Explore the treasures Turkey has to offer
The coast of Turkey is on the Mediterranean, so the water is warm and sapphire-blue, the sand is glistening white and the sun shines intensely--this is Turkey at its most tropical. But the celebrated city of Istanbul (formerly the scholarly, Byzantine metropolis, Constantinople) really steals the show. Packed with striking mosques, ancient buildings, markets with craftsmen selling their merchandise, restaurants serving unforgettable food, and beautiful, cozy backstreets… it is simply brimming with life. Cruise down the Bosporus…stare in awe over the plains of Mesopotamia…fly over the unsurpassable landscape of Cappadocia in an air balloon…you’ll never be bored in Turkey.
Learn more about Turkey and other countries in our daily postcard e-letter.
Simply enter your email address below and we'll send you a FREE report on The World's Best Climates. (We value your privacy. You can unsubscribe at any time.)
Get Your Free Report Here
- Population: 80,694,485
- Capital City: Ankara
- Climate: Temperate; hot, dry summers; mild, wet winters
- Time Zone: GMT+2
- Language: Turkish
- Country Code: 90
While on our way to a serious shopping day at the infamous Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey, a large, ceramic, intricately-painted fish in the window of a gallery caught my eye. I drew my two travel companions inside for a quick look. And thus we entered into one of those unexpected experiences you have in the import-export craft business.
Visit the old royal capital of Kyoto, Japan, the weekend of June 1 for Takigi O-Noh to celebrate Japan’s ancient musical-theater traditions at the city’s Heian Jingu Shrine. Burning torches illuminate the stage and the costumed performers. Across the East China Sea, the Dragon Boat Festival in Xiamen, China, falls on June 2. Gorge on sticky-rice snacks, watch the race, and place a rice parcel in the water in memory of ancient poet Qu Yuan.
You’ve just weighed anchor on another night of bliss, lulled to sleep by the gentle rocking of your sailboat in the calm sea. Before you is a small cove lined by craggy cliffs. Clear blue waters end at a white-sand beach. You’ve had it all to yourself for the last week. It was supposed to be just an overnight stop. But it was so beautiful, you decided to stick around. After a quick dip, you’re enjoying a cup of coffee and a light breakfast on deck as you contemplate which island paradise you’ll go to next.
Do you like the idea of a life at sea…but only in short doses? Sunset cruises, fishing excursions, day trips, and the occasional long weekend jaunts to anchor off a remote island…? The ocean can be your playground.
Over eight years ago, I decided to leave behind the urban jungle of American cities to travel. At the moment, I’m surrounded by the lush green suburbs of Buenos Aires. I’m constantly reminded of Jumanji out here. Thick green, leafy vines have completely taken over property walls and fences, wrapped themselves around tree trunks and flower pots. Palm trees and banana trees rise up like proud flags beside homes and office buildings.
Tom Vercillo is paid to know the best places to wine, dine, and sightsee in the beautiful cities lining the Mediterranean…from Turkey to Italy and beyond. Regularly sampling the region’s finest offerings is just one of many perks in a career that sees him cruising around the Med’s warm waters seven months a year, stopping at exotic new locations almost every day.
The accepted story goes that as humankind progressed over the millennia, we abandoned our cave shelters in favor of constructed homes. But plenty of folks still live in dwellings carved out of volcanic rock, into mountains, rocky hillsides, cliffs, or quarries. And they aren’t living a primitive life in caveman-style homes, either (though they are referred to as “troglodyte” homes).
Called the “Turquoise Coast,” the water really is turquoise—usually a brilliant shade of the color. You may argue that it’s cyan, azure, or a shade of blue-green, but you won’t dispute its beauty. If you like sailing, you will love it here. Until the 1970s, access to most villages was by sea only. There are still beaches and hidden spots you won’t reach without a boat. You can easily and affordably take a cruise aboard a traditional wooden gulet (a type of sailboat), or charter one and go it alone.
The earrings are from Hong Kong’s jade market. I bought the fedora hat at a Christmas market in Berlin, the boots from Malaga in Spain, and the shimmering scarf at Otavalo market in Ecuador—one of the largest indigenous markets in South America. You might call it eclectic fashion indulgence. I call it research.
You’ll find alpine idylls, upland meadows, and trout-filled mountain lakes. Hiking and horseback riding through the pine forests are popular pastimes, and if you like climbing, some of the peaks are 10,000 feet high.
Looking down at Istanbul as night crept in and my plane circled over the city I’ll admit I gasped. Because Istanbul is breathtaking. Snaking in a black line through the pulsing lights below lay the Bosphorus—the narrow straits dividing Asia and Europe.
I wake up and glance over at my wall calendar—no deadlines for the rest of the week. Time for the beach! Or maybe I could work on my novel. But it’s such good weather, what about another day trip? Welcome to the life of a freelance writer where every day is wide open, and every day is yours.
