Turkey Travel Review | One Week Turkey Travel Guide | Turkey Travel Guide For Indian
My list of dream destinations didn’t include Turkey, but having visited the country in December last year, I have to say that it should have a place on everyone’s ‘must-see’ list.
Always eager to explore new places, I was more than excited at the prospect of visiting Turkey. But, with just about a weeks’ time at our disposal, some serious research was necessary to make the most of it. As we were planning a trip in December, one of the coldest and wettest months in Turkey and the opposite of tourist season which lasts from April to October, we also had to consider the weather while deciding on the itinerary. While Turkey offers many fascinating places and natural wonders to explore, beautiful beaches are usually my top priority while planning any trip. Having never been to the Mediterranean cost, a place on the cost was the obvious first choice.
During my research I was fascinated by Oludeniz, located at the conjunction of Aegean and Mediterranean seas. The place seemed picture perfect, but the month of December wasn’t the best time for a visit. We finally decided on Antalya. The place promised great beaches and a pleasant weather. So we decided to start our Turkey adventure from Antalya. Preferring slightly offbeat destinations, we decided to visit Cirali, a lesser known costal hamlet about 80 kms from Antalya next. Our final stop would be Istanbul, as any trip to Turkey would be incomplete without exploring its historical and cultural center.
Our journey took off to a rocky start with the flight from Istanbul to Antalya delayed by almost two hours because of snowfall. But following a good night’s rest in Antalya, we got up to find the sky a clear blue. Antalya is a picture perfect town with snowcapped mountains on one hand and the sapphire sea on the other. We caught an early bus to Cirali and on the way stopped to explore Phaselis. It’s a lovely place where you can explore ruins of majestic gates, ancient baths and an amphitheater. The place has a beautiful calm beach. After spending some time at Phaselis we continued our journey to Cirali and landed at a humble home-stay nestled amongst orange trees run by a lovable couple.
The small resort resembled a ghost town with almost all the shops, except a lone supermarket and a single restaurant, closed during the offseason. Having fortified ourselves with a decent lunch at the restaurant, we set out to explore the beach. It’s difficult to put the beauty of the place into words. Having never seen so many shades of blue in a sea, I found it breathtakingly beautiful. Also, there is a definite charm to having the whole place to oneself. After walking along the beach for some time we came to the ruins of the Olympos. Walking along the empty streets of the ruined city I couldn’t help wondering where else one can find an amazing sea, white sand beach, snow-capped mountains and ancient ruins all at one place. Near Cirali we also visited Chimaera, where flames have been burning since ancient times over permanent gas vents.
Saying goodbye to Cirali was sad and I hope to see it again someday, preferably in summer, in its full glory. The following day we explored the old part of Antalya and gorged on some amazing Turkish food, for me this meant trying as many different desserts as possible. We spent the last two days of the trip in Istanbul taking in the sights of the old city, Sultanahmet Mosque, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, the museum, the grand bazaar and the spice market. We shopped, dined and had endless cups of Turkish tea. The Bosphorus cruise, although rather touristy, is highly recommended.
If you are looking for a place that combines breathtaking natural beauty, fascinating history and some amazing food, then you can hit the jackpot with Turkey. The country remains on my list of dream destinations as there is so much more of Turkey that I look forward to exploring.