A travel guide to Turkey – with all the trimmings!

As the credit crunch bites, people may be cutting back on luxuries but are not ready to give up on their annual holiday. Now they are looking around for the best value holiday destination for their pound and Turkey is tipped to be the best value holiday destination for 2009.

Holiday makers are becoming far savvier when searching for holiday deals, paying attention to exchange rates and looking to holiday in areas outside of the Euro zone. Recent reports from the Turkish tourist board has revealed that British visitors to Turkey increased by 18% in 2008.* So with its historic religious monuments, great shopping centres and some of the best beaches in the Mediterranean, pack your suitcase and head to Turkey this year – not forgetting to take your travel insurance!

*source – The Guardian

Top Turkey travel tips:

  • Do a spot of shopping in the world’s largest covered market. Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar with more than 58 streets, the market welcomes between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily. The Grand Bazaar is well known for its 6,000 jewellery, pottery, spice and carpet shops so you’re bound to pick up a bargain! For something a bit different head uptown to browse for cut-price fashion goods and clothing in the boutiques along Istiklal Avenue located in the historic Beyoğlu district or visit fashionable up market Nisantasi – one of Turkey’s most expensive shopping districts.
  • Take a ferry from the Eminönü dock in Istanbul to the Princes’ Islands, a popular destination for day trippers during the summer months. At just a short ferry ride away, the chain of nine islands are incredibly peaceful compared to the chaotic city of Istanbul as there is no traffic, the only form of transportation on the islands is by horse and cart.
  • For a hint of nature, take a trek along the Lycian Way coastal route which stretches for 500km between Fethiye and Antalya, where you’ll be walking through some of Turkey’s most spectacular sceneries. The Sunday Times has listed it as one of the world’s top ten walks so you won’t be disappointed!
  • For some sunbathing head to Patara Beach, one of the best beaches in the Mediterranean and part of a national park. The white sand stretches a vast 14.2 kms long making it the longest beach in the Mediterranean and was even rated as the best beach in the world by The Sunday Times!
  • Thrill seekers can experience an exhilarating adventure white-water rafting on one of Turkey’s various rivers – the Dalaman River, the Köprülü River, the Zamanti River or the Coruh River which is rated by professionals as one of the top rafting descents in the world!
  • After a busy day of sightseeing, relax in a steamy Turkish bath known as a hammam. In Istanbul, the most popular historic baths are the Galatasaray Hammam in Beyoğlu and Cağaloğlu Hammam in Sultanahmet, though local baths are often just as effective in soothing your aching muscles!
  • To experience a taste of Turkish culture catch a performance by the renowned Whirling Dervishes, who are members of the religious Mevlevi Order who perform the famous whirling dance. Their amazing ceremony can be seen in Konya, where the Order originated or in Istanbul.
  • For breathtaking scenery catch a glimpse of the 5,165m high Mount Ararat in Turkey’s far eastern region. The volcanic mountain is the tallest peak in Turkey and has biblical references to Noah’s Ark, where pieces of the ark are reputed to have washed up on the mountain slopes.

Don’t forget your holiday insurance!
If after reading this blog you like the sound of Turkey, make sure you take out travel insurance as soon as you have booked your trip. Buying direct from the travel insurance provider is certainly cheaper than from your travel agent. You can purchase great value travel insurance direct at 24/7 travel insurance. For a week’s family holiday in Europe, it will cost you just £14.00* – a small price to pay so you can enjoy your Turkey holiday all the more!

*Premium £14.00 includes Insurance Premium Tax based on a family comprising of 2 adults aged under 55 and 2 children under 18 taking out a “Standard” family Single-trip 24/7 travel insurance policy for 7 days in Europe excluding personal possessions cover and purchased within 14 days of departure date. Cover details and prices are correct at time of going to press (January 2009) and are subject to change.