All About 14 Day Tours including 4 Day Gulet Cruise Turkey Tours & Istanbul, Antalya, Cappadocia, Ephesus, Fethiye, Kalkan, Kas, Kusadasi, Demre, Pamukkale Tour
Hagia Sophia (Santa Sophia) Museum
An Ancient Paraphilia
Theatre of Hierapolis
The Ancient city of Aphrodisias
A fertile valley
Goreme open air museum
Kaymakli underground city
The Celsius Library
House of the Virgin Mary
Temple of Artemis
The Pirates Cave
All About 14 Day Tours including 4 Day Gulet Cruise Turkey Tours & Istanbul, Antalya, Cappadocia, Ephesus, Fethiye, Kalkan, Kas, Kusadasi, Demre, Pamukkale Tour
Antalya (population 2 million), “capital” of the Turkish Mediterranean Coast, is a sprawling modern city with a small, charming historic center, a good archeology museum, long sunny beaches to east and west, the Turquoise Coast’s busiest airport, good hotels, Blue Cruise Turkey, Gulet Cruise Turkey, lots to see and do, and dramatic sea and mountain views.
The historic center, called Kaleiçi (Kah-leh-ee-chee, Old Antalya) surrounds the Roman harbor. Many buildings here date from Ottoman times, a few from Roman times, and some have been restored as houses, boutique hotels, pensions and restaurants.
Antalya’s prime beach is Konyaaltı Plajı, a l-o-n-g swath of rough sand and pebbles running west for several kilometers.
The sand is somewhat softer along Lara Plajı to the east. Other beaches are farther afield at Side and Alanya to the east, or Kemer, Phaselis and Olimpos to the south.
Visit Antalya for Kaleiçi, the museum and beaches, and because it’s the transport hub of the region with a big, modern airport 10 km (6 miles) east of the city center, and a big, modern bus terminal (Otogar) 4 km (2.5 miles) north. Here’s more on how to get to Antalya, and how to get around.
Plan at least 3 days in Istanbul — so much to see & do (even with kids), lots of good hotels, hostels, apartments/flats, restaurants, bazaars & shops, even beaches. Here are the best tours & itineraries…Western Turkey Tour
Istanbul verifiably otherwise called Constantinople and Byzantium, is the most crowded city in Turkey and the nation’s financial, social, and noteworthy focus. Istanbul is a cross-country city in Eurasia, straddling the Bosphorus strait between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. Its business and authentic focus lies on the European side and around 33% of its populace lives on the Asian side. The city is the managerial focal point of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality both facilitating a populace of around 14 million residents Istanbul is one of the world’s most crowded urban areas and positions as the world’s seventh biggest city appropriate and the biggest European city.
Established under the name of Byzantium on the Sarayburnu projection around 660 BCE, the city created to wind up a standout amongst the most huge ever. After its restoration as Constantinople in 330 CE, it served as a majestic capital for very nearly 16 centuries, amid the Roman and Byzantine (330–1204 and 1261–1453), the Latin (1204–1261), and the Ottoman (1453–1922) empires. It was instrumental in the progression of Christianity amid Roman and Byzantine times, before the Ottomans vanquished the city in 1453 and changed it into an Islamic fortification and the seat of the Ottoman Caliphate.
Istanbul’s key position on the notable Silk Road, rail systems to Europe and the Middle East, and the main ocean course between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean have created a cosmopolitan masses, albeit less so since the foundation of the Turkish Republic in 1923. Ignored for the new capital Ankara amid the interwar period, the city has subsequent to recovered quite a bit of its unmistakable quality. The number of inhabitants in the city has expanded tenfold since the 1950s, as transients from crosswise over Anatolia have moved in and city limits have extended to oblige them. Arts, music, film, and social celebrations were set up toward the end of the twentieth century and keep on being facilitated by the city today. Base upgrades have delivered an unpredictable transportation system.
Turkey is the historic area of central Anatolia bounded by the towns of Hacıbektas, Aksaray, Nigde and Kayseri. It was known as Cappadocia in ancient times, and is still called Kapadokya informally today.Cappadocia is Turkey’s most visually striking region, especially the “moonscape” area around the towns of Ürgüp, Göreme, Uçhisar, Avanos and Mustafapaşa (Sinasos), where erosion has formed caves, clefts, pinnacles, “fairy chimneys” and sensuous folds in the soft volcanic rock.Although the volcanic landscape can appear inhospitable, the mineral-rich soil is excellent for growing vegetables and fruits, making Turkey Tour Cappadocia a rich agricultural region. It has always been one of Anatolia’s prime grape-growing areas, and still boasts many productive vineyards and wineries.
