Turkey offers a wealth of different kinds of destinations to travelers. From the dome and minaret filled skyline of Istanbul to the Roman ruins along the western and southern coasts, from the beaches of Antalya and the Mediterranean seaside resorts to the misty mountains of Eastern Black Sea. It’s also packed to the brim with ancient monuments left over from a parade of empires, and endowed with showcase scenery that never fails to impress. So whether you want to lap up the Byzantine and Ottoman glories of Istanbul on a city break, laze on the beach, delve into history wandering through ruins such as Ephesus, or see some of the world’s most surreal panoramas in Pamukkale and Cappadocia, this country offers visitors a wide range of things to do. Simply put, Turkey is a dazzling destination of many marvels, that’s worth consideration.

The nation’s capital is Ankara, a modern city of skyscrapers and distinguished cultural venues such as the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations. However, Turkey’s largest city is Istanbul and is widely known for its Grand Bazaar, vibrant nightlife and historic treasures like the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. The stunning Turkish Riviera boasts the Mediterranean seaside resort cities of Marmaris and Antalya, while in the Central Anatolia Region, Konya is noted for its striking Seljuk architecture and the Whirling Dervishes. Other popular destinations include the ancient city of Ephesus, Cappadocia dotted with its fairy chimneys, and the natural cascading rock terraces at Pamukkale.

For lovers of nature and adrenaline junkies, Turkey offers more than historical sights and beautiful scenery and below are some of the most exciting experiences you can try out.

Hot-Air ballooning over Cappadocia

First thing in the morning, the skies above Cappadocia fill with hot-air balloons that take visitors floating above the area’s canyons, fairy chimneys and other fantastical rock formations. Cappadocia is known as one of the world’s top ballooning destinations. Flight conditions allow for year-round flights, and due to a lack of wildlife, balloons here are allowed to fly close to the ground, so ballooners get both up-close and far-above aerial views.

A photo showing Hot Air ballooning

Cruise turquoise waters on a gület

Few vacations are more relaxing than a multi-day cruise aboard a gület (traditional wooden yacht) plying sections of Turkey’s southwestern coastline between Bodrum and Antalya. While away the long, sunny days swimming in secluded coves, reading or playing tavla (backgammon) on deck, eating fresh-caught fish, drinking rakı as the sun sets and sleeping out under the stars.

A photo showing a cruise on turquoise waters

Hike the Lycian Way

Scenery along the Lycian Way swoops from craggy Taurus Mountain vistas to rocky pine-forest-clad coves lapped by the Mediterranean Sea. And walking the entire 540km trail takes 29 days although most people walk just a few sections of the trail or opt for a section a day hike. The good destinations for starting a shorter Lycian Way hike are however Fethiye, Patara, Kalkan, and Kaş.

A photo showing visitors hiking

Yacht Cruising from Fethiye

Fethiye is the number one base for travelers who want to cast off for yachting trips along Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. The high season for yacht trip departures is July and August, though trips are possible from April through to October.

A photo showing a yacht cruise

Paragliding in Ölüdeniz & Pamukkale

Paragliding takes place at several destinations in Turkey but for tourists, the two best places to visit for this adventure sport are Ölüdeniz and Pamukkale. For scenery, as you descend, you really can’t beat Ölüdeniz, with a backdrop of craggy pine-tree-clad mountains swooping down to the famed azure blue lagoon and Mediterranean Sea beyond. While tandem paragliding at Pamukkale offers aerial views over both one of Turkey’s best known Roman city ruins and most famous natural wonders.

A photo of visitors paragliding

Kayaking at Kekova

The main center for organized sea kayaking activities along Turkey’s rugged coastline is Kaş. The nearby Kekova Island area, with its underwater Sunken City ruins, is best seen from a kayak. These kayaking trips are considered suitable for complete beginners and are the only way to see the ruins up close, as swimming isn’t allowed in the area.

A photo showing tourists kayaking

Hop aboard an Istanbul Ferry Tour

Istanbul’s ferry tours are a popular way to see the city’s famed shoreline cityscapes on a ride up the Bosphorus Strait. Depending on how much time one has up their sleeve; there’s the Long Bosphorus Tour that chugs the entire length of the Bosphorus up to the pretty village of Anadolu Kavağı, overlooked by a Byzantine castle, in around 90 minutes and the Short Bosphorus Tour heads up the strait to the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge.

A photo showing a ferry tour

Horse Riding in Cappadocia

The valleys of Cappadocia, with their fairy chimney rock formations, make for Turkey’s best horse riding destination. Sunset tours, taking in some of the most famous valley panoramas, particularly the vistas over Red Valley, are the most popular option and are a good choice for novice riders looking for a short riding option.

A photo showing a couple horse riding

Take a Scenic Cable Car Ride

Turkey has several cable cars, but two to definitely add onto your itinerary for the panoramic views they provide are; Bursa Teleferik up Uludağ (Mount Ulu), on the outskirts of Bursa, and the Olympos Teleferik in Kemer.

