Turkey: A Journey Through Time and History

AS THE SIXTH MOST VISITED TRAVEL DESTINATION IN THE WORLD, NO MATTER

WHERE YOU END UP IN TURKEY, YOU’LL ALWAYS END UP ON AN UNFORGETTABLE

ADVENTURE WHILE NAVIGATING ON A JOURNEY THROUGH TIME, WHERE HISTORY

WILL TELL ITS OWN HISTORY!

By MARIANA MEJIA

This month, we’re heading off to Turkey! At this time of year, Turkey is the best destination because there are little to no tourists in the historical towns, deals and accommodations are better, and the climate is an experience to die for!

We will be visiting two towns in Turkey, Göreme and Bodrum, two very distinct locations that will make this trip unforgettable. Göreme is located among the fairy chimneys, or rock formations, are in the town of Cappadocia, a historical region designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The surreal phenomenon of fairy chimneys is a result of a geological process that began millions of years ago, when volcanic rained ash and the ash hardened into a porous rock and then covered by a layer of basalt. Cappadocia’s land is famous for its distinctive rock formations, historical heritage, and scenic hot air balloon rides. The town is also filled with cavernous locations. The Anatolian Houses Hotel is the hotel you’ll be staying at for a day for its unique experience and excellent hospitality.

The Anatolian Houses Hotel is the only hotel in the region built inside eight fairy chimneys, giving guests the opportunity to live in a fairytale setting. The rooms and suites are built onto the rock formations and are decorated with Anatolian antiquities, a stay that will take you on a journey through different centuries of history. Its unique location is close to Goreme’s town center; the activities of the town can be accessed by foot. The numerous communal terraces of the hotel allow you to have a magnificent view of the landscapes and villages of Cappadocia, such as the Valley of Roses, the Red Valley, and the villages of Avanos and Göreme. Many years ago, civilizations like the Hittites, Persians, Romans, and Ottomans once lived in caves and fairy chimneys right where the Anatolian Houses Hotel was built. Furthermore, there are many amenities included with your stay such as a steam room, sauna, Turkish Hammam (inspired by Roman baths, which were already present in Anatolia when the first Turks arrived in the eighth century), and outdoor and indoor pools. Also, the Anatolia Houses Hotel is the only hotel to benefit from a wine fountain which is accessible to its customers. Customers can go and taste the wines (white and red) that are produced with grapes from the region. Every step into the hotel provides a unique taste of culture! anatolianhouses.com

Cappadocia’s magical aesthetic has given rise to miraculous human ingenuity. Ingenuity is what makes hot-air balloon rides so popular. This will be the first journey you’ll get to see. The pick-up time for the Cappadocia air balloon ride is usually between 4:00 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. The time and season can also differ according to your hotel’s location. In addition, inclusions such as air-conditioned minibuses will take you to and from your location, which is offered by any air balloon service/company, and they will provide you with breakfast, like coffee/tea, and a snack, before leaving from the take-off point. Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Flight, a flight that will take 20 to 28 people in the basket for two to three hours. Then, after being in the air for hours and passing over all of Cappadocia, the crew members help the passengers climb out of the basket safely back onto land. Afterwards, you can toast with a glass of champagne a successful and unforgettable hot air balloon ride. This tradition originates from the first hot air balloon flight back in 1783, where the French pilots would land onto a field and destroy some of the farmers’ crops. To make it up to the farmer, they offered him a drink of champagne.

Although the champagne was a nice little victory, it’s time to get some lunch. Stone House restaurant is a Turkish-styled and vegan-friendly place to eat, filled with several Turkish courses. The restaurant is covered in stone, the same stone that is built into Cappadocia’s cave houses. The exterior of the restaurant is also covered in stone with a spectacular view of the entire village, and the interior is furnished with Turkish textiles and ceramic pots that are covered by several types of greenery. A cozy atmosphere that will content your soul and stomach at the end of each meal, a little gem that is waiting for you in the heart of Göreme. stonehousecave.com

