GoWithGuideFind your perfect tour guide at GoWithGuide. Relax and cherish unforgettable tours with loved ones. Create personalized tours for a truly memorable trip!
GoWithGuideFind your perfect tour guide at GoWithGuide. Relax and cherish unforgettable tours with loved ones. Create personalized tours for a truly memorable trip!WithGoGuide
GoWithGuideFind your perfect tour guide at GoWithGuide. Relax and cherish unforgettable tours with loved ones. Create personalized tours for a truly memorable trip!

5 Popular Destinations in Turkey with GoWithGuide's Private Tours

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by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Denise B.

Last updated : Sep 26, 20228 min read

Things To Do

Turkey is a country with thousands of years of natural and human history. While Istanbul is the most popular destination, beyond the cosmopolitan city lie many adventures.  Whether you are a sun seeker, a history enthusiast, or a conservationist, this country will astound you. 

GoWithGuide’s team of dedicated local guides will take you out of the city, along the coast, and into the hinterland. Our guides are adept at customising private tours to derive maximum pleasure from this land of diversity. 

Ephesus 

blog imageThis ancient harbor city pre-dates Greek and Roman times, with human settlement dating back to the Bronze Age. Most of the structures that remain, however, are from the Ionian era, as depicted in the many marble columns that have survived. These designs originated in the Greek cities of Asia Minor and were influenced by the Phoenicians and Egyptians. The marble was mined nearby and was used lavishly in this important city.  

The iconic structure most often depicted in the sightseeing brochures is the two-story facade of the Library of Celsus, which is largely intact. The library was built in the 2nd century AD and housed up to 12,000 scrolls, cementing the city’s status as a seat of learning. There are three entrances flanked by statues representing the four virtues of wisdom, knowledge, thought, and bravery.   

The ancient Temple of Artemis dates back to the 6th century BC and was counted among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Sadly, only one of the 127 columns that held up the temple, remains. This popular destination is a large site so be prepared to walk, regularly ascending and descending sloping cobblestone streets and stairs. The walkways are lined with columns, carved arches, and statues from the Persian, Greek, and Roman eras. Visitors are permitted to walk among the artifacts and linger among the ruins.

Several other historic sites can be found close by, including the Grotto of the Seven Sleepers and the Selcuk Castle, which is even older than Ephesus. After this marathon excursion, you can relax on the beach or at a restaurant in Kasudasi. 

Pamukkale and Hierapolis 

blog imagePamukkale can be found in the western part of the country, about an hour’s flight due south of Istanbul. The name means ‘cotton castle’ in Turkish, which accurately describes the cluster of sedentary rock terraces, cascading limestone pools and hot mineral springs. These geothermal pools were formed when calcium bicarbonate poured down from a mountain spring, cooled, and hardened. 

Nearby are the ruins of the ancient Greek spa town of Hierapolis, which sprang up in the 2nd century BC. It rose to prominence after the acceptance of Christianity by the emperor Constantine almost 600 years later. Among the ruins, visitors will see traditional baths, one of the oldest theatres in the world, and an ancient Roman burial ground.  

Nearby is the Cleopatra Antique Pool, a man-made structure constructed by Marc Anthony as a gift to the queen of Egypt. It is a large monument to his affections that contains springs and fountains and varies considerably in depth. Visitors are allowed to swim in the pool, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. An earthquake in the 7th century caused the Doric columns of the adjacent temple to topple into the pool, making it a delightful underwater museum for snorkellers. 

Cappadocia and the Hot Air Balloons 

blog imageCappadocia is a semi-arid region in the middle of Turkey. It receives little rainfall during the  hot summers or cold, snowy winters. In the middle of this harsh landscape is the hobbit-like cave city of Göreme. 

The town was populated approximately 1,500 years ago, with residents carving their homes out of the volcanic ash that had settled and formed soft rock. There are dwellings underground as well as above ground, in what are known as fairy chimneys. The town is registered as a World Heritage site by UNESCO and is essentially an open air museum. A range of hotels, to suit all budgets, offer accommodation among the caves. 

For a bird’s eye view of these fairy chimneys and surreal valleys, why not join a flotilla of hot air balloons? These airships drift gently across the lunar-like landscape, at heights ranging from a few feet above the earth to high up in the sky. Cappadocia has the perfect weather conditions for this almost all year round. It is not uncommon to see more than a hundred multicoloured balloons airborne at one time. They leave first thing in the morning to take advantage of the thermals and soft winds of daybreak. The warm hues of the golden hour are a photographer’s delight. 

And then the adventure starts. The balloons do not have a steering mechanism, but expert pilots can predict where the wind will take the basket. A chase team follows on the ground to meet passengers when they land. They will set up a well-deserved Champagne breakfast, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, and transport you back to your hotel when you have had your fill. 

Gallipoli and Troy

blog imageGallipoli means beautiful city in Italian and is not to be confused with its namesake in that country. The city which is now called Gelibolu, was once the Ottoman Empire’s first stronghold in Europe. 

The peninsula is of great geopolitical importance as it flanks the 38 mile (61 km) long Dardanelle Strait between the Aegean Sea and the Sea of Marmara. These straits are the only means of marine access between the Mediterranean, Istanbul, and the Black Sea. The peninsula has been the scene of many battles, but is most often remembered for the hard-fought Dardanelle Campaign of 1915. The Ottoman Empire had lost this part of the Province of Thrace in the Balkan Wars, but it was subsequently returned by international decree. 

