Divided by the Bosporus Strait, with one side in Asia and the other in Europe, Istanbul boasts a unique blend of architecture and iconic landmarks, the Ottoman and Byzantine empires left behind.
Our experts know Turkey like the back of their hand and have traveled extensively around the country. We have put together some trips and tours of Turkey to get you inspired. You can also check out our small ship cruises around Turkey.
We love private tours of Turkey as it makes for a more authentic experience while providing the best possible overview of all it has to offer. Its location intersecting the East and the West means that it draws elements of both for a unique cultural blend while its archaeological legacy can be seen in the landscapes, from classic European civilizations to the Middle East.
Creating private tours for our clients is an exciting endeavor here. Based on personal interests and enhanced by the knowledge of our local experts, you’ll enjoy rewarding
experiences in places like Istanbul with its enchanting mix of grand palaces, majestic mosques, and an ancient market overflowing with colorful spices.
Exploring fairytale-like Cappadoccia is always a highlight – you might even soar over the remarkable formations in a hot-air balloon. Perhaps discover one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World in Bodrum, and soak up the sun on the Turquoise Coast.
In Turkey you can visit everything from Istanbul, the world’s only city straddling two continents and immerse yourself in the fascinating chaos of the ancient market, as well as explore awe-inspiring landscapes with fairy chimneys, centuries-old ruins, and a stunning coastline.
Divided by the Bosporus Strait, with one side in Asia and the other in Europe, Istanbul boasts a unique blend of architecture and iconic landmarks, the Ottoman and Byzantine empires left behind.
A bizarrely beautiful landscape that can be viewed from above in a hot-air balloon, Cappadocia features hundreds of astonishing rock formations while unique cave dwellings are interspersed among limestone pillars and spires.
Bodrum is a popular resort town with beautiful beaches like Blue Flag Bitetz as well as boasting one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: the ruins of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus.
The vibrant city of Izmir has a long, rich history, a seaside promenade with cozy cafes, and a pier that’s now an upscale shopping center, while the ruins of Ephesus are nearby.
The excavated remains of the ancient city of Ephesus reflect its centuries of history from classical Greece to the Roman Empire, with paved streets winding past baths, squares, and monumental ruins.
Located along the Turquoise Coast, Fethiye is popular among beach and history enthusiasts with idyllic stretches of white sands and crumbling ruins from its ancient culture that dates back to around 200 BC.
Turkey offers distinct seasons which makes it important to consider the weather before planning your visit. Spring is often ideal with pleasantly warm temperatures and beautiful blossoms dotted across the landscapes. Summer is the busiest time with thick tourist crowds and it’s when you can expect brutally hot temperatures with the beaches along the coast and the crystal-clear turquoise sea providing welcome relief. September and October are a great time to visit with the lingering heat meaning the sea will be warm enough for swimming, while winters tend to be bitterly cold and are not the best time to visit.
In Turkey, you can do everything from marveling at majestic mosques and the colorful spices overflowing in Istanbul’s ancient market to exploring archaeological sites and historic wonders, taking to the skies in a hot-air balloon, and soaking up the sun on white sandy beaches.
Among Turkey’s practically endless historical wonders, the Hagia Sophia Mosque dates to 537 AD, famous for its architectural grandeur. The early 17th-century Blue Mosque is one of the finest examples of Ottoman architecture, named for its ornately painted blue ceramic tiles, while Ephesus’ excavated remains reveal its ancient past in baths and monumental ruins.
Just as breathtaking as the name suggests, the color of the water that edges the Turquoise Coast is an array of brilliant hues ranging from turquoise to emerald. It’s ideal for sailing in a gulet yacht, allowing passengers to soak up the sun while exploring island gems, intriguing ancient sites, and charming towns.
With its incredible fairy chimneys and other-worldly rock formations, Cappadocia is one of the world’s best places for a hot-air balloon ride. Enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the striking limestone pillars and spires, peppered with underground churches and dwellings carved out of the rock. Under the early morning light at sunrise, it’s especially magnificent.
