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Turkey Travel Guide - Turkey Tourist Attractions

Turkey, Turkey

Discover tiny villages and secluded islands with deserted beaches,  swim in clear turquoise waters, learn to sail a catamaran, hike through ancient ruins, marvel at the ancient rock tombs in Dalyan, sail into the ancient port of Bodrum and finally head for the capital city Istanbul!
When it comes to beautiful coastlines and natural geographic wonders, it's hard to beat the Turkish Riviera. On this sailing adventure, you'll cruise along the area known as the Lycian Way, a popular destination with a long-standing maritime culture. That said, there are still many off-the-beaten-path treasures waiting to be discovered, and you'll have the perfect opportunity to do so in between snorkelling, swimming in open water, relaxing in mud baths, and frolicking on the   beaches. Living aboard the state-of-the-art catamaran means you have landed in Paradise………on……..A Spell of Turkey Holiday Package!!!!!
Tourist Attractions:
Meet at marina café in Fethiye…..and get ready to take the cruise. The boat does not set sail until the next morning. Go towards the  café, and join the skipper onboard for an important safety briefing. Have a warm shower after your travels, and settle into your cabin with your new room mate. Later that evening the skipper will take the group to a local taverna where great food can be had while the you are getting to know each other or if by yourself, sit around sipping a cup of coffee or perhaps doing some reading. Sample the night life in this lovely part of the world, or enjoy a night cap back on the boat.
This catamaran is the perfect platform to explore the rugged spectacular coast of Turkey. Flexibility is the key to adapt to local weather conditions and the skipper will modify the itinerary to our advantage as we sail. Most mornings are early to take advantage of what the days have to offer and gives us early arrival times into each port of call.
Possible stops include…  Göcek, Tersane Adasi, Haman, Dalyan, Ekincik, Marmaris, Bozburun, Datca, Knidos, Bodrum Göcek ……west of Fethiye……  Göcek has been described as a hidden paradise boasting beautiful clean waters, green pine forests and quiet beaches. You will make some swimming and snorkelling stops before spending the afternoon exploring this seaside village. Tavşan Adası or Neandros Adası meaning "Rabbit Island”…..the name of a mythological figure is the smallest of the Princes' Islands in the Sea of Marmara, to the southeast of  Istanbul.……….let your imagination go wild as you start………on a………..Spell of Turkey Holiday Package!!!!!!
Modern Fethiye is located on the site of the ancient city of Telmessos, the land of lights……and the ruins of which can be seen in the city…… the Hellenistic theatre by the main quay, a magnet for British citizens. Apart from it’s climate and natural beauty, the visitors are attracted by it’s less expensive lifestyle and the hospitality of the local people. The Fethiye Museum, which is very rich in ancient and more recent artifacts, displays and testifies to the successive chain of civilizations that existed in the area, starting with the ancient Lycians…..the town is also home to the Tomb of Amyntas, a large and beautiful tomb built by the Lycians. What makes this tomb very unique is it’s massive size and beautiful carvings. Some of the other historical sites worth visiting are…… Kadyanda Ancient City, Kayakoy…… old Greek town, Afkule, Gemiler and Aya Nikola. The most popular touristic towns of Fethiye are…… Oludeniz, Calis Beach area, Hisaronu and Ovacik.
Tersane Adasi and Haman….. are two tiny islands to the east of Dalyan, offer outstanding snorkelling opportunities and great walks to spectacular view points. Dalyan means "fishing weir" in Turkish.
Haman is a desolate island with only a small pier and single taverna. Dalyan and Ekincik ….. the town of Dalyan is just up the river from your anchorage and you will take a small ferry past the mysterious rock tombs carved into the cliff sides. Sea turtles are famous for living in these waters and be sure to try the blue crab. Life here revolves around the Dalyan Çayı River which flows past the town. The boats that ply up and down this river, navigating the maze of reeds, are the preferred means of transport to all the local sites. In addition to it’s attraction as a tourist destination, the region around  is a highly fertile and productive agricultural zone. Cotton used to be grown intensively, but has now largely been replaced by pomegranate. In the area around Köyceğiz many other fruits ……citrus fruits and vegetables are grown, which are all on display in the market on Saturdays, the day when villagers come from miles around to sell their products. The fish spawn there, and when returning to the sea they are caught in the "dalyans". Cotton used to be grown intensively, but has now largely been replaced by pomegranate…….relish some of them on your……..Spell of Turkey Holiday Package!!!!!
