General Information About Turkey for Blue Cruise￼
Turkey is a chocolate box filled with delightful antiquities, edifices, enduring recipes, mountains, valleys, plains seas and sultanate intrigue. There’s nothing you want from your travels that isn’t here and that is no more applicable than to Turkey Hotels. Turkey is a bountiful country making it a perfect travelling and holidaying destination. It has 67 provinces, 4 seasons, many traditional foods, at least 4 fallen empires, folk tales, music styles, varying descendants and a wealth of historical sights. So when you think of Turkey, think ‘plenty’. The Ottoman Empire was the latest reign to fall ending after the first world war in 1923 when Mustafa Kemal Ataturk lead the country in a revolution that transformed Turkey into a democratic republic. Today, places like Istanbul remain simultaneously modern and traditional, western and eastern, accessible and familiar yet sweetly exotic keeping perennial visitors entranced and returning. A strong sense of modernity and progress exist here right alongside the palpable traditional culture and charming hospitality of the people. Aside from the central, modern capital city of Ankara Turkey Ankara Hotels and the intoxicating people’s capital of Istanbul Turkey Istanbul hotels where Turkey’s main port is, Turkey has many areas and cities that demand to be explored and experienced. From Istanbul, along the Agean sea west coast, for example, to the Mediterranean South coast is a delightful trail of cities and coastal regions peppered with traces of ancient worlds and civilisations including the ruins of the Temple of Artemis named as one of the seven wonders of the world. Not only are traces of Greek, Roman, Byzantium and Selcuk occupation to be found but some places are right opposite Greek islands and it’s possible during your stay in Turkey to visit these as well. Heading out of Istanbul towards the Agean sea across the sea of Marmaris and through Bursa Turkey Bursa Hotels which is famous for its Iskendar kebab is Gallipoli Turkey Gallipoli Hotels , made famous by the sad battle that took place there. Every year many Turks and Australians come together for a moving, commemorative Anzac Day ceremony at the sight. After Gallipoli and on the west coast lies the ancient city of Troy in Canakkale Turkey Canakkale Hotels which is a UNESCO world heritage sight. More than one city has been excavated and after much debate one of them has been most associated with the Greek writer Homer. Regardless of any academic opinion you might hold about it, here is where all the epic trojan war stories and the tale of the kidnapping of the beautiful Helen come to life.
Further on down the west coast is the international trading city of Izmir Turkey Izmir Hotels, with its annual international business exposition and its music festival. Izmir is famous for its kofte (meatballs) and it has an international airport. Just below it you will find Ephesus, the ancient city that is said to have hosted one of Christ’s disciples and where visitors can lay their hands on stones that have been standing for centuries. Nearby is the house of the Virgin Mary where she is said to have lived up until her death. The story goes that a devout Christian nun saw the house in a vision having never been to Turkey and so now the house is a shrine hidden amongst olive groves, on a mountain top reached by winding roads that lead to the sea. This place is a great addition for a trip to Ephesus and it’s fascinating to see inside this small little house amongst the trees and imagine that it once housed such a famous lady all that time ago. 90km south of Izmir Turkey Izmir Hotels and close to the sight of Ephesus is Kusadasi Turkey Kusadasi Hotels. Kusadasi’s aqua parks, sandy beaches, long hot summers and mild winters, facilities for boating and water sports make it an excellent holidaying choice. Turkey Hotels Kusadasi can offer you many Kusadasi Hotels with facilities for these activities and information about tours and excursions to the nearby historical sights including Ephesus, Didyma and Priene – an ancient city of Ionia. Kusadasi has a vibrant town centre with wonderful bars and cafes, great shops and buzzing, limitless nightlife. There are panoramic views of the beautiful bay so you can watch the sun set while you sip on a cocktail or two. Kusadasi is opposite Samos with the possibility of excursions to the Greek island.