Ever since the nomadic Turks spilled off the Central Asian steppe and settled the lands of modern day Turkey their carpets have been more than just comfortable rugs on a tent floor.
Europe’s buzzing boho center, Berlin, bursts into life this month with the Carnival of Cultures. Thousands of performers will take to the streets and stages of the German capital to entertain over a million revelers. The party starts May 25.
Despite the early hour, Kurdish villagers are laughing merrily in the tea rooms around the city’s cattle market. The morning is cool and scented with rain. As I lift our bags onto the train I see that a family of Yörük nomads has pitched its tent opposite the station. The women are out front picking through wool shorn from their small ﬂock. They’ll use this to weave the carpets sold in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul…which is where we’re headed.
The monumental ruins of four different empires line its busy streets. Beside trafﬁc lights and tram stops you’ll ﬁnd the marble columns of triumphal arches, Roman aqueducts, and the overgrown tombs of Ottoman court ofﬁcials.
A round-up of the weird and wonderful events taking place around the world over the coming months.
Imagine sipping hot apple tea with shopkeepers in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey… bargaining for beautiful handicrafts and textiles… exploring a 11,000-year-old temple—one of the world’s first—at Gobekli Tepe in the country’s southeast… then hitting the Aegean coast to check out ancient cities of the Roman Empire… That’s what Celeste Nossiter is doing in May 2012… and she isn’t paying a dime.
The only sounds are waves lapping against the hull and the occasional ﬂ ap of a sail as it captures the gentle breeze. Gliding through the turquoise waters of the Aegean aboard our yacht Destiny, we’re leaving the Greek island of Milos and heading west into the southern Ionian Sea. Our next destination is Elafonisos, one of the largest inhabited islands in the Peloponnese, known for its sandy beaches.
The thrill of travel isn’t hitting every spot in your guidebook. It’s discovering the “hidden gems” off the tourist trail that have never been documented.
Here you’ll find some wonderful recommendations for places to eat…spots to visit…and ways to enjoy destinations all over the world. They’re all finds our writers have discovered on the ground. We share them with pleasure…from our insiders’ notebook to yours…
Investors who bought into the Chinese growth story early have done spectacularly well. Over the past five years the iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index (NYSE:FXI), an index that tracks China’s 25 largest companies available to international investors, is up almost 110%. Today, a “little China” has emerged. And it promises to make investors equally dazzling returns.
The big news this week is the bailout of Ireland by the European Union and the IMF. Ireland’s problem is straightforward: the liabilities of its banks exceed the assets of the state. Put simply, the country is broke.
When you think of “emerging markets” you probably think of places like China, Brazil and India. These places are certainly booming. But there’s another part of the emerging world that is in full flight now – and that’s Europe.
Towering mountains sweep down to the sea. High on the steep, green slopes, chalet-style houses keep watch over tea and hazelnut plantations.
For discerning travelers who want to experience the old-world charm of the Middle East, Oman is a must-visit destination.
Unless you’re wrapped in furs like Nanook of the North, spending Christmas on a European beach is usually a non-starter. But you can on the Isle of Aphrodite.
This month, travel writers have been crooning about the joys of European skiing vacations.
What can you do with a nazar boncuk? Well, if you own a “magickal apothecary” website in California, you’ll tell buyers it offers psychic protection, and you’ll charge them $8.
“The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold…his cohorts gleaming in purple and gold.”
No sheen of spears, thankfully. However, this baggy-trousered trader has gold teeth and wears a lavender headscarf the size of a tablecloth. Is he descended from Assyrians?
Friday, Sept. 26, 2008 Read more about making money through import-export in International Living Postcards—your daily escape Dear International Living Reader, Some places remain unscathed by tourist-trampled mediocrity. Eastern Turkey is one of them. If adventure and profit appeal, don’t just dream of the Silk Road—take it. It’s ideal for a dabble into suitcase importing. […]
Bogazkere Kavaklidere! No, it’s not a curse to chase off the ravaging hordes of Turkish rug merchants, but a quaffable red wine from the country’s Anatolia region.
Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2008 Read more about making money through import-export in International Living Postcards—your daily escape Dear International Living Reader, My feet have swollen with the heat, so I can’t figure what size Yemeni slippers would fit. These soft leather shoes (enclosed and open backed) are a Gaziantep specialty. One story goes they originated […]
Monday, Sept. 22, 2008 Read more about making money through import-export in International Living Postcards—your daily escape Dear International Living Reader, I’m in Turkey to discover what import-export delights this country holds. My first day…and I’ve already discovered something you could sell in the States for at least 57% more than you pay for it […]
The Turkish port of Kusadasi is perfect for those who want to combine sun and sea with a taste of culture and history.