Podcast conversation with Karen Fedorko.
Karen is a wealth of information on Turkish history, culture, lifestyle, gulets, and adventures. She shared her breadth of expertise with us as we traversed the country from Istanbul to Cappadocia to Ephesus to Bodrum.
Turkey has 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites and we talked about many of them. Istanbul is full of historical places, culture, and cuisine. Cappadocia is the adventure destination with ballooning, biking, hiking, and ATVs. Ephesus is the location of the most important Roman City and Bodrum is the resort area, where yachts and gulet voyages launch.
A taste of the experiences Turkey offers: Culinary offerings in Istanbul include lunch in a family’s home, visiting the Spice Bazaar then cooking with a chef, back street food tours (where you meet the pickle guy or the baklava lady), and eating at picturesque waterfront cafés.
If you are looking for a tranquil moment, have a seat at the Bosphorus in Bebek – a sanctuary by which to reflect and relax.
Make a stop at the Grand Bazaar to shop or simply be immersed in the sounds and sites of everyday Turkish people.
For a taste of unconventional transportation, hop on a trolley in Istanbul.
Insider Access/Over the Top Experiences
Be open to meeting fascinating people like Serdar Gulgan, an Ottoman Art Expert, and visit his restored Ottoman home to learn about the architecture and the art. Or have a private, after-hours tour of the Seriye Underground Cistern. Consider hosting your friends for a Cappadocian Cave Dinner & Wine Tasting in a 2,000-year-old seminary or an enchanting and powerful private Whirling Dervish Ceremony.
A hot air balloon ride is one of our favorite OTT adventures. Of course, most people have seen the photos of the hot air balloons over Cappadocia. On a typical day, there are 70-100 dotting the sky. It’s a bucket list item for most when visiting Turkey.
Some of Karen’s favorites, which we didn’t have a chance to talk about include:
- Cafes – there are so many amazing local cafes for Turkish coffee and appetizers throughout the country. You can’t go wrong.
- Rooftops – Mikla Restaurant has the best rooftop in Istanbul. Rooftop dining is a way of life in Istanbul in the summer.
- Picnic spots – the best is a private picnic in one of the valleys in Cappadocia.
- Music venues at Zorlu Center, Jazz Festival, Music Festival with music in the historical sites in Istanbul, concert in the ancient site of Ephesus.
- Markets – vegetable markets every day in Istanbul, Grand Bazaar, and Spice Bazaar. Market on Saturdays in Alacati where the entire town is there.
- Sunset spot – from your gullet or Limon Restaurant in Bodrum. Limon is the perfect place to relax, sip cocktails and take in the famous sunset.
A few of Karen’s favorite hotels:
Stay at a hotel on the Bosphorus where Asia meets Europe.
- Four Seasons Bosphorus and Sultanahmet
- Ciragan Palace Kempinski
- St. Regis
Stay in a cave hotel!
- Museum Hotel (the only Relais & Chateaux in Turkey)
- Argos Cappadocia
- Yunak Houses
- Categories – Super Luxury, Luxury, Deluxe, and Standard
- Typically 7 nights Saturday to Saturday
- Maximum 6 cabins 12 people
On the coast or from your gulet, you can stay active waterskiing, snorkeling, swimming, windsurfing and kayaking. When you’d like a rest, sunbathing on the beach or on deck offers a quiet respite (make sure to find out what toys are on board your gulet before you charter it). Plan lunch at the Bozburun Yacht Club during as a stop on your trip.
- Mandarin Oriental Istanbul
- Peninsula Istanbul – Bosphorus
- Four Seasons Bosphorus
Best time to visit: May to October.
Istanbul and Cappadocia are year-round destinations.
Bodrum and resort areas are best from June to October with July and August as high seasons.
To get started planning a trip to Turkey, fill out our trip inquiry form here and I’ll be in touch.