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Antalya & Olimpos - Safe for single woman traveler?

Hi!

I already read the safety question about Istanbul below, which is where I'll start my trip... I'm curious also how safe it is to travel as a 32 year old singe woman down to Antalya and the Olimpos region? I plan on seeing the natural sights mostly down there and staying in semi-remote accommodations. I live in the US and speak fluent English, but am actually German and speak that as well. My total trip will be about 10 days at the end of August. Any warnings/advice?

Thanks!
Antje

Posted by
34 posts

Its a big old world with tons of natural and cultural wonders so I just don’t understand why people want to go places that demonstratably aren’t really safe. I don’t mean from terrorist attacks or touts either. As an American and a woman there’s no way I would travel in Turkey alone. You didn’t say what passport you hold but the US has been on exceptionally bad terms with Turkey. It’s probably safer flying down and staying in the coastal Antalya region. It sounds like you already are going though so all I can say is have fun but be extra cautious.

Posted by
5184 posts

As an American and a woman there’s no way I would travel in Turkey
alone.

I did. Three times, including two weeks plus in Istanbul alone. And I really enjoyed myself too.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you for your honest response, Tracy.
I have a German passport and speak German fluently, so I can definitely pass for non-American. Have you visited Turkey before?

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks Agnes,
When was the last time you were there? Did the three trips vary significantly in terms of how you were welcomed?
Also what areas did you visit?
Thanks!

Posted by
5184 posts

I was last there in 2015 on a layover in Istanbul before and after I flew to Malta. I spent each of the two days in Istanbul, with one day in a total local neighborhood with no tourists that I could see (it was not far from the airport). I was also there in 2015 - one trip was a Rick Steves tour of the southwest coastline (I spent a few days on my own in Istanbul beforehand) and the other was a two week plus solo trip to Istanbul (and Princes Islands). The only aspect on the last trip that was different were some kids that we hogging up each transit machine to "help" poor tourists to buy tickets. I don't know if they were Turks or Syrian kids (Turkey has had an influx of Syrian refugees and I wouldn't be surprised if they're trying to make money in whatever way they can since they're second class citizens in a foreign country). They were aggressive and I had to literally push one of their arms away. I've gotten comfortable doing that kind of thing though if someone gets into my space and obviously for no good reason. Like I said before though, the touts are probably the biggest nuisance and they will follow you. Small kinds will do that too if you're in a conservative area. There is a chance you'll feel uncomfortable because it is different culturally and you will stand out but, for me, the benefits of being there outweighed anything else. I have not been to Antalya but I'm sure it will have a totally different feel than Istanbul, much more laid back like Bodrum (which I have been to).

Posted by
15889 posts

It was in 1996 that I traveled around the western Turkish tourist trail alone. My later visits were with Rick Steves Tour groups. I'd go again in a heartbeat. In addition to touts, you can expect Romeos, maybe one and the same person, and just have to decide your own level of interest. They don't have a reputation for violence.

Posted by
79 posts

I traveled around Turkey alone for about a month, though it was in 2000. I found it to be fine, no more nerve wracking than any other place, but I had been there before with friends, so there was a certain level of comfort for me. In general, I dressed a bit modestly ( I usually wear skirts anyway) and was mindful of my surroundings. I met tons of people who were willing to help me on my way. Once, I was taking the bus from Seljuk and the man who worked at the bus station got on the bus, talked to the driver about where I should get off, found a woman on the bus who spoke English, and made sure I was sitting next to her. So kind! I was followed by a strange guy one time who was making me nervous, so I spoke to a police officer I passed, who then made sure to not only make the man leave, but then walked me to my destination. I made an effort to connect to other women and families when I had the chance, even if it was just chatting with my landlady or letting little kids practice their english with me. It made me more comfortable and they would often look out for me a bit, giving me travel advice or telling me about places to eat or what areas to avoid. I had an amazing time, and you will too.

Posted by
34 posts

Hi
Yes I have been there, in 2015 and there was MUCH I loved about being there, it’s a long list of what was wonderful. I did have one weird personal experience in our 10 days there but that could happen anywhere I suppose (though it did happen there) and it was interesting in a very sad way, being there when the first bombing happened in Ankara. Istanbul came to a shocked standstill. I didn’t feel threatened by that, it was far away, but the police state which has strengthened in the intervening years, combined with the terms the US is on with Turkey, THAT has me advising my friends and people that ask me, to postpone a visit.
While there in 2015, there was a build up to a sham election, combined with a nationalistic fervor that I found frightening.
I hope to go again someday, at 56 with MS it’s hard to say if i will feel comfortable enough and get the chance to travel to Cappadocia and greater Turkey. I wonder if things will get better before I’m too decrepit!. I hope so!
Nearly 100 years of hard fought for democracy has been undone there in just a few short years.
Regardless of anyone’s politics there is a reality happening over there. It’s front page news today about the impact of increased punitive actions and the sharp decline of the Turkish Lira caused by US sanctions, the impact of that could be far reaching.
As travelers we have to make as smart of an educated decision that we can about where we go and how we behave once there, then let fate take its course or however you look at it. I’m all for it!
I take exception occasionally to the notion that we should all “just go no matter what and don’t let anything stop you” attitude espoused by some well intentioned people in forums for situations like those in Turkey right now. Up until about a year ago I still would have returned to Istanbul.
I refer people to an episode of Anthony Bordains old show when he and his crew got trapped in Beirut in 2006, for an idea of what can happen when pushing the envelope in travel. I don’t mean to STOP anyone from venturing forth in this big old world. I think it’s silly for people to be afraid of traveling to Paris. That’s just my opinion.
I’m traveling to Central Europe in 3 weeks for a month and I’m planning two other itineraries to Montenegro, Albania and Georgia and another to Israel, Palestine and Jordan over the next 18 months so I’m not exactly a shy traveler. I consider those places to be safe enough for me to venture to.
The truth is though that if you have your heart set on going on and are going anyway then you will probably have a great time and be perfectly safe. I wish you the very best.

Posted by
100 posts

I have been to Turkey 4 times, beginning with the RS Village Turkey Tour in 2010 (Mert) and the Best of Turkey in 2013 (Taylan). I have never felt unsafe. I walked over much of Istanbul, Bodrum and Foca. The Turkish people are a delight and welcome the opportunity to offer visitors tea.
Yes, I have been harassed by Turkish rug merchants, but also consider a rug merchant in Istanbul's Arasta Bazaar to be a dear friend. I take taxis when recommended (to Chora Church by myself) and do not walk the Old City Walls because I don't need a sprained ankle while touring.
I once woke up on a Sunday and decided to go to Mass on Istiklar (sp) Street and was able to get there on my own using the trams, the subway and suggestions on how best to get there. I was once on a tram , looking at a map, when a voice speaking English told me to get off at the next stop, the next stop was the last stop.
Front desk people at my hotels have recommended the best way to see a belly dance show, which Hamman will give me the best massage and where to go for lunch.
Ignore the politics. Fly Turkish Air if you are able. The food is really good.
Pam from Bath