The second glorious attraction will be a Small Group Cappadocia Red Tour. A six to eight-hour tour that will take you to nine different locations. This trip includes roundtrip transportation, lunch, and tickets to the tour. If the minimum group tour isn’t met, (what is the minimum?) you’ll get a complete refund (maximum of 14 travelers). In the Small Group Cappadocia Red Tour, will take you to another planet which is full of magical lunar landscapes and surprises. No one will be expecting to see the best frescoes in the world in the middle of nowhere in a 1500-year-old cave church. This tour will be full of art, history, religion, and beyond your expectations. The day will begin with an exploration of Cappadocia’s Devrent Valley (30 minutes) also known as Imagination Valley, where you will see the different types of fairy chimney formations, which formed almost 30 million years ago. Afterwards. you will stop at Love Valley (30 minutes), where we will see more fairy chimneys.Next, the Zelve Open Air Museum (two hours) allows you to discover cave churches from 530 A.D. in Cappadocia. Eventually, after going through a glorious two-hour tour, your group will stop by and enjoy Avanos Oren Yeri (60 minutes), a local shop where you’ll discover the real Anatolia. Then, you will see the wonderful view of Cappadocia Cave dwellings (30 minutes). Afterwards, you will stop at Uchisar Castle and Pigeon Valley (30 minutes), two of the best spots for photography and photo opportunities in the world. The view is spectacular and photo-worthy. Immediately after, stop by Goreme Panorama, for a beautiful view of Cappadocia. For the last destination, you will stop at Monk Valley, where you will see interesting and majestical fairy chimneys (60 minutes).

This tour was a long and bumpy road that led the entire tour through an unforgettable adventure! An adventure that now tells you it’s time to head back to your hotel and get ready for dinner at A’laturca Restaurant. A’laturca Restaurant is a Turkish/Native American grill restaurant that’s vegan and vegetarian-friendly. The view from the terrace at night makes the Turkish comfort food utterly amazing. The comfortable ambience of A’laturca is filled with music as you step foot onto the terrace horizon through the Turkish November light-filled nights that surround the village of Göreme, and the laughter fills the air with the kindness of the town’s people. As you say goodbye on your last night in Cappadocia! alaturca.com.tr

It’s early in the morning, Cappadocia awaits! It’s your last morning in Cappadocia; friends and family are waiting to explore the rest of the town’s shops before they head on over to the airport and fly back to Bodrum. You can either eat breakfast at your hotel or have brunch at the Organic Cave Kitchen, a healthy fast-food restaurant that gives you an overview of Göreme in the morning. Mornings in Turkey in November are normally cold and snowy, with mountains of snow falling on the city. So, a fresh cup of coffee and freshly baked bread from a coal-fired oven with figs and many other types of fruits, cheeses, and meats (also vegan-friendly) is a great source of energy to go shopping until you drop. Just be prepared that many of the shops sell art, ceramics, rugs and fabrics. These types of shops are famously known in Turkey and most of the gifts or items you’ll buy will require a lot of bubble wrap, that’s if you’re going to buy any art or ceramics.

Well, after you’ve completed your day of shopping in Cappadocia head on over to the airport. Goodbye Cappadocia, and hello Bodrum! Bodrum waits for your stay in El Vino Hotel and Suites. El Vino offers one of the most charming holidays in an unusual atmosphere, with excellent furnished rooms and a spectacular panoramic view over Bodrum and its countless historical monuments. Each of the hotel’s spacious and comfortable guest rooms are tastefully decorated with pretty, yet modern furniture, and all rooms are fully equipped to meet the needs of today’s travelers. El Vino is open all seasons. The hotel is situated in the heart of Bodrum. El Vino is minutes away from sea and just a short walk to the best restaurants in the city, and the epicenter of the best nightlife all around. El Vino is your passport to all things in Bodrum. The rooftop restaurant at El Vino Hotel also has the view of Bodrum castle, and their menu features local fish and many exotic flavors in refined recipes. In the hotel, you will find a tropical garden, an open-air hydro massage hot tub, a private beach area, a complimentary continental breakfast, complimentary wireless internet access in all areas, a shuttle service, and much more. El Vino Hotel welcomes your friends, family and yourself to a combination of great comfort, and a refined collection of details, creating a charming atmosphere for your stay. elvinobodrum.com

