"Turkey" Turkey by mikelisaanna
Turkey Travel Guide: 24,655 reviews and 70,947 photos
Turkey is a fascinating country to visit for a variety of reasons. First, it possesses a very large number of outstanding historical sites and ruins, including the world's oldest town (Catalhoyuk), dozens of Greek and Roman cities (Troy, Ephesus, Aphrodisias, Pergamon, etc.), and the Ottoman-era palaces and mosques of Istanbul. Turkey also boasts a wide range of scenery, including mountainous coasts, rolling farmland, beaches, and arid plains. Turkey reminded us a lot of California from a scenery standpoint.
Another thing that we enjoyed about our visit to Turkey was its friendly people, who time and again went out of their way to help us and make us feel welcome in their country. Turkey's people run the gamut from strict Muslims to bikini-clad partiers, and we had many fascinating conversations with them during our stay.
We spent a month in Turkey, but feel like we only scratched the surface. It is a large country and we did not have time to visit the eastern half or the northern Black Sea coast. We would love to return and see the parts that we missed.
One of the best resources for planning a trip to Turkey is the website www.turkeytravelplanner.com. It is maintained by a British guy who has visited Turkey extensively, and provides tons of information about the country. We found its estimates of driving times between cities to be especially helpful.
We also found a number of books to be very helpful, including the DK Eyewitness Travel books on Turkey and Istanbul (including their book Top 10 Istanbul), Rick Steve's guide to Istanbul, and two books by Turkish publisher Boyut - 101 Must-See Places in Turkey and The Little Hotel Book (which lists and describes over 300 small privately-owned hotels). The two Boyut books were recommended by a friend who lives in Turkey, and we bought them when we landed in Istanbul. We stayed at 3 hotels from the Little Hotel Book, all of which were very good and reasonably priced.
The best way to travel around Turkey is by road. If you can afford it, rent a car, which gives you maximum flexibility. One thing to keep in mind is that Turkey has the highest gasoline prices in Europe and its drivers are aggressive, but no worse than the drivers in many large European cities. Although not up to US or German standards, Turkey's road system is comprehensive and easy to drive around.
If a rental car is beyond you budget, there is also an extensive bus network around the country, which is far better than the country's rail system. In addition to inter-city buses, there is a huge network of dolmuses, which are small buses that cover local routes within each city and town.
- Pros:Tons of historical sites, great scenery, friendly people
- Cons:Driving times can be long between cities
- In a nutshell:A fascinating country with a huge amount to see and do
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