Where to go, where to stay, what to do and see in Turkey
My name is Jeremy Seal. I’m an award-winning writer, journalist and tour leader who’s been exploring Turkey for almost thirty years. From Istanbul to the Mediterranean and hinterland Anatolia the country brims with astonishing landscapes, cultures and cuisines, hidden beaches, strikingly courteous people, dramatic walking trails and the richer residue of a fabulous past – ancient temples, remote and beautiful classical cities, rock-hewn Byzantine churches, neolithic ritual sites, Ottoman caravanserais – than perhaps anywhere else on Earth.
Over the years I’ve had numerous approaches from people planning trips to Turkey; this website organises every suggestion and recommendation I’ve made into a coherent whole. The favourite areas, places to stay, beaches, ruin sites, walks and other activities which I describe are designed to ensure memorable and gratifying experiences beyond the concrete resorts. They reflect what I myself seek from Turkish travels, often with a focus on individual, family-run lodgings characterized by heartfelt hospitality, food fresh from the vegetable plot, and a pride in home and hearth. And ruins nearby. And hammocks. They’re often places that internet searches rarely turn up in the on-line jostle of holiday villages and bars, hotels and villa complexes. These personal recommendations are sincere, independent and the result of a lifelong passion for the country.
The coverage is selective to spare you the trawl, with just 12 areas and some 40 places to stay, though deserving new discoveries will be added in due course. The site also lists the best operators, including go-to local guides and fixers, and tours.
Somewhere Wonderful is not for everybody. It unashamedly sidesteps the industrial tourism which has afflicted parts of Turkey like the Bodrum Peninsula and Kuşadası. Its focus lies beyond the resort sprawls in lesser-known areas which have retained their essential enchantment and are rich in ancient sites. Not ones with crowded coach parks and automated entrance turnstiles but remote places like Labraunda where guardian Ali usually invites visitors to join him at his ramshackle cottage among the stones for a glass of black tea.
The website describes distinctively Turkish holiday options like gulets, those romantic high-sterned schooners which offer unique small-group voyages among the heavenly scented coves of south west Turkey’s deeply indented coastline.
Somewhere Wonderful also includes regular blog writings on varied aspects of Turkish travel, history, cuisine, topography and politics. It provides detailed background reading recommendations and a selection from the many articles on Turkey I’ve had published over the years.
Somewhere Wonderful is free of charge to users but funds itself by charging featured hotels and other service providers a commission fee on any bookings originating from this site. If you’re willing to support this arrangement, one which helps fund both the upkeep of the website and future research trips to extend the coverage, then it would help – and I’m tempted to CAPITALISE this – if you were to remind hotels or operators that you discovered them through Somewhere Wonderful as and when you make a booking; I’m afraid you’ll see tiresome reminders to this effect. For more on this, check out the site’s ethical policy. And if you’re unfamiliar with websites, or find some of the features here fiddly, then you should find answers on the Using this Site page.
Somewhere Wonderful’s simple aim is to tell the truth. That way its readers should end up with the Turkish adventure they’ve dreamed of. Rather than with the room or package the hotelier or operator is itching to offload.
Please email me with your comments, suggestions, requests, grumbles, jokes, recipes…