10 things you didnt know about Cappadocia

Cappadocia is one of the most favourite tourist destinations in Turkey and if you want to know why this is so, here are ten Things that you probably didn’t known about this place.

  1. Cappadocia used to be a part of Ancient Greece but Ottoman Turks recovered it from Roman and Greece influence and made it a part of their empire.
  2. Ancient Cappadocia was mainly a monastery. The way of life was established by the Basil of Caesarea who persuaded the Christian monks to congregate in the monasteries and to pray together.
  3. Göreme had three names. This Cappadocia town was originally named Avcılar, meaning Hunters. Then it was named Maccan until it was changed again about 30 years ago to its current name, Göreme.
  4. Göreme, literally means “one cannot see in here” and it was in reference to the way the Christians had hidden from the Arabs after they retreated during the invasion. The underground cities became the Christians’ hiding places.

    Goreme today
    Goreme today
  5. These underground cities really had everything the people needed to survive, including tubes for fresh air, storage rooms, toilets, and even places for the animals.
  6. Cappadocia’s main tourist attraction is it’s mushroom-shaped lunar-like fairy chimneys. These were naturally formed through volcanic sediment erosion, which solidified and turned into solid formation called tuff. These tuff rocks have been carved perfectly into underground shelters. These fairy houses are straight up and some really do resemble chimneys.
  7. Cappadocia was formed about four million years after a succession of volcanic eruptions that shook the Central Anatolia terrain.
  8. Though this part of Turkey is popular to the tourist, not all its parts are known to travellers or even get visited. One of the less visited parts is Gulsehir, where every visitor is treated with warmth and friendliness.
  9. If you want to see this place in all its glory, the best thing for you to do is to ride a hot air balloon. Up there in air, you will get the feeling like you are in a space ship and watching the moon’s surface.
  10. One of Cappacodia’s pride and joy is Mount Aktepe located near the Rock Sites and Goreme. This sight is a UNESCO World Heritage site.


A visit to Cappadocia is like a visit to another planet. The rock formations are truly amazing and it shows you how nature can really play along with everything. If you are thinking of taking a Turkish vacation, this city should be on your list.

Advantages of Customised Turkey Tours

Many people are attracted to the beauty and diversity of different holiday destinations in the world. One such favorite destination is Turkey. One of the main reasons why this country is very popular among tourists is that it is the only nation that belongs to two continents, Asia and Europe.
Aside from that uniqueness, Turkey is also home to some of the world’s greatest historical landmarks and the best beaches and resorts. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Turkey is a top tourist destination today and constantly voted one of the best countries to visit in the world.

The Beauty of Turkey
Turkey is steeped in both ancient and modern cultures and travelling here means experiencing some of the most inspirational and stimulating journeys in the world. Here, you will be able to see and enjoy the well preserved sites developed by different empires like the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantine, the Selcuk and the Ottoman. This is not to outshine the more recent history of Turkey including the Gallipoli Battle and then the modern attractions like Istanbul filled with great music, fashion and fascinating culture.
Turkey Attractions
There are many attractions in Turkey that visitors can enjoy with a customised Turkey tour like the following:
Ankara – This is the Turkish Republic’s capital and it is popular for mohair production.
Antalya – This is the Turkish Riviera’s capital and it is a great starting point for excursions to other locations like Perge, Olympos, Aspendos and Side.
Aphrodisias – This is the home of the Temple of Aphrodite and it boasts of marble ruins that stand in the middle of fertile fields in lush green valleys going to Pamukkale.
Bodrum – This is a city popular as a yachting port and resort because it resembles the St tropez of the French Riviera. Bodrum is also famous for the Castle of St Peter and the Mausoleum ruins.

The stunning laneways of Bodrum
The stunning laneways of Bodrum

Cappadocia – Theis region made up of volcanic valleys offers unique attractions in the form of cave homes and churches built into the volcanic rock. Hot air balloon rides are the most popular activities here.
Ephesus – This is the most well-preserved Greco-Roman ancient city in the whole of the Mediterranean and it once was Roman Asia’s capital.
Istanbul – This is probably the most popular Turkish city there is. There reason? This is the part of Turkey where Asia meets Europe. Attractions here include the Blue Mosque, the Topkapi Palace and the Hagia Sophia.


