Posts tagged with "tourism"

#LIVELOVELUBBOCK

By Armon Hayes

Let’s face it: we’re all reluctant and concerned to begin traveling again. Nonetheless, the world is doing its part, implementing tactics and precautions to combat the coronavirus during the reopening process. I encourage you to stimulate your mental health; what better way than to consider exploring during a weekend getaway. Take a trip out of town or stay local, depending on your comfort level. I challenge you, especially in times of heightened anxiety and isolation, to welcome new adventure and engagement. 360 Magazine, on behalf of Geiger & Associates traveled to Western Texas to experience all that the city of Lubbock has to offer.

“Everything’s bigger in Texas;” cliche as it sounds, this experience nevertheless made a grand impact. The three-day media tour refocused the lens of the “new normal.” Hopeful yet cautious lodging at Arbor Hotel & Conference Room, hospitality reminiscent of grandma’s house welcomes you with each encounter. Our first time in Texas offered a glimpse of what’s to come from a revitalized city that’s rich in spirit and overflowing with promise. Each day of our travels filled were filled with culture and inspiration: tours through local wineries, fine dining “Texas style,” and an inspiring visit to the cornerstone of the arts district.

Wine

Believe it or not, Texas is the fifth largest wine producing state in the US. Nearly 90% of the wine grapes in Texas are grown from the high plains, surrounding Lubbock. This robust main ingredient has been the means for families and will be for generations to come. For entrepreneurs like Steve Newsom and Tommy English, owners of English Newsom Cellars, their winery was our first stop. I had the pleasure of meeting Steve Newsom for a tour of their efficient facility and occasional event space, all while wine tasting, of course. Easy going and well-versed on the history of wine and business, Steve’s passion for their product controlled from dirt to glass is ideal. Finding ourselves newly indulgent in wine during quarantine and cultivating a palette, during 360’s visit we enjoyed the distinctive Picardan and Roussanne, while a personal favorite was the Cabernet Sauvignon for its woody chocolate notes.

Having undergone a tremendous renovation, Burklee Hill is family owned. The Hill Family is the charming family which owns this vineyard, winery and bistro. Shortly after the pandemic hit, the operation was forced to close, but has since undergone a resurgence. The tasty lunch spread prepared was curated with wine pairings and included a sampler of various aged cheeses and premium cut Italian meats, collaged on a wood slab cutting board. Nestled with nuts and fruits, it made for the perfect Happy hour snack. Rightfully so, Burklee was featured in Texas Wine and Trail magazine. For its trendy and pristine interior, its spot is one to consider for hosting wedding celebrations for its Cathedral stature. As part of the revitalization of downtown, they are reaching new audiences by growing grapes on the Texas High Plains since 2002 on land farmed by the Hill family for five generations.

Like any successful business “focusing on what does well” says Kim McPherson makes entrepreneurship sound simple. Owner of McPherson Cellars, also known for being the historic Coca-Cola bottling plant in the 1930s. Restored, it is located in Lubbock’s depot entertainment district and has been transformed into a world class winery. What started as experimental vine planting in the 1960s, Kim’s father Clint “Doc” McPherson began growing grapes and by 1971 the winery became a reality. Doc was a founder and pioneer of the Texas wine industry, and the family business is respected as such. The cellar blossomed into a small but thriving operation focused on sustainably farmed, expertly crafted, small-batch wines exclusively from the backyard of the Texas High Plains. The renowned James Beard Foundation has twice nominated Kim as a semifinalist in the “Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Producer” category. McPherson Cellars wines have been recognized and awarded in several international wine competitions, as well. During these times, the future is thriving online through e-commerce allowing individuals to purchase on their website. Yet, visit them in person for a lovely patio view and a taste of wine that has won over 600 medals in state, national and international competitions.

