This is an interview with Natalie Sayin, a leading Turkish travel writer, about her favourite places in Turkey as well as beaches and bays of Aegean and Mediterranean coast of Turkey that can be visited while on a gulet cruise of Turkey
This post was made as an interview and the main goal is to decide which places to pay attention to if you are thinking to travel to Turkey.
Who is Natalie Sayin? Tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a 38-year-old travel freak, who loves the country of Turkey. It is now my home, and my aim is to travel to every village, town, and city.
I am also learning the language, and delving into the diverse culture and traditions.
My passion for Turkey also led me to develop a creative interest in writing and photography, so anyone interested in my stories can read about my journey on my blog.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAVOURITE PLACES IN TURKEY. WHICH 5 DESTINATIONS HAVE IMPRESSED YOU?
1 – The Northeast region, also called the Black Sea Coast, is famous as the capital of tea production in Turkey but the green scenery and abundance of gushing waterfalls are stunning. It is also home to the Laz and Hemsin communities of Turkey that will interest anyone with a passion for cultural travel.
2 – Istanbul has to be mentioned simply because I have an interest in history and it was the capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires. The old part of the city is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage site list and everyone should see places like the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia Museum, and Topkapi Palace, former home of the Ottoman Sultans.
3 – Beypazari is relatively unknown in the foreign travel market but it is a popular weekend destination for Turks living in the capital city of Ankara. It has a strong historical timeline based on Ottoman influences but I loved exploring the surrounding countryside, full of small, traditional villages and it is also an ideal place for bird-watchers.
4 – The city of Sanliurfa in the Southeast of Turkey is not for everyone but it interested me because of its cultural aspects as a conservative city. Its nickname is the “City of Ibrahim” (known in Christianity as Abraham) because there is a pool called Balikgol, which is presumably, where Nimrod threw Abraham into the fire.
5 – Cappadocia is a central Anatolia region, which was the centre for the beginning of Christianity in the region so historical cave churches with marvellously intact frescoes are in abundance. I love staying in the cave hotels, exploring the underground cities and also the lunar-like landscape is an extreme surreal appearance. Nicholas Cage filmed “The Ghost Rider” in this area.
What would you suggest to people who are traveling to Turkey for the first time?
Just arrive with an open mind. Turkey is hugely misinterpreted in mainstream Western media and unless you actively research the travel market of the country, it is easy to gain the wrong impression. Turkish people are naturally friendly so take the same travel precautions that you would elsewhere in the world and just enjoy the delicious cuisine, historical sites, and picturesque landscapes.
TOP 3 BEACHES OR BAYS OR SPOTS THAT ANY PERSON SHOULD VISIT WITH A BOAT?
1 : Butterfly Valley on the Mediterranean coast near Olu Deniz, is hippy inspired with an emphasis on living at peace with nature. Go snorkelling or head inland into the valley to discover waterfalls.
2 : A relatively unknown beach that I particularly like is Bozbuk on the Aegean coast. The water is clear and warm. It is not crowded and also a great family spot for a quiet day out.
3 : From Kas or Kalkan on the Mediterranean coast, take a boat and explore the sunken city of Kekova. The ruins lay under water but unfortunately, scuba diving is prohibited because of looters. From there, head onto the small village of Simena. The castle at the top is a steep climb but the views are superb.
As an expert on Turkey and a very active Blogger which articles from your blog are a must read for anybody travelling to Turkey?
About daily boat trips in Altinkum http://turkishtravelblog.com/altinkum-boat-trips/
My experience of fishing for my dinner from a boat http://turkishtravelblog.com/flying-fish-boat-altinkum-aegean-cuisine/
This is a general article about things to do on the Aegean coast http://turkishtravelblog.com/aegean-coast-of-turkey/
Places to see the best sunsets in Turkey including Bodrum http://turkishtravelblog.com/sunsets-turkey/