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Turkey Provides a Vacation Rich in Experiences but Low in Cost


November 15, 2007 – U.S. travelers seeking great value in a destination filled with an abundance of culture, history, shopping, delectable food and deluxe accommodations should choose Turkey for their next getaway.  Turkey is a magnificent place where one can indulge in exotic luxuries while receiving great value.

            With the New Turkish Lira as its currency, Turkey allows U.S. travelers to get more out of every dollar they spend during their visit. With the little boost of spending power – and the relatively inexpensive cost of lodging and traveling through Turkey – travelers can enjoy an experiential holiday without breaking the bank.

~ Where to Stay ~

There are plenty of affordable options when looking for a hotel in Turkey. Istanbul, the country’s most popular city for U.S. tourists, has a host of excellent options under and around $100 USD. With its comfortable location in the heart of Istanbul’s historic Sultanahamet district, the Hotel Nomade has rates starting at just $85 a night for a double room.  The price includes an authentic Turkish breakfast served outside on the hotel’s spectacular rooftop terrace overlooking the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia.  Located on a quiet street in the Sultanahamet district, the Zeynep Sultan Hotel has single rooms for about $59 per night through November 16th, and the rate dips even lower to $49 per night from November 16th – December 25th. Guests who book online for three nights or more have breakfast, all taxes, and one-way hotel transfers included in the price. At the Hotel Niles Istanbul, double room rates fluctuate year-round between $60 and $75 per night. Guests who pay in cash receive a discount of 10% through December 31, 2007. Rates include tax and open buffet breakfast each morning.

Located on the shimmering Turquoise Coast in the sparkling port of Fethiye, the Belle Vue Hotel boasts rooms that have breathtaking views down over the town and coastline which run around $63 per night. In Antalya, the Royal Wings Hotel is a luxurious property with a scenic, relaxing pool area, situated on the Turkish Riviera. Rooms at the hotel average around $110 per night. While visiting Turkey’s capital city of Ankara, budget travelers can experience five-star hotel quality for a comfortable price at Mega Residence Hotel Ankara, where large, airy rooms and exceptional service offer extraordinary value at the average price of $142 per night.

~ What to Do ~

From taking in Turkey’s treasures and monuments dating back to antiquity to exploring the country’s spectacular landscape, Turkey has a myriad of options to entertain the budget-conscious traveler. A trip to Istanbul demands a visit to The Grand Bazaar, a maze of some 4,000 shops that sell treasures that make for a memorable trip. The 80 streets of the bazaar will have something for every taste and every budget, ranging from Turkish crafts to world-renowned carpets, ceramics, copper, brassware, antiques, and more. After strolling through the Bazaar, stop at any of the cafés along the Bosphorus, where an unforgettable afternoon alongside one of the world’s most celebrated rivers will cost only the price of cup of coffee. Sit amidst celebrities at The House Café (Ortakoy Meydani, Ph: 090 227 2699), or for a quiet spot, try Bebek Café near the Bebek mosque. The Spice Bazaar, next to the Yeni Mosque at Eminonu, transports visitors to fantasies from the mystical East through enticing aromas of cinnamon, caraway, saffron, mint, thyme, and every other conceivable herb and spice.

Head to the Anatolian region of Turkey to Cappadocia to delight in the surreal landscapes of the Rose Valley, where you can explore the underground cities of Kaymakli and Derinkuyu. Along the Mediterranean coast, relax in the turquoise bays of Fethiye and visit the beaches of Butterfly Valley, where $12 will buy a beautiful water taxi ride to the Blue Lagoon. For culture buffs looking for an inexpensive burst of tradition, be sure to catch a performance of the Whirling Dervishes in the town of Bursa, and experience a visual feast of Turkey’s vibrant and ancient culture.

~ Where to Eat ~

Turkey’s multicultural heritage has generated cuisine strong on grilled meats and seafood, salads, fruits and vegetables, rich desserts and tasty local drinks that typically emphasize the natural flavor of its main ingredients, a reflection of the abundance of fresh, high quality foods. Taking time for meals is an important part of Turkish culture, and there are plenty of options for the budget traveler to partake in this cultural pastime. Haci Abdullah is argued by some to be the best traditional restaurant in Istanbul (Sakızağacı Cad 17, Ph: 0212 293 8561). Since 1888, this gastronomic institution has been serving all of the traditional favorites, with a happy ending of desserts at affordable prices. For excellent seafood, Develi Marin by the Kalamus Yacht Port has been praised for its delightfully fresh dishes (Munir Nurettin Selcuk Caddesi, Ph: 0090 216 330 7425). For an even more memorable meal, head under the Galata Bridge in Sirkeci-Eminönü where you can savor a traditional Istanbul Fish Sandwich at many of the simple local eateries, or hop right on a fishing boat where fisherman grill freshly caught fish served right on the spot.

For the perfect kebap, try Haci Arif Bey Kebabcısı in Ankara, which has been serving perfectly cooked meats and honey-sweet baklava to generations of loyal clientele (Güniz Sok. 48, Ankara, Kavaklidere, Tel: 0312 467 6730). Recently opened
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