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Goreme, Turkey



50180 Göreme/Nevşehir Turkey

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  • Cappadocia Balloon Rides in Turkey [Travel Destination]

    Picture Credit - Cappadocia or Kappadokya is one of the most visited regions in Turkey. It is the only one place in the world where tourists can experience a breathtaking hot air balloon ride throughout the year; this attraction is only closed in the event of adverse weather conditions, which rarely happens. The year-long availability cannot be experienced in other balloon rides around the world, which gives tourists here flexibility and convenience for their travel schedule. via GIPHY Visit Cappadocia with us Book a Cave Hotel with us To reach Cappadocia from Istanbul, you can take either land or air transportation. If you choose land transportation, you can either rent a car and drive there yourself, or you can go by tour bus, widely available from tour operators, or from Main Otogar (main bus terminal) in Istanbul. You can check these with your hotel or, by visiting tour operators' offices all over the city centre. However, if you choose land transportation to Cappadocia, be prepared for a long journey; the journey from Istanbul to Goreme in Cappadocia region takes somewhere between 7-9 hours via Ankara, the capital of Turkey. Furthermore, if you plan to rent a car to drive to Cappadocia from Istanbul, you have to be prepare for the fuel costs, as the petrol cost in Turkey is among the most expensive in the world. The alternative is to travel by air. From Istanbul you can find local flights to Kayseri from Sabiha Gokcen Airport, then continue from Kayseri by taxi to Goreme, or if you book the flight from tour operators in Istanbul, they will offer a pick up service in Kayseri Airport. If you have booked your hotel in Goreme in advance, they will also provide an airport pick-up service from Kayseri Airport. By the way, this flight will take only one hour. Flying to Kayseri is not necessarily more expensive than land transport if you can find offers on local Turkish air carriers. Therefore, planning ahead of your journey is highly recommended. Once you arrive in Kayseri Airport, or in Goreme, you can choose from many hot air balloon operators there, as hot air ballooning is available from Goreme. Alternatively, you can book it in advance from one of the travel operators in Istanbul, but the price difference will be much higher. You will find better deals if you book it directly yourself. This is also true for the other bookings in your travel, such as transportation (land and air), and hotels. Thus, the most efficient way is by booking everything with one of the halal tour agents, and they will get everything arranged for you ahead of your travel. Why has Cappadocia become famous in the world for hot air balloon experiences? The main reason is the beautiful landscape of Cappadocia - it has a rocky landscape with the world-famous Fairy Chimney rock formations all over the large swathe it occupies. Cappadocia with its Mesa Verde mountain-mixed-with-a-valley resembles the scenery in a fairytale kingdom. Picture Credit - The fairy chimney structures are formed by an ancient volcanic eruption approximately 9 to 3 million years ago, and then shaped by erosion that formed hundreds of magnificent chimneys, pillars and minaret-like forms. When you are up in the sky in your balloon basket, you will be mesmerised with the scenic view and also with the view of hundreds other balloons flying together into the blasting sunrise, prompting your heart to be filled with total amazement and gratitude to Allah, the Lord of the Universe, by this magnificent experience. Picture Credit - Furthermore, the hot air balloon ride will also enable you to view beautiful small villages with, the towering minarets of their local Masjids at the centre of each village, river valleys and wondrous cliffs. It is indeed a wonderful and unique experience in comparison to other hot air balloon attractions in other parts of the world where you can only view the usual mountains, greenery, rivers or farms. Picture Credit - There are several points to note if you want to experience hot air ballooning in Cappadocia. Firstly, you have to stay at least one night in Goreme since hot air balloons usually take off very early in the morning, at about 5:00-5:30 am just before dawn, depending on the season. This means that you must wake up, wash up, get dressed and be ready to be picked up by the hot air balloon operators from your place accommodation before dawn. This early start is a must, since the wind conditions are best around sunrise. Not to worry though, the hotel staff will assist you with a wake up call, and the balloon operators of your choice will pick you up at your hotel to go to their office, where you will be provided with refreshments, coffee and tea before you head down to the take-off site with other passengers. With