Nearly two millennia ago, Plancia Magna blazed a trail by making an impressive impact on the city of Perge despite the usual passive role of women at that time. She was born into a wealthy, powerful family, but instead of leading the easy life of the elite, she used her privilege to benefit her city. Her courage, independence and strength of character was celebrated long after her time, and inspired women through the ages to seek influential roles in society. Your National Geographic-trained guide will reveal the ancient city of Perge with a focus on the life and legacy of Plancia Magna, an inspirational figure even today. Perhaps Plancia was a source of inspiration for Hatice Adıgüzel, whose workshop you will visit next. Discover the skills and artistry involved in creating lamps and garden ornaments from gourds, and learn from Hatice herself what sets her business apart - her leadership in a male-dominated workforce and her commitment to empowering local women. During a hands-on workshop, you will have the opportunity to create your own small decorative gourd and learn more about both the craft and Hatice's contributions to the local women's community. She pays her success forward by employing local women to decorate the gourds from their own homes and provides them with seeds to help grow the gourds for the business. This helps women who are unable to work in regular employment due to childcare commitments or similar restrictions by giving them a convenient way to earn.
The foothills of the Taurus mountains have been a region of travel and trade for millennia. On this tour, get a flavour of the ancient traditions still alive in the region, and visit a Yörük family to experience their nomadic lifestyle in close-up. First, see the unusual Seljuk bridge at Aspendos, whose fascinating story is represented by its zigzag formation. A bridge has spanned this section of the Köprüçay river since around the 4th century, and your guide will explain its significance. Another sign that this region has a long history of comings and goings is the 13th century Kargıhan caravanserai, with most of its original layout still in good condition. Strolling through the ancient inn's bedrooms, guardian's quarters, bathhouse and prayer hall with your guide you'll get a sense of times gone by and all the thousands of people who passed through here for a rest and refuel on their travels. Yörük people have been following the rhythms of their nomadic lifestyle for centuries. Each spring, they move their camps and flocks from the mild coastal plains to the summer pastures in the mountains. Meet a Yörük family to understand more about their low-impact lifestyle and their humble tented homes knitted with wool from their own animals. You'll also have time to explore the pretty Ottoman village of Ormana, known for its ingenious 'button houses' - built only with stone and timber. On the return journey, you will hopefully catch a glimpse of the famous wild horses of the area.
Ancient Side has hardly changed since its days as a getaway for legendary lovers Antony and Cleopatra. Uncover one of southern Turkey's best-kept secrets with this tour. You'll get to snap photos by the Temple of Apollo, discover the huge Roman theatre and explore modern Side, too. As Muzaffer, one of our guides, says, ‘You'll walk all over history. On the way to the Temple of Apollo, there are glass walkways over ancient Roman streets.'Side's location on a compact little headland is as romantic as it gets. Our expert local guide will give you the lowdown on the long history of this once-busy Roman port. You'll see the marketplace where slaves were traded, the Byzantine hospital and the Vespasian Gate. The ancient theatre, which is still used today, is a sight to behold – it seated up to 20,000 spectators. While the former bathhouse is now a museum with a small but impressive collection of artefacts dug up here.But one of the most-photographed spots is the Temple of Apollo. Legend says that this second-century seafront shrine was a gift from Antony to Cleopatra. And just beside it is the Temple of Athena – zoom in on the frieze of Medusa heads. Once you've explored the ruins, there'll be free time in modern Side to buy a sizzling kebab at one of the street stalls, or haggle for bargains in the backstreet bazaars. What's more, for your convenience, this is a small group tour to help you follow the guide better and avoid agglomerations.
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An experience in the Anatolian wilds awaits with a day of canyoning, swimming, diving, jumping and enjoying the best of nature in the Taurus Mountains. You'll head deep into the countryside to Ahmetler Canyon for an action-packed adventure.
The star attractions of this full day excursion are orange orchards, shopping and a beautiful, wild canyon. You'll pick oranges from the tree, enjoy a canyon boat trip and stop for a swim at Oymapinar Dam Lake. Narin, one of our expert local guides, says, ‘Oymapinar Dam Lake is one of the largest reservoirs in Turkey, covering an area of approximately 19 square kilometres. The lake is fed by the Manavgat River, which flows south from the Taurus Mountains and eventually empties into the Mediterranean Sea at Side.' Your morning starts with a quick visit to a fruit garden for some freshly squeezed orange juice. Pick the fruit from the orange groves and drink the juice moments later. We'll then call in for a spot of shopping at Dickman Textile Centre. If fashion is your thing, then you're in luck as you can enjoy a stress-free browse for clothing and accessories without the hassle of pushy salespeople. Next, we'll head for a riverside restaurant to enjoy a freshly prepared lunch made with locally sourced ingredients. After lunch it's all aboard, ready for a cruise down the canyon waterway. Spectacularly rugged rock formations tower around you and the river, in shades of turquoise and green, snakes away into the distance. It's a tranquil slice of Turkish natural beauty and the colour of the water is spellbinding. You'll cruise the canyon, admiring the views, before the boat slows - you'll be able to swim in these wild surroundings once the boat reaches the Oymapinar Lake.
This excursion combines history with relaxation. Kick off with a guided tour of ancient Side – its classical links include none other than Alexander the Great. See the ruins of Vespasian Gate, Temple of Apollo and the theatre. Located on the shores of the Mediterranean, its location is one of the prettiest among Turkey's archaeological sites. Bring your swimwear and a towel and get ready to live the life on board the yacht. Your captain will drop anchor from time to time so that you can take a dip in the water. Lunch will be served on board and all locally branded drinks are included.
For a taste of the high life Turkish style, it's hard to beat this blockbuster evening excursion. It's a greatest hits of Alanya's best bits. A cable car ride to Alanya Castle to catch the sunset, a dinner of regional dishes and a bit of off-roading are all on the menu tonight.
This relaxing boat trip serves-up all the little luxuries that make being on holiday so special. Set sail from Side aboard this adults-only cruise for a day of sun, sea and snoozing. What's more, there's an open bar stocked with local drinks, lunch, and plenty of chances to refresh yourself with a swim in the open water.
This summer tour takes you to Pamukkale, which means ‘cotton castle' in Turkish – and you'll see why as soon as you set eyes upon its magical landscape. Heading deep into the Anatolian countryside, you'll also visit Hierapolis, Lake Salda and Cleopatra's Pool.
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It's not just pristine beaches and azure waters that make Alanya so special. The city is packed with historic monuments and natural attractions. You'll tour Alanya Castle by foot and boat, delve into the depths of Dim Cave and have lunch on the banks of the River Dim.
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