Moving east from Ephesus brings visitors to Pamukkale Turkey Pamukkale Hotels in Denizli Turkey Denizli Hotels province which is home to the ancient ruined city of Hierapolis built above ‘cotton castle’ (Pamuk-Kale) which is a stunning set of water mineral formations formed over centuries of dripping spring water falling over the moutainside. Many underground earthquakes led to a hot spring producing so much chalky water that a cascading solid white waterfall was created and can be seen from a distance. At certain times of the day the ‘castle’ is golden and orange from the sun, a natural point of sheer beauty. Heading back down in a southern direction you will come to Mugla Turkey Mugla Hotels province which contains the towns of Bodrum Turkey Bodrum Hotels, Marmaris Turkey Marmaris Hotels and Fethiye Turkey Fethiye Hotels the tourist capitals and nightlife sisters. Bodrum has thousands of visitors each year, many staying at Turkey Bodrum Hotels for its pleasant, harbour-town features, bean green waters and subsequent yachting opportunities and for its plethora of clubs and buzzing nightlife. Here is where those from the colder climates come to get a little sun, relaxation on the boat tours and plenty of night time fun. Bodrum not only has a great town centre for you to browse for authentic souvenirs but you’ll also find the most famous club in Turkey here, the mighty Halikarnas. This wild club is named after Bodrum Castle and only welcomes guests who are ready for fun. Bodrum is also opposite the Greek island of Kos and is only a short ferry boat ride away. Marmaris is smaller but equally good fun with simply lovely marinas for those who enjoy boating. You can also take a ferry from here to the nearby Greek island of Rhodes. Fethiye is a charming seaside town full of European travellers seeking sun and enjoyment during the high season.
Between Fethiye and Marmaris but far away from each to escape the thudding club basslines is Dalyan Turkey Dalyan Hotels in Mugla Turkey Mugla Hotels Province. A tiny, discreet piece of unspoiled paradise of deltas and scenic beauty where you can visit protected Iztuzu beach to sea the loggerhead sea turtles lay eggs in the summer months. Dalyan is famous for mud baths which can be visited by making a boat trip from Dalyan harbour. There are also natural thermal baths with healing qualities. Travelling east along Turkey’s slice of the sapphire Mediterranean will bring you to Antalya where some of the most perfectly placed holiday resorts can be found and hotel villages are perched right on the waters edge – many with their own private flag beaches. Check out Turkey Antalya Hotels for individual hotel descriptions. Behind the sandy beaches and tinkling harbours stand the majestic Taurus mountains spreading right across the south coast and contributing to some stunning holiday snaps. Antalya is home to the town of Olympos Turkey Olympos Hotels near Mount Olympos of Greek epic fame and besides being extremely picturesque also has natural spring water baths used by the romans. There is one of Turkey’s national parks to explore here and you can join the Lycian Way on its path through Antalya. The Lycian Way is a trekking trail that begins in Fethiye and ends in Antalya passing through Olympos. It’s well mapped out, you can stay at Turkey Antalya Hotels along the way if you are a serious trekker and the path’s waymarks will see you through the adventures and halls of history. Olympos was inhabited by Lycians who were ruled by Romans and their remains are scattered over Olympos. Near to Olympos along the way is the canyon at Goynuk Turkey Goynuk Hotels near the town of Kemer Turkey Kemer Hotels and at Chimera there are ‘flaming rocks’ linked to the myth of the ancient creature Chimera that breathed fire. Today the geographical phenomena can be described by science as vents emitting burning methane. Chimera is above the Temple of Hephaistos and the area of Cirali. The Lycian Way will show you many hot spots such as the ancient city of Myra, Mount Olympos, the canyon and will bring you closer to the locals, their fascinating traditional ways of life and eventually the city of Antalya. Antalya city within Antalya province is a welcoming place for tourists. It’s very picturesque, has lots of history including Byzantium, Roman and Ottoman and Turkey Hotels, has the historical area of Kaleici, where there are Turkey Antalya hotels, and which is well preserved. The city also has a great marina, night life and beautiful bays. Antalya is probably the most tourist and user friendly place to stay at in Turkey. In addition are the equally wonderful surrounding areas of Beldibi, Kemer, Side, Tekirova, Belek, Camyuva and the lovely Alanya, all making up what is usually referred to as the Turkish Riviera. Antalya province has an international airport. It’s also possible to reach many of the resorts and boating towns in these areas by boat. 45 km from Antalya is Saklikent which means ‘hidden city’ in Turkish and is a fascinating canyon visited by many tourists every year.