The Bible’s New Testament tells of Cappadocia, but in fact this part of central Anatolia has been important since Hittite times, long before the time of Jesus.
Prime activities here are visiting the historic painted cave churches of the many monastic valleys (especially the Göreme Valley and Zelve Valley), flying in a hot-air balloon at dawn above the incredible landscape, hiking the volcanic valleys (especially the Rose Valley [Güllüdere]), and spending the night in a comfortable cave hotel room with all the modern comforts.
For an excellent full-day excursion, drive to the surprising underground cities at Derinkuyu and Kaymaklı and the formerly Ottoman-Greek mountain town of Güzelyurt before taking a hike of several hours in the Ihlara Valley.
You may also want to spend a half-day hiking the less-visited Soğanlı Valleys of southern Cappadocia, south of Mustafapaşa.
Cappadocia was known as Hatti in the late Bronze Age, and was the country of the Hittite force focused at Hattusa. After the fall of the Hittite Empire, with the decrease of the Syro-Cappadocians after their thrashing by the Lydian lord Croesus in the sixth century, Cappadocia was ruled by a kind of medieval gentry, abiding in solid palaces and keeping the laborers in a servile condition, which later made them well-suited to outside servitude. It was incorporated into the third Persian satrapy in the division set up by Darius however kept on being administered by leaders of its own, none evidently incomparable over the entire nation and all pretty much tributaries of the Great King.
Ephesus is the best-preserved Roman city in the Mediterranean region, and one of Turkey’s top sights along with Istanbul and Cappadocia, but the Ephesus archeological site is not the only reason to visit this region. Ephesus and Pamukkale Tour
Selçuk, the town 3 km (2 miles) east of the Ephesus archeological site, lies at the foot of Ayasoluk Hill, topped by a Byzantine-Ottoman fortress. On the slope are the St John Basilica and İsa Bey Mosque, both worth a visit, and below them the scant remains of the renowned Artemision. The Ephesus Museum holds the excavation treasures.
Selçuk has a big weekly market on Saturday, rivaling the famous weekly market at Tire (TEE-reh), a town 42 km (26 miles) northeast of Selçuk.
Good beaches are at Pamucak, Kuşadası and Altınkum, or you can take a day-trip for beach and windsurfing to charming Alaçatı.
Fethiye, 200 km/124 miles (3 hours) west of Antalya, and 131 km/81 miles (2 hours) east of Marmaris, rests on a broad Mediterranean bay boasting some of Turkey’s best beaches and yachting. Plenty of hotels provide a place to stay, and Dalaman Airport makes access fairly easy.
The wide swath of Çalış Beach, several kilometers long, is only 5 km (3 miles) northeast of Fethiye. Ölüdeniz, perhaps Turkey’s most beautifully-situated beach, is 8.5 km (5.3 miles) south of Fethiye, over the hills. Both beaches have their own selections of hotels and restaurants.
Besides the beach, visitors like the ruins of ancient Telmessos scattered through the city, and the day-long 12-Island yacht cruise of the bay, especially the stop at Gemile Island, covered in unrestored Byzantine ruins. Boats depart on the cruise every day in the warm months from Fethiye’s busy harbor.
Fethiye is a favorite getaway for British travelers. You may hear English spoken in the streets, shops and markets.
Some 2400 years ago, Fethiye (FET-hee-yeh) was the prominent town of Telmessos, but earthquakes have left only a few Lycian stone sarcophagi from the old town, along with the dramatic Tomb of Amyntas carved into the sheer rock cliff high above the town.
Kalkan is a Turkish Mediterranean fishing village gone upscale to resort status. Located 27 km (17 miles) west of Kaş, it’s like Kaş with less land but more money.
Kalkan has retained more of its Ottoman-era character, and has beauty and charm despite the inevitable modern development, most noticeable in the form of the 60-room Patara Prince Hotel & Resort and the 18-villa Club Patara Villas on the southeast side of Kalkan’s pristine little azure cove.
The good news is that Kalkan has a good selection of hotels and villas to rent/let for your visit.
Once an Ottoman Greek fishing village named Kalamaki, Kalkan (kahl-KAHN, shield) has a tiny beach, but is too hemmed in by mountains falling right into the sea to have much coastal sand. Most people swim from tiny concrete decks set near the sea, reached by stairs or ladders.
Kalkan’s small yacht harbor stays busy ferrying day-trippers to the Blue Cave and to tiny, hidden Kaputaş (KAH-poo-tahsh) beach, 7 km (4.3 miles) to the east.
