|Side (Antalya)||C$ 949|
The country that straddles two continents, Turkey is an exciting mix of Asia and Europe. It is rapidly becoming the destination of choice for tourists looking for a holiday that combines ancient cities and cultures with warm beaches and beautiful landscapes.
Istanbul, is the arrival point for most flights to Turkey, and an unmissable stop for all travellers. The city has been a world capital for three empires and its buildings and people are captivating. On the coast, Bodrum, is a package capital favorite for European holidaymakers who flock from cheap flights to Turkey to the resorts around this city. A nearby day trip away are the stunning ruins of the Roman city of Ephesus, an entire city laid out with roads, houses and an amphitheatre. At Cappadocia is a bizarre moonscape of “fairy chimneys” that once were home to Hittites, Romans and Christians.
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Turkey has extremely hot and dry summers, followed by rain-filled winters.
Search for cheap flights to Turkey in the spring and fall. Istanbul is most favourable between April and June and in September and October, when there are less tourists and the temperature is a little cooler. The Marmara (Bodrum), Aegean (Ephesus) and Mediterranean coasts have a typical Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters. Central Anatolia (Cappadocia) has hot, dry summers and cold winters, while Eastern Anatolia (Nemrut) has mild summers and long snowy cold winters.
The winters in Turkey are harsh and the country doesn’t really have a winter tourist season. While cheap flights to Turkey and cheaper accommodation are likely during this time, the weather will play a significant part in your travel plans.
It is easy to fly round Turkey and there are plenty of domestic Turkish flights. Turkish Airlines links all the major cities, and low-cost airlines Onur Air and Atlasjet are also options. Cyprus Turkish Airlines offer domestic Turkey flights from Istanbul to Ercan, Ankara, Adana, Antalya, Dalaman and Izmir.
Renting a car in Turkey is not cheap, but buses offer a good, regular and cheap service. Dolmuses (shared taxis) are a good option for short trips. They are inexpensive and sociable. The destination is written on the front of the vehicle, and fares are posted usually above the driver’s head. Travelling this way can be be tricky if you’ve got a lot of luggage however and they tend to stop running in the early evening.
Trains too can be good value. Car ferries are popular and can save lots of driving time. Tourist destinations are well-served. The Fez Bus is a long-distance hop-on, hop-off service which travels to the major tourist spots of western Turkey.
(prices quotes are from London)