Dining

Lubbock is expanding into a dining destination: from Spanish tapas and locally sourced dishes, to the traditional chicken fried streak and Chilton cocktail. A simple cocktail, pure as the West Texas sun, this drink is tart but refreshing. Make it yourself: 1 lemon, 1 1/2 oz Vodka preferably Lubbock’s Pinkerton Vodka. If not, Tito’s will do. Don’t forget the bubbles, Topo Chico or club soda of your choice. Legend has it that a Lubbockite known as Dr. Chilton requested this beverage at the local country club, and thus the staple drink was born. Inspired by the thriving art scene, the transformation of the city with color and creativity has also translated to its dining experiences.

What better breakfast than pies in Texas! Cast Iron Grill will satisfy your sweet tooth with their homemade pies. So good, locals know that they are sold out if they don’t order a pie before noon. Our guilty pleasures were the Cherry Banana split, the Millionaire, and the Texas delight! Satisfying to the sweet tooth, but not overpowering. In this current moment, baking has become an act of joy Clearly, owner Teresa takes after her pies: she is a treat to whomever she meets. An infectious big smile, with charm that will keep you coming back. She’s most proud of the growth of her ministry. Starting with 55 seats, she now has seating for over 200 at a time. She has learned that ministry doesn’t only apply to church. It happens every single day at the CIG, serving comforting pies and meals of the heart.

For a pick me up, look no further than Monomyth Coffee, a friendly and inviting craft coffeeshop. Started by Randell Jackson and his brother in June 2019, the first-time business owners are adapting to a pandemic. On a mission to make people happy, the brothers write quick encouraging notes on coffee cup sleeves for guests. In light of reopening, tables are monitored with marker mats indicating whether they are clean. Locals and the university community share this downtown converted antique shop, a gathering place for all kinds. A bright atmosphere makes it the perfect spot to enjoy a morning brew with cozy seating arrangements. The iced latte w/ almond milk and gluten free peach cookie were the best selections to start a morning on a day full of travel.

For lunch, craving BBQ we visited Evie Mae’s who has been listed as a top 10 best in Texas Monthly. After Arnis, the owner, was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and became Gluten free, it became necessary for them to prepare all of their meals at home to avoid contamination. Ahead of the curve, now all sides at the restaurant are served gluten free. Satisfying with comfort, Evie Mae’s is named after his daughter and started out in Arizona with an electric smoker on the patio. A chef at heart, Arnis took on the challenge of making his take on the reverse-flow to perfect the cooking process. Affectionately called the Black Pearl, it was completed in February 2014. “We want people to like the sauce but not be what they come back for” says Arnis. Holding tightly to the secret, we did learn it consists of three recipes, and the based is coffee. Serving pounds of certified grain feed angus daily, ribs tender to the touch, and smoked sausages, all cuts are prepared in the Central Texas style.

Arts

If you ever find yourself in Lubbock, Texas be sure it’s the first Friday of the month. Why, you ask? Lubbock is home to the first cultural arts district recognized by the state. A trail of fine art galleries and print studios to enjoy, as well as food trucks to complete the experience on these first Fridays. We delighted in exploring the trail despite it not being a First Friday, nonetheless it proved educational and inspiring to unearth a cultural area dedicated to the arts. A creative myself, I found the Charles Adams Studio most intriguing. It is an inclusive environment that is mutually beneficial for working artists, curators, galleries and students. The successful collaboration has led to four live-work studios open monthly, on the first Friday of the month, allowing visitors to connect with individual artists.

While visiting the cultural district, I encourage you to learn about Rock N’ Roll and a pioneer of the genre, Buddy Holly. Lubbock’s native son, there is a tribute center at The Buddy Holly Center which features a chronological exhibition on Holly’s life and music. It features Holly’s Fender Stratocaster guitar, glasses, stage clothes, photographs, letters, tour itineraries and much more. If that wasn’t enough, a documentary film on the life of the entertainer and his impact on the Beatles, the Rolling Stone and worldwide is available for viewing.

Places of Interest:

Buddy Holly statue & West Texas Walk of Fame: Formerly located in front of the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center, it is now located in the park on the northeast corner of 19th and Crickets Avenue, named after the band Buddy played in. Witnessing the bronze statue coming in at 2500 pounds, it is notable for its strong presence and the jubilance it brought when it was unveiled September 5,1980.