Kalkan is a favorite destination for British travelers coming for a week’s villa vacation, or years of easy retirement living. If you’re traveling through, I wouldn’t recommend Kalkan for a long stay, but a night or two can be pleasant.
Kaş, once an unspoiled fishing village, is now a relatively unspoiled tourist town on the southern bulge of Turkey’s Mediterranean coast two hours’ drive southeast of Fethiye and three hours’ drive southwest of Antalya.
Despite dozens of new hotels and pensions, Kaş (KAHSH) still has charm, part of which comes from its setting at the foot of a wall of mountains facing the sparkling Mediterranean.
Another part of its charm comes from Kaş’s unhurried ambience. Because it is hours away from the Mediterranean’s two major airports (Antalya and Dalaman), it gets fewer visitors than towns that are more quickly accessible.
Ruins of the ancient town of Antiphellos mix with modern buildings in Kaş. Across the water to the south lies the Greek island of Megisti (Kastellorizo; Meis Adası in Turkish). You can go there easily for a day trip.
Kaş’s beaches are small, pebbly and apt to be crowded, so visitors in search of a broad, long sand beach drive west to Patara.
Otherwise, visitors to Kaş spend time in waterfront coffee-houses and restaurants, take boat trips to nearby Üçağız and Kaleköy or the Blue Cave, visit the neighboring village of Kalkan, or walk up the mountain to the cliff tombs.
Kaş is also a good base for exploring the plentiful ancient Lycian cities and archeological sites such as Demre (Kale), Patara, Xanthos (Kınık), Letoön, Saklıkent and Tlos.
Kuşadası (pop. 500,000) is a major Aegean resort city and cruise ship port 108 km (67 miles, 1-1/2-hour drive) due south of İzmir (map).
Being so close to the renowned ruins of Ephesus, it gets more than its share of Turkish and foreign visitors.
With more than 140 hotels, Kuşadası has plenty of beds for visitors, though some of them are noisy. More…
Everybody visits Ephesus. Some travelers also come for the city’s vibrant nightlife and shopping, others come for Kuşadası’s beaches.
Although there are some stretches of beach right in the city, the prime beach—rather narrow, and also backed by city—is Ladies Beach (Kadınlar Plajı) south of the center.
Serious beach fans make the 15-minute, 8-km drive north to Pamucak Beach, which is wide, long and uncrowded, and nearer to Ephesus, but with fewer services, some surf, and no lifeguards.
You can use Kuşadası as a base for tours of other sights in the region such as Priene, Miletus and Didyma; Euromos; Pamukkale and Aphrodisias; and even İzmir and Bodrum.
Demre (Myra, Kale)
Demre (Myra), 50 km (31 miles east of Kaş and 80 km (50 miles) southwest of Çıralı, is the town where Santa Claus (Noel Baba in Turkish) first brought joy.
Actually, it was St Nicholas, a 4th-century Bishop of Myra, who lived and worked here, and who was later transmuted into the jolly Christmas elf called Sinterklaas in Holland (and similar names in other European countries), and later Santa Claus in North America.
An 11th-century church in Demre, now the Santa Claus Museum (Noel Baba Müzesi), once held his earthly remains, but in 1087 most of his bones were taken by force to Bari in Italy, and the remainder taken to Venice in 1100. (Churches were built in both cities to preserve the purloined relics. In 2009 the Turkish government demanded the return of the relics to Demre.)
Nicholas was born in nearby Patara, became a priest, rose to the rank of bishop, and did much of his good work here in the Roman town then called Myra, a name derived from myrrh.
Legend has it that he’d drop small bags of gold coins down the chimneys of houses with poor girls who were old enough to marry, but had no dowry. Another story says he’d leave gold coins in the shoes of the poor who put them out for him. Sanctified for his good works, he became the patron saint of virgins, sailors, children, pawnbrokers and Holy Russia.
Pamukkale, 18 km (11 miles) north of Denizli, is Turkey’s foremost mineral-bath spa because of its natural beauty: hot calcium-laden waters spring from the earth and cascade over a cliff. As they cool they form dramatic travertines of hard, brilliantly white calcium that form pools.
Named the Cotton Fortress (pah-MOOK-kah-leh) in Turkish, it has been a spa since the Romans built the spa city of Hierapolis around a sacred warm-water spring. The Antique Pool is still there, littered with marble columns from the Roman Temple of Apollo. You can swim in it for a fee.
You can spend a pleasant day at Pamukkale, exploring the extensive Roman ruins of Hierapolis, climbing the ranks of seats in the great Roman theater, touring the exhibits in the Archeological Museum, splashing along the travertines (where permitted) and even soaking in the Antique Pool littered with fluted marble columns.
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