Sights of Istanbul
Sights of Istanbul

Why Choose  Customised Turkey Tours
There are many ways to enjoy Turkey and a customised tour is one. This is deifnitely an option recommened for those who like getting off the beaten track and are known to be ones not to follow the pack when travelling. The Alaturka customised Turkey tours allows our clients to choose where they want to go, sites they want to explore and have a choice in accommodation they get to lay their heads. All the while having the full support of the Alaturka crew who can work to your budget and the time you want to travel. All of our customised tours can either be guided or non guided and totally private or join other groups at times in the tour. The choices are endless and each tour will be totally customised to your group and their tastes.

Talk to us today about your needs and we will create an itinerary just for you!

The best way to enjoy Ephesus – with a private tour!

Private tours are always more advantageous then group tours. For one thing, you would be better off having the guide providing service only to you and your company than sharing him/her with strangers. When your guide is only taking care of your party, there is a bigger chance that you will learn more about the places you are going to visit. If you want to travel to Turkey, visiting Ephesus on a guided tour should be  your list.

The Beauty of Ephesus
The beauty of this Turkish city mainly comes from its rich history. It proudly houses the Temple of Artemis and the Ephesus ruins, both are major tourist attractions today.
Another factor that provides beauty to this city is the fact that it is considered by many a sacred Christian location because of its close association with many biblical figures like the Virgin Mary, St John the Baptist and St Paul.


The Ancient City of Ephesus
The Ancient City of Ephesus

Benefits of Private Ephesus Tour
A private tour is a personalised tour wherein you and your companions will be guided by experienced local people who have the skill to show the city’s most significant attractions and destinations. Having a local guide is really important as you would want someone who can easily communicate with the local people. You wouldn’t want to go around without a guide especially if you have never been to this city (or if ever you are in any other city). A local guide can also take you off the beaten track to destinations like the carpet making institutions and the best places to eat including Mehmet and Ali Baba Kebab House in Selcuk.

Best Places to Visit
Aside from visiting the ruins and the Temple of Artemis, Ephesus is also home to several other attractions and beautiful locations.
One such place is the basilica of St. John. The Apostle, St John was believed to have been buried on the Ayosolug Hill and a church was built on that site to honor him. The church was later reconstructed and developed into the great basilica that it is today.

The Isa Bey Mosque is another must-see place because it is a uniquely designed mosque with its windows and doors that have no symmetry.
The Ephesus Museum is another place to go because it offers the best location to know more about the history of the city. Here guests are greeted by prominently displayed artifacts proving the rich history surrounding Ephesus. Two of the most visited sections of this museum are the part dedicated to Artemis and the Gladiator’s section.
There are many other attractions that you can visit and enjoy in Ephesus. In order to have the best vacation in Turkey, ensure you leave yourself plenty of time in the places you most want to visit and if you are wanting a private guide speak to an Alaturka rep.

Guided Tours of Turkey

Turkey has become a popular destination for tourists because this country offers its visitors the unique chance to experience different cultures and to discover some of the world’s greatest historical places and artifacts.
Aside from cultural and historical experiences, Turkey also provides a great destination for bargain hunters, water sports fanatics and those who are looking for romantic getaways and exotic dining experiences. Simply put, you will surely enjoy doing a lot of things and in order to start on that, you should book for one of the most sought after tours of Turkey.
Why Choose Tours of Turkey
One of main reasons why you should consider touring Turkey is because it is a place where two worlds meet – Asia and Europe. Turkey is so unique in that way that it belongs to two big continents. That alone should be reason enough for anyone to be curious and decide to explore this wondrous tourist destination.
Guided Turkey Tours
If you want to totally enjoy your Turkey tour, it is recommended to book for a guided tour. This tour option allows visitors to prevent feeling isolated in a foreign country. This is also a great option for tourists traveling solo.
With a guided tour you will get to see that best places and experience the best adventures that Turkey offers. You need an experienced guide to show you around so that you will not get lost in the crowd. Your itinerary can be based on your preferences or you can just choose from any of the listed tours being provided by Turkey travel agencies, like Alaturka Yachting & Travel.
A guide is also your best friend when it comes to communicating with the locals. It is much better to have someone that talks the local language than to keep asking if people speak English or any other language.