Lubbock High School: Where Holly attended from 1952 to 1955 and where he wrote an autobiography near the end of his sophomore year; “I have thought about making a career out of western music if I’m good enough, but will just have to wait and see that turns out”. After graduation in 1955, the school features a small exhibit in the main hallway that includes Buddy memorabilia.

Buddy Holly’s Home in 1957: 1305 37th Street where he and his family were living when “That Will be the Day” became the #1 record in the country. If visiting, simply drive by and please do not impose on those living in the home now.

Lubbock Entertainment / Performance Arts Association is proud to announce that the community vision for the Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts & Science is now becoming a reality. The Buddy Holly Theatre was built to accommodate and become a cultural hub of Lubbock while being the cornerstone of downtown revitalization. Expected to open Nov/Dec 2020, it is meant to become an inclusive event space for all acts of life. Furthermore, it hopes to fuel the economy for years to come. The hard hat tour explored the luxury suites and amenities that will be available but were delayed due to COVID-19.

Art and culture permeate throughout the city of Lubbock. The Public Art Program at Texas Tech University was initiated by the board In 1988. Yes, there’s an app for that, with the intention to enrich the campus environments and extend their educational and artistic mission. The Texas Tech public art collection features over 100 items displayed by some of today’s leading artists. It was named one of the top art collections in the US by the Public Art Review. The Agave Dreams piece in particular resonated with me because of the positioning and the color of choice of the figure; navy blue, kneeling and tending to the earth. Part of the biology building, standing 10ft by 12ft long, Agave Dreams was created by Julian Voss-Andreae in 2015. Completely made of triangles, simple but complex, it encourages us to question our attitude toward nature and web of life. A fulfilling viewing experience to anyone interested in art.

In the heart of Lubbock, Texas you’ll surely be smitten at the unmatched hospitality the “Hub City” provides. A pioneering spirit will certainly have permission to live and love Lubbock.

Rustic and beautiful suite at The Refuge de la Traye

The Refuge de la Traye 

Experience an authentic take on French living at The Refuge de la Traye.

Once COVID cases diminish and we begin to travel safely again, this French oasis should be at the top of your list. In the heart of the ski area of Les Trois Vallées, nestled in a green haven between the lake and the mountain, the Refuge de la Traye offers its guests a mesmerizing experience. With meditative spa services and a stunning natural surroundings, the Refuge de la Traye is a must-see luxury resort for your travels.

The buildings themselves hold plenty of charm and sustainable features. Constructed using local natural materials like stone, old larch wood, and lauze, the Refuge evokes the authentic style of the original 1982 mountain refuge. Also, nestled in a fabulous preserved natural site, the Refuge advocates for an eco-responsible approach through active and preventative actions such as solar panels and electric vehicles.

In terms of what to do beyond enjoying the grounds, the Refuge offers many exciting activities and outings for guests. Skiing trips, dog sled rides, snowshoe hikes, zipline adventures, and hot-air balloon trips are all offered at the Refuge. In addition, the on-site animal pen so visitors can learn about the innerworkings of bee hives or the gentle manner of Valais Backnose sheep.

For those looking for a more mellow stay, guests can enjoy fine dining with both cozy indoor and vast outdoor seating options. Others will enjoy fine wines in the wine cellar or artisan cheeses at the cheese counter, nestled under a stone vault.All in all, Le Refuge de la Traye is the first prestigious mountain refuge present to today with a restaurant, spa, tearoom, wine cellars, gift shop, conference room, chapel, and more. Before dining, guests can enjoy a hay bed, a milk bath, an outdoor Jacuzzi, and other relaxing spa and meditative practices. But, for those who cannot travel to the Refuge now, check out some of our favorite at-home spa treatments.

The Refuge de la Traye can arrange accommodations for events such as weddings, baptisms, seminars, product launches and conferences with a chapel and conference rooms on-site. In terms of dining, guests have many options to dine in style by enjoying a meal in an igloo, a marquis or even a teepee at the Refuge.

