Capital of Turkey: Ankara
Population: 73,639,596 as of June 2013
Currency: 1 USD = 1.80619 TRY (Turkish lira)
Calling Code: 90
Time zone: GMT +2
Economy: Turkey's economy is becoming more dependent on industry in major cities, mostly concentrated in the western provinces of the country, and less on agriculture, however traditional agriculture is still a major pillar to the Turkish economy.
Climate: Spring (April to May) and autumn (September to October) are the best times to visit, since the climate will be perfect for sightseeing in Istanbul and on the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts. Turkey is impassable with snow from December through to April, with temperatures sometimes falling to around -12°C. In July and August temperatures rise rapidly and can exceed 45°C, making travel in the east very uncomfortable.
Religion: Turkey is a secular state with no official state religion; the Turkish Constitution provides for freedom of religion and conscience. About 99 percent of the population is registered as Muslim. There are less than 100,000 minorities which follow other religions, mainly Christians, Greek Orthodox and Jews.
Pamukkale, meaning “cotton castle” in Turkish, is an unreal landscape in western Turkey, famous for its white terraces. The terraces are made of travertine, a sedimentary rock deposited by water with a very high mineral content from the hot springs. People have bathed in its pools for thousands of years. The ancient Greek city of Hierapolis was built on top of the hot springs by the kings of Pergamon. The ruins of the baths, temples and other Greek monuments can be seen at the site.
With its six minarets and sweeping architecture the Sultan Ahmed or Blue Mosque in Istanbul impresses from the outside. While still used as a mosque, the Blue Mosque has also become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Istanbul. It was built between 1609 and 1616 and like many other mosques contains the tomb of the founder. Inside the mosque, the high ceiling is lined with the 20,000 blue tiles with different patterns that give the mosque its popular name.
Located in Istanbul, the Hagia Sophia was originally a basilica constructed for the Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I in the sixth century. A masterwork of Roman engineering, the massive dome (31 meters or 102 feet in diameter) covers what was for over 1000 years the largest enclosed space in the world. The church was looted by the fourth Crusaders in 1204, and became a mosque in the 15th century when The Ottomans conquered the city. The Hagia Sophia was converted into a museum in 1935 and is now one of the top attractions in Turkey.
Useful Tips: US dollars and euros are the easiest currencies to change, although many banks and exchange offices will change other major currencies such as UK pounds and Japanese yen. You may find it difficult to exchange Australian or Canadian currency except at banks and offices in major cities.
Credit Cards: Visa and MasterCard/Access are widely accepted by hotels, shops, bars and restaurants, although not by pensions and local restaurants outside main tourist areas. You can also get cash advances on these cards. Amex cards are rarely accepted.
Tipping: In the cheapest restaurants locals leave a few coins in the change tray. Elsewhere you should tip about 10% to 15% of the bill. Tips are not expected in cheaper hotels. In more expensive places a porter will carry your luggage and show you to your room. For doing this (and showing you how to turn on the lights and the television) he'll expect about 3% of the room price. In Turkish baths you should tip around 10% to 20% to the masseuse/masseur.
06DAYS 05NIGHTS - TURKEY TOUR 6D5N
DAY 1 ARRIVE ISTANBUL / BURSA (D)
Arrival to Istanbul Ataturk Airport .Drive to Bursa and transfer to hotel. Dinner and overnight in Bursa.
DAY 2 BURSA / PAMUKKALE (B/L/D)
After breakfast visit Silk Market, Green Mosque and Green Tomb. After lunch, drive to Pamukkale. Upon arrival in Pamukkale, visit Ruins of Hierapolis. The ruins of this once-grand city brilliantly evoke life and die early centuries of the modem era. Proceed to the unique Cotton Castle, a magical and spectacular natural phenomenon which was created by deposits from the thermal waters that tumble down the mountain over thousands of years, forming into myriad of pools. Transfer to hotel . Dinner and overnight in Pamukkale.
DAY 3 PAMUKKALE / KUSADASI (B/L/D)
After breakfast, drive to Kusadasi. Upon arrival in Kusadasi, visit to Ruins of Ephesus - probably one of the largest and most outstanding archaeological site in existence. Some outstanding structures include: the Library of Celsius, The Grand Theater, Hadrian Temple, Marble Street, Agora etc. After lunch, we will visit the famous local production center for leather garments whereby after a live Fashion Show, time will be allocated for shopping. Transfer to hotel . Dinner and overnight in Kusadasi.
DAY 4 KUSADASI / CANAKKALE (B/L/D)
After breakfast, drive to Canakkale to visit the Ruins of Troy - the first thing you see as you approach the ruins is a huge replica of the wooden Trojan horse designed by Turkish artist Izzet Senemoglu. Lunch and Dinner at local restaurant and overnight in Canakkale.
DAY 5 CANAKKALE / ISTANBUL (B/L/D)
After breakfast, have a sceenic drive to Istanbul. Upon arrival, visiting Roman Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Aya Sofya and Topkapi Palace. Lunch at local restaurant. If time permits, shopping in Taksim area. Evening dinner in local restaurant. Transfer to hotel and overnight.
Day 6 Departure Istanbul (B/L)
After breakfast visit Grand Covered Bazaar of Istanbul for shopping. After lunch, transfer to Istanbul Ataturk Airport.
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