Haggling is traditional, expected and enjoyed in Turkey. It ranks as high on my list of holiday activities as sightseeing. If you go into the market and shops to look for souvenirs in Bodrum, you are going to have to play the game!
The most important thing is to decide how much you are prepared to pay for your (fake) watch or (fake) football shirt or (fake) designer perfume. Then let the shopkeeper quote first. Your offer should be much less than you are prepared to pay - as much as 25-50% of the asking price. This will probably be refused and then it's the shopkeeper's turn to bring the price down slightly - then you go in with another offer, slightly more than you first offered and so on - until you come to an agreement.
It could take quite a while and might involve a cup of apple tea ... you might need to walk away without buying anything but be gracious and part on friendly terms - the shopkeeper could begin to run after you and drag you back in and offer you a final price - if it's near enough what you expected to pay, don't let a lira or two get in the way of concluding the deal. Just remember what you were prepared to pay in the first place and more or less stick to it!
We bought a set of bowls for our villa from the market - having agreed a price for one, we then haggled for a set of four - the vendor was absolutely delighted to be doing business again with people with whom he'd already struck a deal a few seconds earlier! We all enjoyed the bartering and we were all happy with the outcome ...
Three good supermarkets, with Kipa being the largest but not necessarily the best. All three are open all day every day and Kipa is open 24 hours which is useful if you have an out-of-hours flight and you want to buy enough food to stock the fridge in your self-catering accommodation.
Kipa is on the main Bodrum highway, the others have several branches along main roads in most towns.
A gem in the old city of Istanbul (a romantic place in itself), the Serkeci Konak is a boutique hotel that will leave you relaxed and loved up. A totally romantic hotel which we would go back to in a second!
The rooms are beautiful, comfortable and perfect for snuggling. An impressive breakfast spread is served until 10.30am, allowing for plenty of laying in, before either heading off into the Old City (which you can't help but fall in love in), or enjoy the delights the hotel has to offer: lounge in the pool and spa area (which offers a range of amazing massages including Turkish baths); enjoy drinks on the love seats on the roof terrace overlooking the Bosphorous; have (free) afternoon tea in the comfortable and private lounge area, and enjoy dinner in one of the two restaurants (one is a delicious sea food restaurant on the roof terrace looking out over the Bosphorous). We started every evening with cocktails on the roof while the sun set, before heading into town.
On arrival we were given free drinks and an introduction from one of the guest managers, all of whom are friendly knowledgeable, and looked out for us the whole time we were there without being imposing.
If you're not relaxed and loved up before you visit Serkeci Konak, you will be by the time you leave!
Gumusluk is one of the most beautiful villages on the Bodrum peninsula, Gumuşluk, known as Myndos in ancient times.
The spot is very beautiful, genuine and quiet, because local authorities have forbidden traffic in the seaside area.
The sunsets are amazing, overlooking a small long island which faces the little harbour where you will find the best fish and seafood restaurants on the Bodrum peninsula. The beaches in the bay are ideal to relax on.
Hotel & Sailing Club : Club Hotel Zemda.
18 kms from Bodrum (55 kms from Bodrum / Milas international airport).
Google map: tinyurl.com/yabhg5a
Food and drink at Bodrum Milas airport is very expensive. Two pints of Efez and two portions of chips cost £13 last summer! Even if you have soft drinks instead, it is still a lot of money if you are travelling with a family. We make sandwiches for the journey now. It saves about £5 per person. You are still stuck with buying drinks as you are not allowed to take liquids over 100ml through security.
Limon is one of the most amazing and bohemian restaurants in Gumusluk and only about eight minutes walk from the harbour/beach. We booked a few days in advance to reserve our favourite antique sofa in the meadow, from where we sipped cocktails, nibbled on freshly-made stuffed marrow flowers and watched the last few rays of sun. Our food was brought over to the sofa and we stayed there all evening listening to live music and generally feeling at one with nature. It was a 10 minute stroll back to Villa Myndos, a little further on up the hill. Booking essential
Yali Mevki no.1, Gumusluk, Bodrum, 48400
Modern Turkish is a beautiful language, full of long words which are 'glued' together. Turkish people are very polite and will appreciate your attempts at speaking Turkish, however simple (though probably not at the airport!) MERHABA is hello and TESEKKURLER pronounced teshekorlair is thanks. There are some useful Turkish words and phrases on the web page below, under the section 'Turkish talk...quick and simple'
Gumusluk is a charming fishing village, harbour and beach on the west coast of the Bodrum Peninsula. It is one of the prettiest places on earth and I go there every year. I stay at Villa Myndos, only 10 mins' walk from the village. Gumusluk still looks much the same as twenty years ago because it has been designated as an area of natural beauty and there are strict building regulations to preserve its character. Small villas and rustic apartments covered with bougainvillea and other exotic plants mingle amongst the many excellent seafood restaurants along the beach and harbour. There is an astonishing number of fish restaurants (also serving other menus) and you would need about three weeks and a hefty budget to try them all. Gumusluk is an upmarket resort and a quiet one. The restaurants and bars stay open all day and very late, reflecting the Turkish tradition of eating late. The only noise you will hear after midnight will be gentle words and laughter, as loud music is banned. The sunsets are spectacular and when the sun finally disappears behind the islands in the Aegean, the colours red, indigo and violet dance in the warmth giving way to stars which shine on the sea and create silver strands. The word Gumus means silver in Turkish and legend would have it that this is how Gumusluk got its name.
