I can without a blink say that a vacation in Antalya would be my favourite beach trip in my life. I had planned my summer vacation in Antalya with my cousin, who is a year younger to me. We wanted to spend our holidays in a beautiful beach destination and to our parents surprise we had chose the Turkish beach destination. First of all, we had planned a budget trip to Antalya and did not buy any tour packages instead took a 4 days all-by-alone trip to explore incredible resorts in Antalya.After some web research, I had booked a flight ticket with Rehlat from New Delhi to Antalya with Turkish Airlines 717 (Boeing 777). After 8-hours long journey from Indira Gandhi International Airport (New Delhi), we were landed in Istanbul Atatürk Airport (Istanbul) with a little bit nervousness and taken another flight (Turkish 216) from Istanbul to Antalya, which was a 3 hours journey.
Day 9: We checked out of Lazer Pension post breakfast and headed for a Gulet cruise to explore Duden Waterfalls. We returned to the hotel in the evening to collect out luggage and to take the overnight bus to Cappadocia. We travelled by a Metro Turizm bus that departed from Antalya at 07:30 pm.
The city is really good I was staying near the old city, it’s good to walk around, most of the things to do and see are in the old city. Antalya Archaeological Museum is one of the amazing museum’s I have seen.
Day 8 – Antalya
I had a fight with Somya next morning because she was being annoying. We had an early morning bus and she was taking all her time to get dressed and have her breakfast. We boarded a minivan to Denizli and took a bus to Antalya thereon. We reached Antalya around 2 pm, after completing a five-hour long journey. We had booked a luxurious beach-side hotel in Antalya, because we had decided we would spend money in Antalya if we were saving elsewhere. The local bus from the bus station in Antalya to our hotel took around one hour to reach. We finally reached the bus stand next to the beach, exhausted. But the beautiful side of a sea stretching out to touch the hills was enough to help me relax. Our hotel was nice, not as luxurious as we had thought, but we got a beach-facing two-room suite with a huge balcony so we were quite pleased. Oh! The site was awe-inspiring. I have shared a photo for you to see. Till the time we had checked-in, it was getting dark so we decided to go to a nearby mall and see if there are any shacks at the beach for dinner later. The mall was around 2 kilometres and we walked all the way. It was dark when we decided to leave the mall. Antalya was one unsafe city, I must say. Every now and then a car would stop near us, as if we were to get onto it and would leave when we ignored. Somya even saw a man jerking off on the pedestrian. And adding to our list of horrors, we heard a car pass-by and we swear by all the gods of all religions ever created, we heard a girl screaming from the car. We were shaking with fear. We hurried towards the beach and except for darkness, there was nothing at the beach. We ate at a nearby restaurant and rushed back to our hotel. We were extremely put-off as we had heard that Antalya is one city where restaurants are open till 3 in the morning. Where was all of it? We couldn’t find anything. All we saw was a prostitute going away with a truck driver at 10 in the evening.
Day 9 – Antalya
Our second day in Antalya was not as disappointing as our first day. We went to the beach, had a nice swim in the sea and sun-bathed. I even slept on the beach and woke up to see myself utterly tanned. In the afternoon, Somya forced me to go grab a bite as the scorching sun was burning her skin. We ate at a really, really nice café, ‘Big Yellow Taxi’, recommended by a friend. The location of the café made sense to us now. So, our hotel was a little off the main tourist spot. The party was here! After resting the entire evening in our room, we again went for dinner to BYT and were quite happy with Antalya by now. But, we had realized that Antalya was not a place that we couldn’t give a miss. And we had one full day still left in Antalya and we had no idea what to do with it. Ohh, I forgot to mention about the alteration in our plan. By the end of Antalya I was quite tired and was missing Istanbul terribly. So, I talked Somya into cancelling Cappadocia and going back to Istanbul for the last three days. She agreed because Cappadocia is far from both Antalya and Istanbul and we had to anyways go to Istanbul on our last day to catch our flight. We realized it would become very hectic. Moreover, Cappadocia is famous for its hot air ballooning, which is quite expensive. Now, as backpackers, we weren’t really looking forward to spending over 11,000 INR per person over a hot air balloon session. So, we decided to give it a skip and head back to Istanbul by a night bus.
Day 10- Antalya
We were clueless about what we would do in Antalya that day. So, keeping in line with our random acts, we boarded a local bus to the city and got off at a travel agency to book a bus back to Istanbul. Then we started walking towards a mall, which Somya had seen on the first day in the beach city while we were going to our hotel. On our way to the mall, we stopped at a small restaurant hidden away in some corner of a street for some cheap Turkish food. We had some mouth-watering meat with the best salad and were hosted by the most polite gentleman. The best thing about Turkish people is they do not understand your language but they will go out of their way to help you and make you feel comfortable. So after the Turkish food, which I miss terribly, we went to the mall. Basically we were just killing our time. We did some window shopping and went back to the travel agency’s office to catch the mini-bus to the bus station. And in no time we were headed back to our favourite city, Istanbul.
Anyalya is the Turkish Riviera and on the Mediterranean coast. It’s a thriving up to date city with a historic focus. A percentage of the Ottoman manors are being restored and there are new boutique inns appearing, adding more class to the city. Autos are not permitted in the downtown area, which makes for a charming environment. There is awesome mountain landscape, offering incredible perspectives of the coast. There truly is plenty to see and do in this district.
