from a hot to cold climate can cause skin dryness and irritation among other things. Even the air on the plane is dry and can sap all the moisture from your skin. Therefore, make sure your drink a lot of water. That would keep you hydrated inside.

For your skin, you should liberally apply moisturizers to keep your skin looking radiant and beautiful.

  1. Use Sunscreen

Next to staying hydrated, sun protection is one of the most important routine for your skin type.  While travelling, you should be extra diligent about your sunscreen.

It might sound strange, but you should apply sunscreen even while on the plane. Why? Because you are in a metal container 10,000 feet close to the sun. In fact, you are likely to get a sunburn while in a plane than on the ground. You might want to close the shades, but others might want of view. Hence take precautions and apply the sunscreen.

When you are travelling, it can be easy to forget to use sunscreen, or you might run out of sunscreen. You can go the extra mile by setting a reminder on your phone either to use sunscreen or buying a new one before the current one runs out.

  1. Use Minimal Makeup

During your vacation, leave out heavy foundations and other heavy makeup products. If you are traveling to a location with extreme weather, your makeup will wear off fairly easily. This not only leaves you looking silly, but the heavy makeup can clog the pores of your skin and result in breakouts.

If you choose to use makeup at all, use breathable makeup. Preferably it should be water-resistant and offer protection from hot climates.

  1. Take your facial cleanser and moisturizer along with you

To keep your face looking great even in extreme climates, your facial cleanser and moisturizer are very important. The daily cleanser helps to clean impurities on your face, while the moisturizer will feed your skin with the important nutrients required to keep it healthy during the duration of your trip.

  1. Use trusted products

Trying out new products is fun, but you should be very careful doing this while on vacation. The change in climate is enough stress on your skin. If you add new products to your skin, you might be increasing the stress on it. Invariably, this might lead to skin breakout and other issues.

Therefore, stick to what your skin is familiar with. When you go back home, you can try out new products. To make it easier to keep using your familiar products, you can buy travel-sized versions of your moisturizer, lotion, cleanser and other stuff.

  1. Have a medical emergency kit

This should contain smoothening calamine, aloe vera potion and other things that can be used in case of skin emergencies.

To enjoy your trip, no matter where that might be, follow these skin-care rules. Your skin will thank you for it!

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Adventure Travel

Scottsdale – Come for the Sights, Stay for the Experience

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Scottsdale, Arizona is one of the most popular destinations in the Grand Canyon State. Known for its resorts, natural trails, and association with nightlife, the city has become a must visit for anyone who wants to experience contemporary life in a former desert.

Scottsdale is very famous for its modern hospitality and geographical sights. Keeping this in mind, it wouldn’t be surprising to know that finding a Scottsdale nightclub is on the minds of many tourists who pay the city a visit – even those who do so to explore one of its mountainous ranges.

If you are planning to head down to the Copper State anytime soon and enjoy life, then Scottsdale may prove to be a great summer destination.

To help you understand what the city would have to offer in terms of recreation, here are some of the top Scottsdale vacation and dining options that make the West’s Most Western Town, a must visit.

Old Town Scottsdale

Old Town Scottsdale is perhaps the most popular destination in the city. With its unique lineup of culturally rich events, this colorful area has a vibe that defines old West meeting its modern counterpart to a T.

While Scottsdale remains famous for its modern nightlife, club scene, and luxurious resorts, Old Town Scottsdale brings about the old Western charm for tourists to experience firsthand. Old architecture, preserving museums, and cultural activities are just a few of the many things that you could experience at this destination.

With an array of fine dining restaurants that prove to be the best in the state, you could grab a bite in luxury after roaming around in the sun.

And if you feel a bit more adventurous, then you could do that exploration while riding on a Segway instead of using your good old feet. With plenty of Segway tours being conducted each day, you will easily be able to find something that suits your schedule.

Taliesin West

As the winter home to famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Taliesin West boasts of an unmatched architectural design.

Now a museum, the destination doesn’t only showcase the building in all of its glory, but also offers insights into Wright’s work and his mind through detailed tours of the facility.

It is due to these reasons that Taliesin West ranks as one of the topmost destinations to visit in Scottsdale among many professional guides.

