A memory popped up on my phone from 4 years ago today along with a photo album. It was of my partner Darryl and myself on our first holiday together in Olu Deniz, Turkey. We had the most amazing time, so these pictures always make me smile. We loved the beautiful Blue Lagoon, all the little bars and restaurants, the stunning scenery and friendly locals and this truly is one of my favourite places in the world. We found trips to be very reasonable and went on a couple of small boat trips, visited Dalyan and tried out the mud baths and Darryl even went paragliding. It made me sad when all of the political unrest and terror threats had an impact soon after we were there on tourism in Turkey, not just as we didn’t feel comfortable going back there but mainly for the hard-working locals who were losing what for many of them is their biggest source of income!
Many direct flights were cancelled, and cruising itineraries diverted with ports such as Kusadasi being replaced by destinations such as Sarande in Albania or Greek islands on passengers’ itineraries. It is good to see that this year many tourists are heading back to Turkey. One of my colleagues had an amazing time with her family In Marmaris and reported that tourism really is booming there again. I am starting to see Kusadasi slowly coming back onto cruising itineraries for next year with Oceania Riviera, Royal Caribbean’s Vision and Jewel of the Seas, Regent Seven Seas voyager and Azamara Pursuit taking their customers to Kusadasi next year which many passengers use as the gateway to Ephesus.
My opinion on perceived threats are that terror attacks can happen anywhere and unless there is a proven higher risk then I would be very happy to visit places which have been off the map for the past few years. How do you feel about visiting Turkey? Excited to visit or still apprehensive about possible threats?