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.
Scottsdale – Come for the Sights, Stay for the Experience
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.
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.
5 Fun Adventure Activities in Vietnam
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?
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 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.
The 4 Best US Cities for an Outdoor Adventure
If you are looking for a destination that will get your heart racing and adrenaline pumping, you will be spoilt for options in the US. Offering various landscapes and tough terrains to tackle, outdoor enthusiasts can find some of the biggest and best challenges in different states across the country.
If you want to enjoy an adrenaline fix in 2019, check out the following four best US cities for an outdoor adventure.
- Los Angeles, California
There is more to Los Angeles than celebrity homes, high-end stores and boutiques, and fun Hollywood tours. Not only can you book charter jets Los Angeles to touch down in the city with ease, but there are many superb outdoor pursuits for adventure enthusiasts.
For example, you could try your hand at horseback riding at Griffith Park, or you could hike up Mount Baldy, which is the highest mountain point within Los Angeles County. Also, if you want to come face-to-face with various forms of marine life, you will be happy to learn you can snorkel in the stunning Lover’s Cove.
- Seattle, Washington
As Seattle is surrounded by water, you can choose from a multitude of fun watersports during a visit in the Emerald City. For example, you can take to the city’s lakes and waterways to enjoy a spot of:
- Jet skiing
- Paddle boarding
- Kite boarding
While hikers, cyclists, and runners will love to tackle the Burke-Gilman Trail, which is an extensive trail located north of Ballard by Puget Sound.
- Portland, Oregon
Offering more than 40 state parks and eight beautiful beaches, those looking for a fun outdoor adventure should look no further than Portland. Avid hikers should head straight to Forest Park once they arrive in the cool, laidback city, as it covers approximately 5,100 acres and is one of the largest urban forests in America.
Visitors can also escape the hustle and bustle of the city at Columbia River Gorge, which offers the largest concentration of waterfalls in the US, including the 620ft tall Multnomah Falls. It will offer a great hike for almost every age and can help visitors to reconnect with nature.
- Aurora, Colorado
Offering more than 300 days of glorious sunshine throughout the year, it is easy to see why many people make their way to Aurora to enjoy its many outdoor pursuits. One destination you shouldn’t overlook is Aurora Reservoir, which allows visitors to enjoy a spot of fishing, sailing, swimming, windsurfing, and boating.
If, however, you are looking for a destination that offers superb horseback riding opportunities, don’t miss out on 12 Mile Stables, which has been serving both locals and tourists for many decades. It’s an experience you will not forget in a hurry, as you can enjoy 27 miles of riding trails across 3,300 acres at Cherry Creek State Park.
If you are considering an outdoor getaway in the United States, you can rest assured the above destinations will not let you down.
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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