Straddling Asia and Europe, torn apart by the Bosphorus Strait boundary, the city of Istanbul in Turkey is built on years of cultural heritage and religious history. With the city being where the two continents collide, Istanbul is a world of its own when it comes to its mesmerizing blend of Byzantine, Roman, and Ottoman empires’ traditions and culture; from its architecture to its religious landmarks and diverse historical sites, steeped in over 2500 years of history.
Whether it's the remnants of past civilizations that catch your eye or the imposing spiritual sights that dominate its scenic landscapes, Istanbul is a destination that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetimes.
You can easily explore the stretches of this city in a week or even 5 days, and many even maximize their trip and explore some of the best things to do in Istanbul in 3 days. And when it comes to things to do and things to see in Istanbul, regardless of which length of time you choose, you’re always guaranteed that your trip will be saturated with impressive sights, and beautiful scenes, leaving you with a lasting impression of the city that you’re not likely to forget.
We’ve narrowed down the 10 best things to do in Istanbul to help guide you in planning your trip and to factor in some of the most sought-after destinations in this famed Turkish gem.
Also known as the ancient city of Smyrna, Izmir is a fascinating and popular city in Turkey. With a long-standing, rich history and unique heritage, Izmir has developed over thousands of years to become the modern and thriving settlement that it is today.
Now, it is the third-largest city in Turkey and is home to the country’s second-biggest port. Full of life, it’s no wonder that the city is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Turkey, with visitors flocking from all over the world to experience its wonders firsthand.
Situated on the western coast of Turkey overlooking the Aegean Sea, there are multiple reasons why travelers looking to indulge in the best places to visit in Turkey should be adding Izmir to the top of their lists. For one, the city’s rich cultural heritage has stood the test of time, with the remains of ancient empires, including the Greeks, Romans, and Ottomans, still being visible throughout its streets today.
Equally, the atmosphere of Izmir is unbeatable. Its bustling bazaars are vibrant and lively and this same energy can be found throughout the city’s charming cobblestone streets. Here, residents and tourists roam and intermingle, captivated by the magical atmosphere found even in the most ordinary of locations throughout the city.
Whilst we could easily talk on and on about the many splendors and attractions that this city has to offer, our experts here at Unforgettable Travel have instead listed the top 10 things to do in Izmir for your next trip. From world-renowned sites to breathtaking natural marvels, visitors will be in awe of the wealth of opportunity that this city has to offer.
So, whether you consider yourself to be a foodie traveler, a history buff, or a culture vulture, get ready to discover exactly what Izmir is all about whilst vacationing in Turkey.
Whilst the name of Cappadocia might not ring a bell in travelers’ minds, the vision of desert landscapes dotted with fairy chimneys and hot air balloon-filled skies just might. Situated in Central Anatolia, a popular holiday destination in Turkey, this historical region is brimming with a fascinating culture and a deep-rooted timeline unlike anywhere else in the world.
This is likely why the region has gained popularity in recent decades alongside, of course, its spectacular natural landscapes. With unique rock formations, vast underground cities, and breathtaking national parks, Cappadocia is a natural marvel that is well deserving of the attention of every type of traveler.
Whether you’re a keen adventurer, a history buff, a lover of all things unique, or are simply in search of something that offers a ‘wow’ factor, Cappadocia has it all. This is exactly why our team here at Unforgettable Travel has explored the top 10 things to do in Cappadocia for every mood, occasion, time of year, and budget.
So, if you’re in search of inspiration for what to do in Cappadocia if this region has truly caught your eye, read on to see what we have in store to pique your interest.
With over 7000km of coastline covered with blissful beaches, Turkey is a much coveted transcontinental vacation destination for a seafront getaway. From its inland down to its sands, visitors can find culture and beauty at every turn. But, it’s the turquoise coast of Turkey, alongside its coastal resorts and towns, that harbor some of the very best of this.
