Goreme’s Dark Church and Open Air Museum

iylanaDestinations, TurkeyLeave a Comment

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

Hotel Review: Hotel Carina, Kusadasi

shaneDestinations, Reviews, TurkeyLeave a Comment

If you’re looking to travel to Ephesus, your best bet is to either day trip from Izmir, or spend some time at seaside resort town Kuşadası. If you opt for the latter, the Hotel Carina is a nice, affordable option to inject some resort-like amenities into your Turkey adventure. Hotel Carina | From $60 Location: Most of the action in Kuşadası revolves … 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

Hotel Review: Ares Hotel, Istanbul

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Coming back from Egypt we spent a couple of nights in Istanbul to do some shopping before flying home. I wanted to take advantage of this quick return to get some time-lapse video of the Hagia Sophia, and the terrace of Ares Hotel has a wonderful view of the ancient cathedral. After researching extensively, I found Ares to have the best … Read More

Hotel Review: Divalis Hotel, Istanbul

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Divalis Hotel is a small boutique property in the heart of the Sultanahmet district. Its combination of excellent location, great value, and friendly service led us to stay here not only on our first visit to Istanbul but our second one as well. Divalis Hotel | From $90/night. Location: Divalis is located adjacent to the Old City Wall which runs next … Read More