16 April 2020 / 7 minutes to read
What to see in Turkey outside hotels
The former center of the Ottoman Empire is associated today mainly with resort towns such as Antalya and Alanya, five-star hotels with an all-inclusive system and a relaxing vacation at sea. But once you go beyond the hotel complex, you will see miracles worthy of tales of "One Thousand and One Night". There are cave towns and mountain tracks, modern metropolitan areas and ancient ruins in Turkey. Travellizy Team is confident: this country is clearly worth getting to know it better, even if for the sake of this you have to abandon the buffet. Capital rhythm of Ankara Ankara is not as popular as Istanbul, and some do not even know that it is the capital of modern Turkey. But still, there are a couple of interesting places in Ankara. If you are interested in the history of Turkey, then you should definitely visit Anitkabir, or the mausoleum of Atatürk. The first president of the country is buried in the majestic building, and the change of guards in front of the mausoleum is a very interesting and original show. Are you interested in a more ancient history? Then you need to get to the Hisar Fortress. On the way to it, you can buy various souvenirs and take a walk along the streets of the old center, and from the walls of the fortress itself, you can see the best view of the Turkish capital. Are you more interested in mosques, not fortresses? You will find Kocatepe, the largest mosque in Ankara, whose gilded domes rise above the city. There are also many parks, good shopping centers and interesting museums. 2-3 days will be enough to get acquainted with the Turkish capital, and after that you can go inland. The Contrasts Of Istanbul: What To See In The City On The Bosphorus Hot-air balloons over the caves in Cappadocia You will not find the town or village called Cappadocia on the map, because this is not the name of the settlement, but the area in central Turkey to the north-east of the city of Nevsehir. Cappadocia is the country's second most popular tourist destination after Istanbul, and the landscapes of these lands will be remembered forever. The landscapes of Cappadocia are small white cliffs and narrow gorges between them, countless caves and mountain temples. In order to properly see the unusual landscape, you should go flying in a hot-air balloon. However, if you see dozens of balloons flying over the Martian-like landscapes, this will be very impressive from the ground. Get up early for the best views and shots, as the cliffs of Cappadocia are stunningly beautiful at dawn. While balloons soar above the cliffs, there are a lot of interesting things beneath them. In Cappadocia, there are as many as 6 underground towns, and about 20 thousand people lived in Derinkuyu, the largest of them. You can wander through the cave labyrinths all day, or you can even spend the night there. Many hotels in Cappadocia are also located in caves. Knocking On Heaven's Door: A Journey Around Cappadocia Volcanic soup along the Lycian Way The Lycian Way is considered to be one of the best hiking trails in the world among the hikers. In order to walk along it, special training and equipment are not necessary; comfortable shoes, a tourist backpack and tents with a sleeping bag will be enough in the warm season. And you can even do without a tent, small villages are scattered along the path, in which there are cozy hotels for travelers. The full route through the Lycian Way is about 500 kilometers and about a month on the road (depending on your rhythm and physical fitness). But if you don’t have a month at your disposal, then it’s okay, as there are routes for a week or two. Walking through the territory of the ancient kingdom of Lycia, you can admire the mountain peaks and a 20-km beach, go through the canyon and see the ruins of the castle. Those who walk along the trail with a tent and a bowler will have a truly unique opportunity - to cook camp porridge over a fire that flows out directly of the ground. Turkey from the Aegean Sea: how to plan a trip on a yacht Having tea while overlooking the fjords of Karadeniz The landscapes that will open in front of you in the Karadeniz region, in the north-east of Turkey, are not associated with this country. Walking around tea plantations and looking at the fjords in the Chorokh valley, you can imagine yourself somewhere in Norway. In Karadeniz, there is the highest dam of Turkey called Deriner, and there are picturesque monasteries on the banks of the Chorokh River. What is noteworthy, they are Georgian, because