North East of Antalya is the province of Konya. Travellers particularly interested in Turkey’s muslim and pagan cultures will enjoy Konya and can stay at Turkey Konya Hotels. Konya is home to the Mevlevi or Sufi who are better known as the whirling dervishes. You can witness the mesmerising dance of the dervish in touristic areas of Turkey but for those interested in the beginnings of the religious order, Konya has Mevlana Museum which was once a dervish lodge. Konya also has cute and interesting mosques including Aciveyiszade Mosque, the kule sight tower, the natural beauty of Meram, Alaaddin Hill and Meke Crater Lake. Further north east from Konya will lead you into central Anatolia, into Nevsehir Turkey Nevsehir Hotels and into Cappadocia Turkey Cappadocia Hotels which is not only famous for cereals, fruits and wines but also the Valley of the Fairy Chimneys. These fascinating cone structures have been moulded by geographical forces and weather over time and inhabitants have manipulated the strange materials into houses. Near here are also underground cities.
To the north of Turkey is the Black Sea region famous for its hamsi (anchovy) recipes and if you follow the coast you will eventually reach Trabzon Turkey Trabzon Hotels with its spiritual, ancient Sulema monastery. This monastery is nearly 2000 years old and was built by Greeks who saw an image of the Virgin Mary on a nearby mountainside. The monastery has since witnessed sultan reigns come and go now remaining a great place to visit due to its position on a cliff side overlooking an amazing forest scene. To the east, towards the Iranian border you will discover the city of Van Turkey Van Hotels with its incredible natural settings and the famous Van Lake which has its own lake monster tale not dissimilar to Loch Ness in Scotland. Van is surrounded by breaktaking rocky mountains and boasts plush green valleys. Even though Arabian, Armenian, Roman, Byzantium, Ottoman and Selcuk peoples all crossed these areas it’s the Uratians that have left their mark with an unusual cemetary and other attractions re-telling their activities. Also Van has a special waterfall sight at Muradiye and if you head out this way, look out for the Van cats that have one green eye and one blue eye. Even further east towards the border is Mount Ararat. As the story goes, Noah’s Ark came to rest on this mountain top. Also in the east is Gaziantep Turkey Gaziantep Hotels which is famous for its pistachios, baklava (pastry dessert), lahmacun (special kind of Turkish pizza), corba (soup), kofte (meatballs), corn bread and kebabs. If you are heading to Urfa and Adana Turkey Adana Hotels which border Syria you can expect to tuck into some delicious spicy shish kebabs.
Despite Ankara being the capital and centre of political power, Istanbul remains arguably the most vibrant and exciting city and is culturally the most important city in Turkey. Here many tourists head for the peaceful Sultanahmet region where all the major sights are fortuitously arranged in comfortable walking distance of each other. At the top of a first time visitor’s list of things to see should be Aya Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, The Grand Bazaar, The Spice and Egyptian Bazaars and The Bosphorus with its ever changing moods and constant traffic plying up and down its waters that run right through the heart of the city. Early risers can go at dawn to Halic – The Goldern Horn – to see the wonderous shape of the sun on the water a that point. All over town and especially in Sultanahmet are many ottoman style tea houses for tourists to rest their weary feet and try a little Turkish tea whilst watching the fountains and the whirling dervishes. You can also have a go at the very strong but delicious Turk Kahvesi (Turkish coffee) and if you are lucky, a local may admit to being able to read the coffee grinds and tell you your fortune. Also, many Turkey Istanbul hotels are located in Sultanahmet. Kanlica is famous for yoghurt and there are special yoghurt restaurants where you will be served a tub of delicious yoghurt with a choice of toppings. The best and most traditional topping is a soft kind of icing sugar. It’s the perfect combination. For night life, shopping and good eateries, Istanbul has many areas to choose from. One of the most popular of these is Taksim where more Turkey Istanbul Hotels are available.