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One of the few countries worldwide that span more than one continent, Turkey is a pleasant surprise to the senses. Loaded with ancient monuments left over from a parade of conquerors and endowed with breathtaking scenery, Turkey is a dazzling destination that straddles Asia and Europe. With cities steeped in history, beautiful countryside, beaches, lakes, waterfalls, forests, and even thermal hot springs, a visit to Turkey promises an enthralling vacation. The vibrant culture, famous food, and vast history of the country amaze all who visit Turkey. Its glorious landscapes - from the sun-soaked Mediterranean to the mighty mountains and arid steppe - are all highlights in themselves.

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A Cultural And Historical Tour Of Turkey

Turkey

Evocative Ruins in Ephesus and Beaches in Kusadasi

Like Troy, Ephesus has a long and almost mythical history. Greek columns and restored temples stand resplendent and the history starts well before Christianity. Gaze upon the Temple of Artemis, admire the Library of Celsus, and tour Ionian remains of allure and beauty. St Mary's Cottage comes from a more recent time, the resting place of the Virgin Mary merely 2000 years old. This itinerary always moves at a relaxed pace and the historical exploration is now complemented by an afternoon on the beaches of Kusadasi. As the sun moves across the sky and a series of restaurants overlook the sand, Kusadasi offers a more traditional Mediterranean slant to the vacation.

The Famous Lime Terraces of Pamukkale and Spa Indulgence

Today's journey blends the colors; blue waters are replaced by green valleys, and then finally the white wonderland of Pamukkale overtakes your view. White lime terraces cascade down the hillside, the calcified thermals glistening beneath the sun. It's a surreal and very famous sight; crystal clear waters and naturally formed milky backdrops. Nearby you'll discover the ancient city of Hierapolis, one of Turkey's most intact and impressive. Columns and sculptures fill this city of Apollo, imbuing it with an almost mythical feel. While it doesn't have the fame of Ephesus or Troy, Hierapolis is equally as impressive.  The Greeks adored this area because of its natural thermals and there is evidence of their presence all around. Fast forward to the 21st century and your hotel is the latest to benefit from the soothing warm waters. Indulge in the hotel's thermal pools and spa before another elegant dinner showcasing the finest of Turkey's cuisine.

Luxury Yacht Cruising on the Mediterranean

Set sail on the blue waters as you spend a day cruising along the Mediterranean on a luxury yacht. A spacious deck is a prime position to soak up the sun and take in the panoramas. Forested hills stand above empty beaches, rugged coastlines hide pristine bays, and there are countless options for your route. This is a private cruise and the itinerary will be tailored to your wishes; choose to really explore or opt for a shorter journey and more time on the beach. Either way, there's an elegance and tranquility to cruising the turquoise coast of the Mediterranean.

Istanbul and European Turkey experience hot summers and cold winters with snow being a common feature. Spring and autumn, from April to May and from September to mid-November respectively, are the ideal times to visit Istanbul and the inland regions when temperatures are pleasant and the skies are clear. Istanbul’s location near the sea means it can be quite a windy city, especially in the winter.  The Aegean and Mediterranean coasts both enjoy a typical Mediterranean climate characterized by mild winters and hot summers, which makes the beach resorts of Marmaris and Kusadasi popular year-round destinations. The majority of rainfall occurs in winter along the coast to the summer months remain hot and dry, perfect for topping up that tan. As you travel further east in Turkey the extremes in climate become more pronounced with very hot and dry summers reaching highs of 40°C and bitterly cold winters with heavy snowfall. Spring, autumn and the shoulder months of summer are the best times to visit the region when temperatures are mild and pleasant and it tends to stay relatively dry.

 

As soon as the hot balloons begin to take off and the sun rises over the land of fairy chimneys, Cappadocia is a place that grabs all the attention of the tourists. Cappadocia is an area in Central Anatolia, Turkey, famous for its exceptional natural wonders and a unique historical and cultural heritage.  You can reach Cappadocia by bus or train from major cities in Turkey. The most comfortable way to reach the city is by plane from Istanbul and Izmir, where the plane lands either in Nevsehir or Kayseri Airport, a one-hour bus drive from Cappadocia. From hotels to vacation rentals, stay at one of the best accommodations near Cappadocia, the land of fairy chimneys.

Topkapi Palace, Istanbul

The history of the Topkapi Palace is exciting. It is a reminder of the great Ottoman Empire. Around 4,000 people crowded this palace at its peak and it was home to 25 sultans for almost 400 years. This palace is directing the Golden Horn and situated in peaceful gardens. Apart from that, you can also visit museums to see the attractive Iznik tiles and the ornate stateroom of the harem. You need at least one to two days to discover it and the right time to come here right when it opens to avoid the crowds.