Chorokh carries its waters from Turkey to Batumi, where it flows into the Black Sea. Another attraction of the region is Kackar Mountains National Park. This is a real paradise for lovers of mountain hikes, you will see here waterfalls as well as lakes and glaciers. Old stone bridges over mountain rivers await lovers of spectacular insta-photos, while numerous family cafes await fans of hearty Turkish cuisine. In the Aladaglar National Park, which is also on the territory of Karadeniz, you can get to know Kapuzbasi waterfalls closer. This is a group of seven waterfalls, which effectively flow from sheer cliffs. And, if you come to the national park in winter, then you will find an unforgettable sight - waterfalls made of ice. Noah's Ark parking place: Ararat The biblical Mount Ararat belongs to two countries simultaneously - Armenia and Turkey. From the Armenian side, you can admire it only from afar, but from the Turkish side, you can make a full-fledged ascent. The main attractions of the national park on the slope of Ararat are glacial caves, in one of which, according to legend, the icy remains of Noah’s Ark still remain. Even at the foot of Ararat, there are interesting stone monasteries, and melting glaciers nourish the numerous green valleys that bloom very beautifully in spring. Snow-white terraces of Pamukkale Pamukkale is a real miracle of nature. From afar, it may seem that these are glaciers, but in fact, the white steps, reminiscent of the rice terraces of Asia, are limestone, salt and calcium. Each terrace is also a small natural pool, the water from which flows to the platforms below, forming a stunningly beautiful cascade. The waters of Pamukkale are mineral, which means healing. Near the terraces, there are many pools, baths and hospitals, where you can perfectly improve your health, relax your body and soul. And the most popular pool is called the Cleopatra Basin, and the water in it is warm all year round. The most convenient way to get to Pamukkale is from the city of Marmaris, on the coast of the Aegean Sea. The way will take about 2 hours. City of myths: Ephesus Once upon a time, the majestic Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, stood in Ephesus. Nowadays, there is only one column left from the temple, and even it was collected from the fragments excavated by archaeologists, but even without it there is something to see in ancient Ephesus. The Celsus Library (not to be confused with Celsius) was the second largest library of the ancient world, after Alexandria. In the III century AD, it burned down, but the impressive facade with columns and sculptures has perfectly preserved. Not far from the library, there is the Great Amphitheater, and here, without any second places, it is the largest open-air theater in the world. At one time, it accommodated up to 25 thousand spectators, and gladiators fought in the arena and actors performed. On the outskirts of Ephesus, there is Mount Bulyubyul with a modest stone house at the top. It is in this house, according to legend, the Virgin Mary spent her last years. Near the house, there is a spring, whose water is considered healing, and a wall of desires, where you can attach a patch with a request. In the vicinity of Ephesus, you can take a walk in the coniferous forest or even swim in the Aegean. Good comfortable beaches are in Kusadasi, the nearest major city. If you need not only ancient ruins, but also developed tourist infrastructure, then you can stay there or in the city of Selchuk. Ephesus itself is located 50 kilometers south of Izmir. The birthplace of water cats: Van Lake Van is located near the border of Turkey with Iran. This is the largest salt lake in the world, whose water is saturated not only with mineral salts, but also with soda. It is surrounded by beautiful mountains, and in the city of Van, there are many salt, mineral and mud baths. The shore of Van has few beaches, but there are many excellent and almost deserted beaches on numerous islands, which can be reached by ferry or a rented boat. But the main attraction of the lake is the Van cats. Where else will you see cats, happily jumping into the water, swimming in it and catching fresh fish for lunch? By the way, you can also try fish from Van in one of the cafes in the city of the same name. Turkey is not only Istanbul and hotel rest. It is also rich in history, diverse nature, hospitable people and delicious cuisine. The country is clearly worth a visit not only as part of a last-minute offer, and only then will it be revealed to you in all its diversity.
