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Turkey Travel Guide News & Inspiration from Turkey


Posted by   |   November 02nd, 2017   |   Categories: News

The fascinating area of Fener and Balat, located just off the Golden Horn and a few kilometres down from the Spice Bazaar are great for a day visit – venture from historical sites into these fascinating local areas.

Fener was a Greek neighbouthood where well to do Greeks lived from 17-20th century until the Turkish War of Independence.  Fener is the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople known locally as   as Fener Rum Patrikhanesi.   Next area long is the former Jewish neighbourhood of Balat.  This wonderful local area is  oft photographed for its colourful Ottoman houses, in various states of restoration or ruin.  Browse through antique and brick a brac shops, trendy designers and preloved clothing of varying eras, the smells of the local bakeries and borekci will entice you to stop for a break of cay or coffee.    Little cafes, like Mitis, serve declicious home made manti (Turkish ravioli) and Turk Khavesi.

The area is best visited on a Sunday or Tuesday – the day of the local market with abundant fruit and vegetables.  Our visit takes around 5 hours, and we travel via the Spice Bazaar and on public transport so you really experience local life.

street scene 2Mitis Cafe Fenerbalat street

Speciality of Mitis - Matni - Turkish ravioli

Speciality of Mitis – Matni – Turkish ravioli

Old building

Greek Lycee behind!

Greek Lycee behind!



Cabbage anyone?











Posted by   |   June 20th, 2016   |   Categories: News

It is Ramadam time here in Turkey!   Fasting takes place between sunrise and sunset approx 4 am until 8.45 pm – and those able and willing to do so do not eat or drink between those times.  In Sultanahmet Park when Iftar (breaking the fast) happens there are thousands of people in their family groups having picnics on the grass or on the tables provided by the council.    The atmosphere is happy and friendly while people wait to take their first sip of water.    Along side the park there is a craft market, where women sell handicrafts and gifts from all over Turkey.  It is great fun to walk along the bazaar talking to the shopkeepers and browsing through the stalls.   It is a special time to be in Sultanahmet – with the beautiful dusk and the lights from the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque shining across the park.  

Iftar 2

Hagia Sophia at Dusk


Iftar 1

Adjacent to the Blue Mosque

Iftar 7

Lights of the Blue Mosque

Iftar 5

Picnic in the Park

Iftar 3


Craft goods

Craft goods

Craft Bazaar

Craft Bazaar





Posted by   |   May 19th, 2016   |   Categories: News

Thıs week we took a 2 day trip with our tour guests to visit two of the most remarkable sites in Turkey – Ephesus and Aphrodisias. 

Ephesus takes your breath away, with its amazing marble street, The Celcius Library, Stadium and Temple of Hadrian.  The Terraced Houses are a faırly recent excavation with fine examples of Roman mosaics in situ.   Included in our visit was the House of the Virgin which is purported to be the last home of  Mary.   To cap the day off we visited the recently restored Ephesus Museum, which houses amazing statues– the one of Artemıs  is a highlight

Aphrodisias – this site is not yet included as a World Heritage site – but it definitely should be. The Temples of Aphrodıte was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world!  Such a peaceful and beautiful site, off the beaten track – you can spend hours here exploring and feel yourself part of ancient times – really!   Lastly take a visit to the Museum where frescoes from the Scholastica are displayed,

Browse through our website destinations section for a detailed history of Ephesus ! 

You can visit Ephesus in a day trip from Istanbul or include it in a tour of Turkey!  Aphrodisıas can be included with your tour of Pamukkale or visited separately!


Virgin Marys HouseCelcıus LibraryGuests at Ephesus

Terraced HousesHadrıans ArchMural of Neptune

Gateway to Temple of AphroditeAphrodisias StadiumAphrodısıas








Posted by   |   April 25th, 2016   |   Categories: News


Istanbuls third bridge is due to open 2017 and this weekend we went to see how this new bridge, the third over the Bosphorus, is progressing.

At the end of the road overlooking the Black Sea and the Bosphorus is the small village of Garipci (meaning small orphan in Turkısh).  This previously quiet tiny fishing village has had its life turned upside down by this massive project.  Formerly a place where people went for a nice Sunday drive Garıpci is now a place  to see this awesome structure!

This project has brought new opportunities to Garıpci! Little breakfast (khavalti) salons have opened up, enterprising teenagers are offering rowboat rides out into the edges of the Bosphorus to see the structure clearly from the water, and the existing restaurants have had to increase their capacity to cope with increased numbers of visitors,

Village ladies are sellıng jams (reçel) olives and home made breads and carts are selling the first melons of the season, soon will be watermelons and summer fruits.   The organic home produce sales are now flourishing!

The bridge structure is visible as you approach Garipci along the European side of the Bosphorus from Sariyer and Rumelı Kavagi – it takes your breath away with its tall imposing towers and and support struts.  When it opens in 2017 with its 433 kilometer motorway and entrances it will ease dramatically the chaotic traffic of Istanbul.  It is expected that travel time to Izmir, a city on the Aegean and the 3rd largest in Turkey, will be reduced to approx 3.5  hours, a dramatic decrease from the current 8-9 hours, and also provide access to Bursa and surroundıng provinces.

The last bridge deck was installed on Thursday, makıng it the 4th longest suspension bridge with the largest central span in the World. The name of the Bridge was confirmed as Osman Gazi Bridge after Ertugruloglu Osman Gazi the leader of the Ottoman Turks, and founder of the precurser to the Ottoman Dynasty which lasted six centuries until its abolition in 1924 and the establishment of the Republic of Turkey.  He was born in 1258 and died in 1326 in Bursa.

Flying into Istanbul before landing  at  Ataturk Airport the sight  of the Bosphorus with its three stunning bridges, and the view over the old city ıs one of the most breathtaking view of the World!    Visitors can also see all three bridges by taking an afternoon Boshporus Cruise, departing each day from the old city of Sultanahmet. 


Roadworks to brıdge

Brıdge European sıde

Tower on European sıde

Black Sea European sıde

Black Sea European Side

Black Sea Asıan Sıde

Black Sea Coast Asıan Sıde

Ladıes sellıng produce at Garipcı

Ladıes sellıng produce at Garipcı

Restaurant Garepcı

Restaurant Garepcı

Old Fıshıng Board

Old Fıshıng Board

Boats at Garepcı

Fıshıng Boats Rumeli Kavagi



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