Although the stay in Bodrum is short, the days spent in Turkey will be a great time! For your first attraction in Bodrum, we will navigate in the excursion for 15 hours to the Pamukkale Hot Springs and Hierapolis Excursion. To get to the Pamukkale Hot Springs and Hierapolis Excursion, an air-conditioned vehicle with a professional guide will pick you up from your hotel and eventually drop you off later, along with providing you and the rest of your group with a complimentary buffet lunch. The duration of how long it will take you to get to the exact location will differ depending on the time and day of the traffic conditions, a tour that will take you to three different locations. In addition, there are exclusions such as drinks, breakfast, entry tickets to Cleopatra’s Pools, and gratuities. The excursion will begin at Pamukkale also known as the “Cotton Castle” (two hours). It is a town in western Turkey best known for its mineral-rich thermal waters that flow down the bright white terraces of a steep valley side. This magical place is famous for its white limestone travertines shaped by calcium-rich hot springs. These hot springs have been used as a thermal treatment center for millennia. Pamukkale is the first spa which dates back to the founding of Hierapolis, by Eumenes II, king of Pergamum, in the second century B.C. As a matter of fact, many who have had major surgery recommend traveling to Pamukkale for therapy to improve circulation and gain strength through their recovery.

For the next excursion, stop at Cleopatra’s Pool (30 mins), the Cleopatra Pool dated from the Roman period, was formed by an earthquake in 692 AD. Cleopatra’s Pool, also known as Pamukkale Antique Pool, which is a man-made pool said to have been a gift from Marc Anthony to Cleopatra. Marc Anthony was a Roman general and Cleopatra was an Egyptian queen. Mark Anthony and Cleopatra flaunted their scandalous love affair while challenging the power of Rome. Through Cleopatra’s gift, it has since been turned into a modern pool, with changing rooms and a cafe, allowing swimmers to float over the ancient ruins. Cleopatra’s Pool is a bathing area that dates back to when the Romans ruled, in which the famous Queen of Egypt is said to have swum in this exact pool. Though the natural turquoise pools are usually off-limits to keep them pristine, it’s possible to swim in Cleopatra’s Pool. Cleopatra’s Pool is located at the top of the terraces, where an earthquake in the 7th century sent many of the surrounding statues and marble columns to crash and breakoff into the water. pumakkale-turkey.com

Finally, the last excursion is the Amphitheater (Pamukkale), also known as the ancient city of Hierapolis. Hierapolis is located in the inner Aegean region of Turkey. Hierapolis flourished reaching its peak in the second and third centuries A.D. when it was under the rule of the Roman Empire. However, when the city was destroyed by an earthquake in A.D. 60 and later rebuilt, the ruins of the Greco-Roman period included several remaining remnants of baths, temples, monumental arches, a nymphaeum, a necropolis, and a theater. Through the acceptance of Christianity by the Emperor Constantine and his establishment of Constantinople, branded as the “New Rome” in A.D. 330, the town was then converted into a bishopric as the place of “St. Philip’s Martyrdom” in A.D. 80, which was then commemorated by his martyrdom building in the fifth century. Hierapolis, with its several churches, eventually became the most important religious center for the eastern Roman Empire. After a long evening in the water and being on the road, room service with a glass of wine sounds like a fantastic idea, or just sitting outside where the beach is while having a nice little dinner at your hotel and just resting the whole night until the next day.

It’s the final day in Turkey and check-out is at the end of the day, but first you’ll want to head on over to Sultan Bahçe Restaurant. The Sultan Bahçe Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. To be specific, they serve several Mediterranean specialties, including steak, seafood, and many other healthy options to satisfy your cravings. The food is not only delicious, but the restaurant also offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner that is served only outdoors, a space filled with trees, lights, a small pond, and a hammock for outdoor loving space. A space that doesn’t just have a homey feel, but a space where you can get comfortable on your last day. After you’re done eating, you can either choose to shop around Bodrum or head back to the hotel, El Vino Hotel & Suites, and spend a little time at the beach to take a last fresh breath of the ocean breeze before you leave! It’s now time to leave, have a safe flight and say Güle güle! (Goodbye!) sultan-bahce-restaurant.business.site