A guide giving information at Ephesus, Selcuk
A guide giving information at Ephesus, Selcuk

Booking for your Tours of Turkey
Booking for your choice of Turkey tour is easy, you just go online and search through the packages offered by Alaturka Yachting and Travel. You can base your choice from the tour packages, rates and the availability of the tour. Or you can create your own custom itinerary along with the help of one of the staff ensuring you see the places on your Turkey bucket list. In most cases, traveling to Turkey is best done from April to June, if you want to avoid the crowd. Up to the month of October is also good and nice weather, but then many students are out of school and you will have to share your experience with huge crowds. Turkey is quite spectacular in the cooler months as well, however tours to the far east like Nemrut usually stop in October and dont start again until the start of the warmer months, in April.
It is also important to make sure that you check what the company provides with the package of your choice and what is not included. You wouldn’t want to get there only to discover that your accommodations do not include meals or shuttle transfer, do you? Alaturka can either provide a full package including absolutely everything or you can pick and choose what parts whether it be accommodation or just tours to put into your package.

For more information on Alaturka Guided tours email info@alaturkaturkey.com today!

Enjoy a Typical Four-Day Olympos to Fethiye Blue Cruise

Olympos and Fethiye are undoubtedly two of the most popular destinations in Turkey. These two towns boast some of the best attractions in this diverse nation.  If you want to get the chance to enjoy these two Turkish towns, you should book for a four-day Olympos to Fethiye blue cruise.

Day One
Your Olympos to Fethiye blue cruise begins with a shuttle transfer from Olympus going to Demre (there is no port in Olympos and the cruise really starts in Demre). Demre is a popular as a pilgrimage location because of the St. Nicholas Church, considered by many as an spiritual place. St. Nicholas is of course more commonly known to many as Santa Claus, whom many believed to be the bishop of Myra who lived during the fourth century. Aside from a visit to the church, guests can also go shopping while in Demre, before the 2Pm departure from the Harbour Andriake. The first night will be spent at Gokkaya Bay after visiting the Sunken City of Kekova. (literally means plain of thyme is Turkish) then to Simena. Simena is a famous Lycian site where once ashore, you can go climbing the hill at the back of the pretty village houses until you reach the magnificent ancient temple called the Simena Castle.

Olympos, Turkey
Olympos, Turkey

Day Two
The second day of your Olympos to Fethiye blue cruise begins with an early start out of Gokkaya Bay. The crew will raise the anchor before the sun breaks and travel towards the quaint town of Kas. The day will be spent shopping in the markets of Kas, and you will have the option to scuba dive here also. This day will end in either Kalkan or Firnaz Bay where the night will be spent.

Day Three
On the following day the Olympos to Fethiye blue cruise will sail to Oludeniz (known as Blue Lagoon). On the way the boat will pay a visit to Butterfly Valley where you can commune with nature by trekking and hiking in the canyon. This place is also ideal for swimming and snorkeling and is a great place for photographers to take some magnificent shots. Oludeniz is great for water sports and relaxing in the sun. Third night is going to be spent at the St. Nicholas Island. All guests are encouraged to walk to the top of St Nicholas Island to witness an incredible sunset.

Day Four
The last day of your Olympos to Fethiye blue cruise ends in Tarzan Bay. Here you can enjoy more swimming, snorkeling and diving as this place offers ideal entry and exit points for divers, beginners and professionals alike. After lunch, your Olympos to Fethiye blue cruise will end at the Fethiye Harbor.
If you want to learn more about Olympos to Fethiye blue cruise and other cruise packages, you may want to check out Alaturka Yachting & Travel.

Enjoy a Luxurious and Relaxing Fethiye to Olympos Blue Voyage

A Blue Voyage is also known as a Blue Cruise and in Turkish language it means Mavi Yolculuk. It is a term most commonly used for recreational cruises along the famous Turkish Riviera (southwestern coast of Turkey). One of the most famous cruises in Turkey is the Fethiye to Olympos Blue Voyage (though there is no port in Olympos and to get there a shuttle service from Demre is used).