The metropolitan city in the Asia part of Turkey, Izmir is the third largest city in Turkey and the second biggest port after Istanbul. You can reach Izmir by any type of transportation, from buses, trains, boats, and airplanes. It is also a hub for holiday cruises in the Aegean Sea. The city by the sea offers accommodation destinations around the coastline and into the deep heart of Turkey country, and here are our favorites.

 

You Need a Visa Turkish customs to require nationals from many countries to obtain visas to enter Turkey. Visit Turizm for details on whether you will require one. Before getting a visa, ensure that your passport has 6 months of validity from the date of entry into Turkey or you may be refused entry into Turkey. Visas generally take a couple of weeks to obtain. 

A Little Effort Goes a Long Way

You Need a Visa Turkish customs to require nationals from many countries to obtain visas to enter Turkey. Visit Turizm for details on whether you will require one. Before getting a visa, ensure that your passport has 6 months of validity from the date of entry into Turkey or you may be refused entry into Turkey. Visas generally take a couple of weeks to obtain. 

A Little Effort Goes a Long Way

Turkish people are very friendly and if you think it would be a rewarding experience to get invited into a family home for Turkish coffee or tea, then learn a little of their language.  

Cover Up

Turkey's location, in both Europe and Asia, has created a fusion where east meets west and while cities can be quite cosmopolitan, the rural communities retain their old customs and traditions. Wherever you chose to travel to in Turkey, you should be aware of the proper dress etiquette. If you are a woman traveling outside of tourist areas then you should you learn how to dress to avoid unwanted attention. 

Turkey has universal health care for its residents called, Genel Saglık Sigortası. If you are registered with the Social Security Institution (SGK), then you receive health care from SGK hospitals and facilities, free of charge. You are eligible for this healthcare if you have been a resident of Turkey for at least a year and have been paying into the socialized system. That being said, for many residents from other European countries, the UK, Australia, and the US, Turkey’s socialized healthcare is not up to the same standards to which they are accustomed. Many internationals living in consider an expatriate health insurance plan.  

On the other hand, Turkey has a thriving private healthcare system, which is relatively affordable to pay for out of pocket in comparison to the medical costs of many people’s home countries. In fact, Turkey’s private healthcare system has lately seen such strides; the country has been establishing a name for itself in the medical tourism industry, so that people will travel to Turkey to seek medical care that is both quality and affordable. However, for many permanent residents, Turkey requires that to maintain residency, insurance must be purchased.

Istanbul is a modern world city, like so many others. What makes it unique (except the vast amount of historical sightseeing spots) is the mix of Oriental and Western influences. Add a predominantly Muslim population to the mix, and you’re all set to experience a variety of cultural differences. So, to make most of your stay — and to prevent being rude or a fool — familiarize yourself with these common Turkish customs and etiquette rules that apply in Istanbul.

It is useful for anyone researching Turkish culture, customs, manners, etiquette, values and wanting to understand the people better. You may be going to Turkey on business, for a visit or even hosting Turkish colleagues or clients in your own country. Remember this is only a very basic level introduction and is not meant to stereotype all Turks you may meet! We also provide Turkish cultural awareness courses for those wanting some in-depth analysis or help.

Islam is the religion of the majority of Turks although the state is fiercely secular. Islam emanated from what is today Saudi Arabia. The Prophet Muhammad is seen as the last of God's emissaries (following in the footsteps of Jesus, Moses, Abraham, etc) to bring revelation to mankind. He was distinguished with bringing a message for the whole of mankind, rather than just to a certain people. As Moses brought the Torah and Jesus the Bible, Muhammad brought the last book, the Quran. The Quran and the actions of the Prophet (the Sunnah) are used as the basis for all guidance in the religion. 

Among certain obligations for Muslims are to pray five times a day - at dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset, and evening. The exact time is listed in the local newspaper each day. Friday is the Muslim holy day although this is not practiced in Turkey. However, most males will attend the congregational afternoon prayer. During the holy month of Ramadan, all Muslims must fast from dawn to dusk. Fasting includes no eating, drinking, cigarette smoking, or gum chewing

 

Leisure provides a wide array of meticulously planned Turkey adventures. We make all the plans so that you can completely enjoy your dream vacation! The entire trips can be customized to a specific class and requirements or can be completely tailor-made around particular destinations and special interests. To start your amazing journey for Customized Turkey tours, let us know your interests by filling out a Trip Request. We would then match your requirements with two or three specialist travel agents who will work with you to provide you with the best vacation.

 

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