We rented an appartment for a long weekend from this company. The appartment was situated near the Galata Tower which is a fascinating area of Istanbul -lots to see and very good restaurants around the tower.
The apartment was spacious, modern, clean and warm and well priced. The company could not have been more helpful and we will defintiely use them again when we return for another visit.
The 4floors Istanbul is a beautifully renovated old building in the heart of the bustling Beyoglu neighborhood. The talented architect owner has converted a 70-80-year-old building into a modern haven of glass, iron, and wood. I stayed on the penthouse floor, which has two floors and a rooftop deck. Enjoying a glass of wine on the deck while taking in the stunning views of the Bosporus, mosques, and other residential rooftops was one of the greatest highlights of my trip - this was my first time in Istanbul. This place is ideal for independent travellers who enjoy unique experiences off the beaten track, and appreciate impeccable design. It definitely feels more like a flat than a hotel. The owner is very knowledgeable on the city, and gracious to provide recommendations. However, there is no official concierge or front desk. The refrigerator was well stocked with drinks and basic snacks...
Paradise is a small hotel in the totally unspoilt bay of Adrasan. It is very special, the tables sit in the riverbed where you are surrounded by ducks. It is a haven of peace and quiet with wonderful fresh food from the local farmers. Wonderful.
We were in istanbul with group of family 8 and rented a boat through bosphoruscruise.com and we would like to thank to everyone at TTG Travel since we really enjoyed our cruise on bosphorus for 2 hours. They picked us up smoothly and drive to the port and than 2 hours joy with a best views of Bosphorus. There are lots of things to see along the bosphorus shore. If we had enough time we would definetely prefer the cruise including meal but unfortunately we were in istanbul just for 2 days thats why we did n ot have enough time for it.
Prof. K. Ismail Gurkan Cad.
0090 212 5286365
A great place if you would like to taste well prepared kebab. The restaurant is owned by people from Diyarbakir who can really make eastern dishes. Try also their sweet with ice cream. It seems their own invention.
It is in Unkapani. Itfaiye Caddedesi, a street full of eastern shops.
Google map: tinyurl.com/ylnb39w
We stayed at one of the istanbul place apartments called galata place. The apartment was great, clean and beautifully appointed, we shall certainly recommend it to our friends.
Istanbul was fantastic, so much history, so much to see and do, not enough time to do a fraction of what we wanted to so we shall all be back.
The people are so friendly and helpful, even the shoe shine guys who manage to catch you unawares with your feet on their little box before you know it!
We have been home for nearly 2 weeks now but I wanted to write to thank you once again for organising our 5 day trip around Turkey. We thoroughly enjoyed every part of it. Our hotel accommodation was excellent, our tour guides were all very informative and we had some lovely meals. Thank you too for providing us with free transport to the airport on the morning of our departure. We are already recommending One Nation Travel to everyone we speak to about our trip and are hopeful that we will be able to pass some business your way. Our best wishes to you and your colleagues at One Nation Travel, Kind regards Gary and Jennifer Zerna
This is a luxury hotel on the Bosphorus with a wonderful view of historical buildings.
Hotel service is great with amazing buffet breakfast (anything and everything you may like to see), nice pool, sauna, etc. I enjoyed my stay very much.
Bayildim Caddesi No 2 Macka
Beautiful self-catering apartments in central Istanbul. We stayed for three nights in Galata Place apartment with our three children. The apartment was fantastic, newly renovated in a beautiful old building. The location, at the foot of the Galata Tower, was ideal for sightseeing and near restaurants, supermarkets etc. Really helpful owners, who have another couple of apartments in Istanbul. If we ever get back, this is where we'll be staying.
Take the slow boat to Buyukada island. It takes about one and a half hours and only costs about four pounds each way. It is a lovely way to escape the scorching heat of Istanbul as the boat is open and breezy. You can watch the people getting on and off the boat and the tea sellers coming around- buy a cup it is refreshing and cheap.The boat stops at two islands before reaching Buyukada so you can enjoy the scenery. Buyukada is a great place for a day trip or overnight stay. You can buy an infinite variety of ice-creams, drink coffee by the port and watch the boats and people, or have a kebab. If you are feeling energetic hire a bicycle; but if you want to relax hire a horse drawn carriage taxi; then tour the island. You will be impressed by all the authentically restored wooden mansions. If you decide to spend a night, you have to stay in the iconic 1900's Hotel Splendid. Don't be surprised if you bump into Hercule Poirot in the elegantly faded drawing room.
Kadakoi ferry, Istanbul
Do what the Istanbullers do. Escape the heat of the city with a ferry day trip to the Princes Islands. Drink tea and eat bagels served to your seat during the 1 ½ journey as the ferry stops at four of the islands before terminating at the ornate Ottoman quay on Büyükada. Take an island tour by phaeton (no cars allowed on the islands). Stroll along the shopping streets. Marvel at the extraordinary ice cream parlours. Eat fish on the waterfront, then return to the city. For just three TL (£1.50) each way, a bargain.
Ido Ferries, regular departures from Kabatas quay, Istanbul. www.ido.com.tr/en/index.cfm
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