Fethiye to Olympos Blue Voyage for Romantic Getaway
One of the most common reasons why people take the Fethiye to Olympos Blue Voyage is for honeymoons or to celebrate wedding anniversaries. This specific tour is a great choice for romantic getaways because it gives the couples the chance to really enjoy each other while surrounded by the beauty of the Aegean Sea.

The best time to enjoy this tour is from mid of April to October; this is the time frame when you can expect guaranteed departures. You may want to book your cruise early though as many people are also targeting these dates. For couples and solo travelers, it is advisable to book for the April to June cruises as young travellers are usually still at school during these days.

Activities for Four-Day Fethiye to Olympos Blue Voyage
Day one of the tour is of course the departure procedure from the port of Fethiye with the initial stop at Butterfly Valley. At this bay, guests are encouraged to do some water activities like swimming and snorkelling before lunch is served. After lunch you will be taken to the beach, a beautiful natural reserve where 135 species of butterflies are being known to hide in the valleys.
The Blue Lagoon is usually the next stop. This is in Oludeniz, which happens to be considered by many as one of the many enchanting beaches in Turkey. This place offers the best chance for paragliding fanatics. The last destination for the day is St. Nicholas Island, where the famous Byzantine ruins act as the best attractions.
Day two starts with breakfast before heading off to a bay near Kalkan. Sunrise can be enjoyed while cruising from Aquarium all the way to Firnaz where swimming and sun bathing are usually the main activities. Kas is the next stop for lunch and tour around this quaint fishing village that offers great history, and ruins of a Roman theater, tombs and Lycian rocks. Dinner will be served in Kekova where the night will be spent.

A luxurious gulet used for the Fethiye to Olympos Blue Voyage
A luxurious gulet used for the Fethiye to Olympos Blue Voyage

Day three we cruise to the Sunken City after breakfast, followed by a stop in the beeautiful town of Simena. Try the refreshing ice cream here or make your way up the hill to explore Simena Castle. This castle has been held by Ottomans, Byzantines and Lycians. Tonight is spent in Gokkaya Bay for some water sports and then dinner and onboard relaxation.
The last day is when the cruise ends in Demre where a shuttle service will take everyone on tour to Olympos Valley.
The Fethiye to Olympos Blue Voyage is not one to be missed with plenty to keep you entertained, relaxed and completely rejuvenated.

Pamukkale Tours

Imagine a natural spa that has been frequented since the 2nd century BC. The people from the ancient city of Hierapolis regarded it as a thermal spa, with their esteemed patronage akin to the modern day VVIPs enjoying the luxurious hot springs with balmy waters flowing gracefully in waves over waves of smooth white terraces at the top of a cliff. The cliff itself looks like it’s made of frosting on a cake, frozen in concentric looking circles.

Approaching from afar, you get the feeling of nearing a white castle of foam. Yes, Pamukkale means cotton castle, and it’s not hard to see why. But don’t fall for the delusion. The foamy stuff is actually calcium carbonate that is precipitated from the spring water as it flows over, initially gelatin like in formation, but eventually hardening. The terraces that have a cascading appearance are indeed made up of the travertine, deposited by the mineral springs. The image is further enhanced by the stark contrast of the sheer white with the surrounding uplands.

A spectacular view, Pamukkale
A spectacular view, Pamukkale

Pamukkale is located in the Denizli province in South-West Turkey. You may walk in the pools but you are not allowed to wear shoes for fear of damaging the structures. However, only small pools maybe used, and instead of walking on the terraces, you can tread on the pathway that leads up the cliff. I personally wouldn’t protest. The whole structure looks so frail and delicately beautiful that it would be a pity to ruin it for the future generations. The area has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A one day bus tour can take you to Pamukkale to and from Fethiye and Selcuk/Kusadasi, which saves your hassle of changing several buses to reach this point. The complete one day tour costs €65 and you can also visit the nearby ancient city of Hierapolis for a taste of the ancient Roman Empire. Here there is an archeological museum preserving the remnants from these civilisations, but you can stroll around the city itself and see the sarcophagi in the necropolis, the great baths, a shrine dedicated to nymphs, and much more that resonates with Hellenistic culture and belief system. There is also the option of starting this tour with an overnight bus from Cappadocia.

