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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 ...
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
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.
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...
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
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
A great find! A beautiful family run beach front hotel in a small Turkish village. The warm welcome lasts all week! If you are looking for a taste of Turkish culture and spectacular food then this is the place to be! Bodrum is only 15 minutes bus ride away but we only visited once, there was always enough to do nearby. Local markets, horse riding, live music.
The Mandalya Hotel
This building has very recently been converted into the Almina Hotel. The rooms are tastefully modern and extremely comfortable. The breakfast is excellent. The hotel is within easy walking distance of most of the major attractions of Istanbul. But best of all are the staff - nothing is too much trouble and they all go out of their way to make your stay memorable and perfect. I strongly recommend the Almina Hotel.
It was the most perfect canoe ever - the owners of St Nicholas Pension, Patara take you and your canoes up into the mountainous interior and drop you off to the spend the whole day canoeing back down to the stunning coast with beautiful sand dunes and ruins (it's where Father Christmas was born by the way!) The owners also meet you for a picnic lunch half-way down. There's mountain backdrop scenery, turtles, martins swooping into riverbank nests and some not too hair-raising white-water bits. A friend and I went some years ago and still rave about.
The following website has everything - info about St.Nicholas Pension, excursions and how to get there - www.stnicholaspensionpatara.com
Gumusluk is one of the the last remaining 'unspoilt' bay on the Bodrum peninsula, due to the strict laws prohibiting construction. This is due to the fact that the whole of Gumusluk is located on the ruins of the 2000 year ancient city of Myndos. A small charming fishing village, Gumusluk does not get the crowds that you will find in most other bays in Bodrum. For music lovers, a summer long International Classical Music Festival takes place in the old byzantine church on the top of the hill.
By dolmus(shared taxis) - 30 minutes from the central Bodrum bus garage.
I booked two private tours at Izmir (Ephesus etc.) and Istanbul (the works) with Byzas Tours / Tours Istanbul. Their service was impeccable. Booking was a breeze and the actual excursions went perfectly. Very knowledgeable guides, practically brand new vehicles, punctuality, no hidden costs. If I could, I would even attribute the good weather on the days to them but obviously, that was just good luck.
We recently rented this homely lovely apartment for a five day stay in Istanbul and had a fantastic time. It was pretty cheap considering the size and location. There are two double rooms and another room with two single beds, kitchen, living room/dining room, one little bathroom, a little balcony and all the mod cons you'll need on holiday.
The views from the apartment look straight across the Golden Horn with the Topkapi Palace and the Blue Mosque visible in the distance.
The area (Beyoglu) was fantastic! Not very touristy (which I thought was great) but still with loads and loads of things to do, see and eat. A young hip crowd, loads of bars, shops, restaurants and very easy transport around the city (or walk to the Grand Bazaar in 30mins). The owner gave us a little personal tour around the area when we arrived showing us good local restaurants, bars, cafe and the best places to eat local delights.
Only one thing that might be a problem - it gets a bit noisy on Friday and Saturday nights due to the numerous restaurants nearby - the locals like to party around here, so probably not great for kids but it didn't bother us much. Other than that - is excellent in almost every way.
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