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HomeTravel TipsExploring Turkiye Solo on a Group Tour: Fascinating & Lovely

Exploring Turkiye Solo on a Group Tour: Fascinating & Lovely

while discovering turkiye solo, king admired the interior of the hagia sophia
Admiring the superb inside of the Hagia Sophia

What a candy time I had on my pleasant Turkish journey! Visiting Turkiye solo on a bunch tour was an exquisite expertise.

Bordering Europe and Asia, Turkiye (previously Turkey) sits in a singular spot between east and west. I assumed I used to be educated about Turkiye earlier than I arrived, however as soon as there I noticed that I knew little or no about this stunning and historic nation. I used to be glad for the chance to fill this information hole in my mind.

My First Impressions of Istanbul

Istanbul is extra trendy in look than I had anticipated for a metropolis with such a protracted historical past. Most giant historic cities, like those present in Western Europe, often have a clearer separation between the traditional and the fashionable.

In Istanbul, I really feel they’ve discovered a approach to combine trendy and historic collectively so properly that you just don’t even discover that an historic monument is subsequent to a contemporary construction. I really feel this aesthetic can be mirrored within the normal inhabitants on a regular basis. As you discover Turkiye solo, you’ll see these wearing very conventional apparel subsequent to those that appear like they’ve simply stepped off a runway in Paris, however neither appears to be like misplaced on the streets of Istanbul.

Tour guides George Kourounis and Semih Eser
Our tour guides George Kourounis (left) and Semih Eser

Assembly Our Guides

I used to be very lucky to be hosted by Exodus Travels throughout my keep in Turkiye on their premium tour of Istanbul and Cappadocia. As at all times, their premium excursions embody a named professional native information. For this tour we have been fortunate to have Semih Eser–who has over 30 years of expertise designing and guiding excursions in Turkiye–as our main information. 

We have been fortunate to even have a bonus information on our tour as we have been joined by famend Nationwide Geographic explorer, filmmaker, photographer, and Chapter Chair of the Explorers Membership, George Kourounis. Along with his unbelievable insights, it was reassuring to have somebody like George alongside who’s equally snug whereas surrounded by nice white sharks or standing on the crater’s fringe of an exploding volcano. Who wants Bear Grylls when one has George Kourounis?

cistern basilica
Cistern Basilica

Placed on Your Strolling Sneakers to Discover the Sights of Turkiye Solo

Our first day didn’t embody any nice white sharks or energetic volcanoes as we strolled by the traditional streets of Istanbul, but it surely did embody many historic monuments that I’ve solely discovered about on-line or in fashionable tradition. 

Guests to this nice metropolis ought to observe that there’s a good purpose why Istanbul is known as the Metropolis on Seven Hills, so you should definitely put on snug footwear when exploring on foot. Strolling and public transit are one of the best methods to discover town as visitors can turn out to be fairly congested in the course of the day. 

The Hagia Sophia was initially constructed as a Christian Church within the sixth century, however over time it was transformed right into a mosque, then a museum, and is now a mosque once more. It was an necessary monument for each the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. Throughout your go to, remember to search for and admire the dome which is second in dimension solely to the Pantheon in Rome. 

The Sultan Ahmed Mosque, extra generally often called the Blue Mosque, will get its title not due to the blue dome on the outside, however due to the blue tiles that encircle its inside partitions. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Web site since 1985, and was constructed between 1609 and 1616. Sadly, throughout my go to it was principally coated in scaffolding resulting from renovations, however what I did see was fairly gorgeous, so I can’t wait to return once more after the renovations are full.

Beneath the streets of Istanbul is the Basilica Cistern. In-built 523 it has stunning columns that make it look cathedral-like, and whilst you could not have visited in individual, any followers of James Bond will acknowledge it from the movie From Russia with Love.

