Packing List: Turkey in Summer

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Turkey has varied climates and seasons, from hot coastal summers to snowy winters. Even in the summer when temperatures soar, it may be quite cool at night in some parts. So the key is to dress in layers! Below you’ll find our packing list for two weeks spent in Istanbul, Kusadasi, and Cappadocia during August/September. Iylana’s list for the ladies is first, … Read More

12 Amazing Experiences in Cappadocia

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We can’t say enough good about the Anatolian region of Cappadocia in Turkey, so we thought we’d share some of our favorite moments and must-dos from our two visits to the town of Göreme: 1. Take an epic hot air balloon ride. There’s no better way to see this volcanic and wind-eroded landscape than from the air! Enjoy the sunrise … Read More

Goreme’s Dark Church and Open Air Museum

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Göreme’s Open Air Museum should be your first stop in Cappadocia (after a sunrise hot air balloon ride, of course). This monastic community complex is the best preserved example of the many Byzantine rock-cut churches that cover the region, and is a Unesco World Heritage site. The site encompasses 11 chapels and refectories all from the 10th–12th centuries. Expect to spend … Read More

A Self-Guided Hike to the Hidden Byzantine Churches of Cappadocia

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I got a taste of the hidden churches of the Cappadocia region on our first visit to Turkey in 2013 when we visited the Göreme Open Air Museum and the Selime Monastery. We returned the next year on a self-guided mission of Byzantine discovery, hiking the valleys for two days, admiring the surreal landscape and wandering into dozens of seventeen-hundred-year-old churches. Kapadokya … Read More

Soaring Over Cappadocia in an Epic Balloon Ride

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A hot air balloon ride was on my 30×30 list, and Goreme was the perfect place to check it off. Hundreds of balloons take off nearly every day here, taking tourists on an unforgettable sunrise trip over the surreal fairy chimney landscape. Our host at Nostalji Cave Suites arranged our ride with Voyager Balloons. And when we returned to Goreme with my … Read More

Stepping Back in Time to Ephesus

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For me, the name of Ephesus conjures visions of New Testament apostles writing their letters. When we visited in 2013, I was indeed overcome with awe to be walking the same streets they walked. Ephesus holds great importance in the history of Christianity as both the apostles Paul and John, and Mary mother of Jesus, spent time living and working … Read More

Istanbul Museum Guide

iylanaAttraction, Destinations, Turkey3 Comments

If you’re visiting Istanbul for a few days, you may want to invest in a museum pass. This pass is 85TL (about $30) and grants entry to the following museums and attractions for 120 hours from your first visit: Hagia Sophia Museum, Topkapı Palace Museum, Istanbul Archaeological Museums, Mosaic Museum, Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, Museum for the History of Science and Technology in Islam, Chora Museum, Galata Mevlevi … Read More

Istanbul for Beginners

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Istanbul has always been considered the point where East meets West, both culturally and geographically. It spans both sides of the Bosphorus Strait which separates Europe from Asia, making it the most iconic transcontinental city in the world. It was once the seat of the Holy Roman Empire and the Ottoman Empire, making places like the Hagia Sophia a historical gem … Read More