Holiday in Turkey - Holidays to Turkey
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Holidays in Turkey
Travel Guide to Turkey
Currency: Turkish Lira. Scottish notes and Irish punts are not accepted for exchange in Turkey.
Cost of Living: A meal in a restaurant is anything from 5mil Lire upwards, bottle of wine in restaurant 6mil Lire; bottle of wine in supermarket 3mil Lire, pint of beer 2mil Lire, ice-cream 2mil Lire. Prices are approximate and subject to change.
More information: Turkish Tourist Office, 1st Floor, Egyptian House, 170-173 Piccadilly, London W1V 9DD Tel: 020 7629 7771.
Visas: Visitors to Turkey are required to pay a visa fee at the airport on arrival. At the time of printing, this fee is £10 [per person (including infants) for UK passport holders, payable in sterling. Scottish notes and Irish Punts are not accepted. Change may not be given so we advise that you have the correct money. Non UK passport holders are advised to contact the appropriate embassies in London.
Where you are, make sure you take in a Turkish night for music and belly dancing. In a more energetic vein you'll find lots of water sports all along the coastline. Why not have a go at scuba diving and discover a whole new world. The Turquoise water the gently shelving beaches make turkey an ideal destination for diving.
All the major Muslim festivals are celebrated. Some of the more notable ones are listed below. For a full list of local festivals please contact the National Tourist Office. Canakkale Troy Festival in August, Republic Day in October.
Living in Turkey by Stephane Yerasimos
The Rough Guide to Turkey by Rosie Ayliffe
Lonely Planet: Turkey by Tom Brosnahan
The best way to experience the beautiful coastline is from the deck of a Gulet, a traditional Turkish motor vehicle which will take you along the Aegean or Lycian coastline. Away from the beach there is a wealth of history to be explored such as the incredible ruined city of Ephesus, an experience not to be missed. Hire a care to take advantage of a 2 centre holiday and see more of this fascinating country.
The essential thing you really need to know if you really want to enjoy Turkey is about the preferred mode of transport called a 'dolmus' (pron. doll-mush). This is an incredibly cheap (think local bus prices)shared vehicle that may be a car, taxi, transit van or something bigger, which runs along a wet route picking up and setting down people where you see blue 'D' for dolmus signs. There will be a main 'station' in all resorts, generally with transport around the clock in high season and they may have a placard on the window, or you may need to ask for your designation. Generally the driver waits until it's full before departing, but if you have to cram in a little please do so politely, especially if there are women travelling with out a man or alone.
Eating and Drinking
The basic Turkish diet is very healthy with lots of fruit and veg and salads with yoghurt, and grilled meat or fish. A typical meal with be a 'Meze' where a selection of a dozen or more small dishes - humus, tabule, dolma - is served with bread. In many restaurants they will have the odd in a chillier and you can go and point at what you want. Eat in the 'lokantas' (tavernas) and you'll find really good value.
Local Interest and Culture
Ephesus and Pammukale are worth special visits but the Aegean and Mediterranean costs are rich in culture - in Bodrum visit the old Crusader Castle and the Roman and Byzantine remains at Side are exceptional. Wherever you are you'll almost certainly hear the call to prayer from the minarets - Turkey is a devout Muslim country, although in resort they are much more relaxed about Western habits you'll find an incredibly friendly welcome and good service.
When it comes to sand Turkey has a great natural resource, and miles of it, we especially like the long crescent at Olu Deniz, the golden beaches of Side, the sands and setting at Icmeler, and the 2kms stretch at Alanya. Blue Flag beaches are recognised as having high environmental, sanitary and safety stands. 140 beaches in Turkey received the Blue Flag Award in 2003. For more details refer to www.blueflag.org
Fun for the Children
Choose from water sports in Antalya, Kusadasi, Marmaris and Calis, ten pin bowling in Jusadasi and Marmaris and cinema in Bodrum and Marmaris. Pirate Cruises are also available in some resorts.
Evening entertainment varies greatly by resort. Choose from the lively resorts of Gumbet, Kusadasi or Marmaris or the more relaxed resorts of Icmeler and Hisaronu. For the best of both worlds choose Bitez or Olu Deniz both offering low key entertainment but within easy reach of neighbouring livelier resorts.
Five must sees: Ephesus, the grandest and best preserved city in the Aegean and one of the seven wonders of the world. The dazzling white calcified waters of Pamukkale, the impressive Lycian rock tombs, but into the cliff faces at Dalyan, the fascinating city of Istanbul, the Roman baths and dramatic temple of Athena and Apollo near Side.
Great Views: The outstanding beauty of Olu Deniz beach and the crystal clear waters of the resorts lagoon.
Memorable moments: Indulging in a therapeutic mud bath or sauna and massage.
Destination Treasures: Pamukkale is well known throughout Turkey for its calcified waters. Known locally as Cotton Castle, these amazing rock formations - which upon first glance resemble sculpted ice or snow, are popular due to the healing properties of the waters and the wonderful photo opportunities. Alternatively take a trip to Dalyan for a sighting of the rate loggerhead turtle.
Travel Tips: Take on one of the organised jeep rides into the Taurus Mountains and dine in one of the spectacular river cafes. These eateries are situated along the river, with chairs and tables placed in shallow sections of the river.
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