Beautiful coast with lots to see and do. We went to the Mosaics (again students are free) and wandered around Paphos (AKA Pafos). We didn't do a boat tour but there are regular tours everyday from a lot of boats. Got a free Segway ride for a couple minutes. Read More
Beautiful coast with lots to see and do. We went to the Mosaics (again students are free) and wandered around Paphos (AKA Pafos). We didn't do a boat tour but there are regular tours everyday from a lot of boats. Got a free Segway ride for a couple minutes.
My first stop was the seaside town of Pafos, a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to some of the finest Roman mosaics and Greek ruins in Europe. I began my day with a visit to Pafos harbor and a climb to the top of the fort that guards it. The view from the top over the colorful fishing boats in the harbor is spectacular. I wandered around the harbor for a bit before settling into a waterfront taverna for a delicious Greek lunch of salad and moussaka.
My next (and final) stop for the day was Kourion to visit the ruins of ancient Curium. Perched high above the sea, the visible remains at Kourion date back to the Hellenistic, Roman and early Christian periods. Raised and covered walkways allow you to view the elaborately detailed mosaic floors in the Annexe of Eustolios thought to date back to the 5th century.
Next up was the theater, Kourion’s best-known feature. With a view to die for over the Mediterranean, it was fully restored in 1960 and can seat 3,500 for a concert or play. I wandered through the rest of the sight visiting the Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates and the Christian basilica. The entire site was as amazing as anything I’ve seen in Greece or Italy.
We were flying over the rippled valleys of Cappadocia which we planned to visit later on the same day. We saw Rose valley, Pigeon valley, Open Air Goreme Museum, etc.; all from a bird’s eye view. A pilot can only guide the balloon vertically, as the horizontal path is clearly directed by the wind around. Dennis was professional and fluent in English and was properly describing about the sights we were flying over. He had years of experience in flying the balloon and we felt absolutely safe while flying with him.Read More
We were flying over the rippled valleys of Cappadocia which we planned to visit later on the same day. We saw Rose valley, Pigeon valley, Open Air Goreme Museum, etc.; all from a bird’s eye view. A pilot can only guide the balloon vertically, as the horizontal path is clearly directed by the wind around. Dennis was professional and fluent in English and was properly describing about the sights we were flying over. He had years of experience in flying the balloon and we felt absolutely safe while flying with him.
Come to my arms, or, let me live in your stomach. Wake up your sleeping taste bud, immersing with food. Only food and travelling should not be wasted in the world. Turkish cuisine is counted as one of the best in the world, ranking the third place apart from China and France. This summer, I finally made a tour to my obsessed Turkey with excitement.
Day 11: Took the early morning Hot-Air balloon ride at about 05:00 am to watch the sunrise and returned back to the hotel at 07:30 am. Post breakfast we took the Green tour at about 09:00 am that was organized by the hotel that included exploring ancient monasteries, underground cities, pigeon valleys and a trek alongside a river. We returned at 05:30 pm and after resting for a while we headed Turkish Night at around 08:30 pm which included dinner, drinks, dance and entertainment (performances included were whirling dervish, belly dancing, etc).
As it's a long distance from Patara to Cappedocia, so we decided to halt at Sultanhani. As it's a small town, in the night by 8-9 everything was closed. Luckily a jewelers shop was open, the gentleman there took us to a Kavmane pension which is off road and not easy to find. As it was off season, the whole pension was free. We took a room for 120 lira with breakfast. Next morning the breakfast was a nice omelette and kahavalti. And with that we immediately left for Cappedocia.
On the way there is Ihalari valley which is an underground valley of 3km but we couldn’t cover this.
Finally we reached Goreme/Cappedocia and the only thing I can say is it’s a must go place! The place is full of mountains made from volcanic ash which has got hardened due to rain. The sight is marvelous that even after being there for 2 days, I was still mesmerized by the place. More interesting for me were the newly built houses in the old rock formations.
You can get stay information from accommodation information centre which is in the heart of the city. We stayed at Ali's guest house and I definitely can vouch for it. It’s a newly built guest house which provides dorm for 20 lira with breakfast and all day tea, apple tea and coffee. The dorm was very clean and tidy. At Ali’s guest house we booked our dervish dance which happens 10 km from Goreme in govt known centre for 20 euro. FYI dervish dance happens in Konya City centre every Saturday at 7:30 for free. As heard from yan ( A fellow traveler who met us in Pammucale), it was authentic but local people were not serious hence their phones were ringing and there were loads of disturbances.
The place where we experienced this mystical dance was a beautiful, quiet and calm old historical building. The dance went for an hour. The music, instruments, those prayers were just amazing. The best was the technique of those dancers who kept turning at the same place for half an hour without spotting, hands in the air and the head tilted. Outside they gave us a warm cinnamon drink which had a very interesting and authentic taste. Once back in Cappedocia near our guest house, we had gozhleme which is Turkish version of our Indian parantha or western pan cake. The only difference in parantha and gozhleme is that they make it really long ... It was worth a try especially on the way from Sultanhani to Cappedocia on the road side hotel where we sat next to their tandoor and ate gozhleme with chilli in vinegar and hot chai.
If you aim for hot air ballooning in Cappedocia then plan in a way that you book in advance and are in Goreme at 6 in morning because ballooning happens only in the morning.We booked with Turkish Balloning Company for 160 Euros. The price for ballooning varies from min for 90 € and max for 175€ based on the experience of the pilots and the company brand.
In morning they picked us up at 5:15 a.m. at Ali’s guest house. After sumptuous breakfast they took us to the sight and showed us how balloon is filled and then we took off. We went max height of 800m covered 20km at 15 km/hr speed... It was an amazing beautiful sight with balloons all around us. It was a great experience but nothing adventurous. Once down the local champagne was opened, certificates were given and then we were dropped back to our hotel.