Thursday, March 1, 2012

Top 5 Destinations in Turkey

  1. Istanbul
  2. the Bosphorus 
    1. Cliche, I know. But the combination of cuisine, the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, the Bosphorus, the numerous hostels and hotels and the never-ending night life make your journey to Turkey unquestionably incomplete without it! 
      1. two things you CANNOT MISS
        1. Balik ekmek (Fish sandwiches you can buy from vendors near the Galata bridge. Only 5TL and worth every one. 
        2. The Asian Side of Istanbul (Karakoy)- you can take a quick ferry over. And if you like more off the beaten path kind of places, this one is a must see. Loaded with bookshops and antique stores squished along every corner of this upcoming  hipster-esque neighborhood, if you love coffee, unique foods and the smell of old books, this is the place for you. Search through the endless racks of old postcards spilling out of cardboard bins! 
  3. Pamukkale 
  4. The Travertines of Pamukkale
    1. See my old post about the wonders of this (admittedly touristy) but remarkable stretch of mountainside marvelousness... If you are either a history OR a nature lover, this place has something for you. It was my childhood dream to visit this place, and I can guarantee you that it didn't disappoint. Tickets are 20TL admission. And the region surrounding it? True Turkey, though a bit less wealthy. 
  5. Bursa
  6. Climbing the Uludag 
    1. Again, under the radar, but excellent. If you want a cosmopolitan city feel without the tourist haggle, check out Bursa. Famous for their silks and Iskender kebab, it is a city full of beautiful, historic mosques, a world class climbing mountain Mt. Uludag- complete with picnic areas and skiing for the winter-lovers- shopping and plenty of sight-seeing. For those of you who love shopping, Bursa is shopping at its finest! The views from cafes overlooking the city at night beside the century old clock-tower doesn't hurt its appeal either. 
  7. Cappadocia 
  8. the city of Urgup 
      view of Cappadocia 
    1. Famous for it's fairy chimneys, its red wine and the breathtaking scenery, not to mention the hot air ballooners slowly floating through the skyline during sunrise and sunset. While not the food or shopping capital of Turkey, if you want Turkish rugs (kilim), red wine, or some good hiking- this is your place. Plenty of both beaten and less-explored trails through the endless valleys and ravines of this magical landscape. Prepare to be amazed and exhausted by your endless adventures! Lest I forget the underground cave cities. Yes, the plural. Underground cave cities abound, featuring old air systems, wine presses and beds. They were used to escape and hide in ancient times. Whole cities survived underground for months.  If you have more than a weekend, this is a must see region of Turkey. One of the most unique I have seen all over the world. 
  9. Kerpe 
    1. My favorite tiny-town city of Turkey. Three quarters of my Turkish friends had never even heard of the tiny village. Need a break from the crazy touring or endless attempts to sell you souvenirs? Head to Kerpe- a tiny little unmarked village on the shores of the Black Sea, a resort town known only to Turks in the area, but famous for their beautiful sea cliff caves and  beaches. Feeling adventurous? Rent (or get one for free! (ask me how!!)) a four-wheeler to explore around the city. It bumps up a bit in Summer time, full of Istanbul fleeing patrons in search of some good R&R. Prepare to eat the fish, swim in the blissfully beautiful coves and wander through the seaside caves. But don't forget to bring your own dessert! The town is so small, they have to bring over their desserts from the next town over- Kandira. 

    2. Bus from Istanbul-Izmit-Kandira-to eventually reach Kerpe. (Dont' miss Kefken- the city right over the hill, also famous for their stunning cliff views. ) 

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