Above the river's sheer cliffs are the weathered façades of Lycian tombs cut from rock, circa four hundred B.C. The ruins of the ancient trading city of Kaunos are a short boat trip across the river to the west of Dalyan…..whereas to the south on the Mediterranean coast, lies İztuzu Beach…….and near the village of the same name is a popular area for sunbathing and swimming. There are regular boat and minibus or dolmuş services to the beach. Visitors should be aware of the wooden stakes in the beach to mark nesting sites. The beach is well known for the caretta caretta…… an endangered species that has existed for about forty-five million years….. International animal protection organizations monitor and protect the turtles' nesting grounds in Turkey….. the beach is closed between 20.00 hours in the evening and 8:00 hours in the morning….during the period that the turtles lay their eggs and hatchlings go out to sea from May to October.The road route is particularly scenic, offering views of Sülüngür Lake.
Screening through Kaunos…….well, it is a site that is interesting for both its archeological and ecological importance……….encompassing important historical ruins. Situated in the  Special Environmental Protection Area, it offers outstanding vistas and is rich in wildlife. The main sights at the archeological site itself are…… The Acropolis or Persikon, situated on a high rock, is fortified with Byzantine walls. The city's acropolis was called Imbros and it lay at the foot of Mount Tarbelos …..the present-day"Mount Ölemez".  The theater on the slope of the acropolis featuring both Hellenistic and Roman characteristics had a capacity for spectators and is in a fairly good state. It is still occasionally used for performances…….treat yourself on this……..Spell of Turkey Holiday Package!!!!!
The palaestra here with its Roman baths, a wind measuring platform and a domed Byzantine basilica have been reflected in the archaeological research which has shown that the palaestra was built over part of the old city that most probably had been a place of worship.  The archeologist team think that it’s inner walls were plastered and decorated with frescoes. The Roman baths served as a social meeting place and were meant to impress the Kaunians  by their sheer dimensions….  of the power of the Roman Empire. In the Byzantine era the baths were dismantled and the frigidarium was re-used as a church. The wind-measuring platform dates back to one hundred and fifty B.C. and was used for city planning. In his De architectura the Roman architect Vitruvius stated that wind-measuring platforms were used to plan streets in accordance with the prevailing wind direction, in order to keep the air in the cities clean. The domed basilica is the only remaining Byzantine edifice that still stands. Next to the basilica mosaics have been uncovered.
Another destination to the  west is the tiny town of Ekincik where you will spend the night in a quiet bay after visiting the local taverna for dinner.  Spend the afternoon meandering through this whitewashed town of Marmaris….. through an original fishing village but the city maintains it’s charm as it is set between two intersecting mountains by the sea. This resort town is a busy centre and offers many opportunities for activities, shopping and bustling nightlife.
Reach Bozburun ……and you will be greeted with a smile in this tiny town famous for their honey, which is nestled between the mountains and the sea. Enjoy a glass of chilled wine on the boat before heading into town to explore the small sleepy village. It is a precious discovery for visitor’s who take the good but curvy road ….. due to it’s natural beauties and the exceptional flora. Tourism, fishing, sponge diving and apiculture are the main means of livelihood for its inhabitants. Its thyme honey is famous across Turkey. It has a small yet lovely harbour  and is also one of the key stops on the popular nautical tourism route of Blue Cruise. It’s pristine sea is surrounded by coves……… is also well known in the region for its expert construction gulets………view the skill……..on  your………Spell of Turkey Holiday Package!!!!!!
Dinner will be with the group ashore in a nice local establishment Datca ….. a charming little fishing village with clear turquoise waters and very mellow local community. As you arrive in Knidos ….. explore this ancient ruin site dating back to the fourth- century B.C. The agora, the theatre, an odeum, a temple of Dionysus, a temple of the Muses, a temple of Aphrodite and a great number of minor buildings have been identified, and the general plan of the city has been very clearly made out. The most famous statue by Praxiteles, the Aphrodite of Knidos, was made for Cnidus. It has perished, but late copies exist…..out  of which the most faithful is in the Vatican Museums. In a temple enclosure Newton discovered the fine seated statue of Demeter of Knidos, which he sent back to the British Museum, and about three miles south-east of the city he came upon the ruins of a splendid tomb, and a colossal figure of a lion carved out of one block of Pentelic marble. This sculpture of a recumbent lion was quarried from Mount Pentelikon near Athens…..identified with the same marble used to build the Parthenon. The lion is substantially complete…. only the lower jaw and front legs are missing…. it’s eyes were probably once inlaid with glass. The statue is greater than life-size….. in designing the body to be hollowed out from below, the weight of the statue was reduced……….carress it…… admire it......shoot photographs……..on your……..Spell of Turkey Holiday Package!!!!!
Take some group pictures and imagine how ancient life used to be……..some bewildering memoirs to carry back with you.  After setting sail you will make a stop to admire the sheet cliffs of Mersincik .
