There are not many places left that blend stunning scenery, exquisite cuisine, ancient history, and legendary shopping quite like Turkey. After their recent journey in June, staffers Robyn Mark and Brooke Garnett came up with a collection of the region’s finest experiences, from filling up on Lahmacun and carpets in Istanbul to soaring above Cappadocia’s other-worldly backdrops by hot air balloon. And their Best of Turkey awards go to…
BEST WAY TO GAIN 20 POUNDS IN A WEEK
We love to eat, especially when in Turkey! Our most memorable meals include a spinach pancake along the road from Ephesus to Bodrum; the famous Kup Griye made with caramel, almonds, vanilla, pistachio, whipped cream and served with biscuits, honey and caramel sauce at Baylan Cafe in Kadakoy; a baked potato loaded with our choice of an endless array of toppings (not to mention, it’s whipped with butter and cheese first!) at a street side food stall; and handfuls of roasted honey covered nuts and dried fruits every step of the way.
BEST WAY TO MEET THE LOCALS
As it started to pour in Cappadocia, we ran for shelter and found ourselves amidst a group of locals sharing lunch in their carpet shop. Next thing we knew we were having seconds alongside them! Lahmacun is the dish of choice at most Turkish restaurants, a very thin flat bread covered in ground meat and spices, often with chunks of fresh tomatoes and onion, and served with yogurt or milk. Their hospitality warmed our hearts and our stomachs, and in exchange we each went home with three carpets!
We arrived at Güllü Konak in Şirince after midnight, and couldn’t see a thing as we made our way into our rooms. The next morning we awoke to blue skies, colorful rose gardens, vibrant peach orchards, and a breakfast of homemade cheese, jam, fresh baked bread, and delicious coffee.
It’s not always easy to wake up at 4am for an activity, but this is well worth it. Exploring Cappadocia from a hot air balloon at sunrise was the highlight of our trip.
Hands down, the Amanruya in Bodrum. Arriving by boat through the most crystal clear turquoise waters to our 3,000 square foot villa equipped with a private pool, outdoor shower, and views of the sea was the perfect way to spend our last few days in Turkey.
Robyn & Brooke
See more photographs from Brooke and Robyn’s journey on our Facebook and Pinterest pages.