From business to leisure, the Refuge offers anything and everything guests could want in a vacation. Enjoy an unforgettable trip at the Refuge de la Traye by going to their website and booking your stay now.

Meditative spa at The Refuge de la Traye Stunning rooftop dining view at The Refuge de la Traye Quaint and charming indoor dining at The Refuge de la Traye Authentic French Mountain lodge designs at The Refuge de la Traye

Travel illustration by Rita Azar for 360 MAGAZINE.

Virginia’s Blue Ridge Vacation At Home

While traveling regulations and personal comfort levels vary, Virginia’s Blue Ridge, VBR, has devised a plan to allow you to travel from the safety of your home. With a new digital campaign, VBR remains a top-of-mind destination through Six Imperfect Substitutions. With Six Imperfect Substitutions, VBR turns some of the region’s popular attractions into easy and fun DIY experience with common household items.  

Shannon Terry, marketing manager at Visit VBR created the campaign. “With my favorite local establishments temporarily closed, I personally started to feel the effects of cabin fever and began brainstorming ways to entertain myself,” said Terry. “What started as a personal joke turned into a light-hearted way to showcase the cool spots in the region that people are missing.” 

The  Six Imperfect Substitutions to experience Virginia’s Blue Ridge from home include: 

  1. Cyclocross Substitute – a fast-paced, off-road bike race including various obstacles and barriers. 
  1. DIY Dixie Caverns – Living rock formation in Salem, VA. 
  1. Makeshift McAfee  – most photographed spot along the Appalachian Trail, a bucket list hike. 
  1. Not Quite Texas Tavern– a 24/7 classic lunch counter and late night eatery that seats 1,000…10 at a time. 
  1. Roaring Run Replacement – waterfall hike near a historic 19th century iron ore furnace. 
  1. Simulated Stiles Falls – stunning 40-ft waterfall hike in Shawsville, VA. 

Check out Six Imperfect Substituations yourself at VisitVBR.com so you and your loved ones can travel and craft without even stepping outside of your home. 

Rita Azar illustrates a story about wine vineyards in Isreal for 360 MAGAZINE.

Israel Tourism × Wine

On August 19, the Israel Wine Producers Association (IWPA) will host “A Sip of Israel in North America” in partnership with the Israel Ministry of Tourism in North America (IMOT) for a virtual wine tour of Israel. Believed to be the first such event of its kind for travel advisers, this virtual tour will illustrate how extensive and deep-rooted winemaking is in Israel.

The tour will feature wines from each region of Israel – Tel Aviv, Galilee, Golan, Jerusalem and the Negev – with commentary from the director of each corresponding region in North America (Western, Midwest, Canada, Northeast and Southern respectively). Each will share highlights of activities and attractions tourists can discover in these regions. In addition, the directors will be joined by the winemaker of each of the five wines as well as host, Joshua Greenstein, Executive Vice President of the IWPA.  

“We have done a number of collaborations with the IWPA on a regional basis, but with webinars and virtual tours on the rise, Josh and I saw an opportunity to do something much bigger,” said Chad Martin, IMOT Director of the Northeast Region. “The Ministry of Tourism has long wanted to get the point across that not only is Israel a wine destination, but with the convenience of Israel’s small size, a wine experience can easily be added to almost any day of touring.” 

To help round out the experience for the travel advisers, IWPA is offering a special wine package so that participants wanting to taste the wines and really have a “A Sip of Israel in North America,” can get the full virtual experience. 

The event is on August 19th and begins at 4:30 p.m. EST, 3:30 p.m. CST, 1:30 p.m. PST, and 9:30 p.m. BST. The five-bottle wine package is $99 with free shipping and is available across the continental US, Canada, and the UK.

To stay up-to-date with future travel to Israel or to plan your trip when the country reopens to international travel, visit https://israel.travel/. To stay inspired, follow IMOT on Facebook,Instagram and Twitter.

