Turkey is a fantastic country to visit all year round. I’ve been mostly to Istanbul but have also been to the Cappadocia region. Istanbul is a pleasure to visit every time, and instantly made it to one of my favourite places.
Istanbul’s mediterranean-like feel made it an incredible summer destination, though be warned, because it does get quite hot!
I visited the Galata Tower, a medieval structure made from stone and a dominant feature of Istanbul’s skyline. It was historically used as a lookout and to detect fires across the city. In the 17th Century, an Ottoman Turk jumped from the tower testing his flight device (which itself was emulating bird’s wings) and flew over the Bosphorus river, landing safely. It is an incredible structure with breathtaking views over Istanbul, the queues are a whole other story though, so make sure you arrive early!
Another place I visited was the Topkapi Palace, an historical masterpiece with a rich story to tell to all. It was mind-blowing to think that this was where so much imperial power was once held, and I was able to visit also the different compounds within the Palace, from the Library to the beautiful Gardens. An amazing experience!
If you find yourself in Istanbul, you also owe it to yourself to visit the many historical Mosques and also the historical Grand Bazaar, I dont always recommend buying much from here as the prices can be more inflated compared to other markets, but its definitely worth taking a look. If you are in Istanbul on a hot, sunny day, take a ride on a ferry along the Bosphorus. You won’t regret it!
A stunning experience awaits anyone who travels to Cappadocia.
Despite how many pictures or videos you may have seen about it online, it still will blow you away when you see it in real life. Watching the hot air balloons rise across a horizon upon which the sun is rising is almost an otherworldy experience. I did this despite just landing in the area a few hours prior, I was tired but I would definitely do it all over again.
If you take a balloon up into the skies yourself, don’t think that that’s all there is to the area. There is so much history about the early Christians in the area, and you can take a guided tour (which is absolutely worth it) showing you much else. Cappadocia is also known for making high quality silk carpets and traditional pottery, and the tour included a visit to such facilities. It was incredible to see how such carpets were made. Each line of the carpet was made by hand, and the designs were intricately woven. I definitely came to appreciate the cost of a real silk carpet much more.
The Pottery facility was an eye opener too. It was part of local tradition for a man not to be able to marry until he could make a pot perfectly. this rule was rigorously adhered to. We saw one made who had multiple wives and an older man who had none!
Lastly there were the fantastic opportunities to either go horse riding in the plains or Quad Biking. I chose Quad Biking and the views over Cappadocia as the sun set were unforgettable. Dont miss out on this experience, and I hope I get the chance to return one day!
Below are some pictures from my time in the Cappadocia region.