A photo showing cable car rides

River Cruising at Dalyan

Dalyan is a little riverside town, roughly halfway between the big resort towns of Marmaris and Fethiye. It’s a laid-back place that’s highly popular for summer breaks because of its location, with the ruins of Kaunos on the opposite shore, and just 12 kilometers north from Iztuzu Beach.

A photo showing cruising at Daylan

There’s a lot Turkey has to offer to all kinds of tourists, that can’t be fully exhausted in one blog or one visit however, should you like to visit Turkey, we are here for you. Contact us on info@swanairtravel.com, 0776515014 or visit swanairtravel.com to buy a package.


THE JOURNEY OF A TASTE BUD; 7 foods intertwined with Uganda’s cultural diversity

Food is one of the unsung ways in which the culture of a people is preserved. It is the upholding of key culinary procedures like the harvesting and preparation of ingredients, techniques of arranging cooking instruments and masterful estimation of cooking rations that sustains the identity of a dish.

Just like its people, Uganda’s cuisine has generally been welcoming to alterations, entertaining foreign ingredients and cooking processes that has given rise to some spectacular dishes. However, some that have been here since our forefathers still find space on many menus in the country, and today we take you through 7 of these foods that belong way back to our roots.

  1. Molokony

Molokony, or cow hoof, is a special delicacy that acquired its name from Eastern Uganda. It is also known in other local dialects, bearing names such as Kigere and Ekinoono in Luganda and Rukiga respectively. After the slaughtering of a cow, the hooves are sold separately from the meat. Different chefs pick them up, clean them, roast them and then boil them in a large pan with fresh tomatoes, leafy onions, green paper and other vegetables to add spice. Since the hoof meat is tough, they are boiled at high temperatures for 4-6 hours. The result is a creamy thick soup and tender cartilege meat, rich in calcium, a cure to hangovers and a booster for synovial fluid production. It is best served with boiled cassava, sweet and Irish potatoes. Add pepper to taste.

Molokony  (picture by Sherman food adventure )
  • Nswa

The tropical white ants are such a delicacy among the Baganda and are one of the oldest dishes known to the central tribe. Rich in protein, the ants usually fly out of their anthills in the rainy seasons of January and October. In traditional Buganda, they were picked by identifying the ‘eye’ of the anthill (the opening from whence the insects flew) and crowding around it, grabbing each insect, removing its wings and storing in a container. They can be prepared by okukalanga (pan frying without cooking oil) or cooked in Groundnut paste, served with Matooke or Sweet potatoes. They are also good to eat as a snack on their own. The most delicious type is the Nnaka, usually from Bulemeezi county, present day Nakaseke district.

 Nswa – tropical White ants 
  • Amacunda

From Western Uganda, this local yoghurt makes an entry onto this list. Using the most delicate Ankole/Hima customs, Amacunde is churned from a local pot called Ekyanzi, given to a woman on her kuhingira(traditional wedding) as part of Omugamba (a package from her family with things she will use in her new home). It is a highly nutritious and revitalizing drink, with multiple benefits for the skin. It is usually taken plain, but you can add sugar/honey to taste.

 Amacunda -Local yogurt (picture by rural sprout
  • Odii

Odii is akin to peanut butter in appearance and bears a little semblance in taste, but differs in the ingredients. Many times, a mix of groundnuts or sim-sim is used to create a thick paste that is often utilized as a serving suggestion when eating beans or meat. It can also be used to prepare pasted meat, fish or chicken. It is a common delicacy hailing from Eastern and Northern Uganda.

Odii – Gnut paste 
  • Akatiko

Akatiko, or the Ugandan Oyster mushrooms, are a type of edible fungi. It is another food almost venerated by the Baganda, who even have the “Obutiko” clan, whose palace duty was to ensure happiness of the Kabaka (king) back in the day. Given the importance of the clan, it is clear to see the importance of the food. The Katiko grows near the ground and so has a lot of soil to it. This requires comprehensive washing, hence soaking in water for about 30-40 minutes. They can then be steamed or added to groundnuts/beans. They make for a good source of Vitamin C.

 Akatiko -Oyster mushrooms
  • Eshabwe

Another dairy product from the skillful Ankole people. Having no English equivalent for name, one can address it as a form of mayonnaise due to its texture, taste and purpose. Eshabwe is made by whisking ghee, warm water and rock salt (ekihonde) to result into a smooth and thick cream. For some people, small pieces of dry meat (omukalo) are added as it has culturally been done for ages. It can be eaten as sauce for Matooke and Millet (akalo) or used as a serving suggestion.

 Eshabwe -A form of mayonnaise
  • Tonto

This traditional brew is one of those drinks still prepared in the traditional method. Also known as “mwenge bigere” due to the stamping procedure with which it is made, Tonto is a product of fermentation of a type of banana called Ndiizi. The bananas are peeled and stored in a container akin to a canoe, covered with dry banana leaves and left to ferment. The stamping is then done and the brew is left to mature in the wood of the canoe, producing an extremely sweet and wood flavoured refreshing drink. Of course it has less potency than most imported alcohol, but too much of it does get you drunk. It is common in the East, Central and Western Uganda.

There are more unique foods, such as Malewa among the Bagishu and Firinda from Tooro. Which ones have you tried that this article may not have mentioned? Drop yours in the comments.