It was with immense delight that we boarded the plane and landed in Istanbul three flights later!
After numerous trips being canceled due to lockdowns, we were finally able to squeeze in a family adventure June 2021.
Our Destination: Turkey
Previously, Turkey was on our radar because of a cruise we were scheduled to take. After that was canceled we began researching more about this beautiful country and realized how much it had to offer.
After three flights, 12 hours total, we arrived in Istanbul! We spent four days in Istanbul. On our itinerary was the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and the Grand Bazaar.
While in Istanbul, we also enjoyed a Turkish bath, a Bphosorus Cruise, and the yummiest Turkish ice cream.
I wrote all about our Turkish carpet buying experience here in this post, (LINK).
We next flew to the Agean Sea coast and enjoyed two glorious days soaking up the sun at an amazing resort, Sarpedor (LINK) I highly recommend it! It is incredibly beautiful, the food was amazing, and the attention to detail was top notch.
Ephesus & Pamukkale
After our restful two days, we took off in our rental car (they drive on the same side of the road/ car as Americans do!) and heading northwest to Ephesus.
Ephesus is an ancient city from the 10th century BC. It has excavated remains from classical Greece to the Roman Empire. When it was the Mediterranean’s main commercial center and also key in the spread of Christianity. Paved streets wind past squares, baths and monumental ruins.
Pamukkale is known for the mineral-rich thermal waters flowing down white travertine terraces on the hillside. We enjoyed the walk down the hill and stopping in every pool. It’s white carbonate walls and turquoise pools were amazing! Another awesome feature there in the same area was Cleopatra’s Pool. It was said to have been a gift from Marc Anthony and when an earthquake hit, it collapsed and filled with thermal waters. Now, you can swim amongst the ruins.
Lake Tuz & Kaymakli
Our next stop was Lake Tuz and Kaymakli. We visited these on our way to Cappadocia, our final destination in Turkey. Lake Tuz is a pink salt lake. Think Himalayan salt. The water is pink! During the summer months, most of the water has evaporated and left behind is pink salt. You can walk out onto the salt and it is quite a beautiful spot to visit!
Kaymakli is an underground city in the Cappadocia region of Turkey. Various cultural groups used the tunnels and city to escape and protect themselves from persecution. For over a 1,000 years, the christians lived underground here to escape Roman persecution. Today, you can visit the city and tour the various levels including the kitchen, various storage areas, homes, etc.
Kaymakli Underground City
Our final stop in Turkey was Cappadocia. Cappadocia is known for their incredible landscape of fairy chimneys, caves, and hot air ballon. A highlight for our trip was our sunrise hot air balloon ride! With over 200 balloons going up over the city every morning, it is quite a sight to see!
- It’s easy to drive through the middle of the country, I would definitely not recommend driving while in Istanbul.
- The Turkish lira to US dollar is in your favor (now) so your money for food, excursions will go a long way.
- We did a combination of VRBO’s, and hotels. I booked our hotels through Expedia.
- The Turkish people are kind and willing to help. Some speak English, some do not but Google Translate helped when we needed it.
- The food is amazing. Each meal comes with a whole spread of appetizers like bread, olives, jams, cheese, watermelon etc. You don’t pay for this, they bring it out to you when sit down.
- There is tons of walking uphill, on cobblestones etc. and we did not see many handicap accessible areas.
I hope you enjoyed following along with our Turkey Adventure! It was an amazing experience! If you missed any part of this trip, I have saved a Highlight on my Instagram (LINK) that you can check out!