regard to the length of your stay, since hot air balloon rides are weather-dependent, it would be better if you can spend a few days in Goreme in case the weather changes unfavourably and your balloon ride is cancelled. In case this happens, the balloon operators will offer you a full refund or a rescheduling, which is why spending a few days in Goreme will enable to you to reschedule to a different day. Secondly, for the weather, you have to be prepared with suitable clothing. Wear a windproof jacket as the early morning temperature in the valley can be quite cold and windy. The balloon ride operators will brief you on the safety procedure, and the do's and don'ts of the balloon ride in their office and at the take-off site prior to take off. Be sure to also wear comfortable shoes, as you'll be on your feet for the duration of the ride. Thirdly, in regard to flight duration, a balloon ride in Cappadocia can last anywhere between 45 minutes to 1.5 hours depending on the tour operators and the flight option that you choose, whether it's a standard or deluxe flight. A standard flight will take you up in the air for about 45-65 minutes, and with more passengers in the basket. On the other hand, a deluxe flight normally lasts about 1.5-2 hours, and with less passengers in the basket. Again, the exact duration and number of passengers will depend on each balloon operators, so you have to choose wisely. If you don't like turbulence in your air flight, the good news is that the balloon flights are usually very smooth and turbulence-free, so you won't have to worry about this at all. Moreover, regardless of the balloon operator that you choose, they will usually treat you upon landing with fizzy drinks and a slice of cakes, where you can opt for the non-alcoholic sparkling apple juice. Afterward, they will hand you with a certificate to commemorate the event. All of them also offer you the option of purchasing the DVD that they recorded during your flights, which they will deliver to your hotel shortly after. They will then take care of your transportation back to your hotel after your ride so you needn't worry about this. Your hotel will usually provide you with delicious Turkish breakfast buffet after you are back at the hotel, however it's best to check with your hotel whether this is the case. The hot air balloon in Cappadocia is a truly, once-in-a-life-time experience, and it is guaranteed to be one of the best times of your life. Another plus if you stay in Goreme, is that you can experience the unique sensations of staying in a cave hotel, where you will stay in the hotel where the rooms are the former houses carved inside the above-mentioned fairy chimneys of Cappadocia. A long time ago, the people settling in Cappadocia carved the rocky hills and fairy chimneys and built their houses inside there. Many of these ancient houses have now been changed into hotels small and large, so you'll have many options of which hotel to stay in. The unique features of these cave hotels are that the temperature of the cave adapts to the surrounding environment in such a way that when the temperature is cold outside the cave, the temperature inside the cave is quite warm, while if it's hot outside, the cave inside will have a cool temperature. This is due to the natural physics of the stone cave. When you have time to do trekking and hiking activities in Cappadocia, also one of the prominent tourist activities there, you'll also find lots of abandoned cave houses that you could explore during your journey. Besides hot air ballooning and trekking/hiking, you can also explore Cappadocia's underground city. What does it mean? With its unique rocky structures, Cappadocia also has a secret network of underground tunnels, so you can also experience a thrilling adventure of exploring the underground cave tunnel of Cappadocia. Another fun activity whilst you are in Cappadocia is a clay pottery class trial and clay pottery exhibition. You can learn how to make a handmade clay piece of pottery with an expert, and afterward purchase many handmade clay souvenirs there, ranging from artistic pieces to household clay ceramics with a reasonable price. You could also visit many Turkish carpet manufacturers in Cappadocia, but be prepared to face the prices - the Turkish carpets made here are very expensive due to their high quality and beautiful design. A tip for the souvenir collectors: if you are looking for must-have small souvenirs from Cappadocia such as souvenir plates, fridge magnets, keychains, t-shirts, snowglobes or ceramic ornaments, you can find these at bargain prices sold by street vendors in small markets near tourist attractions. If you shop for these at the clay pottery workshops or carpet manufacturers, expect to pay more. All in all, a Cappadocian adventure is surely not one to be missed from your travel bucket list! via GIPHY Find a Halal Restaurant near you in Goreme Find a Mosque near you in Goreme...