Since the building or its experience cannot be replicated elsewhere, it remains a must visit for whenever you are in Scottsdale.

Scottsdale Fashion Square

Want to visit the biggest shopping mall in Arizona? You would find it to be located in the heart of Scottsdale.

With around 2 million square feet of shopping space, the Scottsdale Fashion Square is one of the biggest malls in the whole country. Made up of high end, luxury retail locations, it is literally the one stop shop for upscale items that you may not find elsewhere in the city. With that, the mall holds plenty of fine dining locations as well. What more could you want from a shopping destination, really?

Due to its modern inventory and access to high fashion, the Scottsdale Fashion Square could be a must visit before you hit the popular nightclub scene of the city. Whether you are finding some club wear or just want to spruce up your existing outfit with some Loboutins, this mall would provide you with plenty of choices and fun to boot.

Scottsdale Has Something for Everyone

Depending upon your personal preference, Scottsdale has plenty to offer.  Whether you want to indulge in the city’s party scene or just explore its natural history, you would find that the destination has something for everyone.

So the next time that you are about to visit the Wild West, don’t forget to put Scottsdale at the top of your list. You won’t be disappointed with what you get to work with.

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Adventure Travel

5 Fun Adventure Activities in Vietnam

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A stunning country with glorious scenery and an amazing culture, Vietnam offers many attractions for the modern tourist. It would be easy to spend a holiday in Vietnam just sightseeing and immersing yourself in the culture – which thanks to a heavy French influence, is different to its South Eastern Asian neighbours – but why pass up on some of the fun adventure activities in Vietnam?

Sandboarding

Also called sand surfing, sandboarding is an extreme sport, exactly like snowboarding, but on sand dunes instead of snow. Regularly named among the best sandboarding destinations in the world, are the Mue Ne Dunes. A series of red dunes around the resort town of the same name, sandboarding has not yet hit the professional heights here but is more of a fun cultural experience. Women in cone hats rent out boards to everyone from kids to saffron-robed Buddhist monks.

Mue Nie is also home to the magical Fairy Stream. This small shallow river winds through moon-like rock formations and is fun to walk through. You can watch the fish as you walk up to two kms in the water or you might try your hand at fishing. You’ll need some basic tackle including rod and reels. Check out these great options for beginners.

Take on Mount Fansipan

Nicknamed “the Roof of Indochina”, Fanispan at 3,143 metres is the highest mountain in the region. Located in Sapa, a town in the Lao Cai province in Northern Vietnam, the mountain can be conquered via two main climbing routes, one categorised as 2D1N, the other a longer 3D2N route. Both climbs require a guide. For those who prefer an easier way to the summit, the Fanispan cable car takes just 15 minutes to achieve what climbers do in 2-3 days, travelling on cables high above primitive forests.

Ride a Motorbike from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi

One of the enduring images of Vietnam is the streets of Ho Chi Minh crowded with motorbikes, but motorbikes are also popular outside the cities and Vietnam has become known for some amazing motorbike routes. One of the favourite journeys is from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi. There are various routes to cover the distance of more than 2,000 kms, all taking you through gorgeous scenery and fascinating towns and villages.

Marble Mountain Rappelling Tour with Temple and Cave Exploration

You might think that abseiling down a vertical rock face is for experienced adrenalin junkies but not so on a rappelling tour in the Marble Mountains in Vietnam. Located just north of the popular resort city of Hoi An, the Marble Mountains are known locally as the “Five Elements Mountains”. Tours start in the city and once in the mountains, all equipment and instruction is provided to complete at least two rappels (depending on the tour company you choose). Besides the rappelling, the tours have spectacular views of the coast and include trekking through the mountains, visiting caves and temples

Canyoning

Canyoning is a thrilling adrenaline rush of an adventure sport wherein you jump into a fast-flowing mountain stream and allow yourself to be carried at high speed downstream. The most popular place for canyoning in Vietnam is Dalat. Dalat is in the Central Highlands and is a lovely resort town near a lake becoming renown as a destination for honeymoons as well as the adventure sports of cliff jumping, waterfall rappelling, natural water slides, and hiking, as well as canyoning. Various companies offer canyoning tours in Dalat all at similar prices for similar itineraries, so just choose which appeals most.

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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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