From Selcuk to Ayvalik

It is about a 2.5 hour drive from Selçuk to Ayvalik, the next stop on our two-week G-Adventure tour of Western Turkey.  Along the way, we stopped in Bergama to see the Turkish rug making process.

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pots at basilica of st john in selcuk

Selçuk…The Site of Ephesus

As part of my two-week tour of Turkey with G Adventures, a budget National Geographic company, we stayed in Selçuk for two nights.  Sadly, I knew nothing of Selçuk or of its many attractions.  For that matter, I didn’t know much about Turkey except that people enjoy it, so I wanted to go.

Selçuk is a very popular tourist destination.  During the shoulder season at the start of COVID, however, the city was rather quiet, which I enjoyed!  While Selçuk features a variety of restaurants and shops on lovely streets and a smattering of ruins on the hill above town, it is best known for its proximity to Ephesus, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

With all the attractions, Selçuk definitely warrants an overnight stay or perhaps even a weekend get-away.  Below is a list of things to do while in Selçuk.

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The Sunken City of Kekova

A long time ago, I read an article about SCUBA diving in underwater, ancient ruins near Istanbul.  I thought that would be cool to do, so it has stayed with me for years.  Having said that, during my six week trip to the Middle East which included Oman, Israel, and Turkey, SCUBA Diving didn’t make the list.

Instead, I signed up for a two-week tour through the western half of Turkey with G-Adventures, a budget-minded National Geographic Company.  Having completed little research and being rather dependent on the tour company, I was surprised to learn that there were underwater ruins in Kekova, one of the destinations on our travels.

SAIL AWAY!
dog in antalya

All About Antalya

History of Antalya

Antalya was originally founded by King Attalus II of Pergamon around 150 BC and was called Attalia for the King.  It soon became part of the Roman Empire and prospered until the fall of Constantinople.  The Seljuk Turks captured the city in 1207 which fell to the Ottomans in the mid 1300’s. 

It remained under Ottoman control until World War I when the city was briefly given to Italy before the Turkish Republic recaptured Antalya during the War of Independence.

RELAX!
hot air balloons in cappadocia

Cappadocia: Three Day Itinerary

Cappadocia is a region in central Turkey with unique geological structures and lots of history.  There are lots of things to do while visiting the region which includes several small towns such as Ürgüp, Göreme, Uçhisar, and Avanos to name a few.  Hiking, taking a hot air balloon ride, and exploring an underground city are a must while in Cappadocia.

LET’S GO!
Mount Hasan in Turkey

From Ankara to Konya

Wow!  I had never really taken the time to realize the size of Turkey.  It is huge.  I signed up for a two-week driving tour, and we hardly scratched the surface of Western Turkey.  After touring Istanbul on my own for five days, I joined G Adventures for an itinerary which included stays in Bolu, Cappadocia, Konya, Antalya, Kekova, Selcuk and Canakkale with additional stops in Ankara, Kas, Pamukkale, Ayvalik, and Gallipoli.

DRIVE THE COUNTRYSIDE!

Istanbul: The Asian Side

Istanbul is an enormous city of 14 million people and is separated into three sections by water.  The Golden Horn divides the European side into two while the Bosphorus Strait intersects the European and Asian side.  Istanbul is the only city in the world to span two continents.

In previous posts I wrote about the Sultanahmet (the Old City) and Beyoĝlu (the European Quarter).  This post will focus on things to do on the Asian Side of the city.

TAKE A STROLL!

Touring Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv is completely different from most of the other cities that tourists visit in Israel.  While it does feature the city of Old Jaffa, Tel Aviv is very new, vibrant and cosmopolitan relative to many others in Israel.  Though a big city, it doesn’t take more than a day to explore the sites.

LET’S GO!
Shrine of the Bab

The Mediterranean Coast of Israel

Continuing our tour with G Adventures, the budget minded National Geographic company, we left the Sea of Galilee for the Mediterranean Coast where we visited two different places:  The Baha’i Gardens and Shrine of the Báb on Mount Carmel and Caesarea, Roman ruins which date back to 29 BC.  Both were wonderful places.

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