In a country where much of world history has taken place, there are plenty of reasons to make Turkey your next holiday destination. The southwest of Turkey has something for everyone – from tranquil islands, peaceful towns, and even a volcano!
All along the Turkish coast, there are bays and islands to be discovered and enjoyed. Some of these gems have become very popular with day tours, however, there are special gulet cruises that allow for visitors to spend more time on the water and to visit many breathtaking destinations.
On the island of Nisyros, there is an active but not erupting volcano island. The main town of Mandraki is also the port for the island. The narrow cobbled streets are fascinating to wander and take in in the traditional Greek buildings. Built using local materials painted white, to help keep the building cool, with coloured accents and wooden balconies, this town really does feel like a window to the past. Between the buildings and the maintained ancient style with courtyards dotted about, you will feel as if you have stepped back in time.
When evening settles over the town, a popular way to relax is to make way to the island’s inns or taverns to enjoy conversation with locals in the warm evenings while watching the sunset over the water.
Outside of town in the centre of the island is the caldera of the active volcano. This volcano is active however its last recorded unrest was in the 1990’s but even this was not a full eruption. The volcanic complex that the opening of the island belongs to spreads along the seafloor towards Kos.
Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
Turkey’s history is rich and varied, having been host to different cultures such as the Romans, Greeks, Lycians, Ottomans, and others who have made less significant impacts on the heritage. Amongst the many different ruins of cities and towns, there are few landmarks that have been famous all throughout history. Across the ancient world, there were seven wonders that stood out above anything else. The pyramid of Giza is the only one still standing as it was built. Three of the wonders are found in Turkey off just off the coast, these are the temple of Artemis, the Mausoleums at Halicarnassus, and the Colossus of Rhodes.
The Temple of Artemis has had to be rebuilt three times and famous people through history have tried to help with the rebuild. On the third renovation, it is said that Alexander the Great tried to pay but the local populace declined, eventually the renovation was finished after his death. The final destruction of the temple was during the invasion of the Goths. Once it was destroyed some of the stones were taken and used in the constructions of the Hagia Sofia. This meant taking the building materials from Ephesus to the capital Istanbul.
The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus was given the title as one of the seven wonders of the world but not due to its size or strength, but for its beauty. This mausoleum was built for Mausolus of Persia and his sister-wife Artemisia II. This Mausoleum was built on a hill overlooking the town within its own courtyard. Each side had statues and was designed by four separate artists of the time, the stair entering the Mausoleum itself is flanked by two stone lions and on each corner of the building stands mounted warriors.
While the Colossus of Rhodes is a Greek heritage icon the island of Rhodes lies off the coast of Turkey and many Turkish blue cruises visit this iconic destination. www.alaturkacruises.com specialise in gulet cruises that explore the Turquoise coast with some of the cruises culminating at Rhodes harbour. This harbour is where the statue of the god Helios was supposed to have stood, straddling the entrance watching over as the boat came and went.
A Greek island close to the coast of Turkey that is frequently visited on gulet cruises, however, Mykonos has a livelier atmosphere compared to other islands visited. The small capital of Mykonos is built in the traditional Greek style of white buildings with coloured accents and wooden balconies. Along one side of the town on the coast, there is an area that has been nicknamed little Venice due to the unique style of the houses. These homes are built with access to a waterside basement that can also access to the water as well.
On this peaceful island, the evening does not mean a quiet evening on the seafront. This island offers a collecting of nightclubs, bars and live music lounges. The islands venues often attract high-quality DJ’s and musicians to play. The bars attract large crowds due them openly advertising they are LGBT or LGBT friendly.
No matter where you go on the Aegean sea there is always something for everyone to experience. So when next looking at holiday it will be a special place for anyone to visit.