If Saint Swithin was right this year we’re set for another 40 days of rain, and that camping trip in Devon you were thinking of booking might seem less appealing than jetting off somewhere hot and sunny. Checking out some late holiday deals could be the key to your escape, and is also a great way to snap up a last minute bargain.
So the question really is, where do you fancy? If you’re chasing the sun you’re certain to find it in Turkey, as well as a lot more too. History buffs will definitely want to head to Ephesus on the west coast, the ancient Greek and Roman city which houses one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Temple of Artemis. Here St. Paul was said to have preached to the pagans, and the site is also associated with the Virgin Mary. Do remember to take a hat as sunstroke has claimed many unsuspecting tourists wandering around the ruins with the midday sun beating above them.
Istanbul is home to the Grand Bazaar, a huge covered market where you can easily spend a day haggling, breaking in-between for refreshment at the cafés and restaurants there. The 5000 shops selling jewellery, antiques, carpets and spices means there’s really no excuse not to bring your friends back a souvenir even though you might be tempted to keep it all yourself…
After a hard day of bargaining, a Turkish bath is a great way to kick back and relax…ish… The best thing to do here is watch how the locals do it – first getting really hot in the sauna, splashing down with cold water, and then receiving a massage. These masseuses do not mess around; you are stretched and scrubbed clean and may be surprised at the amount of dirt coming off you!
Noah’s Ark is said to have found its resting place on the top of Mount Ararat, the enormous snow-capped inactive volcano in Eastern Turkey. The most adventurous among you will be rewarded for your trek up to the top by the breathtaking views that await you there. If beach views are more your thing Turkey has its pick of resorts, some better known than others. The port city of Bodrum is touristy but not without its charm; it is worth the trip to the long and sandy Camel Beach where you can have a ride on a camel if the urge should take you, and the Castle of St. Peter which stands out in the harbour and dominates the city includes an underwater archaeology museum and is a fantastic archaeological site in itself. The children who visit the Castle like to make friends with the many peacocks roaming the grounds there although the peacocks themselves are less than impressed.
If Turkey does sound like the place for you, remember to watch out for the belly dancers who sometimes perform in the shops at airports before you head back home. You can quickly find yourself centre stage when all you went in for was a bottle of Raki.