Şanlıurfa, 150 km (93 miles) east of Gaziantep and 1,300 km (808 miles) southeast of Istanbul, is perhaps the most interesting and historic city in Turkey’s southeastern region.
Turks know Urfa (as it’s commonly called) as the Prophets’ City because of legends telling that the Patriarch Abraham was born in a cave here. (The Bible does say he stayed at Harran, 50 km [31 miles] to the south.) The cave, and other legendary locations, are visited annually by hundreds of thousands of Muslim pilgrims.
It’s certain that Urfa (OOR-fah, pop. 500,000, alt. 518 m/1700 feet), as it’s commonly called, is very old, dating back at least 3500 years to Hittite times; and the world’s first temple at nearby Göbekli Tepe dates from 11,000+ years ago.
Because Urfa is set right at the crossroads of routes to Europe, Asia and Africa, just about everyone important has marched through and left their mark, including the Babylonians, Egyptians, Alexander the Great, Greeks, Romans and Seljuk Turks under Saladin.
The Crusaders, no doubt attracted by the town’s easily-defended promontory called the Throne of Nimrod, called it Edessa and made it the capital of the Latin County of Edessa, ruled by Count Baldwin of Boulogne.
Daily flights connect Şanlıurfa’s GAP Airport (GNY) with Ankara and Istanbul, as do intercity buses (no trains—nearest train station is in Diyarbakır).
Tourism is travel for pleasure or business; also the theory and practice of touring, the business of attracting, accommodating, and entertaining tourists, and the business of operating tours. Tourism may be international, or within the traveller’s country. The World Tourism Organization defines tourism more generally, in terms which go “beyond the common perception of tourism as being limited to holiday activity only”, as people “traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes”.
Tourism can be domestic or international, and international tourism has both incoming and outgoing implications on a country’s balance of payments. Today, tourism is a major source of income for many countries, and affects the economy of both the source and host countries, in some cases being of vital importance.
Deluxe Hot Air Balloon Ride
Experience the magic of a balloon ride while floating over beautiful landscapes. Our personal touch and professional experience will make your flight a memorable event. We schedule flights once a day, every day, all year round.
Imagine crystal clear warm water with spectacular visibility, producing incredible harmonies of light and colour. The underwater landscape is diverse with many calm shallow bays that are ideal for the beginner and the exciting caves, reefs, drop-offs, caverns, tunnels, ship wrecks, airplane wrecks and night dives for the more advanced diver. Encounter the Meditteranean fauna and flora: sea horses, octopus, barracuda’s etc. Moreover, let’s not forget an ancient Greek and Roman amphora pots dating back to 300 B.C. Fethiye and Kas are without any doubt Turkey’s best diving destinations. From May to October water the temperature reaches an average of 28 C., whilst even during the coldest months the water temperature has still an average of 20 C. Daily diving tours: Beginner Diver (also available for children from 8 yr old on); Non-Diver; Certified diver; Night Diver. Diving courses (from 1 to 10 days): Discover Scuba Diving ; Scuba Diver; Open Water Diver Junior Open Water Diver (10-14 years); Advanced Diver; Advanced Plus; Medic First Aid; Rescue Diver; Divemaster Scuba Tune-up; Scuba Referral. PADI – CMAS – DAN – SCSPF.
With its many national parks and mountains, Turkey has some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the world (some more arduous than others). We chose some of the best hiking trails from around Turkey so you can pack up your gear and book your tickets.
One of Turkey’s most famous hiking trails, the Lycian Trail stretches around 509 km from Fethiye to Antalya with amazing views all around and great stops along the way such as Patara Beach, the natural beaches of Kaş, and the historic ruins of Olympos.
Uludağ is usually known as one of Turkey’s most popular destinations to go skiing, however, in the warmer months the national park is also an excellent spot for hiking. Explore the meadows, rocky area, and glacial lakes, and definitely traverse the best trail that leads from Sarıalan to Çobankaya.
