Bengalureans flock to Turkey for cultural experiences and pleasant spring weather

This summer, B’lureans are looking for off-beat travel destinations offering a blend of heritage, art and architecture
Bengalureans flock to Turkey for cultural experiences and pleasant spring weather

BENGALURU : This summer, Anjan Mahapatra wanted to explore something beyond Europe, a place that would fulfill his desire to explore culture. Pleasant weather and scenic views were a must, too, to transport him away from the mundanity of the daily routine. With all these specifications, he finally zeroed-in on Turkey. “We were researching about which country to visit; we wanted the European experience and the cultural side as well. Partly in Asia and partly in Europe, Turkey was a perfect mix of both. We figured we would experience the influences of the Arab world and get a glimpse of European heritage,” says Mahapatra.

Just like Mahapatra, many Bengalureans are considering Turkey as the go-to travel destination this year. Kamini Kannan, a travel consultant points to its pleasant weather. “Turkey summers are really hot. But during Indian summer, it is still spring there. This time, Bengaluru was unusually hot, so people were looking for getaways, which were not too far away,” says Kannan, adding that April, May and June are the best times to visit Turkey. “Some of the coastal places give a feeling of Greece and Italy, albeit, in a more budgeted manner,” she says.

Bengaluru-based Zohara Jamal stopped by at one such place, Alacati, during her visit. “It’s a small coastal place which is like the Santorini of Turkey. It’s a hidden gem. Cobbled streets, old stone houses, and some cultural wine-making experiences were all packed in,” says Jamal. But apart from the touristy Istanbul, Blue Mosque, a hot-air balloon experience in Cappadocia, she also recommends some workshops. “I went for a perfume-making workshop with my children, which was a great way to learn something new. I also attended a session to understand the Turkish style of marble painting, Ebru. So there are a lot of off-beat activities that can be included,” says Jamal. Although the prices of these workshops vary, Jamal paid 50 Euros (`4,500) for the perfume workshop where she got to keep the 30 ml sample they created, and 45 Euro (`4,000 approx.) for the marble-painting workshop.

While many might consider Turkey to be a cost-effective travel destination, Swarna Nagraj, who visited recently with her husband, says, the food can be costly. “If you are looking for a cafe-like experience, the prices could be on par with European standards,” says Nagaraj.

If you are looking for something besides Turkey, then Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, is equally popular. Vidya Shree M, an avid traveller and a travel curator says, one of the main reasons is unlike any European country, a Schengen visa is not required. “You need an e-visa, which is not very difficult to get. Stay and travel are quite reasonable,” says Vidya, adding the best time to travel to Baku is between April and October.

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