  • Word Of Mouth - Istanbul Locals Tips

    Istanbul is a travel bug's dream come true; full of amazing architecture, culture, food, shopping, and so much more. In fact, it is one of the most visited cities in the world. But your Halal vacation in Istanbul can't be just a standard touristy affair!   That's why we've gathered up advice from the locals about what to do and what not to do in Istanbul. You can also see what the top-rated tourist attractions in Istanbul are, as well as the lesser known gems which will give you unique things to do in Istanbul. So, have fun on your vacation in Turkey and make sure to cover all the fun things to do in Istanbul!     Credit -   1. Get A Local Tour Guide Picture Credit -   One of the best things to do when traveling in Istanbul is to hire a local tour guide to take you around the city. The best way to learn about a place is through the eyes of a local. If you don't know anyone in Istanbul, then a tour guide is your best option.   Local Tips:   Group tours are fine, but if you can afford it, book a private tour. This way, you'll have the guide all to yourself, and it will feel like two friends exploring the city and trying the most unique things to do in Istanbul.   You can pick different themed tours, such as heritage walks, food tours, architecture tours, etc. Most, if not all tour guides, are friendly, know all the best-hidden spots, and love to talk about their city; so you can be sure to get the ultimate experience!   Below the are the most-rated tourist attraction guides in Istanbul:   My Local Guide – Istanbul Address: Istanbul 34400, Turkey Phone: +90 534 200 55 65 Website:   Istanbul Tour Guides - Day Tours Address: Istanbul Cd. Muhasebeci sokak. No:3/3 3rd Floor, Istanbul, Turkey Phone: +90 212 516 53 00 Website:   Walks In Istanbul – Tours Address: Yerebatan Caddesi, Istanbul 34122, Turkey Phone: +90 533 382 60 47 Website:   2. Take Public Transport Picture Credit -   Istanbul's roads are every driver's nightmare, especially if you aren't used to it. Your best option to getting around the city is to take public transportation.   Local Tips:   When we say public transport, we mean the ferry! It is the fastest and most efficient form of transportation in Istanbul. And you get the bonus of getting to experience gorgeous views on your way. Avoid the roads as much as you can, especially during the peak hours (9 a.m. & 6 p.m.), except Sundays.   Look out for scams! Locals would also advise you to avoid cabs whenever possible as well. But if you do not have any choice, be smart about it as there are many scammers.   First, make sure to get a taxi that is connected to a taxi stand or “brand” (displayed in the form of a logo on its doors). Common names you'll come across are “Pera Taxi” and “Guven Taxi”.   Secondly, agree upon a rate before you start the journey. Go to to calculate typical rates for your ride. Even if the taxi has a meter, you cannot trust it as it is prone to make sudden drastic jumps in rate, or the driver might say he forgot to turn it on, etc. Also carry change, because the drivers will pretend not to have any.   You can also use one of the many taxi apps that are available. This way, you can pay by credit card, and you have the taxi driver's information in case he mistreats you. “BiTaksi” is one such app that you can try!   3. Get That Sweet Craving Fixed   Turkish cuisine consists of some of the world's best desserts. Flaky pastries, crunchy nuts, and sugar syrup is always a common feature, and what else can a combination of those be other than utterly, mouthwatering-ly delicious!   Local Tips:   Everyone has heard of the famous baklava (rightfully, cause yum!) but there are many other traditional Turkish desserts that you can try. Muhallebi, trilece (tri-leche), kadayif, are a few. If you're feeling adventurous, try the tavuk gogsu (chicken breast pudding); you will not be sorry!   Some of the best places to go for amazing traditional Turkish desserts in Istanbul are Hafiz Mustafa 1864, Goreme Muhallebicisi, Bilgeoglu, Cafe Erol, and more!   4. Enjoy Istanbul's Magical Sunsets   One of the most magical experiences one can have in Istanbul is sunset viewing.   Local Tips:   For the best views, head to the Galata Bridge, Sarayburnu, or Ulus Parki; these are the Istanbul attractions are where you can get the best views. Arrive early and just chill around with your company, taking in the sights while you wait for the sun to begin her descent.   5. Visit Istanbul's Many Magnificent Mosques   Istanbul has many mosques; they are all elegant and extremely beautiful. As is most of Istanbul's architecture, they date back centuries and every one of them describes the time in history when they were built.   Local Tips:   Of course visiting the mosques is something that everyone does on a holiday in Istanbul, but that shouldn't stop you from doing so too (not all touristy things are bad). Some of the mosques that are the most famous Istanbul attractions are the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Suleymaniya Mosque, New Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Fatih Mosque, and plenty more!   