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10 Reasons to Book Turkey for a Self-Care Vacay

How to relax, restore and rejuvenate in Istanbul and Cappadocia. Read on for our top 10 wellness highlights.

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photo credit: turkey

Step by Step

Istanbul has to be one of the most beautiful cities to explore on foot. And getting in a workout without working out always feels good, doesn’t it? From the Blue Mosque to the underground Basilica Cistern and infamous Grand Bazaar, incredible historical sights abound in Istanbul and everything is best seen on foot. Pack sneakers to walk and wander in comfort as your steps score reaches new heights!

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photo credit: turkish airlines

Arrive in Style

Dining by candlelight instantly soothes the senses, and it even works when your (fold up) table is above the clouds! Gourmet meals, freshly prepared by in-flight chefs, served under a faux glow is just one of the perks of travelling Business Class with the award-winning Turkish Airlines. And all travellers are invited to check out the Fly Good Feel Good service, developed in partnership with Dr. Oz. It offers passengers helpful tips on how to reduce travel-related stressors, such as jet lag, dehydration and circulation. Tune in to these Canadian podcasts during your flight. 

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photo credit: Kiliç Ali Pasa Hamami

Water Works

A Hammam bath is a must-have experience in Turkey. Book in for a visit to Kiliç Ali Pasa Hamami, a beautifully restored 16th century structure, for an ancient ritual guaranteed to make you feel like new again. Learn what to expect during your visit, plus how to recreate the experience at home!

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photo credit: ingrie williams

A Feast for the Eyes

There’s good reason why Neolokal has been named one of the world’s 50 best restaurants: it’s not every day that a meal takes your breath away. Using local and seasonal ingredients, chef Maksut Aşkar puts a fresh spin on traditional Anatolian cuisine with dishes that taste divine and are almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

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photo credit: Çiragan Palace Kempinski

Solid Gold

Once an Ottoman imperial palace, the Çiragan Palace Kempinski hotel offers a stay steeped in modern day luxury. Arrive by yacht along the bustling Bosphorous Sea to kick off opulent living before you even check in. A fave among international royalty and A-list celebs (Oprah loves the Sultan Suite!), the sprawling grounds offer gorgeous views of the waterway, a stunning infinity pool and award-winning gourmet dining. The ultimate indulgence awaits at the spa: book in for the Caprice Gold Massage featuring a blend of sweet almond oil and 24 carat gold particles.

Inspired by opulence? Check out 15 reasons why Dubai is the place for health nuts to vacay.

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ingrie williamsphoto credit: ingrie williams

Wrap Stars

Whether Turkish towels are new to you or you’re already a big fan, a visit to the originating land compels stocking up. Ideal for use at home, at the gym or yoga studio and while traveling, the everyday staple is a game-changer: seriously soft, amazingly absorbent, quick-drying and compact. The popular item can be found where ever souvenirs are sold, but the style savvy should run, not walk, to Jennifer’s Hamam. Founded by a Canadian, Jennifer Gaudet, be prepared to shop a mind-boggling array of plush styles in a rainbow of colours. Treating yo’ self to a custom-made organic cotton bath robe will be one of your best decisions ever.

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photo credit: locally istanbul

Retail Therapy

With a rich history of makers and merchants it’s no surprise that Istanbul offers all kinds of amazing shopping. Connect with a tour operator, such as Locally Istanbul, to maximize your time. In addition to guided excursions of traditional sights, and express admittance to popular destinations, they can offer an insider’s exploration of trendy neighbourhoods and retailers off the beaten path.

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photo credit: ingrie williams

Get a Fresh Perspective

Total awe – that’s the feeling that swells inside when you’re floating over Cappadocia at sunrise in a hot air balloon. While taking in panoramic views of the breathtaking landscape and gliding above the valleys of ‘fairy chimneys’ (conical forms of volcanic ash created by millions of years of erosion), anything seems possible. Located in a region only an hour’s flight from Istanbul, the guides at Travel Atelier can help get you up, up and away. After Turkey, check out this desert country for an incredible wellness vacation.

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photo credit: argos in Cappadocia

A Charmed Life

You’ll feel it as soon as you step onto the cobblestone path: there’s magic afoot at argos in Cappadocia. Seamlessly built into a mountain side, the former ancient monastery has been turned into a unique four-star hotel with wide open views of an otherworldly terrain, presided over by Mount Erciyes. Choose to bask in the uninterrupted landscape from the restaurant patio or private terrace, take to the Pigeon Chimneys for unforgettable sights, or explore the grounds and delight in the natural elements used to curate every nook. You’ll want to soak it all up.

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photo credit: ingrie williams

Snap Happy

Visiting Göreme Open Air Museum is eye-opening in more ways than one. While exploring the series of chapels and churches built in to rock formations that feature impressive architecture and ornate mosaics dating back to the 4th century, you can’t help but bank profile-worthy pics along the way. Historical enlightenment paired with a memorable photo opp is a win-win.

Next, don’t miss the top 20 happiest countries in the world.