Hey there, I’m back again with another vacation recap. This trip was especially sentimental for me not only because I returned to one of my favorite places (Io amo l’Italia!), but I was able to explore a new country and region for the first time. I’m thrilled to share with you the most incredible vacation experience I had in the mesmerizing land of Türkiye, or as you may know it as, Turkey. From the enchanting region of Cappadocia to the vibrant city of Istanbul, my journey was an unforgettable blend of adventure, culture, and heartwarming moments. So, buckle up and get ready to be inspired!
Amalfi Coast – A Mediterranean Dream
My journey began in the picturesque Amalfi Coast, where the azure sea meets the rugged cliffs. For three amazing days, my friend, Andrea, and I explored charming villages, indulged in mouth watering Italian cuisine, and basked in the sun on dreamy catamarans overlooking beautiful beaches. It was the perfect start to our epic vacation!
Cappadocia – A Wonderland of Wonders
From Italy, we boarded our Turkish Airlines flight, which was an amazing experience. It was my first time on that side of the world, and the warm and friendly service on the flight made me feel right at home. I received a complimentary upgrade to business class which made my journey even more worthwhile. Upon landing in Istanbul for a connection, I caught another flight to Cappadocia. The airport there is super tiny by the way.
Cave Hotels and Dreamy Mornings
You can find my Instagram Highlight for even more visuals and details. Cappadocia welcomed us with open arms, and we stayed at a the Charming Cave hotel that felt like a magical hideaway. Waking up at 4:30 am might seem like madness, but trust me, it’s the best time to capture the breathtaking beauty of the region. With the city already awake, it felt alive and vibrant!
As luck would have it, the hotel owner was also a hot air balloon pilot, and we couldn’t pass up on taking a ride ourselves. Our experience was surreal! To make the memory even more unforgettable, we rented dresses and took aerial photos with a drone—yes, we went all out!
Exploring the highlights of Turkey was a must, so we visited the vibrant carpet market and the fascinating underground city, but let me give you some friendly advice: hire a tour guide for the underground city unless you’re looking for an Indiana Jones type of experience!
We also enjoyed a traditional Turkish bath, which I highly recommend. They pampered us like royalty. Pro tip: opt for a private experience to avoid any awkward nudity.
After bidding farewell to Cappadocia, we landed in Istanbul, a city full of energy and history. From shopping to exploring historical sites, Istanbul offered something for every traveler.
Navigating the city on foot was a common occurrence, as taxi drivers weren’t too keen on short distances. We stayed at the lovely Mara Mara hotel, where we were met with smiles and lots of kindness.
One of the highlights of my time in Istanbul was a dinner boat show, where I met people from all walks of life. It was so nice to be in a space where everyone celebrated together. I loved every moment of it and highly recommend it to anyone visiting Istanbul.
As we ventured further, we discovered Istanbul’s rich history in its architecture. I booked a photo walk/tour that allowed me to learn about the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the city’s fascinating transformation. While dining at the Seven Hills restaurant, I couldn’t help but be in awe of the seven hills upon which Istanbul is built. The city’s energy and the vast history behind every corner were truly captivating.
Embracing Turkey: A Destination for All
Turkey truly surprised me in the best possible way. It’s a haven for travelers looking for diverse experiences, from the breathtaking landscapes of Cappadocia to the historical wonders of Istanbul. While the taxi drivers in Cappadocia weren’t the most hospitable, the kindness of the Turks is beyond comparison.
Istanbul proved to be a safe space, and I never once felt out of place. We met incredible people, experienced new cultures, and shared laughter with strangers. Whether you’re planning a girls’ trip, a solo adventure, or a romantic escape, Turkey should be on your travel bucket list! While families might need to prepare for some walking, the public transportation options make it accessible to all.
So, if you’re looking for an unforgettable journey filled with beauty, joy, and genuine experiences, consider Turkey as your next destination. Embrace the magic, the hospitality, and the history – it’s a place that will leave you enchanted and longing for more. Happy travels!