#Turkeytraveling

Turkey has many ‘hidden treasures’. As a tourist in Turkey, one realizes from day one there is too little time to see more than just a small part of Istanbul, let alone Turkey beyond Istanbul. Expats who stay here for a longer period have some more time though. For them (and for ourselves of course!) my wife Kim and I like to share our experiences with you of our short day or weekend trips in this beautiful country. At times it is a bit off the beaten track, but that is where a country is often most beautiful.

We keep a Twitter-logbook about our travel experiences, using the hashtag #Turkeytravelling. Please enjoy Turkey as we are doing since 2014. For questions please send me a tweet! And since August 2015 there is an enthusiastic supporter on Instagram @travel.with.turkeytravel.

Note: this page is under construction and only shows some of our trips. More will follow, including proper Turkish spelling and colorful pictures. I am considering publishing a book based on these tweets before my tenure in Istanbul will be over.

 

#Eskişehir: ‘The happiest city in Turkey’ (15/12/2014)

#Turkeytravelling #1. Went this weekend to Eskişehir, happiest city in Turkey.

#Turkeytravelling #2. Eskişehir, between Istanbul and Ankara, is world center of Meerschaum production. With museum.

#Turkeytravelling #3. Centuries old quarter Odunpazarı in Eskişehir is candidate UNESCO heritage list. Worth a visit.

 

#Enez: ‘Beaches, flamingoes and churches’ (17/12/2014)

#Turkeytravelling #4.Weekend at Enez, 4,5 hrs drive from Istanbul, on Greek border. Few hotels, but…flamingoes.

#Turkeytravelling #5. Ok, Enez has little to offer, but enough.Great beach, flamingoes, castle, with Byzantine church.

#Turkeytravelling #6. Enez, Edirne district, 4000 pp, Ottomans conquered it in 1456. My wife and I stayed 1 night.

 

#Şile: ‘best in autumn’

‪#Turkeytravelling‪ #7. Just 70 km from Istanbul, lies Şile. Beaches, busy, but not in autumn, while water still warm.

#Turkeytravelling‪ #8. Şile, good hotels and fish restaurants, Şile meant marjoram (herb). On beaches friendly dogs.

 

#Istanbul walls: ‘can’t leave Istanbul without walking them’ (25/12/2014)

#Turkeytravelling #10. Glorious sunny 25 December; my wife and I walked 1600 yrs old Theodosian Istanbul walls. (7+ km).

#Turkeytravelling #11. City walls Istanbul one of most underrated attractions of Turkey, but better only day visits.

#Turkeytravelling #12. Theodosian city walls are fascinating: partly restored, crumbling, homeless, refugees, parks.

 

#Edirne: ‘most beautiful mosque in the world’ (22/05/2014)

#Turkeytravelling‪ #14. Edirne was 2nd capital Ottoman Empire till 1453. Its rich history (a.o. also Greek, Bulgar, Russian) shows.‬

#Turkeytravelling‪ #15. Famous oil wrestling Edirne on Unesco heritage list. Must-see spectacle; I watched in amazement. ‬

#Turkeytravelling‪ #16. Edirne, important stop Orient Express. Soon I take the train (slow, 6 hrs) from Ist to Edirne.

#Gallipoli and coastal road Tekirdağ: ‘battles and good restaurants’

‪#Turkeytravelling #18. 100 yrs after WW-I battles, ‪#Gallipoli is a must place to visit. 4 hrs from Istanbul.Tekirdağ 1/2 way; good restaurants.

#Turkeytravelling #19. Tekirdağ, 1000’s yrs of history, in Eastern Thrace. Coastal road south to Gallipoli beautiful.

#Turkeytravelling #20. 100 yrs after battle of Gallipoli stories remain impressive. We spent 1/2 day.

 

#Kıyıköy: ‘nice day trip surprise’

#Turkeytravelling‪ #17. tomorrow we go to Kıyıköy, 2 1/2 hrs from Istanbul. Small Black Sea town, ruins of Byzantine church. Looking forward.‬

#Turkeytravelling #21. By car over 2 hrs to Kıyıköy, half through woods. Still some late March snow.

#Turkeytravelling‪ #22. Kıyıköy partly has Byzantine city wall; it is one of few settlements on European side Black Sea.

#Turkeytravelling‪ #23. Kıyıköy allows for sweet day, 2 attractions, nice beach + port, the trip and fish restaurants.

