Glories of Turkey

10 Nights / 11 Days

Discover all the highlights of Turkey on a more leisurely road trip with deluxe hotels through the country in this popular tour.

Istanbul

The most fascinating thing about Istanbul is it’s split with Asia on the one hand and Europe on the other!!

The grandeur of the Bosphorus river and its cruise is an experience like no other. The spectacular architecture, the museums, Taksim square and its energy put together are very contageous. The gastronomy is to die for (veg and non-veg, both!) and the Turkish coffee and its fortune telling capabilities. The whole package is mouth-watering. When in Istanbul you must see the the Grand Bazaar for a very traditional feel.

The Hagia Sophia, the largest Church in the World converted to a Mosque by the Ottoman Turks and then to a Library by the visionary Kamal Attaturk. Of course the Black sea and the Marmara sea are there with the Istanbul Strait running through the middle of the city. Overall, the people are very cordial, international and tourist friendly. Language is not a problem and its easy to find your bearings in a day .The Blue Mosque and the Topkapi Palace are exotic experiences.

The party on the Clubs on the Bosphorus make Istanbul rock. You also have the option to see the famous Dervish dance.

Cappadocia

Cappadocia is located deep in the heart of the country, with an interesting topography including the landscapes and the houses. Cappadocia essentially invites you to enjoy what it has to offer, at your own pace.

My trip here included a stay in the famous Cave Suites. I had heard a lot about them and I was far from disappointed! But even otherwise, the hot air ballooning over Cappadocia is such a beautiful experience. Where else can you float over the fairy chimneys in a hot-air balloon in the morning?? For those who enjoy hiking, there are quite a few spots depending upon your liking. However, I’d like to concur with the folks who say that the best part about Cappadocia is the way of life here.

It’s far away from the hustle and bustle of a normal metropolitan city like Istanbul. If you can appreciate that, you’ll fall in love with the place as soon as you get there! Everything Cappadocia offers makes it such a compelling tourist destination – there truly is something here for everyone.

Pamukkale

What’s most interesting is that the name, Pamukkale literally means Cotton Castle and it is easy to see why it was given that.  Yet this geological wonder is also the site of the ancient city of Hierapolis and over the centuries the two have seemed to come together, merged almost, in to one. In fact some of the old tombs in the city's necropolis have beome part of landscape - literally.

There are quite a few Hot Springs and travertines which can be easily seen and are a wonder of nature. Pamukkale has been declared as a World Heritage Site and thus holds much significance. Now, i’ll take some keen interest in telling a little something about Pamukkale’s history. Earlier, vehicles were allowed up and down the hills and hotels were built on top of the remains of Hierapolis.  Today the vehicles are prohibited and the hotels long since demolished, leaving the area to recover.

People are allowed to bathe in the travertine pools but are not allowed to wear shoes as these may damage the deposits. The travertine pools are at the top of a cliff which looks like, from a distance, that it is made from chalk. Ajab P pools were featured in a song sequence, Tu Jaane Na, of the Bollywood Movie, Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani. The site is home to seventeen hot water springs transported over several hundred meters the water is then deposited in to the travertine terraces.

Although now abandoned as an inhabited city, Pamukkale is a visual treat and a once in a lifetime experience receiving many visitors each year to partake of the spring waters and for the almost blinding natural beauty of the place. 

SPOILER ALERT:- There is a local legend which to our ears does not sound terribly politically correct.  A local girl was so ugly that no one wanted to marry her and she decided to commit suicide.  She threw herself in to one of the natural pools at Pamukkale and was transformed in to a ravishing beauty.  Naturally a passing noble man decided to marry her and they lived happily ever after.  No Shrek-like musings on the nature of beauty here.

Kusadasi

Kusadasi is one of Turkey's principle holiday resorts, offering an excellent environment for an unforgettable holiday. Situated on the west coast of Turkey- 90km south of Izmir, Kusadasi, is reputed for one of the most attractive city of the Aegean, as it is close to the important historical sites including Ephesus, Didyma, Priene, Miletos-the principals of ancient times, and ideal for sightseers.

The good thing is that Kusadasi has a typical Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters, providing a long tourism season. Also it has numerous powdery sandy beaches with clear waters, allowing a greater variety of water and beach facilities. It’s a good change to go windsurfing, water skiing, sailing and beach volley in European waters too! After sunbathing restfully during the day, the city awaits the superb sunset.

As the sun sets, also lined up are the cafes and restaurants through the palm-lined boulevard, which get busy. What really takes the cake for me is the panoramic view of the sunset, on a pre-drink before dinner. The restaurants, serving a variety of fresh seafood &fish and Aegean specialties, offer a delicious meal in Kusadasi. Dancing and entertaining at a lively bar or a disco until dawn, may end an ideal day in Kusadasi.

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