The area has long attracted tourists; some for the sheer beauty and some others for the therapeutic powers the waters are supposed to possess. The area was periodically improved for visits by the imperials even in the ancient times. Many claim that the appearance is unique to Pamukkale only, and I have no trouble believing this. The structure resembles the balconies of a white castle one atop the other. The town of Pamukkale is located at the base of the hot springs. You may see limestone cliffs forming stalactites and water rivulets reflecting the sunlight in a dazzling way.

I think that’s enough said on the subject. Beauty is to be witnessed, not penned down in mere words. So while you are in Turkey, do take a short visit to this ethereal site that the people of Hierapolis could only regard with awe and reverence.

Turkey ANZAC Tours

If you want a memorable historical holiday adventure, taking the Turkey Anzac tours is a recommended travel option. Anzac Day is being celebrated every year to commemorate that specific time in Australian and New Zealand history in 1915 when soldiers from both countries held and battled Gallipoli from April 25th to December 20th of 1915.

When you take the Turkey Anzac tours, you will have the chance to see and explore the memorials, military points and battlefields of Gallipoli peninsula.

You can take the Anzac Walk that has been successfully designed to provide visitors with the chance to walk through that main area that the Anzacs – the soldiers – held during the 1915 conflict. The area was taken from the Turks right after that August Offensive that took place from the 6th to the 10th of August of the year 1915. The Anzac walk embraces a strip of treeless (but scrub-covered) land that is indented deeply by steep valleys about two kilometers in length and less than a kilometer in depth at the widest point.
For the historical walk on the Turkey Anzac tours, guests are provided with materials and instructions that will guide them to understanding what the Anzacs have experienced in 1915. From the North Beach where the first point begins up to the last point on the Walker’s Ridge, guests will be provided with necessary historical facts that occurred at every stop.
Visual materials will be available to help visitors really see what had happened between the months of April and December of the year 1915. The images are made easier to understand by the captions that go with each one of them.
Aside from the images with captions, there are also quotations that have been positioned in every stopping point. To really enjoy this leisurely historical walk, guests are advised to sit down, read the short accounts of the lives and deaths of the soldiers on Gallipoli. These quotations are genuinely the voices of the men who have fought and sacrificed their lives on this Turkish land.


Visiting ANZAC Cove to commemorate Australian and New Zealand fallen soldiers
Visiting ANZAC Cove to commemorate Australian and New Zealand fallen soldiers

Gallipoli is truly a historical place in Turkey and every year, many people from New Zealand and Australia gather here to take the Anzac Walk to commemorate their countries’ heroes. If you want to take this memorable walk and tour, speak to the team at Alaturk. We offer reliable Turkey Anzac Tours ranging from just one day up to full scale Turkey Tours. We also offer connections between other towns including our popular route from Istanbul, completing an Anzac tour and connecting the group onto Selcuk, the home of the ancient city of Ephesus. It is recommended to book your trip in advance as many people surely have the same plans as yours. This is also the start of the official summer season, why not connect your Turkey ANZAC Tour with a blue cruise?

The possibilities are endless!

Turkey: the Perfect Break

Dating its history back to as early as prehistory, the modern Turkey was established in 1923 with its capital Ankara. Turkey is one of the largest countries attracting millions of tourists each year. Its larger part lies within Asia, while its smaller part is located in the part of Europe, making it a country of significant geostrategic importance. Due to its brilliant weather, historical sites and monuments, crystal clear waters, honey-coloured beaches, and charming coastline, it is one of the most beloved and leading tourist destinations in the world.

Let’s Discover Turkey and Its Treasures
Turkey is very large and a diverse country boasting a number of interesting cities of historical and cultural importance, such as Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city. Istanbul, once a capital of legendary Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, today is one of the most visited city in the world, containing a number of notable buildings and landmarks such as Sultan Ahmed Mosque, also known as the “Blue Mosque”, the Hagia Sophia, the Topkapi Palace, the Basilica Cistern, the Dolmabahce Palace, among others.
There are many other attractions that make Turkey one of the most visited countries in the world. Its popular attractions also include beach vacations, yacht charter holidays and Blue Cruises along the Mediterranean. Most of the hotels and resorts are situated along the Mediterranean coast near Antalya, making it Turkey’s top must-visit destination. Blue Cruises provide trips from several days to several weeks, during which visitors are more than welcome to discover Turkey as a combination of old and new, past and present.