 

#Büyükçekmece: ‘unexpected treasure’  (26/03/2015)

‪#Turkeytravelling‪ #24. unexpected treasure 1hr drive Istanbul: Büyükçekmece with 16th century bridge. Worth the trip. ‬

‪#Turkeytravelling #25. Büyükçekmece was important restplace Asia-Europe trade route. 16th century Han well reserved.

#Turkeytravelling‪ #26. Büyükçekmece managed to keep some charm. Kim and I liked its history, boulevard and small port.  ‬

#Ağva: ‘exotic Black Sea coast’ (21/03/2015)

#Turkeytravelling‪ #27. Two days to Ağva (Black Sea), 2 rivers, Göksu + Yeşilçay. 2 hrs from Istanbul. Nice beach.

#Turkeytravelling #28. 1 hr from busy Istanbul one can still drive in hills, forests and enjoy nature, also to Ağva‪.

#Turkeytravelling‪ #29. Ağva is perfect for short break. We had dinner with spectacular view over romantic Black Sea.

 

#Laodicea: ‘a fabulous Roman place’, (03/04/2015)

#Turkeytravelling‪ #30. Laodikea. Plane to Izmir, 3 hrs by car. On the way 10+ ancient sites! Rewarding stop at Laodikea.

#Turkeytravelling‪ #31. Laodikea, close to Pamukkale, proves again that best Roman/Greek/Byzantine sites are in #Turkey.  

#Turkeytravelling #32. Laodikea, sunny spring day, few visitors. Walked for hrs. City mentioned in book of Revelations.

 

#Hierapolis: ‘swimming with Cleopatra’  (03&04/04/2015)

‪‬#Turkeytravelling‪ #33. To Hierapolis, spans 16 centuries, SW Turkey, another UNESCO world heritage site. Spent 5 hrs.

#Turkeytravelling‪ #34. Hierapolis with strong Roman and Byzantine heritage boasts impressive amphitheater. Great view.

‪#Turkeytravelling‪ #35. Hierapolis with natural springs and bath. Cleopatra is said to have bathed here. And so did we.

 

#Pamukkale: ‘an underestimated nature miracle’ (03, 04&05/04/2015)

#Turkeytravelling‪ #36. One of weirdest and most beautiful places on earth is Pamukkale (cotton palace) in SW Turkey.

#Turkeytravelling‪ #37. Pamukkale. We spent 1 yr honeymoon. Many tourists, but peaceful. Walking bare feet is a must.  ‬

#Turkeytravelling‪ #38. Pamukkale is above all white, white and white, unreal, made of minerals, and terraced basins. ‬

#Büyükada Istanbul: ‘do as the rich do, for a few lira’ (2014)

#Turkeytravelling #39. 1 hr ferry Istanbul-Princes Islands. Our favourite? Büyükada. Best during week, stay 1 night.

#Turkeytravelling 40. The many large and uniquely beautiful wooden houses on Büyükada testify to a rich Ottoman past.

#Turkeytravelling 41. Steep walk to Aya Yorgi church worth the effort. Büyükada home to Christian churches (6th cnt).

 

#Cumalıkızık: ‘clear why it is UNESCO world heritage site’ (15/07/2014)

#Turkeytravelling #42. 10 km east of Bursa, first capital Ottoman empire, lies 7 centuries old village of Cumalıkızık.

#Turkeytravelling #43. Cumalıkızık is a new Turkey UNESCO world heritage site with 100s of coloured houses.

#Turkeytravelling #44. Cumalıkızık, at foot of Uludag mountain, is little known. Tip of Kim. Thanks! We will return.

 

#Troy

#Turkeytravelling #45. Troy, we all seen the 2004 movie with Brad Pitt, but few have actually visited this UNESCO-site.

#Turkeytravelling #46. Troy, strategically located, covers 3.500 yrs & 9 cities, mentioned by Homer in Iliad.

#Turkeytravelling #47. Not visually spectacular as many other sites in Turkey. but its history & story still impress.

#Turkeytravelling #48. Troy can be a 1 day trip from Istanbul, but better of course stay overnight (e.g. in Çanakkale).

 

#Bursa: ‘first Ottoman capital and hot springs’ (15&16/07/2014)

#Turkeytravelling #49. Few hrs by ferry & car to Bursa frm Istanbul.History, mosques, once important stop Silk Road.