Another fantastic Turkish mountain to climb and explore, Kaçkar is located in Turkey’s beautiful Black Sea region whose natural alpine beauty is often compared to Switzerland. Walk past the wildflowers and sheepherders with their flock, and challenge yourself to reach the peak at around 4000m.
Cappadocia is a hiking paradise because of its unique landscape and an abundance of historic sights. The most popular trails are in the Pigeon and Love Valleys, the Rose and Red Valleys, and the Zemi Valleys where you’ll come across Cappadocia’s famous Fairy Chimneys, rock churches, and stunning rock formations.
The Via Egnatia once served as the road that connected the western and eastern parts of the mighty Roman Empire and was used for both trade and military purposes. Nowadays, passionate hikers can traverse the trail that starts in Durres, Albania and goes through Macedonia, Northern Greece and Turkey, with the final stop in Istanbul.
Another very important mountain range in Turkey, the Taurus Mountains are flanked by sheer rock walls, deep valleys and canyons, and beautiful alpine pastures and lakes. The western Taurus (with the ancient city of Termessos) and central Taurus (with the beautiful Karagöl Lake and the bridge in Adana) are the most popular.
We wouldn’t recommend that you climb Mount Nemut in the winter because of the thick layers of snow, however, in the warmer months, the climb to the 2150m peak is thoroughly rewarding. It is here that the famous temple tomb of the late Hellenistic King Antiochos I of Commagene Kingdom continues to stun hikers.
St. Paul Trail
This special trail also has a lot of historic significance because it was used by Saint Paul during his first journey through Asia Minor. The 500km St. Paul Trail (which can take up to 27 days) also goes through the Taurus Mountains but passes through the ancient sites of Perge and Aspendos in Antalya as well as rural villages and breathtaking natural landscapes.
It’s hard to overlook magnificent Mount Olympos, which towers above the beautiful beach at Çıralı. Known as Tahtalı Dağ in Turkish, the well marked trail is more reachable after being dropped off at the village of Beycik, and you can only imagine what the view is like from up there, Mediterranean coast and sea and all.
Yenice Forest Trail
One of the lesser-known hiking trails in Turkey, this particular path leads through the natural beauty that calls itself the Yenice Forest. A true discovery for nature lovers, the trails goes past forests and canyons and can also be traversed on bike or horseback. Safranbolu, which is famous for its well-preserved Ottoman era houses, is also nearby and definitely worth a day trip.
An educational trail (or sometimes educational path), nature trail or nature walk is a specially developed hiking trail or footpath that runs through the countryside, along which there are marked stations or stops next to points of natural, technological or cultural interest. These may convey information about, for example, flora and fauna, soil science, geology, mining, ecology or cultural history. Longer trails, that link more widely spaced natural phenomena or structures together, may be referred to as themed trails or paths.
In order to give a clearer explanation of the objects located at each station, display boards or other exhibits are usually erected, in keeping with the purpose of the trail. These may include: information boards, photographs and pictures, maps or plans, display cases and models, slides, sound or multimedia devices, facilities to enable experimentation and so on. The routes are regularly maintained.
Educational trails with a strong thematic content may also be called “theme paths”, “theme trails” or “theme routes”, or may be specially named after their subject matter, for example the Welsh Mountain Zoo Trail, Anglezarke Woodland Trail, Cheshire Lines Railway Path, Great Harwood Nature Trail, Irwell Sculpture Trail, Salthill Quarry Geology Trail and Wildlife Conservation Trail.
Have you ever wanted to fly like a bird and touch the sky?
Experience with us the magic of a tandem paragliding flight! Our highly experienced pilots and most up to date new equipment make sure that you will pass a day to remember during which your safety always comes first. In Oludeniz near Fethiye the adventure begins and ends on the famous beach. A 45 minute truck safari brings you to the peak of Babadag (Father Mountain) and is an experience in itself, with over whelming views of the Blue Lagoon and its surrounding flora. Once we reach take-off point you will be fully briefed by your pilot. And then it is time to … touch the sky! You will be amazed by the stunning aerial views for 30 up to 45 minutes, depending on the day’s conditions. Experience unthinkable heights and dare yourself to an exhilarating spiral or simply float down gently as a bird. Your ultimate landing will return you to Oludeniz Beach where your friends or family wait for you, ready to hear all about your journey of a lifetime!
