Welcome to Somewhere Wonderful

Turkey travel advice – 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 forty years. My books on Turkey, in the main history-rich travelogues, include A Fez of the Heart (1995), Santa: A Life (2004), Meander (2012) and A Coup in Turkey (2021).  For the last several years I’ve been running a small programme of cultural tours in Turkey, both on gulets and land tours, in partnership with Turkish guide and archaeologist Yunus Özdemir.  We go nowhere else on our tours because we recognize that despite all we know of this remarkable country – and we like to think our combined knowledge, be it literary, archaeological, organisational or culinary, is second to none – there remain new discoveries to be made every time we return. 

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.

This website is called Somewhere Wonderful, then, because I’m forever struck by the country’s wealth of wonders.  It serves not only as the platform for our tours but as an ad-free resource for the benefit of those who prefer to travel independently.  Creating and maintaining the site amounts to a labour of love, costing me inordinate amounts of time and money, so anybody keen to help out will find a green donate button at the foot of this and every page.  Please feel welcome to press it as often as  you wish.

The favourite areas, places to stay, beaches, ancient ruins, 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 and tours, starting with our own, and other local guides and fixers we are happy to recommend.

Somewhere Wonderful is not for everybody. It unashamedly sidesteps the industrial tourism which has afflicted parts of Turkey like Hısarönü/Ovacık 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 Labranda 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.   These romantic high-sterned schooners, which offer unique small-group voyages among the heavenly scented coves of south west Turkey’s deeply indented coastline, are at the heart of our tour programme.  We tend to use the same gulet – the wonderful Doruk Reis, captained by its excellent owner Alettin.  

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, and remains entirely ad-free.  Maintaining the site  takes a considerable amount of time and effort, as do research trips to extend the coverage, so I am installing a donate button for those who prepared to make a material gesture of appreciation for the service provided by these pages.  It would also help if you were to remind hotels or operators that you discovered them through Somewhere Wonderful as and when you make a booking; 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…