Travelers from around the globe flock annually to the beaches, bays, and coves of Turkey to swim in their crystal-clear waters and relax in their peaceful atmospheres beside the sea. So, if you’re one of the many keen travelers who have been captivated by Turkey’s beaches, hoping to set foot on its glorious sandy shorelines or uncover off-the-beaten-track coves, the country is home to more than its fair share of these which are waiting to be discovered by you.
But, given the sheer array of beaches, it’s difficult to decipher which excels the most. This is why our experts at Unforgettable Travel have revealed a selection of the best beaches in Turkey that many travelers may not even know exist when they arrive in the country, but that are well worthy of your attention for a multitude of reasons.
From stretches of long, golden sands to bays perfect for viewing wildlife, and areas where you can raise a glass to your vacation whilst feeling the sand between your toes, these are the best beaches to visit in Turkey for all those looking to discover its seafront pleasures.
The magnificent peninsula of Turkey is a fascinating transcontinental landscape. Straddling Europe and Asia, it boasts diversity in its scenery and cultures, making it a treasure trove for tourists looking to delve into the rich heritage and savor an assortment of distinct experiences on their next adventures abroad.
From its colorful and thriving city settlements, including the likes of its capital Istanbul, to the whimsical hot air balloon-filled skies in Cappadocia, this country has much to be marveled at and adored by visitors from every corner of the globe.
Whilst the aforementioned destinations are some of the most sought-after by those who flock to uncover the delights of Turkey, the charming city of Bodrum is a location that sits high on the list of popular tourist destinations in the country and is one that we would certainly recommend.
Nestled on the Aegean Coast, Bodrum is known for its breathtaking marina, its beautiful castle, and the fantastic surrounding coastline that is almost magnetic for visitors who can’t resist sun, sea, and sand during their vacations.
Whilst the sun-kissed city has much to occupy visitors, those who haven’t been before may be unsure of what the settlement has to offer within the bigger picture of things to do and things to see in Turkey.
But rest assured that there is an assortment of things to do in Bodrum that will suit every travel personality and group. From adventurous souls to families looking for activities to suit both parents and children, there’s something for everyone here.
And to prove it, here at Unforgettable Travel, we’ve listed the 9 best things to do in Bodrum to make your holiday simpler. From the best things to do in Bodrum in summer and winter, to the best things to do as a family, we’ve revealed all below.
Straddling the mighty continents of Europe and Asia, Turkey has long been a desirable country for keen travelers across the globe looking to delve into the breadth of beauty on offer in the Middle East.
From its volcanic canyons to its verdant valleys and ancient settlements home to the remnants of some of the world’s most powerful ancient civilizations, Turkey offers a culmination of natural marvels and mesmerizing sights that remain engrained in the memories of travelers long after they’ve left.
And for those looking to experience one of the most unforgettable places to go in Turkey, the Cappadocia region should be at the top of your list.
This historical region is located in Central Anatolia, spanning a range of provinces that each harbor their own hidden gems and natural wonders. Composed of secret caves, colossal towers of rock, and waves of volcanic vistas shaped over millions of years, its landscapes are unlike anything else in the world.
Known worldwide for its hot air ballooning, with over 50% of the world’s balloon trips happening here, in Cappadocia visitors take to the air and dot the bright blue morning skies with bursts of vibrant color amidst the towering fairy chimneys of the region, making for a truly magical experience for those experience this and those who get the chance to see it equally.
But, what many of Cappadocia’s visitors may fail to realize is that the region is home to some of the best of Turkey’s rich and authentic cuisine, where you can sample the very best of local Central Anatolian delicacies. Whether you’re looking to sink your teeth into the Testi kebab, one of the region’s specialties, or a wider selection of the food of Turkey, by visiting Cappadocia you’ve come to the right place.