Towards Bodrum ….. enjoy the last day sailing across Gokova bay. Stop in the middle of the sea for lunch, and a swim afterwards…... Arrive back in town late afternoon or early evening in time to get your dancing shoes on and hit the town. The name Gökova means "blue" or gök "plain" or ova and refers to the plain on which the town is situated. Today in this plain, there are two towns called Gökova and Akyaka, six villages named Ataköy, Akçapinar, Gökçe, Çitlik, Şirinköy and Yeşilova. The Gökova Town is famous for the Carian city of Idyma, the Idyma acropolis, necropolis and roadside tombs…… and some of these  features are often shown on Akyaka's advertising and more recently for it’s wall and road-bridge paintings by a local artist………….a unique and colourful representation showcasing some part of the edifices as a  mesmerizing painted canvas………on this……….Spell of Turkey Holiday Package!!!!!
Visit Bodrum and discover that it is a lively Greek-type Aegean city, with some nice places of interest such as the 'working' Ancient Theatre with nice panorama to the city, and the Bodrum Castle with its Museum of Underwater Archaeology, which is really worth visiting. The Bodrum Castle, built by the Knights Hospitaller in the fifteenth- century acknowledged as the Castle of St. Peter or Petronium overlooking the harbour and the marina. The architects have used squared green volcanic stone, marble columns and reliefs from the nearby Mausoleum of Maussollos to fortify the castle. The castle grounds include a Museum of Underwater Archaeology with a collection of amphoras, ancient glass, bronze, clay, and iron items underwater discoveries of ancient shipwrecks in the Aegean Sea. This is one of the town’s main attractions and …..allow at least two-hours to walk  in and around the castle walls.. At the end, you can have a pleasant walk in the atmospheric streets and watch the sunset above the Bodrum Castle……the view from the castle walls over the City, it’s harbour, mountains and the Aegean Sea is spectacular.. The city is famous for hosting several cultural festivals throughout the year. Start up in the market- alleys with their green trees and vine ceilings and move down towards the central harbour where there is a hustle and bustle of activity, and you will find people are enjoying a late dinner after a long day at the beach or a day spent exploring different areas or avenues such as the Gumbet Beach, Camel Beach, Ortakent, Bitez Beach . The harbour promenade where you can feel the atmosphere of a warm summer evening and people enjoying their holiday is scintillating.  Listen also for the adhān….. the call to worship being transmitted from the loudspeakers installed on this Bodrum Minaret in Turkish, known  as Minare. The adhan is called from the musallah, or prayer hall, via microphone to a speaker system on the Minaret.
Finally……the wonderful city of Istanbul has an incredibly rich history, amazing array of architectural styles, a delectable cuisine, vibrant nightlife, fascinating culture and oodles of style. Adorned with treasures from all periods of human history, Istanbul is not only one of the world's most fascinating places…… but also adorable for its viewers…….on the…….. Spell of Turkey Holiday Package!!!!!
With not much activity on the day of arrival,  you could explore the Hagia Sophia, though there are many important monuments in İstanbul, but this venerable structure,  commissioned by the great Byzantine emperor has now been converted to a mosque. Have  an optional dinner in a  restaurant along with some Turkish fruit wine!  Attractions such as  the Topkapi Palace are there for a trip and you may wander through the atmospheric Spice Bazaar, also known as the Egyptian Bazaar, where many of the spices were originally imported. This market was, and is the centre of Istanbul's spice trade, after which you would head downhill to the Bosphorus. The many local ferries departing from here are a great way to see the city from the water, or through the  newly renovated Galata Bridge which has a great view of the Golden Horn……. and Bosphorus houses  many bars. Wouldn’t you love to grab a cold beer while enjoying this view! Walk back towards the Sultanahmet area, where you could hear a little of the tumultuous history behind the Hagia Sophia, the most iconic structure and the world's largest cathedral for centuries,  later converted into a mosque and now standing as a museum…… henceafter you are guided around, after which you would visit the Topkapi Palace, home of the Ottoman sultans , as well as the fascinating Archaeological and Ancient Oriental Museums located in a nearby park. The Istanbul Archaeology Museum showcases archaeological and artistic treasures from the Topkapi Kariye Museum…. Chora Church, a Byzantine monument, but few are as drop-dead gorgeous as this mosaic- and fresco-laden church.