Kicking a Soccer Ball illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

CVB Virtual GO 92.0 

The Greater Green Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau has created a virtual race called GO 92.0.  The CVB is inviting outdoor enthusiasts to join this virtual 92.0-mile run, walk or bike challenge that begins September 1, 2020 and ends September 30, 2020. Participants choose how to trek the 92.0 miles, while keeping tabs on progress using a favorite tracker app. For every 9.20 miles completed, participants will earn a virtual “badge” to celebrate their accomplishment. The CVB’s “virtual road team” plans to keep motivating those participating in the GO 92.0 by highlighting fun facts about Green Bay landmarks and tourist attractions.

“Many people have become active in the outdoors. Whether you’re biking a trail, walking your dog or hiking a path to see a waterfall, you’re challenging yourself to get out into nature,” says Toni Jaeckles, CVB Partnerships Director. “This virtual challenge can be done anywhere, whether you are at home or on the road,” she added.

“We’ve even created a version for our youngest athletes. There’s a 9.20 Kids Movement Challenge. We hope everyone in the family will participate,” says Jaeckles.

Proceeds for the virtual event go back to support Green Bay area tourism.

Follow Go 92.0: Facebook

Sun and Cloud illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

IGTO Canada × ACTA

As a proactive initiative to begin the reopening of the international tourism industry and travel abroad – and more importantly to Israel from Canada – on July 21, 2020, the Israel Ministry of Tourism / IGTO Canada signed a corporate partnership with ACTA.  

The Israel Ministry of Tourism was eager to build a stronger collaborative relationship in Canada’s travel industry and with ACTA retail travel agency members and their clients from coast to coast. The ACTA partnership with the Israel Ministry of Tourism will promote education, Israel specialist accreditation and other public relations and sponsorship avenues designed for Canadian companies to learn just how broad  a spectrum Israel niche experiences offer – and the bottom line revenue that can be generated.

Through the agreement, ACTA and Israel Ministry of Tourism will support each other in growth through their mutual commitment to work together in the best interest of the travel agency community.

Gal Hana, Consul for Tourism, Director for Canada – Israel Ministry of Tourism stated: “I am pleased to sign another significant cooperation agreement with a main stakeholder in the Canadian market such as ACTA. With this, Israel continues to increase our investments in the Canadian market as a result of the record tourist numbers of the last three-to-five years and with the Canadian travel industry understanding the potential of Israel. When it comes to responsible tourism, ACTA is a natural and meaningful partner to promote such an important topic within the industry. We cannot wait to open the borders between Israel and Canada and to welcome tourists back into both countries.”

Wendy Paradis, ACTA President stated: “It is fantastic that Israel and ACTA will be working together to educate travel agents across Canada on this very unique and intriguing destination, as well as jointly promoting Israel and the value of working with a professional travel agent when planning for a trip of a lifetime.”

ACTA is a national member-based trade association that represents the retail sector of Canada’s tourism industry. Over 24,000 travel agents across the country work with member travel agencies representing more than 80% of the travel businesses booked through a travel agency in Canada.

ACTA is an industry led, non-profit organization that advocates on behalf of members with governments, regulatory agencies and travel suppliers in the best interests of the retail travel sector and consumers who benefit from the professional services provided by our members.

The Israel Ministry of Tourism (IMOT), is Israel’s national tourism agency responsible for planning and implementing marketing and promotional initiatives to position Israel as a preferred travel destination. IMOT aims to increase tourism traffic to contribute to Israel’s economy, and to enhance and diversify the visiting experience.  IMOT offices in North America are in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago and Toronto.

Uzy Rozenthal Botswana

Botswana eVisa Applications

Travelers to Botswana will soon be able to complete visa applications online and ease their entry into the country with Pangea IT. The new service will be hugely beneficial to travelers as well as reduce the government’s investment of funds, time, paperwork, and manpower allocated for visa applications.