#Turkeytravelling #50. Bursa was 1st capital of Ottoman Empire; 1-day trip from Istanbul possible; we stayed 1 night.

#Turkeytravelling #51. Bursa has, as many places in Turkey, hot springs. Our hamam was 100’s years old.

 

#Iznik: ‘another former Ottoman capital, tiles and churches’ (16/07/2014)

 #Turkeytravelling #52. Another great one day trip, 2 hrs by car from Istanbul, İznik, known for beautiful tiles and art.

#Turkeytravelling #53. İznik is small, but historically very rich city inTurkey, also capital at start Ottoman empire.

#Turkeytravelling #54. Too much to see, 5 km Roman wall can not be missed, neither churches, especially Hagia Sophia.

#Turkeytravelling #55. Nicae, Roman name for İznik, was home to 1st (325 AD) and 7th (788 AD) Ecumenical Council.

 

#Ölüdeniz: ‘one of many faces of Turkish South coast’ (30/07/2015 – 02/08/2015)

#Turkeytravelling #56. South coast Turkey, Ölüdeniz/Fetiye We went 2 days via Dalaman. High mountains, paragliders.

#Turkeytravelling #57. Blue Lagoon (Ölüdeniz) nice but overhyped. For mass tourism as good as it gets in 21st century.

#Turkeytravelling #58. We liked Butterfly Valley much better; take water taxi from Ölüdeniz and stay half a day.

#Turkeytravelling #59. Few butterflies though but relaxing. Stunning nature. Private boat offered us romantic sunset.

 #Turkeytravelling #60. At entrance Blue Lagoon restaurant on beach. Forgot name, had blue-white chairs. Was top.

 

#Fetiye: ‘superb one day boat trip’ (01/08/2015)

#Turkeytravelling #61. At entrance Blue Lagoon restaurant on beach. Forgot name, had blue-white chairs. Was top.

#Turkeytravelling #62. Fethiye part Turkish riviera, integral part “Blue Voyage”, one of best tourist options #Turkey.

#Turkeytravelling #63. Instead of week-long blue voyage, 1-day boat trip from Fethiye is heavenly option, away from it all.

#Turkeytravelling #64. For boat trip go on modern sailing/motor ship (no music). One of best holiday deals in Turkey.

#Turkeytravelling #65. Fethiye is ok, beach for mass tourism, but yacht club where Kim took me for dinner was great.

#Turkeytravelling #66. No time to visit antique sites in neighbourhood of Fethiye or walk part of the famous Lycian walk.

 

#Maramar Adası: ‘the biggest of the four unknown islands in the Sea of Marmara’ (15/08/2015)

#Turkeytravelling #67. Summer only: ferries from Istanbul to 4 far away islands of Marmara. We were at Marmara Adası.

#Turkeytravelling #68. Marble production; used in Hagia Sophia. But go to Marmara Adası for its laid back summer peace.

#Turkeytravelling #69. Ali Bey, Pehlivan motel, Aba Plaji, prepared excellent fish; offered good accommodation, 100 TL.

#Turkeytravelling #70. Marmara Adası is known for marble and olive oil. We bought a bottle. Hope to go back soon!

#Turkeytravelling #71. Greek orthodox on island till forced Turks-Greeks exchange 1920’s, with church turned into mosque.

 

#The 33 Aqueducts in the Istanbul region: ‘built by the Romans, rebuilt and expanded by the Sultans’ (23/08/2015)

#Turkeytravelling #72. Searching for Roman & Ottoman aqueducts outside Istanbul easily takes a very rewarding day out.

#Turkeytravelling #73. Key landmark Istanbul is Valens aquaduct (AD 348, part of elaborate Roman water supply), but…

#Turkeytravelling #74. little known, but as fascinating are the aqueducts close to Istanbul. 33…and not all ruins!

#Turkeytravelling #75. For example Mağlova Aqueduct by emperor Justianus, rebuilt by famous Ottoman architect Sinan.

#Turkeytravelling #76. Close to Kemer Golf Club another example: the Sultan Süleyman Aqueduct, also built by Sinan.

 

#Kırklareli: ‘small city on the way to Bulgaria, rich in history’ (17/07/2015)

#Turkeytravelling #77. Kırklareli, capital of province (81 in Turkey) of same name, once stop on Orient Express.

