Top 5 cities in Turkey

By Meenakshi Shankar

The Top Five Cities to head out to in Turkey

With its huge coastline dotted with quiet little coves and fishing villages, the gorgeous sunshine and a famously warm welcome, Turkey features in the Wanderers must-do destination.

VISITING Turkey should come with a warning: you visit once, you’ll visit the country thousand times. That’s the common effect on many first-timers whether they have come for sun, sand and sea or for a quick jaunt to Istanbul.

If you want to discover the ‘must head out to destinations’, this list is just for you.

1. Cappadocia

Whether it’s to marvel at the fairy chimneys made of volcanic rock, go white-water rafting in its rushing rivers, descend into the multi-storey underground cities (underground city of Kaymakli ) or squeeze into a hermit’s cave in an early Christian monastery, there is plenty in Cappadocia to sate the appetite of the curious wanderer.

And if getting high is your thing, hot air balloon rides have become legendary here as the views of the lunar-type landscape are like nothing one has seen before.

2. Kusadasi

Visit the incredible ancient city of Ephesus; hike upto the summit of Bulbul Mountain; marvel at the marble ruins of the pillars of the temple of Artemis – one of the Seven Wonders of the World, built over eight centuries ago – and more.

3. Istanbul

Haggle for carpets, tuck into Kavun dolmasi, kick back in a hamam and more in Istanbul which is a treat for every Wanderer. Take in the sights and sounds of the legendary waterway lined with historic villages, grand wooden mansions, imposing fortresses, and the Baroque summer palaces of the late Ottoman sultans. At the end of it, escape to Princes’ Islands – where you revel in the magic of Buyukada, the popular summer resort with sandy beaches and pinewood scenery.The Spice Market is a heady brew of fragrances: spices, dried fruits, nuts and seeds.And take our word – it is about the most exciting market shopping experience you can find anywhere in the world.

4. Antalya

Set on a crescent-shaped bay, Antalya is bounded by citrus groves, valleys and the gorgeous Taurus Mountains.Go on a walking tour tour through the winding streets of the old harbor quarter of Antalya. Explore the museum and let history come alive and speak its tales. Hike up to see nature’s curiosities, the eternal flame of Chimaera.Or you could simply head out to Aspendos , an ancient city dating to the fourth and fifth centuries B.C where the stunning and best-preserved ancient theater in Turkey beckons you to come and explore.

5. Ankara

The old world charm of the capital city captivates the Wanderer. The bold touches of the mystical east transports you to a bygone era – which comes alive whilst you walk through the city’s Citadel walls and explore the Roman Baths of Ankara. A treasure trove – explore the by lanes, the souks, the Mausoleum of Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey and more. With its history dating back to 3000 years, Ankara is a potpourri of the old and the new – a treat for the Wanderers.


Summer Destinations for this season

Meenakshi Shankar

Summer’s drawing to an end throwing caution to the wind …heading off to exotic  getaways, sojourns to surprise your beloved or simply treating your senses to an virgin island or a rain forest; heading out to discover a man made wonder – it’s a whole new world of Wandering.

If you still haven’t been able to get away, here are some destinations that don’t take too much planning (because the visa is on arrival).

1.  Fiji beckons both the thrill seeker and romantic traveler.

The reefs and cobalt blue waters  of the island created a surreal backdrop for Tom Hanks’ Cast Away and Brooke Shields’ The Blue Lagoon.

Must do:

1) The World-class windsurfing
2) Lazing around long languid beaches
3) Idyllic kayaking in a pocket-sized paradise

2. Cambodia’s Angkor Wat  attracts many Wanderers to the  Buddhist land of smile.

Must do:

1) Revel in the mystical glory of Angkor Wat
2) Relax in the sleepy seaside town of Kampot
3) Trek to the nearby Bokor National Park
4) Take an elephant ride in the jungles of Mondulkiri Province
5) Ogle the Mekong dolphins at Kratie

3. Laos: Head out to the country if you are seeking for a refreshingly simple and relaxed sort of languid riverfront life.

The country beckons the Wanderer who is seeking for a bit of nature and adventure.

Must do:

1) Head out to the sleepy river archipelago with rare dolphins & mighty Mekong rapids.

2) For the thrill seekers: Kayaking, rafting, rock-climbing and biking are available.

4. Seychelles: To romance and to rejuvenate.

The picture-book beaches lined by palms and marked by wonderful granite outcropping is a place to reconnect with your loved one.

Must do:

1) Snorkeling

2) Watching the tropical reef, with its eerie purples and oranges, yellows and iridescent blues, the fat clams with serrated teeth, the not-so-little reef sharks huddling under the rocks, and the wonder of the sea turtles, or the rays, surging through the water like Concorde jets.

5. Nepal beckons the Wanderer who is seeking for ‘blissful escapism’

Must do:

1) Trek through mountains and the jungles.

2) Go river rafting – the country is a river runner’s paradise .

6. Mauritius: Secluded coves, white sand, glorious sunsets, champagne by the seaside…

Must do:

1)Experience the absolute height of resort luxuries – from underwater restaurants to over water villas.

7.  Maldives: Romantic getaway never seemed better.


Must do:

1) Dive, surf, and sail among the coral islands.

2) Indulge in exceptional spa treatments from indigenous sand scrubs to three-hour tantric couples treatment.

8. Sri Lanka: If exotic is on your agenda – the lush emerald landscapes and turquoise Indian Ocean promises to hold you bewitched in its magnificent beauty.

Must do:

1) The ruined palaces of the kings of Kandy Experience life in the verdant tea plantations

2) Step back in time and explore the exquisite Buddhist temples.

9 . Indonesia: The volcanic lakes of the Sumatra is a must on your agenda.

Must do:

1) The sublime snorkeling and pristine coral gardens in history’s fabled Spice Islands. Jet setting off to Bali where the pulse-pounding surf, enchanting temple ceremonies, mesmerizing dance performances and ribbons of beaches beckon you.

10. Hong Kong: To experience the never say sleep city!

Must do:

1) Sample the shredded jellyfish

2) Join in the dawn tai chi.

3) Watch the sun rise from a remote mountain peak

4) Hike surf-beaten beaches and explore deserted islands.

11.  Macau: The Las Vegas of the East

Must Do

1) Gamble the night away.

2) Discover the forms which form a colorful palette of pastels shades soothing and calming, away from the buzz of everyday living.

3) Explore the cobbled back streets, baroque churches, stone fortresses, Art Deco buildings and restful parks and gardens

12. Thailand: The ‘destination’ for venturesome paradise seekers.

Must do:

1) Get and sport a tan on the virginal beaches.

2) Head out for some fabulous massage—the legitimate kind.

3) Tour the local market.

4) Go diving with mighty whale sharks in the coral fringed islands.