The Five Best Beach Destinations in Turkey

Photo from ShutterStock.com licensed by the author

When a colleague suggested that I needed to try out fun-filled beach activities for my last year’s vacation, she came up with a list of five beaches that she has always thought everyone should experience at least once in a lifetime. She explained that they are all in Turkey because Turkey’s rich culture and geographical splendor is anchored by numerous mountain peninsulas that form arcs of superb sandy beaches on shinny shingle bays. It’s one of the few top beach holiday destinations with naturally preserved ecosystems, good weather and less crowded but lively beach resorts.

1. Ovabuku: The Cutest of the Three Sisters

Hosted by the Datca peninsula, Ovabuku is globally hailed as the prettiest of the three bays which also include Kazilbuk and Hayibuku. Its stretch of creamy shingles is aesthetically backed up by pine forests with a mix of myrtle, oaks and carob trees. Ovabuku gave me the sense of escape whenever I went for silent fishing and a tour of the historical Mediterranean town of Old Datca. Other activities that I was able to jump into include: -

• An old Turkish bath known as hamman.
• A trip to Ancient Knidos
• The knidos’ arrangement forms a terraced sitting pattern that makes it a splendid picnic site overlooking the surrounding Greek Islands.

2. The Butterfly Valley: Fly with the Angels

The valley is located between two cliffs that tower into the sky and it can be approached in two ways.

• One of the ways includes taking a boat from Fethiye or Olu Deniz.
• The other route involves an adventurous 40 minutes trek on rocky paths leading to the v-shaped pristine sandy beach.

The beach has no form of civilization. Here I found no electricity or fancy resorts, making it a unique picnic and camping site when all you need is a nice book and cool breeze on your face. You have the alternative of staying in a peaceful hamlet overlooking the beach, a couple of hundreds of feet below you — it felt like flying with angels.

3. Amos: The Epic of Natural Beauty

It’s impossible to write a Turkish-Roman epic without mentioning Amos — a uniquely beautiful clove between two headlands. The beach spot once served as a Roman settlement, making it the place to be if you like a mix of fun and educational treats. Ancient amphitheaters with breathtaking vistas of the bright Marmaris lights across the bay are naturally thrown in the mix as you enjoy fresh fish and meze on the dinning daises of any of the Turunc and Kumlubku resorts.

4. Gemiler: A Natural Paradise of the Shoulders of Civilization

On one side is the buzzing civilization created by the Olu Deniz beach activities while Gemiler, a pristine, silent and peaceful beach lies on the other side. A bus ride to the beach takes you through the Kaya valley which is an exotic pastry of wild flowers. Gemiler is on the other hand dotted with pine and olive trees on a beach overlooking St. Nicholas Island where you can go for fresh meze and cold Efers beers as you take a swim under the steaming sun’s heat.

Other activities that I enjoyed greatly include:

• Horse riding in the aesthetically splendid Kaya valley.
• Quad bike excursions.
• Paint balling.
• Microlite flights from Olu Deniz beach or Hisaronu.
• Windsurfing and sailing.
• Snorkeling and diving.

5. Antalya: The Turkish Pot of Class and Elegance

Antalya also known as the pearl of the Turkish and the Mediterranean Riviera, the Antalya beach is home to 15 of the world’s top 100 beach resorts. This is where I saw some of the world’s most exquisitely preserved ancient heritage such as Aspendos. And also in the Antalya, you can find the world class golf clubs, audience and players which is the best mix of refreshing and spending time with your friends. So, Antalya would be definitely your next stop of destination in Turkey.

These are the most wonderful beaches in Turkey to visit in their life time. And most importantly, to visit Turkey, you need to apply for turkey visas which is essential to gain an entry into that country.

Photo from ShutterStock.com licensed by the author
Posted in Introduction | Leave a comment

How to Travel on The Cheap

TravelFreeMany people believe that baby boomers have more money than they know what to do with, but more often than not even baby boomers need to consult their budgets once in a while. And, in many cases, they have to watch their pennies very carefully each and every month to make sure that their well doesn’t run dry.

Retired and Ready to Travel

Baby boomers are starting to retire and are beginning to learn what they can and cannot do on their often-slim budget. Traveling to a distant state or country for an extended period of time and eating out at fancy restaurants is often not an option. But, with kids located all over the country and grandkids being born and growing up, you just can’t sit at home and ignore the potential experience that awaits you out there. I encourage you to go out and travel to experience life while you can, but let’s first learn how to travel on a budget.

