TURKEY

The Republic of Turkey, a cultural traveller’s dream.

Every year thousands of people from around the globe, flock to Turkey. Most of them go to seaside resorts and relax with cheap food and drink and friendly people. But the Turkish state is home to history dating back thousands of years. Much of this is openly visible in the streets of modern Turkey. Turkey is a modern nation, and yet it is firmly in the Orient. Istanbul is Europe’s only Oriental city, as much a part of Europe as Moscow or London, and yet absolutely different. Izmir is Turkey’s most culturally European city and Ankara looks like something out of Europe and yet has a distinct Anatolian flavour. Turkey boasts mountains, scuba diving, skiing, beaches, ancient Greek ruins, Roman ruins, Selcuk and Ottoman architecture next to German looking railway stations, and all with a modern hard working society of young Turks.

Turkey Highlights:

  • Istanbul, the timeless Oriental City of Europe.
  • Places, Mosques and Museums of Istanbul.
  • Ankara – History, museums and nightlife.
  • Fethiye – long white sandy beaches, easy scuba diving.
  • Bodrum – stunning castle, wonderful cafes and night life. Professional scuba diving.
  • Kars – Border city, impressive castle, Ruins of Ani, train to Georgia.
  • Van – Gorgeous lake, ancient citadel, selcuk and uartian ruins, vibrant town.
  • Ortahisar, Capadoccia- The most authentic of all the villages in Cappadoccia. Free of mass tourism.
  •  Cannakkale- the site of the battle for the dardanelles and troy
  •  Erzurum, see the medresse and central Asian architecture

Why Should I stopover in Turkey

  • Most people fly Turkish Airlines to Africa or the Orient
  • A stop over costs no extra money
  • Turkey is the bridge between the east and west and as such is a unique nation
  • The Turks are a proud people who are happy to show you their country
  • Turkey is host to more Ancient Greek ruins than any other nation
  • Turkey is famous for its cheap food and drink and transport
  • Hotels are very reasonably priced with excellent service
  • Turkey is the only place on earth to pick up a Turkish carpet at reasonable prices.

Ready to Book?  E: info@orientafrica.com   T: + 44 1291 570 953

 

Turkey Stop over Tours

TURKEY NOTES

Amazing Turkey. Turkey is one of the most spectacular countries in the world to visit. It is packed with history, nature, birds, gorgeous beaches, high mountains, stunning landscape and even scuba diving. It is also quite easy to travel around, and there are a multitude of travel agencies in Turkey who can handle everything from a group tour, to a single traveller who wants a guide for a day in a small town.

Istanbul has so many mosques, many of which are large and famous. The Shehzade mosque is small and beautiful. One of many hidden gems in this most wonderful of cities.

The problem with Turkey. As we said above, Turkey is so large you don’t know where to start. Worse still, the people who should guide you and there are so many of those Turkish travel agencies regard tourists as fair game. We firmly believe that “the guide is your side.” He or she will fight your corner, help your bargain, and find you the best possible deal or activity that suits your budget. You and your guide must have a symjbiotic relationship, where you both exist because of each other. The guide saves you time and money and you reward a good guide with a generous tip. (which should be a fraction of what he or she saved you). Not so in Turkey, where the guides expect commission on every activity you conduct ranging from 40% commission on carpet sales to a fist full of liras from a friendly restaurant. This is on top of the 40% commission that the travel agent adds to every hotel and bus you take. It was impossible to work in this environment, so we left Turkey firmly out off the tour agenda.

While Turkey is a dynamic and modern nation, some of her people choose to live in the old wooden houses of Istanbul. Not wealthy, but not poor, her working class are proud and productive.

Trusted Turkey. All of this changed, when we started selling flights to Africa and Asia on Turkish Airlines. With first class service, the excellent new airport in Istanbul, and flights to more African countries than any other airline, we started receiving requests for Turkey stop overs. At first we managed to get round this by writing a mini Guide to Istanbul. This allowed travellers to book their own holiday in Turkey. But our clients were persistent. Being of Turkish origin, Raf was expected to know everytyhing and be able to arrange everything. And so very reluctantly, we contacted some trusted people in select areas, and cut out the agents and the guides and entered the Turkish Tourism market on our own terms.

Turkish airlines are a great reason to visit Turkey. Turkish is a full service carrier operating from the new Grand Airport in Istanbul and serving every tiny point in the great Turkish nation. You get the picture, all in all a great experience.

 

Self guided Turkey. The first job was to find people we trusted. And where we could send clients. A pattern emerged. Istanbul-Cappadoccia-Ankara-Bodrum-Kars emerged. We made contact with Ruth Lockwood, the legendary New Zealander who has lived for 30 years in Cappadoccia running a series of successful hotels and the most honest carpet shop in Turkey. (Tribal Collections). Conveniently she also owns the tiny Ela Cave hotel, situated in Ortahisar, our favourite village in Cappadoccia. We now arrange most hotels in Istanbul, but the Side, Empress Zoe and Celal Prime class are our favourites. In Kars we like the hotel Gungoren and others. In Bodrum, we use Elif Gunduz, our city guide, and Erman of Ermandive. We stitch together the itineraries with Turkish Airlines flights, Pegasus Airlines flights, affordable transfers, train and bus tickets.

Approximate tours costs: A seven night tour in Turkey including 4 nights in Istanbul (3*)0, flights to Kayseri, transfers to Cappadocia and three nights in Uchisar (cave hotel) (with tours that do NOT take you to a carpet shop) will cost around £750.00 There is no single supplement. Add a few more days on the coast with Erman and the Gunduz family and you are looking at £300 more. If you go out to Kars and come back by train (seeing the famous ruins of Ani and Seytan Kale) you can bank on adding £200.

The whole of Turkey. We have travelled the length and breadth of Turkey and do so every year. We do not however pretend to sell tours to the entire nation. We specialise in 7-21 day stopovers. If you have enough time to see the whole of Turkey, you are better off travelling the entire nation on your own, stopping off at the most unique places. We can help you with that, with our advice service. Which will save you thousands of dollars, and the stress of bad guides.

 

 Find out more about Turkey, Get in touch          E: info@orientafrica.com   T: + 44 1291 570 953

Turkey is a great place to learn about Turkish and Persian carpets. From kilims to cicims, to Hereke to Bukhara, there is no better place to buy. But don’t get taken for a ride, talk to Ruth Lockwood of Tribal Collections in Goreme. She is the only person we buy our carpets from.

Travelling by Train to the east of Turkey is a comfortable and memorable experience. With sleeper cars and a restaurant on board it makes for a great 26 hours to Kars. Only bring your own booze, the train is now dry.

 

Turkey is a land of dramatic landscapes. Here Dogubeyazit lies only 10 miles from the Iranian frontier, and yet day hiking around the hills is easy and the farmers welcoming.

 

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