Most mosques do not restrict non-Muslims from entering, but here are a few things what not to do in Istanbul when visiting mosques:   Do not take pictures of people praying or partaking in other religious activities. Do not make any noise, eat or act inappropriately inside the mosque. Wear modest clothes that do not show off skin (women must cover their hair), and take your shoes off before entering the prayer hall. If you do not intend to pray along with the congregation, do not enter during times of prayer.   6. Visit the Basilica Cistern   This is the largest ancient underground water cistern in the city, and definitely one of the most unique places to visit in Istanbul. Explore the area, walking on wooden planks, amongst massive columns, and ponds filled with koi fish. It also houses two eery statues with the head of Medusa. It's like a real-life scary-house: so cool!   7. Have A Traditional Turkish Breakfast   The city is a food-lovers dream! With so many delicious local dishes served at all sorts of restaurants and cafes, there are countless “must-try” Halal dishes in Istanbul, like Turkish delights, falafel, doner kebabs, and more. But if you were given the chance to try just one dish in Istanbul it should be the traditional Turkish breakfast; ask any local!   A traditional Turkish breakfast consists of: cay (Turkish tea), a variety of cheeses, butter, eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, jam, honey, kaymak (similar to clotted cream), sucuk (spicy Turkish sausages), regional breads (pastirma, borek, simit, pogaca), and soup. Of course, all of these dishes might not always be present at the same time, but they can be!   Local Tips:   Turkish food is always generous, hearty, and meant to be shared with loved ones so take a group of friends with you. Some of the must-visit restaurants in Istanbul for the most important meal of the day are:   Van Kahvaltı Evi   Address: Ömer Avni Mh., Defterdar Ykş. 52/A, 34425 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey. Phone: +90 212 293 64 37Click here for more information about Van Kahvaltı Evi   Privato Cafe Address: Sahkulu Mahallesi, Galip Dede Cad. Timarci Sok. No: 3 | Beyoglu, Istanbul, Turkey Phone: +90 532 763 56 70Click here for more information about Privato Cafe   Lades Restaurant Address: Sadri Alisik Sok. No:14/A Taksim, Beyoglu, Istanbul, Turkey. Phone: +90 212 251 32 03   Click here for more information about Lades Restaurant   8. Bargain at Istanbul's Lively Markets   Istanbul is a great place for shopping as well. Of course, the city has its designer stores and malls, but if you want the local experience, shopping at the vibrant and lively bazaars is one of the most fun things to do in Istanbul!   Local Tips:   The Grand Bazaar is one of the top-rated tourist attractions in Istanbul... which is why you should avoid it! It is so full of tourists, that it's hardly a local experience. Of course, you can visit, but save the shopping for other places like the spice bazaar (a short walk from the grand bazaar), Carsamba (Wednesday) market, the old booksellers' market (near the Grand Bazaar and Beyazit Mosque), and more!   The best time to visit these bazaars is around noon (from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.) when the markets are at their least crowded and you won't get hounded by salespeople from all angles.   Become a skilled bargainer! Nab things for dirt cheap prices by expressing very little interest. Ask about prices noncommittally, and always let the seller do the talking. Start to leave and the seller will begin to lower the price even further. Remember to be friendly and smile during the whole process!   Look out for scams! Some of the most common ways you'll find yourself involuntarily spending money is when you have no choice but to pay for services/goods that you did not ask for. Like the shoe shining trick (the guy drops his brush, you politely pick it up, and suddenly your shoe's getting shined), or the friendly roadside flower ladies who keep you talking while making a massive bouquet of expensive flowers for you.   9. Explore the Asian Side   One of the most amazing thing about Istanbul is that it is the only city that falls in two continents, so it has a European and an Asian side as well! It's known as the Anatolian side and offers many fun activities to do in Istanbul like shopping, food, culture, and incredible views.   10. Experience A Real Hammam Picture Credit -   Hammams are traditional Turkish baths, and one of the most unique experiences you'll have in Istanbul. You can also choose to get a traditional Turkish massage; it might hurt, but it hurts so good!   11. Visit the Prince Islands   Picture Credit - Also, known as just Adalar (islands), these include an archipelago of 9 islands that are the ideal seaside getaway. Cars are not allowed on the island, so you know it's peaceful! IThey are full of old mansions and other charming places to explore. Hire a buggy or just walk around to explore.     ...