The Fuel Efficient Car

It used to be that if you wanted a car that bolstered great gas mileage, it was uncomfortable and tiny – not exactly the kind of vehicle that a retired baby boomer would want to travel in. Today, however, vehicles are utilizing the power of both gas and electric (often referred to as hybrid vehicles) and can quite easily average 40+ miles per gallon. Take a serious look at the Chevy Cruze. It is cost effective (you can find one of these used for less than $15,000) and drive more than 500 miles on a single tank of gas! Find a fuel efficient vehicle and you will start saving money in no time.

The Overnight Stay

Even if you are traveling to visit relatives, you cannot always assume that you can bunk at their place. That is simply rude and unkind. However, you do not need to book a hotel room in advance to score a deal on the nightly rate. On any given night, it is not uncommon for a hotel to have 50% occupancy, which means that they are willing to give you a deal on a room if you decide to stay with them. If you cannot talk them down on price, simply tell them that you will leave and check with the hotel up the road. If they still do not give you a bargain on a room, then leave! The next hotel will almost certainly accommodate you.

The Price You Pay to Eat

Heading out to restaurants all the time can get expensive (and unhealthy). Even if you limit your dining to fast food venues, the dollars still erode from your wallet rather quickly. Instead of purchasing your food from restaurants and convenience stores, rent a hotel room that has a small kitchen and get your week’s supply of food from the local grocery store. By creating meals yourself, you will more than likely save over a hundred dollars in a single week!

By instituting all of these money-saving tactics, you could travel hundreds of miles away and still return home (after having lodged, eaten, and paid for the gas) for less than the cost of a round-trip plane ticket. Best of luck to you and your travels!

Posted in Introduction | Leave a comment

No More Packing?

baggageI stumbled across a really interesting site called PackNada.com, featuring a service that provides you with up to 20 items that you can have shipped to your hotel (all clothing items freshly washed, ironed, and folded, as appropriate) for $99. When done with your trip, you simply leave those same items at the hotel for pickup, and they will be ready for your next trip.

This seems like a really nifty service for a frequent business traveler, even with the 20-item limitation. I was even getting a little excited about this for my own use, until I discovered that it is only available in Singapore (although the company has announced plans to expand to other countries).

Bummer.

However, that brings to mind an alternative to hauling luggage that pretty much anyone can do — and maybe even for a bit less than $99. Unfortunately, it involves some planning and effort in exchange for the advantage of being able to fly with much less luggage.

Simply have your laundry cleaned, ironed, and folded by your local cleaning service (I can get 6 shirts and 3 trousers done for about $10), and get a small moving box (about $2 at Walmart) to pack them in. Add in your “shaving” kit (I keep one with essential toiletries more-or-less ready to pack anyway) and any other items on your packing list (you do have a list, right?), seal it, and take it down to your local UPS store, and ship it to your destination hotel about 3 or 4 days in advance for about $20 (plus insurance, which I recommend). At the end of your trip, put everything back into the box, and ship it home (if the hotel handles the shipping, it will be a bit more than $20). Repeat as needed.

The planning involves getting the materials (box, packing tape, address of your destination, etc.) ready and doing the packing yourself. You should probably include a roll of packing tape, a small pair of scissors, and a large plastic bag in the box. After your trip is over, you have to re-pack it, seal it, and ship it home.

But you can then skip the baggage check-in when checking in, along with the wait at the baggage carousel at your arrival. You can also pack more than 20 items total. Another advantage is that your box is more likely to arrive undamaged. UPS is much better at that than the simians hired by the airlines to throw your luggage around. I would be much more inclined to trust UPS with more valuable items, such as my spare chargers, medications, and maybe even a good camera (well-packed, and insured, of course).

It occurs to me that just about any dry-cleaning establishment could offer a similar service, but it would probably cost more than $99/trip, and you might want to ship non-clothes items separately. It wouldn’t hurt to ask at your favorite local cleaning business. Depending on how often you travel, and whether you are on an expense account, that might be well worth it.

Come to think of it, my favorite laundry establishment is only a few doors down from a pack-and-mail service, and I know that the guy at the pack-and-mail service is always looking for new services to provide to enhance his bottom line…

Posted in Delays, Packing, Planning | Leave a comment