Israel’s Pangea IT, which specializes in digital transformation of government and business services, has been selected by the government of Botswana to integrate its eVisa solution. This will enable visitors to Botswana to obtain a visa online and have a seamless entry upon arrival at all the land and air arrival points in the country.

Online visas are becoming more popular as both governments and travelers are increasingly embracing the digital age. The Covid-19 global health crisis is expected to accelerate the trend, as tourists will be looking at reducing their contacts in their home countries and at the travel destination. In the case of Botswana, this is extremely important since the country has a limited number of diplomatic offices abroad so the eVisa option will make traveling to the popular safari destination easier for visitors from various countries.

Pangea has been active in Botswana since 2003 when the company installed a digital birth and death registration system which is still in operation. In 2010, the Israeli company deployed a computerized immigration and citizenship system (ICS) in Botswana.

“We are in the process of integrating our eVisa solution and expect to have it operational till the end of the year,” said Uzy Rozenthal, Pangea EVP and general manager government division. “eVisa will dramatically speed up the entry process in Botswana and will translate into a substantial savings in both administration costs and time needed without compromising border security.”

Air Travel COVID Glitches

Air Travel COVID Glitches

360 Magazine Culture Editor, Tom Wilmer reports on the numerous glitches in the process of traveling safe in the air.

The day before I checked in for an early morning flight to Austin, Texas via SFO and Houston, United Airlines was advertising their promise to maintain empty middle-seat flights. But something went haywire at United overnight, as two of my three flights to Austin were packed to the gills with most middle seats occupied—it would have been all three flights, but I was upgraded to first on one leg.

When I checked in for my flight, a notice popped up on my phone from United informing me that it would be a fairly full flight and they offered alternative flights as an option. Nice gesture but rerouting would have entailed a delay until the following day to get to my destination—with no guarantee that the alternate flight option would have blocked middle seats.

As of this writing, virtually all airlines proudly tout mandatory mask requirements for all passengers—but while en route onboard my flights, the dutiful masked passengers dropped their face coverings as flight attendants dispensed beverages (water) and cookies. So there I was, mere inches from my seat mate, both of us doing our duty, wearing our masks – but now protecting only our chins, from the evil, invisible germ. And throughout the cabin it was the same, basically mask-less, scene.

Arriving at Austin/Bergstrom’s TSA cattle chutes, Social-Distancing sticker reminders adorned the concrete floor, every six feet…and the queued-up passengers were actually compliant in their attempts to maintain their distance — that is until we were flagged past the TSA ticket/identification checker. As passengers queued up to take shoes off, extract make-up bags, computers etc., they suddenly, randomly squished frantically up to within three or four inches from one another.

Throughout this collapse of proper social distancing, TSA workers ignored the traffic jamb and continued barking out reminders to remove laptops etc., from bags—but zero, zippo, nada, commands were interjected to maintain proper social distancing as the jumbled-up passengers squished toward the x-ray bag tunnel and body scanner.

Transiting through Denver’s DIA Airport, gaggles of Boulderites, and Denverians dutifully and proudly wore their masks. However, salted in to the hord of obedient, transiting passengers were the all-too-frequent mask less rogues with chins held high and chests puffed out proudly.

The reality of traveling by air today is akin to rush hour commuting by automobile. One moment you’re flowing along at a comfortably safe, even clip while maintaining a proper distance between you and the car ahead. A split second later the flow of traffic snarls up and you jamb on the brakes—Traveling by air is much the same, it’s a continual battle to protect yourself and maintain a bubble of safety.

Rita Azar, 360 MAGAZINE, travel, illustration

Japan’s Virtual Tourism

Japan launches dedicated website to keep travelers inspired

While travel restrictions remain, the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) has launched a website dedicated to ensuring travelers can stay inspired by future travels to Japan.

The website is introduced by a wanderlust-inducing video short depicting iconic visuals of Japan: lush forests and intricate temples, tropical southern beaches, snowy ski mountains, and of course, cherry blossoms. The video concludes with a message: “hope lights the way.