Road cycling is the most widespread form of cycling. It includes recreational, racing, and utility cycling. Road cyclists are generally expected to obey the same rules and laws as other vehicle drivers or riders and may also be vehicular cyclists.
Dedicated road bicycles have drop handlebars and multiple gears, although there are single and fixed gear varieties. Road bikes also use narrow, high-pressure tires to decrease rolling resistance, and tend to be somewhat lighter than other types of bicycle. The drop handlebars are often positioned lower than the saddle in order to put the rider in a more aerodynamic position. In an effort to become more aerodynamic, some riders have begun using aerobars. Who and when aerobars where invented is unclear but they seem to date back to the early 1980s. The light weight and aerodynamics of a road bike allows this type of bicycle to be the second most efficient self-powered means of transportation, behind only recumbent bicycles due to the latter’s higher aerodynamic efficiency.
Standard Hot Air Balloon Ride
Get carried away in a Hot Air Balloon adventure, unlike anything you’ve ever seen. During your flight you will get a spectacular bird’s eye view of the gorgeous Red Rock Mountains and the famous Las Vegas Strip. You will drift silently over the city and countryside where you will watch for wildlife and talk with envious onlookers down below. After drifting serenely for approximately an hour, we prepare for landing.
Human beings have been swimming for millennia. According to Wikipedia, Stone Age cave drawings depict individuals swimming and there are written references in the Bible and the Greek poems “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey” dating back 1,500 to 2,000 years. There are even Egyptian clay seals from 4000 BC showing four swimmers doing a version of the crawl, and the most famous swimming drawings were apparently found in the Kebir desert and were estimated to be from around 4000 BC.
According to the Encyclopedia of Traditional British Rural Sports, literature specifically related to swimming grew in the middle ages. It is believed that the first book devoted to swimming was Colymbetes by Nicolas Wynman written in 1538, and a more widely recognized text, De Arte Nantandi, was published in Latin by Everard Digby in 1587. The encyclopedia also reports that swimming was required of knights and that Romans built bathhouses and pools in the cities they conquered to serve as social clubs and places to exercise.
Organized swimming began in the 1800s and 1900s with the creation of swimming associations (for example, the Amateur Swimming Association in 1886) and clubs that competed against each other. There are reports from that era of swimming clubs in England, France, Germany, and the United States. High-profile events also contributed to swimming’s visibility. For instance, Matthew Webb swam the English Channel in 1875.
Competitive swimming continued to grow in popularity during the 1800s and was included in the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896. In 1904, the Olympics in St. Louis included the 50-, 100-, 220-, 440-, 880-yard and one-mile freestyle, the 100-yard backstroke and 440-yard breaststroke, and a 4×50-yard freestyle relay.
By the 20th century, swimming had become mainstream. Indoor pools were beginning to appear, most towns with populations over 20,000 had public outdoor pools, and swimming clubs became increasingly popular for recreation. Women participated for the first time in swimming in the Olympic Games in Stockholm in 1912, and Johnny Weissmuller (considered by many authorities to be the greatest swimmer of all time and who later went on to Tarzan fame in movies) became the first person to swim 100 meters in less than one minute.
Today swimming is the second most popular exercise activity in the United States, with approximately 360 million annual visits to recreational water venues. Swim clubs, recreation centers, Y’s, and many other facilities feature swimming pools. Many high schools and colleges have competitive swim teams, and of course, swimming is one of the most popular Olympic sports. Millions of Americans are swimming each year. Are you one of them? If not, the following information may help get you started.
A Turkish bath or hammam is a steambath, sauna, distinguished by a focus on water, as distinct from ambient steam. In Western Europe, the “Turkish bath” as a method of cleansing and relaxation became popular during the Victorian era. The process involved in taking a Turkish bath is similar to that of a sauna but is more closely related to ancient Greek and ancient Roman bathing practices.
We provide you a free shuttle service from your hotel to the hammam.
