May 14, 2011

Turkey's Top 10 Delights

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

Because of the unrest in the Middle East deterring visitors there, tourist numbers to Turkey are expected to increase by three million, to 31 million this year – that’s a lot of sunbed space – so if you want to escape the crowds, discover something new and go slightly off the beaten track, this list is for you.


1 The Princes Islands, Istanbul

The Princes Islands are a group of tranquil and car-free islands located a short ferry-ride from Istanbul – the perfect antidote to a stint of sightseeing in the busy, bustling city.

Four are inhabited and the biggest islands, Buyukada and Heybeliada, are the most popular for visitors. You can explore them and view their multi-storeyed 19th-century wooden houses at a leisurely pace by bicycle or horse-drawn carriage – the only transport on the islands.

Both are pleasant for an afternoon’s visit while Buyukada is perfect for a longer stay, especially if you can treat yourself to a room in the beautiful turn-of- the-century hotel, Splendid Pallas, where it’s hard not to expect to bump into Hercule Poirot in the drawing room, such is the atmosphere and décor.

Read more on Irish Times: Turkey's Top 10 Delights

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