On the website, virtual tourists can explore “Traveling Without Leaving Home,” a grouping a resources for virtual, remote travel experiences. These include Zen meditation sessions, vegan cooking classes, and even virtual drinking games with a geisha.

For more wanderlust inspiration – and geographical education – travelers can take in the country’s 47 prefectures through a series of stunning videos. These videos touch on the natural beauty, artistry and traditions of each unique prefecture.

About Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO):

As the official tourism board of Japan, JNTO is involved in a wide range of promotional activities to encourage international travelers to visit Japan. Through a variety of campaigns and initiatives, JNTO focuses on inspiring American travelers to visit Tokyo, Kyoto and beyond.

Follow JNTO: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Rita Azar, 360 MAGAZINE, travel, illustration

Turkey Cittaslows

Turkey’s 18 cittaslows offer solace and adventure to travelers

Around the world, towns with under 50,000 citizens and care about the sustainability and local culture of their area are becoming cittaslows. To become a cittaslow, municipalities must fulfill 200 criteria within the framework of their environment, infrastructure, urban life, agriculture, tourism policies as well as hospitality, awareness, education and social cohesion plans. In Turkey, the number of cittaslow cities has been on the rise, now with the hopes of bringing solace during these new travel regulations. 18 cittaslow cities offer the peace sought by those who wish to refresh their souls during the difficult time the world currently goes through.

As the tourism industry needs new criteria worldwide and travelers seek new forms of vacation, Turkey’s cittaslows stand out as excellent alternatives. From east to west, there are 18 cities across Anatolia that have earned the title cittaslow by fulfilling the Cittaslow criteria. Some are holiday resorts while others are open-air museums or natural wonders, but all these cities provide their visitors who wish to heal and rejuvenate exactly with the peace they are looking for. Most recent entries to Turkey’s cittaslows include Ahlat, which is in southeastern Turkey, Köyceğiz in southwest and Güdül –the first cittaslow of the capital, Ankara. Here are some examples of must-see Turkish cittaslows.

Ahlat

A district of the southeastern province of Bitlis, Ahlat is located on the shore of Van Lake. Ahlat also boasts many ruins from the Seljuk era including the headquarters, state tent and yurt of Sultan Alparslan. With 118 tombstones, large tombs, castles, mosques, bridges, caves and temples, Ahlat is virtually an open-air museum.

Köyceğiz

Situated at the confluence of the Mediterranean and the Aegean and on the northern shore of the Lake Köyceğiz, Köyceğiz, Muğla stands out as a calm settlement with its rich natural beauties surrounded by citrus orchards. The acropolis, famous temples, and Harab and Susan Fortresses are among the most notable historic artifacts in the region. Home to waterfalls and hot springs, Köyceğiz is among the few areas in the world where one can engage in safari, trekking, rafting, and surfing in a single place.

Güdül

Güdül is still home to the traditional crafts handed down from father to son such as roasted chickpea and knife making, bringing these ancient cultures to our times. Standing out with regional dishes such as Kapama (Lamb stew with new onions), Tirit (Boiled minced meat sauce poured on diced stale bread), Höşmerim (Unsalted cheese dessert), and Tarhana (Soup made from dried curd, tomato and flour), Güdül also has a rich history. With its bored caves dating back to the ancient times, the city of Mzinos in Çağa, Sorgun Pond and Güdül houses in the urban protected area, Güdül offers an entirely new destination for travelers.

In addition to Köyceğiz, Muğla and Ahlat, Bitlis, other cities selected as “cittaslow” including Akyaka, Muğla; Eğirdir, Isparta; Gökçeada, Çanakkale; Gerze, Sinop; Göynük, Bolu; Halfeti, Şanlıurfa; Mudurnu, Bolu; Perşembe, Ordu; Şavşat, Artvin; Seferihisar, İzmir; Taraklı, Sakarya; Uzundere, Erzurum; Vize, Kırklareli; Yalvaç, Isparta; Yenipazar, Aydın; and most recently, Güdül, Ankara.

For more about Turkey please visit www.goturkey.com.