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Turkey has become quite the hot travel destination in the past few years. And while Antalya and Istanbul are probably high on your cities to hit in the country, make sure you also star the Cappadocian region on your map; Cappadocia is a Turkish travel gem. Located in the center of the Anatolian Region of Turkey, Cappadocia is widely known for its unique volcanic moonscape, and is home to incredible underground cities, rock houses, and world famous balloon tours. Read more
Last month, I set off to Southeastern Turkey on the trail of two emerging tourism treasures that are just beginning to register this off-the-path corner of the country on the radars of world travelers. First and foremost, the still-under-excavation ruins of Göbekli Tepe are believed to be the world’s oldest temple (predating Stonehenge by some 6,000 years) – a finding that is changing the way we view human history. Nearby, the impressive Zeugma Mosaics Museum debuted last year in Gaziantep as the largest mosaics museum in the world, showcasing wonderfully intact and intricate Roman period mosaics, dating back some two millennia. Read more
Perched on the lofty fringes of busy Göreme – hub for the hauntingly beautiful landscapes of Turkey’s Cappadocia region – the Fairy Chimney Inn invites travelers to experience the area’s unique geological and historical heritage with an authentic cave stay. Here, 11 cozy guestrooms come scooped out of the soft volcanic rock that defines Cappadocia’s distinctive geography, with its age-old stone pillars and elaborate network of such ancient troglodyte dwellings.
Before starting life as a guesthouse in 2005, these caves once served as part of a 1,500-year-old Byzantine cave monastery, and, later, as general housing for local Turkish families. Frills are few, but thrills come in the form of the property’s charmingly authentic cave rooms and splendid terrace views. Read more
We’d love if every cruise we took could be aboard a luxury liner like the Queen Elizabeth, but budget constraints normally keep us from splurging on all that opulence and personal service. However, these amazing, limited time fares – up to 60 percent off – on Cunard’s fall Mediterranean sailings mean you don’t have to sacrifice savings for style.
The best value is the 10-day Mediterranean Moments, where inside cabins start at $699, or about $70/day; the cruise goes from Rome to Southampton and makes calls in Italy, Monaco, and Spain. Other itineraries we love range from the 12-day Holy Land Explorer (Rome to Venice, with stops in Turkey, Cyprus, Israel, and Egypt) from $899, to the 12-day Pearls of the Black Sea (Venice to Athens, with stops in the Greek Islands, Turkey, and Ukraine) from $1,299. Even better: all sale fares also include an onboard credit of $100-$300, depending on cabin class.
To give you some perspective, these fares are comparable to similar itineraries currently on offer from Royal Caribbean, which don’t include Cunard’s luxury perks like white-glove service and formal evenings. Just be warned that all sailings with the exception of the 12-day Greek Isles and Turkish Splendours start and end in different ports, and buying two one-way flights may increase the cost of your airfare. You’ll also have to hurry, as the sale ends August 6! Find all the details at www.cunard.com/sale.
Plan your summer escape to Istanbul and stay in an elegant, 5-star hotel located in the heart of the city. Relish the Turkish hospitality by staying at the new Marti Istanbul Hotel for just $190 a night – a savings of over 35 percent with their introductory package to commemorate the July 2012 grand opening. This luxurious property provides all the glamor the Turkish city has to offer, with major historic sites, ancient bazaars, and cultural attractions all within reach.
Plus, you’ll receive a complimentary signature cocktail – the Marti Martini – and either a half-day private walking tour of the cosmopolitan Beyoğlu district or an Istanbul Museum Pass Card, which is good for 72 hours. All rooms feature safe deposit boxes, Wi-Fi, in-room dining, minibar selection, and turndown service. The hotel’s Quad Restaurant & Bar provides a gorgeous atrium space, where guests can enjoy a sumptuous breakfast, along with all-day-dining and lounge-style seating beneath. An impressive spa is located on the top floor of the hotel, where guests can treat themselves to massage therapies, facial treatments, sauna and steam rooms, and authentic Turkish bath rituals.
These low rates are available for stays through August 31, 2012. To book, visit the Marti Istanbul website.
I’m getting married in less than three weeks [hold for applause]. It’s a destination wedding, which probably merits its own blog post at some point. However, since wedding planning has rendered me unable to put together a string of coherent thoughts, it’s best if I focus on the honeymoon in this post since, well, that’s way less stressful.
Selecting a honeymoon destination requires looking at the trip from several different angles. As you begin to discuss where to decompress after months spent selecting tablecloths and entrée choices, you want to make sure you reach the decision that makes both of you happy. Ultimately, there are only three types of honeymoons. Once you pick which is right for you, the decisions get a lot easier. Read more
There’s nothing like 3,500-year-old frescoes and 1,000-year-old cathedrals to put 50 years of life or 30 years of marriage into perspective – both are a mere heartbeat in the history of humanity. If you’re the kind of traveler who lives your life forever looking forward, but are entranced by the past, you may want to consider a cruise with Voyages to Antiquity. This two-year-old company offers a variety of 14- to 33-day itineraries in the Mediterranean, Adriatic, and Aegean (through late October) and Asia (November to March and featuring nine new itineraries). What differentiates VTA from other cruise lines is its laser-like focus on ancient cultures explored via extended voyages with lyrical names like “The Light of Greece” and “Those Who Seek Paradise.”
Booking a summer vacation is so satisfying. Even more satisfying? Saving hundreds of dollars on it. Our deals experts have been scouring the internet in search of the hottest summer deals to help you save. Here’s what they came up with, from an incredible suite in Vegas to a cool Bahamas getaway to a 5-star Spain package. For even more deals, check out our weekly Top 25.
How’s this for some V-Day love: Gay tour operator Out Adventures is releasing spots on five of its top exotic group trips for a ridiculous discount. If you’re a couple traveling together, it’s BOGO, baby (Buy One, Get One Free), and if you’re a single, it’s 40% off — all told about $1700 in savings! That’s a lot of extra spending money once you get to India, Morocco, Peru, and Turkey. And all you have to do to qualify to buy is show a little social media amour in return. Read more
We’ve talked about designer hotels before (see our Top 10 List and Armani Hotel Milan blog post, for example), but the trend for fashion-branded hotels is really taking off, and the new year brings a notable upcoming opening in London from well-known fashion house Bulgari, and several hotels from Versace and Missoni are in the works.
Bulgari London is set to open in the spring of this year, making it the fourth Bulgari hotel, with the first three in Milan, Bali, and Tokyo. According to the vision of Bulgari hotels, “each property shall be located in the most prime luxury neighbourhood [sic] in the city,” and the London property is no exception – it’s located on Knightsbridge in the heart of the city. And of course, the hotel is nothing if not luxurious, with custom-built details, luxurious and rare materials, and Italian cuisine. www.bulgarihotels.com
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