By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: Three of us are planning to travel to Turkey in May for two weeks. Besides Istanbul and Cappadocia, can you recommend any place else to visit? As well, can you recommend any web sites?

A: Besides the varied landscape (think dry Mediterranean, verdant hills, hammam spas and ancient architecture), Turkey is packed with a mélange of history and as a result there’s plenty to see and do for the intrepid traveler or even for the leisure traveler who’d love to spend their days by the poolside.

It’s great to hear you’ve pegged the two above mentioned cities in your travel plans. Besides these locations, depending on your interests there are certainly many other cities and regions to consider for your itinerary. Drop by southwest Turkey where the Aegean coast meets the Mediterranean coast.

Here you’ll find Bodrum, a popular Aegean resort and yachting port once known as Halicarnassus. Besides resembling the French Riviera hot-spot of St Tropez, you’ve also got one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Mausoleum here including the Castle of St. Peter, which was a formidable Crusader fortress that now houses the Museum of Underwater Archeology.

Izmir is another port city that makes a great homebase. Here, Ephesus, once the capital of Roman Asia, is the best-preserved Greco-Roman classical city on the Mediterranean and is considered by travel insiders as the next top sight to visit after Istanbul.

For history buffs and Christian followers, the Virgin Mary is believed to have spent her final days here and St John is believed to have written his Gospel here, and is buried in the St John Basilica.

For useful web sites, here’s a quick list:; The official web site from the Turkey Tourism Office is chockablock of travel info with great suggestions and useful facts on visiting the country. You’ll also find a terrific link called “Tour operators” which lists companies with many of them located in Toronto and across Canada;; Travel Writer and Turkey guru Tom Brosnahan provides info and tips on all things Turkey-related. this Hotel Guide web site provides a detailed list of hotels across Turkey. Simply click on the map and voila, there’s a list of properties at your finger tips. The site ranks hotels on a star rating system and provides addresses for online reservations and web sites.


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