When the Allied Forces of the First World War set out to link up with their treaty partner, Russia, they thought they would easily capture the peninsula. They underestimated the tenacity of the Turks and the lessons they had learned. Eight months of trench warfare and hillside battles cost half a million lives and ended in defeat for the invaders.

The grave sites stretch for miles. Australian, British, French, New Zealand and Turkish soldiers are buried in the many cemeteries, which have been divided by nation. The area is best visited in the cooler months as there is no shade to be had. About an hour’s drive southward, across the straits and along the coast of the mainland is another famous battle site. At Troy, you can visit the museum and the ancient ruins of the city. Stop en route to visit the Trojan Horse at Çanakkale. 

The Turkish Riviera

blog imageThe Turquoise Coast is a 400 mile stretch of Mediterranean coastline in the south west of Turkey. It stretches from Mugla, on the Aegean seashore, to Alanya in the east. The excellent coastal road passes through several ports, seaside resorts and villages, all catering for the many tourists that visit the area. Accommodation along the route includes villas, mountain lodges, and tree houses. 

Bodrum is known as the playground of the stars, with many Hollywood A-listers and pop idols having holiday homes in the area. From this popular destination, and nearby Marmaris, you can take a short ferry ride across the ocean to visit the Greek island of Rhodes. Further along the coast, you will find more secluded, sheltered beaches.  

The modern city lights and vibrant night life contrast sharply with the ancient ruins found along the way. Two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, namely the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, and the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, are situated on the route. 

Near the town of Olympos, where an enormous bay runs from north to south, you will find the ruins of Olympus. The ancient city has a long history encompassing Greek, Roman, and Byzantine eras. Further north, near Antalya, stands the triumphal arch known as Hadrian’s Gate, which was named after the Roman Emperor. Before his time, the Queen of Sheba is said to have entered the city at the same spot. 

Conclusion 

Wherever you go in Turkey, you will be treading on millennia of history. The country has many layers of natural and human development that wait to be discovered by the discerning traveller. 

To make your journey through the land even more memorable, GoWithGuide has a team of expert local guides. With their specialised knowledge of the hot spots and the country as a whole, they will devise private, customised tours that will save you time and effort.

Image Source: https://www.pexels.com & https://pixabay.com

Istanbul Tour Guide - Semih B.

Semih B.

5.00 / 5
(1 reviews)
Turkey

Hi there. My name is Semih. I live in İstanbul. I am professional licensed tourist guide. I would like to host my curious tourist guests as being their tour guide.                                                                                                                                  

Istanbul Tour Guide - Muzaffer E.

Muzaffer E.

Turkey

Welcome to Türkiye! Your passionate local guide (originally from Istanbul!) is here! It is my pleasure to customize my tours for your unique experiences according to your requests. After getting my bachelor's degree in econometrics as a valedictorian and working in finance and foreign trade sectors in Türkiye for several years, I went to the USA. When I had studied my master's in economics at George Washington University (GWU), I was offered two prestigious postgraduate scholarships by The University of Nottingham (UoN) and so, I moved to the UK. After getting my PGCert in economics from The UoN, I moved back to Istanbul and started my master's in econometrics in order to pursue a PhD. However, at the same time, I took my first steps towards my professional carreer in tourism. During my life in Washington DC, for about 4 years, I had experienced not only being a volunteer translator for Turkish delegations and international students hosted by non-profit organizations sponsored by the US government, but also being a volunteer guide of them for cultural tours including the Smithsonian Institution, the world's largest museum complex. Therefore, after moving back to Istanbul, I desired presenting Istanbul - my lovely hometown! - and Türkiye to tourists in the right way and completed the tourist guidance program at Cappadocia University as a full scholarship scholar. I also hold an associate of arts degree in cultural heritage and tourism and have been studying art history at Istanbul Medeniyet University. I have been qualified by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Republic of Türkiye, as an expert professional guide in Istanbul - Cappadocia - Ephesus, Kusadasi and on the Eastern Roman Empire - Gobekli Tepe and Upper Mesopotamia - the Seven Churches of Revelation. Looking forward to meeting you on your next trip to Türkiye. Thank you for your time and interest. All the best, Muzaffer                                                                                                                                 

Istanbul Tour Guide - Yasin K.

Yasin K.

Turkey

Merhaba (Hello) from a friendly Istanbulite! My name is Yasin, a licenced tour guide who is in love with his city. Istanbul is more than a regular city. It has been a melting pot of different empires, religions, languages and cultures for centuries! I've been living in this amazing city for 36 years and have about 8 years of experience as a guide. My purpose is not only to show you some historical buildings but also give you a chance to learn more about our unique history, culture-traditions, cuisine, daily life etc. I am very interested in both Roman/Eastern Roman (Byzantine) and Ottoman heritage of Istanbul, so I can offer you very specific tours that you'll always remember. I have basic information on the old/medieval Greek and can read the Ottoman Turkish. I can also understand caligraphic inscriptions easily. I believe that if you really want to feel the soul of historical buildings, you should know what those inscriptions explain to us. That's why I spent so much time to improve myself in this field. I also love photography and trying different types of healthy and traditional food. Fortunately, Istanbul gives us a great chance for them. I'll be so happy to help you with them, too! Feel free to contact me for either a full-day or a half-day tour. I can provide you a complete program or customizable itinerary. Let's explore this amazing city and unique culture together!                                                                                                                                 

Aydin Tour Guide - Umut K.

Umut K.

Turkey

Hello , I am a professional licensed english speaking tour guide in Turkey, I do guiding all around Turkey.                                                                                                                                  

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