  • The Best Destinations for Muslim Families

    A wide range of options are available for Muslim families when trying to select a Halal-friendly holiday destination. We have compiled a list of the best destinations for Muslim families along with a few tips on what each destination can offer Muslim travellers. Read on for more details! Muslim travellers need to be mindful of what facilities will be available to them while travelling. Access to Halal food and prayer facilities are amongst some of the most basic requirements of Muslim travellers that will need to be taken into consideration when planning a trip. Malaysia has been ranked the best destination in the world for Muslim travellers. Located in South East Asia, Malaysia will captivate travellers with its endless shopping opportunities, mouthwatering local fare and fascinating attractions. Kuala Lumpur, Georgetown, Johor Bahru, Melaka, Genting Highlands, Petaling jaya, Sepang and Kuah are some of the most prominent cities in Malaysia that are worth visiting during a trip to the country. The second-best destination for Muslim travellers is considered to be the United Arab Emirates. In addition to facilities for Muslim travellers which will be available in abundance, the country is also home to several prominent attractions such as the Burj Khalifa - the tallest building in the world. Other prominent attractions include Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi and the Wild Wadi Water Park in Dubai. Turkey is another immensely popular tourist destination amongst Muslim travellers and offers numerous facilities and places-of-interest to ensure an enjoyable visit. Its main cities are Istanbul, Ankara, Fethiye, Marmaris, Kusadası, Oludeniz, Cesme, Goreme, Ayvalık, Antalya, Kas, Side and Alanya, with each city having something different to offer. Attractions in Turkey range from ancient ruins from the Ottoman era to beautiful beaches to traditional Turkish baths. Rounding off the list of the 4 best destinations for Muslim travellers is Indonesia. Beautiful and exotic, Indonesia is made up of over 17,000 smaller islands and has plenty to offer Muslim travellers. Some of the must-visit cities in the country include Ubud, Seminyak, Jakarta, Kuta, Yogyakarta, Bandung, Sanur, Legian, Gili Trawangan and Jimbaran. Travellers must not miss out on the local Indonesian food – which is considered to be amongst the most-loved cuisines from around the world. Other excellent travel destinations for Muslims are Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Jordan, Qatar, Tunisia and Egypt. All these countries offer a wealth of facilities including Halal food and prayer facilities to ensure a fantastic travel experience for Muslim travellers.  ...

  • Where should you head for your next family holiday?

    When selecting a holiday destination, Muslim families need to take many things into consideration. The availability of Halal facilities at specific destinations is obviously one of the main aspects that should be looked into. These include the extent to which Halal food and prayer facilities are available at a specific destination, as well as the overall family-friendly atmosphere of the destination. To make travel planning easier, some of the best holiday destinations for Muslim families have been compiled below. Malaysia is considered to be the best destination in the world for Muslim travellers. In addition to a wealth of shopping opportunities, the country offers endless Halal food options with mouthwatering flavours to choose from. It is also home to numerous mosques and the main cities in the country that are worth visiting include Kuala Lumpur, Georgetown, Johor Bahru, Melaka, Genting Highlands, Petaling jaya, Sepang and Kuah. Following Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates is the second-best holiday destination in the world for Muslim families. Apart from the Halal food options and prayer facilities which are readily available across the country, what really makes the United Arab Emirates an ideal holiday destination are its numerous spectacular attractions. Be it Dubai or Abu Dhabi – there’s something in store for everyone. Turkey is yet another excellent holiday destination for Muslim families. Visitors to Turkey will be offered a fantastic variety of Turkish fare – which is considered to be amongst the finest cuisines in the world. Several mosques and prayer facilities are also available throughout the town and the main cities that must not be missed are Istanbul, Ankara, Fethiye, Marmaris, Kusadası, Oludeniz, Cesme, Goreme, Ayvalık, Antalya, Kas, Side and Alanya. Indonesia will enthrall Muslim families. In addition to its beautiful pristine beaches, natural wonders and years of history, the destination has much to offer Muslim travellers – plenty of enticing Halal food options and an abundance of mosques and prayer facilities. Ubud, Seminyak, Jakarta, Kuta, Yogyakarta, Bandung, Sanur, Legian, Gili Trawangan and Jimbaran are some of its must-visit cities. The home of the sacred cities of Makkah and Madinah - Saudi Arabia – is another excellent holiday destination for Muslim travellers and families. Apart from its numerous food options and prayer facilities, the rich history and past of the country makes it a truly fascinating place to visit. In addition to the above mentioned countries, Morocco, Jordan, Qatar, Tunisia and Egypt are also amongst the best holiday destinations in the world for Muslim families. Each destination offers something unique and truly incredible – be it historical marvels or stunning natural landscapes. Halal food options and prayer facilities are readily available at all destinations – which are all Muslim-majority countries. When taking non-Muslim-majority countries into consideration, again, some destinations are capable of catering to Muslim travellers and families better than others. The best non-Muslim-majority countries that make fine holiday destinations for Muslim families include - Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, United Kingdom, Bosnia & Herzegovina, India, Hong Kong, Germany, Australia and Tanzania. Due to the sizable Muslim populations living in each country, sufficient facilities such as Halal restaurants and prayer facilities are available at each destination. Though the countries specified above tend to provide better facilities for Muslim families, plenty more options are available for those who are prepared to plan well in advance. Start exploring!...

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