Istanbul, Turkey

Steeped in history, this European city on the shores of the Bosphorus is the gateway to the East. The skyline is dominated by majestic colourful domes, minarets and markets, including the Grand Bazaar, and provides an exotic backdrop. At night, shoreside restaurants & bars vie for your attention—the vibrant colours and Belly Dancers dancing to the sounds of the distinctive Turkish music.

I can highly recommend the magnificent Ciragan Kempinski Palace Hotel – once the home of the Ottoman Sultans – overlooks the Bosphorus and ancient city, and just 45 minutes from the airport

* Most people cannot speak English so keep a little dictionary handy on your travels

* When bargaining in the covered Bazaar, remember a price tag of ‘100’ can be either euros or dollars.

* A great place to buy textiles and rugs

* Escape the chaotic streets of the city and take a ferry to Princess Island

BODRUM – one of Turkey’s leading seaside resorts – an attractive town with twin harbours. A multitude of yachts and Gulet boats provide the opportunity to go on day trips to nearby islands, beaches and seaside restaurants. Watersports, horse riding and a wide variety of excursions are on offer, including a jeep safari to the mountains. The Kempinski Barbaros Bay – a chic hotel, on the cliff top overlooks the beautiful, crystal clear Aegean Sea. This is a quality hotel in a quiet location about 14 kms from the vibrant town of Bodrum, and one which I could recommend.

Travel Stop can give you guidance on the huge variety of activities and interesting places to visit in each of these locations as they are too numerous to list here.