Throughout your go to to the Basilica Cistern, look out for the column that has the upside-down head of Medusa at its base. I don’t know if anybody actually is aware of the explanation for this, please inform me for those who do, however I used to be advised the generally accepted idea was that they have been merely reusing constructing supplies from a earlier challenge to construct this one. That is smart to me because the chamber would have been crammed with water and never supposed as a vacationer attraction on the time it was constructed. 

entrance of the grand bzaar
The doorway of the Grand Bazaar

The Greatest Alternate Charges in Istanbul

Beginning in 1455, the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is without doubt one of the oldest purchasing malls on this planet and one of many largest with over 4,000 shops! Visiting is a enjoyable journey, particularly for shopaholics as you’ll discover absolutely anything right here. You must undoubtedly discount with the retailers to actually get into the spirit of issues.

Surprisingly, I discovered that the foreign money exchanges within the Grand Bazaar had one of the best charges I’d seen in Istanbul. Not like most different foreign money exchanges, those within the Grand Bazaar typically had charges equivalent to what I’d discover on-line and there was no extra service cost for the transaction.

on his trip to turkiye solo, king took a cooking class
Cooking in Cappadocia below the professional eye of Grandma

Having fun with Dwelling Cooking in a Village Home in Cappadocia 

A fast flight from Istanbul to Kayseri settled us into the guts of Cappadocia the place Exodus organized for us to affix an area household for a cooking lesson and a house cooked meal. We have been warmly welcomed into the household’s house, which had been renovated to accommodate a cooking faculty and restaurant for guests. 

It was superb to have the ability to get to know this household and to get firsthand instruction on how you can put together conventional Turkish delicacies equivalent to börek, dolma, manti, and so many extra! I can’t emphasize how a lot I loved this expertise and the way pretty it was to fulfill this stunning household.

I’m glad Exodus organized this chance for us to immediately help an area household enterprise right here in Turkiye. That is an instance of a possibility that’s extra simply accessed on a small group tour than when touring independently.

I particularly felt like a member of the household when grandma anointed me with the Turkish title “Kamil” in order that she might extra simply name me out after I was making culinary missteps. I promise my cooking expertise are higher than what was on show in Cappadocia. In the event you’re touring in Turkiye solo, however don’t have time for a full cooking lesson, simply swing by Cappadocia Dwelling Cooking for a meal to expertise some genuine and scrumptious Turkish consolation meals.

King took in Views of Istanbul over the Bosphorus Strait while discovering Turkiye solo
Views of Istanbul over the Bosphorus Strait

Fast Ideas for Having fun with Turkiye Solo

I’ll share extra about my adventures in my subsequent put up. For now, listed here are a number of fast ideas that can make your journey to Turkiye go extra easily. 

  • Don’t drink the faucet water. Whereas you should utilize it to clean your palms or bathe, you’ll need to get bottled water for ingesting. 
  • Don’t settle for the primary value that you just’re given on the Bazaar or any store the place costs aren’t marked. 
  • In the event you see somebody drop one thing, simply inform them that they’ve dropped one thing and don’t decide it up and return it to them. Sadly, there are a lot of folks trying to reap the benefits of vacationers, and these synthetic conditions created to have interaction vacationers typically lead to you being pressured to supply a donation. 
  • It’s frequent in Istanbul for overseas males to be focused by locals within the evenings, close to areas with nightlife. Scammers will try to befriend you and invite you to affix them for drinks at a bar or membership. No matter you do, don’t be part of them for this drink, as you’ll seemingly end up out a whole bunch or hundreds of {dollars} after they depart you with the invoice. The invoice may even be accompanied by a number of giant individuals who shall be there to encourage you to pay. 

These on an organized tour–just like the one I used to be on with Exodus Travels–will keep away from the extra critical points I discussed above because the scammers don’t strategy folks with knowledgeable tour information. Your information may even be certain that to tell you of any security issues must you determine to discover by yourself. 

Even on a self-guided tour, Turkiye is secure for overseas vacationers so long as you do the correct analysis and train the identical precautions you’ll in any metropolis.

Keep tuned for extra enjoyable as I share tales from this superb journey!

Thanks to Exodus Travels for sponsoring my journey on their Strolling the Historical Trails of Cappadocia – Premium Journey. All experiences and impressions are my very own, and Solo Traveler maintains full editorial management over all content material.

Have you ever traveled to Turkiye solo? Please share your expertise with fellow vacationers in our Dialogue Discussion board.

Final up to date: twenty first September, 2022



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