The cultural attractions of Turkey include Ephesus, Troy, Pergamon, House of the Virgin Mary, Pamukkale, Hierapolis, Trabzon, Didyma, Church of Antioch, and many other religious, cultural or ruined sites which remains can still be seen today. For a more authentic take on Turkey travellers should take into account Blue Cruises that offer amazing and relaxing cruises in the Mediterranean, during which tourists are invited to discover the most popular and interesting Turkey’s sites such as Ephesus, Troy, and House of the Virgin Mary. Why not to make your trip even more attractive and order your Blue Cruise today?

Turkey, the cradle of cultures and civilizations, is an amazing country which has much to offer for everyone, from alone-travelling enthusiasts to family voyagers. Once the site of many now expired empires ranging from the Sumerians to the Hittites, and the Seljuks, today Turkey is considered one of the most popular destinations for tourism in the world – much more than its former image of a “link between East and West”. Turkey, featuring many influences from the Middle East and the Mediterranean, the Balkans and Central Asia, is full of mosques, churches, theatres and Roman temples. It also hosts various festivals, ranging from ceremonies and gypsy festivals to classical music concerts and sports events.

With its centuries-old treasures, charming landscape, good weather, popular attractions and the friendliness of the Turkish people, Turkey has become one of the most attractive countries in the world, and it will make your holiday break a real pleasure, indeed!

Take your Pick of the Best Turkish Food

Turkey is popularly known for its delicious cuisine, which happens to be a great mixture of Mediterranean, Balkan, Middle Eastern, Central Asian and European cuisines. This means that when in Turkey, you will really have a great deal of choices of scrumptious best Turkish food selections.

Best Turkish Food Choices
If you really want to experience Turkey, one of your best option is to savor some of the most commonly served dishes in the local restaurants. Most of these dishes are also favourites for home cooking. Some of the best Turkish foods include:

Vegetable Dishes (Zeytin Yağlı)
The Turks are very fond of eating vegetable dishes. In Turkey, a vegetable dish cooked without meat is called zeytin yağlı, which means cooked using olive oil, and served cold. The following are some good example of Turkish vegetable dishes:
•Dolma – fresh or dried vegetables (zucchinis, tomatoes, peppers of eggplants) that are stuffed with onion, rice and several spices.
•Taze Fazulye – green beans prepared and cooked with onions and tomato or tomato paste.
•Yaprak Sarma – rice, onion and spices wrapped in vine leaves.

Meaty Turkish Dishes
Meat is also a popular Turkey food ingredient and the following are some of the best Turkish meat dishes:
•Lahmacun — pizza-like dish topped with finely minced onions and meat with added spices on flaky thin bread dough. This meat dish is served with lettuce, tomatoes, or parsley and most people squeeze lemon on it while other roll it to be enjoyed like tacos.

Lahmacun, a popular dish on pita bread
Lahmacun, a popular dish on pita bread

•Karnıyarık — fried eggplant filled with minced onion, meat, tomato, garlic and parsley.
•Kurufasulye — Turks love this beans dish and it is cooked with pastirma (thin beef slices) and served with plain rice (sade pilav) and pickles (tursu). The best places to enjoy this meal are the restaurants located across the Süleymaniye Mosque.

Other Special Dishes that Belong to the Best Turkish Food Selections
Kebaps — it is the common name given for dishes where skewered meat is grilled atop a charcoal fire. The usual meats used for this dish are beef, lamb and chicken.
Döner –this dish is made of meat pieces seasoned with spices, suet, and local herbs, skewered and then grilled vertically.
Köfte — basically, these are meatballs that come in different shapes. The basic ingredients of this dish are ground meat (either mutton or lamb), minced onion, spices, and crumbled bread. A popular variation is Izgara Köfte, a dish where the mixture of meat is grilled and then served with chopped parsley, green peppers (grilled), dried red peppers (crumbled) and bread and rice on the side.

There are many other best Turkish food choices that you can enjoy while vacationing in Turkey. You will surely get the best if you head out of the tourist areas and into more of the local restaurants.