#Turkeytravelling #78. This small town is no destination on its own, but good moment of rest when going to (beaches of) Bulgaria.

#Turkeytravelling #79. As most Turkey cities Kırklareli is rich in history: a.o. Romans, Bulgarians, Ottomans & Greeks.

#Turkeytravelling #80. 3 hrs drive by car from Istanbul; last hour mainly through Van Gogh like agricultural landscape.

#Turkeytravelling #81. And close to Kırklareli a 6th century Byzantine church turned into mosque (in Vize).

 

Konya (06&07/09/2015)

#Turkeytravelling #82. We spent 2 days in Konya, capital largest Turkish province (40.000 km2).High Speed Train (4 hr)

#Turkeytravelling #83. Konya, 1.1 mln pax, capital Seljuk Sultanate (11-13 century),known for beautiful Mevlana Museum

#Turkeytravelling #84. The Mevlâna Museum is the mausoleum of Jalal Rumi, a Persian Sufi mystic also known as Mevlâna.

#Turkeytravelling #85. In Konya we also watched the Turkey-Holland soccer match (3-0 :-(). New stadium was packed

 

Büyükada revisited (27/09/2016)

#Turkeytravelling #86. Again to Prince’s Islands, 1 1/4 hr by ferry. Relaxed fin-de-siècle atmosphere, superb houses

#Turkeytravelling #87. Trotsky lived for some years on Büyükada; his house now for sale (4,4 mln USD).Needs some work

#Turkeytravelling #88. Büyükada, also site #Biennale. Closed Bayram-:(, but Kim and I still saw ‘animals on water’

 

Trabzon (11, 12&13/09/2015)

#Turkeytravelling #89. Trabzon, NE #Turkey, beautifully located between beach, Black Sea and mountains.

#Turkeytravelling #90. Special atmosphere, although city has few worthwhile sites such as Aya Sophia, 1 of 4 in Turkey

#Turkeytravelling #99. Dinner on 2000 meter high planes surrounding Trabzon area. Not always sunny by the way

#Turkeytravelling #98. One hr drive from #Trabzon another must see, the beautiful caves of Karaca.

#Turkeytravelling #97. Trabzon,Atatürk Köşkü Müzesi, fortunate to have first gala dinner there organized since 1937.

#Turkeytravelling #96. The Ataturk house/Atatürk Köşkü, built on a hill, was beautiful.

#Turkeytravelling #95. Trabzon remained Byzantine till 1461.Many Greeks lived in Trabzon till 1923 (‘Tu-Gr ‘exchange’)

#Turkeytravelling #94. #Sumela monastery, #Trabzon, nominated as UNESCO world heritage. #Turkey has many.

#Turkeytravelling #93. #Trabzon means above all visit to 4th century Sumela monastery. Glued against the rocks (1200m)

#Turkeytravelling #91. Trabzon, Aya Sophia, elegant church; part turned into Mosque few years ago felt bit out of tune

 

Bolu (06/11/2015)

#Turkeytravelling #100. Weekend to #Borlu, 3 hrs by car from Istanbul (with traffic 5 hrs..). Magnificent nature

#Turkeytravelling #101. Bolu, on excellent highway to Ankara, efficient stops. All with prayer room.

#Turkeytravelling #102. Bolu, lakes and mountains, has amazing wildlife. Saw 2 eagles (picture not mine) + 10 boars

#Turkeytravelling #103. Bolu has most romantic lakes I have seen. 6 November: +20 degrees. In winter: skiing area

 

Ankara (05&06/1/2016)

#Turkeytravelling #104. Visit Ankara (4000 yrs, 4.5 mln pax) must: Atatürk Mausoleum + Anatolian Civilisations Museum

#Turkeytravelling #105. Atatürk Mausoleum impressive, worthy of this Turkish leader. Visited during military ceremony

#Turkeytravelling #106. Historic center also made from Roman marble; nice one hour to walk around

#Turkeytravelling #107.

#Turkeytravelling #108. Anatolian Civilisations is one of best antiquities museums in the world (initiative Atatürk).

#Turkeytravelling #109. Some say #Ankara has better fish restaurants than #Istanbul. Trilyz for sure was excellent.

 

Izmir (12,13&14/1/2016)

 

 

 

Soon tweets on Kilyos and Dutch excavations near Bursa (already visited)

On travel agenda in coming months: Antalya, Capadoccia.

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