That’s why, here at Unforgettable Travel, we’ve sought to reveal the 9 best restaurants in Cappadocia, Turkey. We’ve broken these down based on their provinces too so that visitors can sample the very best of Cappadocia, and Turkish, food across the region. From luxury restaurants serving traditional eats to fine-dining specialties, there’s a breadth of options, and opportunities, to choose from.
Any first-time tour of Turkey should include three key elements: Istanbul, ancient culture, and an alluring coastline. The former is simply unmissable, and warrants a stay of at least three nights, enabling you to fully explore its bubbling bazaars and staggering UNESCO treasures. We would then typically recommend moving on to otherworldly Cappadocia, spending a couple of nights exploring the Goreme Open Air Museum, and perhaps taking a memorable hot air balloon flight. There’s then so much beautiful coastline to choose from to round out your tour, but we find Izmir is always best for introductory trips, with its many fine hotels, great amenities, and easy access to the ancient ruins of Ephesus.
A tour in line with the above would typically be around 9 nights: three in Istanbul to start; two each in Cappadocia and Izmir; and a final night back in Istanbul to recap the city and leave you in situ to fly home. This covers the briefest and best highlights, but should you be able to expand out to around two weeks you could also include stops in Sufi-centre Konya, the magical ‘cotton castle’ of Pamukkale, and additional stops along the majestic south coast: the bustling resort city of Antalya, or placid, picturesque Kas spring to mind. Additional nights in Istanbul are also always recommended!
Turkey is known as one of the world’s great summer holiday destinations, with its coastal resorts jam-packed with visitors from across Europe from June through to August. For touring itineraries we would recommend avoiding this busiest and hottest season, instead opting for the spring months (April, May) and fall (September through November). At this time the weather is pleasantly warm but not draining, there is little to no rain, and skies are typically clear. The winter months can become surprisingly cool – with snow not uncommon in Istanbul – and should likewise be avoided.
Absolutely! The sprawling south coast resorts of Dalaman, Bodrum, or Antalya are family holiday gold – and typically packed out during the school summer holidays. Adventurous families need not restrict themselves to ‘package’ style trips: visits to Cappadocia can be tweaked to suit families of all ages, with hot air balloon trips or challenging hikes for older children; Istanbul can include memorable walking tours and interactive cooking classes, and lesser destinations such as Selcuk and Saklikent offer easy-going but intriguing insights into Turkish culture and history.
Turkey remains outside the Eurozone and as such sees spending costs significantly lower than nearby destinations such as Greece, Spain, or Italy. A 4-star budget in these destinations can comfortably become a 5-star budget in Turkey, and your day-to-day costs are very keen too, with a scrumptious lunch or delicious dinner for two typically coming in at no more than £35 / US$50. Shopping and souvenir-hunting costs are equivalent and remember that haggling is part of life in Turkey, so sharpen your skills to pick up some fantastic bargains!
Turkey is a hugely welcoming country, with well-established tourist support services, and friendly, helpful English speakers pretty much everywhere you go. It’s easy to get around Turkey’s leading destinations in your downtime, with lots of taxis and local activity providers to be easily found in the cultural and coastal destinations. An extended stay in Istanbul is a must, and with the city boasting a very good – and easy-to-use – subway, bus, and tram system it’s both cheap and straightforward to explore the magical city under your own steam.
Turkey is a lively destination with lots of great festivities to look out for. As a majority Muslim country, the festival calendar follows typical Islamic celebrations, with the month of Ramadan (Ramazan in Turkish) and climactic Eid-al-Fitr being the biggest event of the year. Visitors during this time – typically late Spring – will not see disruption to their trips and can also dive into nightly iftar yemegi – fast-breaking. A wide array of cultural festivals – celebrating harvest time, folk dance, or local cultural practices – are held in major destinations throughout the year and will provide an additional highlight should you time your visit well. Istanbul has a full calendar of festivals year-round, from art and jazz to oil wrestling – make sure to ask your consultant what’s going on when you plan to visit.
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