Enjoy a 1,000-year old Turkish tradition
Relax your body with a foam and oil massage
Experience an original Anatolian ritual
Get an invigorating body peel
Take time out in the sauna and Jacuzzi
Receive a face mask and facial massage
The Turkish bath starts with relaxation in a room (known as the warm room) that is heated by a continuous flow of hot, dry air, allowing the bather to perspire freely. Bathers may then move to an even hotter room (known as the hot room) before they wash in cold water. After performing a full body wash and receiving a massage, bathers finally retire to the cooling-room for a period of relaxation. The difference between the Islamic hammam and the Victorian Turkish bath is the air. The hot air in the Victorian Turkish bath is dry; in the Islamic hammam the air is often steamy. The bather in a Victorian Turkish bath will often take a plunge in a cold pool after the hot rooms; the Islamic hammam usually does not have a pool unless the water is flowing from a spring. In the Islamic hammams, the bathers splash themselves with cold water.
Turkish Night Show is organized not only to let you experience Turkish culture and traditions but also to have a real entertainment and show after a relaxing Cappadocia day. We pick you up from your hotel in Goreme or other towns of Cappadocia at 20:00 in winter and 20:30 in summer and drive you to one of the cave restaurants of Cappadocia where the show will be performed.
The dancers, including the bride and groom, come on the dance floor and perform the traditional way, which a girl gets married in Turkey. The bride dressed in a beautiful red dress dances in the middle and the groom comes up and put on different shows for her. He first shows how handsome he is, and than how strong he is and finally how rich he is. After rejecting all these shows one by one, the bride accepts to get married with him when the groom tells that his heart beats for her. While they are starting to their wedding dance, all the guests are invited to dance with them, as well.
After a couple of other folk dances from different parts of Turkey, the highlight of the night comes: Belly Dancer! She makes her breath-taking dance and then goes around all the tables to take one man from each table. The men have a great time while they are learning the secrets of belly-dancing with some basic figures. Their wives Well, it was made sure there were no sharp objects around, before the belly dancer!
After some other dances and shows like fire dance, Caucasian dance with knives and drum show, the night ends around 23:30 and we drive you back to your hotel for a deep sleep.
During the night the waiters will serve unlimited soft and alcoholic drinks with appetizers. The main course will be lamb with rice, the traditional wedding meal of Turkey.
Whirling Dervishes Sufi Show
See the stunning Mevlevi Sema ceremony in Istanbul. Known for its whirling dervishes and dances, enjoy a complex musical repertoire called ayin and go on a mystical journey representing man’s spiritual ascent through mind and love to perfection. Watch a magnificent 1-hour show of the Mevlevi Sema ceremony at the HodjaPasha Culture Center in central Istanbul and witness the miracle of the whirling dances and dervishes.
Dating back 800 years, the show represents in thrilling fashion the idea that everything in the universe, from atoms to the solar system, to the blood that circulates in the body, revolves. Sema is a spiritual journey that the soul makes to God as it becomes mature and attains unity. After the journey, it returns to its life and to serve humankind again. This thrilling program begins with a classical Turkish music concert, followed by the Sema ceremony, comprised of 7 parts. Watch in wonder as the whirling dervishes and sheikh take their place and praise the Prophet Mohammed. Following the chant, a drum voice is heard and all 7 parts unfold, – the ceremony climaxes when the extraordinary whirling dervishes revolve to represent the birth of humanity. The Sema ends with a Fâtiha for the souls of all prophets, martyrs, and believers, and a prayer for the salvation of the country. Chosen as the best authentic local event in 2010 by the Federation of Tourist Guides in Turkey, this fantastic show takes place in the fantastic HodjaPasha Culture Center, which is a restored 550-year-old Ottoman Turkish bath in Sultanahmet-Sirkeci.
See an extraordinary dance show that dates back 800 years
Enter the HodjaPasha Culture Center, set in a restored 550-year-old Ottoman Turkish bath
Learn about the Mevlevi Sema spiritual journey
Enjoy a fantastic musical repertoire
Watch the miraculous whirling dervishes