With cheap flights, good value hotels and wonderful places to visit, Turkey is tipped to be a hot holiday destination this summer. As the Turkish Tourist Office has been quick to stress, the country is safe, in no way associated with recent riots in North Africa and some of the Arab countries.
Istanbul, formerly Byzantium and then Constantinople, is a vibrant historic city with one foot in Europe and the other in Asia, overlooking the waters of the Golden Horn and the Bosporus. Its spectacular location, striking Ottoman mosques, Byzantine churches and bustling bazaars can’t fail to impress.
However, if you’re a sea lover and want a little more action, why not hire a gullet, or ‘gület’, a traditional wooden yacht, and sail the turquoise waters of the Med in style? It’s the best way to see the breathtaking pebble coves and spectacular ruins the coast has to offer.
There are four-day, three-night cruises from Fethiye to Kale, calling at Ölüdeniz and Butterfly Valley and stopping at Kaş, Kalkan and Kekova, with the final night at Gökkaya Bay. A less common route is between Marmaris and Fethiye, also taking four days and three nights, and word has it this is the prettier route, reports BBC Travel.
The price usually includes food and water, but you have to pay for booze. Boats are equipped with showers, toilets and about 6 small but comfortable double cabins and run nearly every day between late April and October (the Marmaris boats usually run twice a week from mid-May to the end of September). Be sure to book well ahead for July and August and choose your boat carefully, preferably one with an English speaking captain and crew and owner-operated as they run a better ship. Also keep in mind that you’ll pay more for your ticket in Istanbul, so if possible purchase at the site of boarding.
Full-service British Airways (www.ba.com) and Turkish Airlines (www.turkishairlines.com), fly from Heathrow to Istanbul’s main airport, Ataturk at a reasonable price. Budget airlines Easy Jet (www.esayJet.com) and Pegasus (www.flypgs.com) also fly to Istanbul’s second airport, Sabiha Gokcen with fares under £200 return. Bon Voyage!