30 March 2020 / 7 minutes to read
The Contrasts Of Istanbul: What To See In The City On The Bosphorus
Many people have heard the phrase "Istanbul, the City of Contrasts", but what exactly are these contrasts? How is the Grand Bazaar different from the Spice Bazaar? What is more beautiful - Hagia Sophia or Topkapi Palace? Where is it better to walk - in the European or Asian part of the city? Istanbul offers dozens of choices at every turn, but why choose if you can see everything at once? By the way, did you know that Istanbul is not the capital of Turkey? Atmospheric Istanbul: beautiful sunsets, bright Instagram houses and the best baklava Palaces and mosques of Sultanahmed If you look at the map, the scale of Istanbul is scary. But, fortunately for tourists, most of the attractions of this multi-million megalopolis are concentrated in the center. And it is best to start acquaintance with the city in the area of Sultanahmed Square. Once in the center of Sultanahmed, it is no wonder that you would want to go in all directions at once. The walls of the Topkapi Palace, the ancient residence of the Turkish Sultans, rise on the edge of the main square of the city. The palace has a cozy green park, a Sultan's mosque, a harem, the tiles on the walls of which can be viewed for hours, and a library. It is worth coming to the palace early in the morning, until it is hot and there are no crowds of tourists, and you should spare at least half a day to examine it thoughtfully. Entrance price is € 14, you will have to pay another € 10 for visiting the harem. Near the palace, the minarets of Hagia Sophia pierce the sky. This mosque has a complicated history - until the Turks conquered Constantinople, it used to be a cathedral, then minarets were added to the cathedral and retrofitted according to the canons of Islam, and now, it is a museum. Strolling inside Hagia Sophia, do not forget to look up, the painting of the dome causes delight and awe. But first, you will have to stand in line, as there are too many people who want to admire the interior of the former mosque, even in low season. Tickets cost € 9. If after exploring these two attractions you still have energy, then on the same day, you can look into the Blue Mosque. Unlike Hagia Sophia, it is active, so women need to cover their heads, shoulders and knees. Admission is free, but you can only enter the prayer hall at certain hours so as not to distract true believers from prayer. You can enter the courtyard of the mosque from morning to evening. And the last (but not less important) symbolic place in the area of Sultanahmed is Basilica Cistern. The underground reservoir, built during the time of Emperor Constantine, is amazing. Entrance costs € 4,5. Even a cursory examination of all these sights can make you very hungry. You can satisfy your huger on Divai Yolu Street adjacent to Sultanahmed or in numerous streets south of the Blue Mosque. Many cozy family cafes are hidden in their almost medieval interweaving. Many of them have roof terraces with a magnificent view of the waters of the Sea of Marmara. Top 5 places in Istanbul and everything you need to know before the first trip Taksim and Istiklal Taksim Square and Istiklal Avenue are the heart of modern Istanbul. Here, life is always in full swing, cafes and stalls with street food mess with your eyes, and you can easily leave your entire salary in local stores. What must be done on Taksim and Istiklal? Take a pen and write it down. - Treat yourself to food from a stall. It can be a traditional Turkish kebab, bagel simit, mussels with rice and lemon juice. For € 1, you can buy a glass of fresh orange juice, and the sellers of ice cream, which is called dondurma, will put on a show for you. The food should be washed down with strong Turkish coffee or no less strong tea, which is served in small glasses and is called bardak tea. - Take a ride on the tram. Istiklal is a pedestrian street, but once every half-hour, a red retro tram runs along it with a cheerful ringing. You can be an adult and a conscious tourist, pay for the fare and ride inside the tram. Or you can look back at your childhood and jump on the bandwagon on the go to ride a little stowaway. The tram runs slowly, so it's safe. - Buy Turkish sweets. Dozens of types of baklava, Turkish delight and other sweets can be tasted even if you don’t buy anything. Walking around Istiklal, get ready for the fact that a merchant from each store will come to you with a tray offering you sweets and a glass of tea. Smoke a hookah. There are a lot of hookahs in Istanbul in any area of the city, and they know how to make hookah here. One serving of fragrant tobacco can be smoked for a couple of hours, the smoke does not tear your throat, and it’s very convenient to watch the city bustle from the cozy twilight in a hookah lounge. - Pet the cat. Or at least take a picture of one. Istanbul is a city of cats, there are a lot of them, and everyone seems so well-groomed and happy with life that you might want to take an example from them. If you go down Istiklal Street to the embankment, you can see Dolmabahce Palace, which in its architecture is more similar to the royal palaces of Peterhof than to traditional Turkish buildings. Istanbul markets There are no fewer bazaars and markets of all sizes and types in Istanbul than mosques, but two of them are of particular interest to tourists - the Grand Bazaar and the Spice (Egyptian) Bazaar. The Grand Bazaar is a hybrid of the modern European market with the traditional oriental one. Near shops with branded clothes or cheap consumer goods, there are stalls with hookahs, bronze lamps and jewelry. Admire the colorful Turkish lanterns, touch the carpets, taste nuts and sweets. When buying something, make sure to bargain, so the price can be reduced considerably, and the seller will not be offended, on the contrary, he will receive a lot of pleasure from the process. The Egyptian Bazaar is even more colorful than the Grand Bazaar. Mainly spices and fabrics are sold here, so during the walk, spicy aromas will tickle your nose, and a great variety of colors will delight your eyes. Do not hesitate to taste anything, it is a tradition in Turkey, and make sure to bargain for each purchase. You can eat your hearts out just like during walking along Istiklal Avenue. On the way among the bazaars, you can see two interesting mosques - Suleymaniye and the New Mosque. Bridges and towers Did the flavors of markets tease your appetite? Then get down to the Galata Bridge. Street food is sold on the embankment next to it, and on the bridge itself, there are dozens or even hundreds of fishermen who sell fresh catch to the numerous cafes and restaurants located on the lower level of the bridge. Make sure to try the national dish Balik Ekmek, grilled fish served in bread with vegetables. Near the bridge, you can see the Galata Tower, whose top offers a picturesque view of the center of Istanbul and the Bosphorus Bay. But be prepared for the line of entry and a long climb up a steep spiral staircase. Entrance to the tower costs € 5. Near the Galata Bridge, you can take a small boat and go on a cruise along the Bosphorus. Or take a ferry to the Asian side of Istanbul. From Europe to Asia Istanbul is a city located in Europe and Asia at the same time. Most of the popular attractions are located in the European part, but there are also interesting places in Asia. Walk along the streets of Uskudar district, one of the richest and the most pretentious of the city. Be pleasantly surprised by the European architecture of the Haydarpasa train station. Elbow your way through the crowds of locals in the streets of Kadikoy, the oldest district of Istanbul. And make sure to go to the fountain of Sultan Ahmed the Third, which is considered one of the symbols of Turkey. Also, the Asian part of Istanbul is worth visiting just for its atmosphere. There are far fewer tourists and fuss, here you can look at the not-best-looking part of local life, as well as have a nice meal for much less money than on the European tourist side. Ferries to the Asian part depart regularly from the Eminou pier, near the Galata bridge. Islands and beaches If you are tired of the eternal noise and crowds of Istanbul, then you can relax on the Princes' Islands. These are small pieces of land in the Sea of Marmara, to which ferry goes from the Kabatash pier. There are no attractions on the islands themselves, but observation platforms offer a magnificent view of the city. Speaking about buildings here, they are mostly private villas, there is almost no transport, and there are usually few people. Another recreational option is to go to the beach. The most famous and popular beaches of Istanbul are Floria, Yesilkee, Jadebostan, as well as the suburban beaches of the Killos region. Please note that almost all beaches are paid here. In Istanbul, you can spend a couple of unforgettable days, or you can live for several months, every day discovering new facets of this ancient city. Do not be afraid to deviate from the tourist routes marked on the maps, try unfamiliar dishes and do not forget to take pictures of cats.
4 July 2019 / 4 minutes to read
Atmospheric Istanbul: beautiful sunsets, bright Instagram houses and the best baklava
Istanbul is atmospheric, delicious and beautiful, so if you’ve already seen the top 5 sights that Travellizy Team described earlier, we advise you to walk through the local areas, enjoy the taste of the true Turkish baklava and look at this picturesque city from a height.
6 June 2019 / 5 minutes to read
Top 5 places in Istanbul and everything you need to know before the first trip
Istanbul is a colorful mix of history and modernity that leaves no one indifferent. Travellizy Team has prepared useful information for you about what is important to know before going to the city of contrasts, and what sights you should definitely see in Istanbul.
23 May 2019 / 4 minutes to read
New Istanbul Airport: what is important to know about Istanbul Airport and how to get to the city
New Istanbul Airport (Istanbul Havalimani, IST) is one of the most modern and largest airports in the world. It was officially opened on October 29, 2018, and it completely replaced Ataturk International Airport from April 6, 2019 as the main passenger airport of Istanbul. Travellizy Team monitors how the new airport works at a distance of 35 km from the city and shares with you useful tips.
5 April 2019 / 4 minutes to read
Tulip Festival: the symbol of Istanbul comes alive in April
What picture in your imagination raises an ancient Istanbul? Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya)? Galata Tower? Beautiful Bosphorus? Absolutely. But the “capital of the capitals” may also be associated with tulips. After all, this flower is the symbol of the city.
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