You could also explore the beautiful Blue Mosque, admiring the symmetry and the internal tile work of the building. In front of the Blue Mosque, the ancient Hippodrome was once the scene of chariot races and now houses monuments from various moments of Istanbul’s history. Divan Yolu was once famous amongst travellers for its western food and relaxed atmosphere. En route, you can explore some hamams, or Turkish baths, a not-to-be-missed novice discovery! Passing by various  mosques and tea houses, the path would lead uphill to Istanbul’s grandest mosque complex and hilltop landmark, the Suleymaniye Camii, a fabulous piece of architecture!  There are many traditionally dressed sellers in this area offering refreshing glasses of sherbet for just a few cents- worth a try to quench your thirst on a hot day. You could also visit the  St. Chora Museum and the Hippodrome……on  your fabulous………Spell of Turkey Holiday Package!!!!!!
You will have the chance to learn how Turkish carpets are woven and see the crafts workshop. At night, you will enjoy Turkish cuisine at your welcome dinner. Early morning departure to the Gallipoli Peninsula to visit the trenches and tunnels, Anzac Cove, the Lone Pine Australian Memorial, Chunuk Bair New Zealand Memorial, Johnston's Jolly and The Neck before a short ferry ride across the Dardanelles. You will spend the morning at the southern tip of the Gallipoli Peninsula for the international service at the Turkish memorial, Mehmetcik Abide, and the Commonwealth service at the British memorial. Then you will head back across the Dardanelles to visit the archaeological ruins of Troy. At the Anzac Dawn Service you will commemorate the fallen on this special day. You will also attend the Australian and-or New Zealand Memorial Services head to south along the Aegean coast and on the way enjoy a guided tour to the magnificent acropolis of the ancient city of Pergamum. Head on to  Ephesus, which is one of the world’s best-preserved ancient cities, and the House of Virgin Mary. At the end of the day enjoy a presentation about the fine leather making processes in Turkey before winding up for your return journey…….on…….A Spell of Turkey Holiday Package!!!!!
For shopping……….Turkish paintings in the Western sense flood art galleries as they are stocked with aesthetic  creations showcasing impressionists and contemporary trends such as Fauvism, Cubism and Expressionism….. still very influential in Europe. There are many rug and textile shops and  recently iznik tile-making has become phenomenal, emphasizing that the town is proud of this art is as evident from the posters of tiles on display in many restaurants and hotels. There are quality hamam items on sale, including towels, robes and pestemals or bath wraps produced using certified organic cotton on old-style shuttled looms. The city’s design mavens head for the contemporary crafts shop owned by a few style icons of the country. Ozlem Tuna produces super-stylish jewellery and homewares such as top-quality cotton bed linen and towels, handspun woollen throws, felting lacework embroidery, all-natural soaps and soft toys made by some women of Turkey’s rural areas,  and factories turn out yazmas which are printed headscarves traditionally worn by Turkish women. There is fantastic jewellery with gorgeous Byzantine-style rings, earrings, necklaces using gold and old coins.
For food………. Turkish cuisine is often regarded as one of the greatest in the world. Its culinary traditions have successfully survived over thirteen hundred years for several reasons, including its favorable location and interiors. Early influence from the Chinese and Persians included noodles and manti cheese- or meat-stuffed dumplings, similar to the Italian ravioli, often covered in a yogurt sauce. Manti has often been credited with first introducing dolma or stuffed foods into the Turkish cuisine. The milk and various dairy products that became staple foods for the herdsmen were nearly unused by the Chinese. Yogurt salads, fish in olive oil and stuffed and wrapped vegetables became Turkish staples. The Persians introduced rice, various nuts and meat and fruit stews. In return, the Turks taught them how to cook bulgur wheat. As with many things Turkish, there's a ritual associated with eating baklava. Afficionados don't use a knife and fork...Turkey’s wine scene has been taken by storm by its local outfit Suyla, the city’s establishments enjoy it menu of mezze and fish, with European-style elegance and Turkish fusion menu, modern grill restaurants. Glitzy harbour restaurants serve dishes with lashings of olive oil and wild herbs, sea food and Mediterranean delicacies, as well as eateries all around the city and harbours also  offer Indian delicacies. The Turkish delight coffee is a UNESCO listed intangible cultural heritage of the Turks, savoured and appreciated by the residents and tourists!
Bodrum has a Mediterranean climate……..mild winters average high and not-so-hot summers…..broken up…..  with very sunny spells. Summers are hot and mostly sunny and winters are mild and humid. Fethiye has a Mediterranean climate consisting of very hot, long and dry summers in the daytime, winters are cool and rainy with a daytime average. Istanbul has a borderline Mediterranean climate, a  humid subtropical climate and an oceanic climate due to it’s location in a transitional climatic zone. During the summer months, high temperatures are tolerable and rainfall is uncommon. Winter is colder here than in most other cities and spring and autumn are mild, but often wet and unpredictable with occasional chilly winds!
It is advisable to keep a track of the current climatic update before the commencement of your travel!