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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Frugal Vacation Series Goes to Turkey 8.31.11

It’s time for another frugal vacation destination! This place you may or may not have ever heard of, but it’s way cool and has so many different vacation possibilities! Sleep in a cave, go skiing in the desert, go on a cruise along the coast and still save money! What? Where is this awesome and magical place, you ask? Why, it’s none other than Cappadocia, Turkey! Where the heck is that?? Well, for starters, it’s in Turkey. Here’s some other interesting information about it.

Cappadocia Photos
This photo of Cappadocia is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Cappadocia, located in central Turkey, is a truly breathtaking and unique vacation destination with a moon-like atmosphere. Set on a high plateau with high volcanic peaks, it has a very different feel from anywhere else and has a warm, arid climate in the summer and cold, snowy winters. So, pack your sunscreen and hat or sweaters and mittens when you plan your trip to this extraordinary city.

Because the area was formed by ancient volcanoes there are a lot of volcanic deposits that are, essentially, soft rocks and buildings have be carved into the cliffs, including hotels, houses, churches and monasteries. These cave dwellings are a relief from the heat of the summer. There are also fascinating underground cities, interconnected by twisting tunnels, some of which are open to visitors. This region is interesting and has made Cappadocia a popular tourist destination (even though you never heard of it until now).

A trip to Cappadocia is great for budget travelers, because the exchange rate is very favorable to most other foreign currencies, including the U.S. dollar, the Pound and the Euro. You can stay in 3- and 4-star lodgings, dine in restaurants, use public transportation and rent a car all for less than the cost per night to stay in many economy hotels worldwide. Most hotels offer breakfast in their low rates, making it an even better deal, as it is one less meal you will have to cover on your own. Whatever your budget, a trip to Cappadocia can be accommodated. Since you can save on so many different aspects of your vacation, you can splurge on some of the more interesting activities while you’re there, including:

  • Half- and full-day city tours – Take a guided tour through Cappadocia and learn about the most important and interesting sites from a knowledgeable escort. Then you can go back and explore those areas that you found to be most remarkable on your own time.
  • Hot air balloon rides ­– Get a bird’s eye view of the wondrous landscape of Cappadocia in the early morning. Take in your destination from a whole new perspective and then commemorate your ride with a traditional champagne toast upon touch down. Bring a sweater, as it is likely to be cold.
  • ATV quad tours – The territory is has conditions that are fantastic for viewing from an all-terrain vehicle. Take a unique tour of the city on a quad to cover ground quickly and see different parts of the region than you can on foot or by car. You can go with a tour guide or rent all day for a fun day of exploring the dunes, valleys and hills.
  • Skiing – For those of you that travel in the winter and like the colder climates, Cappadocia has incredible skiing in the winters, which are generally quite chilly and snowy. You can rent equipment when you get there and save on baggage fees. With the multitude of mountainous peaks, you can ski all day, whether you’re a beginner or an expert, and then warm up back in your hotel or at a cozy little café.
  • Yacht cruise – Take a day trip and sail the Aegean or Mediterranean Seas on a yacht or gullet cruise. These include lunch, sightseeing stops and beach visits for swimming.
  • Go shoppingTurkey is a country of bazaars and boutique stores. It is a great place to shop for antiques, brass and copper items, carpets, bold jewelry, silk and one-of-a-kind items you won’t find anywhere else. Pack an extra bag for all the souvenirs you find to bring back home.
Cappadocia Photos
This photo of Cappadocia is courtesy of TripAdvisor 

Whether you’re used to luxury accommodations or you’re a backpacker who enjoys saving money and staying in budget lodgings, you will find what you’re looking for. Cappadocia really has something for everyone and is a remarkably distinctive vacation destination that would be hard to match wherever your travels take you. If you usually stay in budget hotels, this might be the time to break out of your rut and treat yourself to a unique and luxurious accommodation. Stay in a cave dwelling! It’ll be a once-in-a-lifetime experience and something you wouldn’t have a chance to do elsewhere. On top of all that, it'll still be similarly priced to the hotel rates you're used to staying in. Seeing some of the pictures associated with these kinds of rooms made me want to skip my the vacation I had planned and go here instead. 

Cappadocia Photos
Photos of Cappadocia courtesy of TripAdvisor

How have we never heard of this place before? Cappadocia seems to be über popular and one of the world’s best kept secrets all at once. I am always amazed by these kinds of gems. Have you ever been to such a destination? I’d love to hear about it!

Photos of Serinn House, Urgup
This photo of Serinn House is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Another short post? But why? Hopefully you found this post fun and informative enough to not cry over the length of it. This week I am working on book edits in order to get it done and get my book out to you as soon as possible! The cover is being worked on as we speak, as well! Two steps closer to your bookshelf.

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