The Aegean coast of Turkey has replaced European resorts for Russians

Эгейское побережье Турции заменило россиянам европейские курорты

Russian entrepreneurs and representatives of the beau monde have chosen Turkish Bodrum as an alternative to Italian villas. Tourists who used to prefer all-inclusive hotels on the Antalya coast also began to look at resorts on the Aegean Sea.

More and more Russians are trying to fly to Istanbul for a few days at the beginning of their vacation and go to the sea from there. It turns out that the combination of pleasant with useful – and cultural leisure is not to be missed, and enjoy all the delights of a beach holiday.  

You can wander the streets of Istanbul aimlessly. Amazing – at every step. Whether it’s a cat curled up in a flower pot or a street vendor’s show of dondurma – Turkish ice cream. But there are places that it is highly discouraged to leave Istanbul without visiting. And, of course, first of all it is the majestic Hagia Sophia in the famous Sultanahmet district.  For more than a thousand years, the cathedral remained the largest church in the Christian world. In the middle of the 15th century, after the capture of Constantinople by the Ottomans, it was converted into a mosque, and in 1935 it received the status of a museum. It became a mosque again a few years ago. This year, the Turkish authorities decided to make entry for foreigners a fee of 25 euros. But now tourists can get to the second tier and look at almost the entire mosque from above, without interfering with worship services. Without going far away, an inquisitive tourist should look into the interactive museum of the history of Hagia Sophia right on Sultanahmet Square – thanks to the latest technologies, visitors can travel back in time and see with their own eyes how the fate of the cathedral developed.

Эгейское побережье Турции заменило россиянам европейские курорты

Another nearby attraction is the Basilica cistern. The underground reservoir, which has become an art object today, was replenished from a source in the Belgrade Forest and was intended to supply water to the residents of the palace. The statue of the gorgon Medusa, casting a frightening shadow, is especially impressive.

Эгейское побережье Турции заменило россиянам европейские курорты

In the evening, locals and tourists like to stroll along the Galataport embankment. Previously, there were storage rooms, now it is a modern space with restaurants, boutiques and a very beautiful pedestrian area. A special pleasure is to ride along the Bosphorus on a yacht or ferry, which the residents of Istanbul use as public transport.  The water offers stunning views of the Ottoman Imperial Palace and the five-star Chiragan Palace Hotel, located on the European shore of the Bosphorus Strait. The museum hotel is chosen by connoisseurs of oriental surroundings and spacious rooms away from the noisy center, and weddings are often held in the palace.

After spending a few days in crowded Istanbul, many tourists go on vacation to the sea. Tickets for domestic flights can be purchased for only three to four thousand rubles and get to Antalya, Alanya, Izmir, Dalaman in just an hour (and from there go to Fethiye or Marmaris). Recently, Bodrum has become increasingly popular – and among travelers who are ready to spend completely different amounts on vacation.

However, first of all, Bodrum is, of course, luxury villas and no less luxurious yachts. The resort on the shores of the Aegean Sea was chosen by many Russian businessmen who refused European resorts. Hoteliers in the premium segment claim that guests book rooms and entire villas almost a year in advance, some come with their own chefs and nannies.

According to Fuad Babayev, sales manager of the Mandarin Oriental 5* hotel, early booking turned out to be very successful this year, there are no more available villas for the second half of summer. He stressed that Bodrum ranks second after Istanbul in terms of private aviation reception. Of course, there are a lot of guests on yachts. Europeans choose Bodrum in the off-season, and in summer tourists from Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Arab countries most often come. The Lujo Hotel also said that the majority of guests are Russians. Many are attracted, among other things, by the proximity of the famous yacht harbor – Yalikavak Marina.

Эгейское побережье Турции заменило россиянам европейские курорты

If a few years ago cultural life began to boil in Bodrum only in the summer, now it is all year round. It became clear that new art spaces were needed. So, this year the Inspera Cultural Center was opened in Bodrum, where exhibitions, concerts, and performances are held. There is a bookstore, a co-working space, rooms for workshops and lectures. Expositions of Russian artists are planned.

Эгейское побережье Турции заменило россиянам европейские курорты

Today, Bodrum is still associated with premium holidays. At the same time, the Aegean Sea is becoming popular among those who are bored with Antalya all inclusive hotels, which, by the way, can be found in Bodrum today. The proximity of the airport, snow–white low buildings, rich nightlife with street concerts, Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine in restaurants of various levels, up to applicants or already Michelin-starred – all this makes Bodrum an excellent alternative to European resorts.

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