Istanbul's Blue Mosque provides a dramatic backdrop for a pleasant cafe.

Istanbul's Blue Mosque provides a dramatic backdrop for a pleasant cafe. (Stars and Stripes file photo)

Turkey for Christmas?Spend Christmas exploring the major sights of Turkey on a Dec. 18-28 tour organized by Meyer Travel Group. The tour begins in Istanbul and includes guided visits to Topkapi Palace, the Basilica Cistern, St. Sophia church, the Blue Mosque and Hippodrome, with plenty of time to visit the Grand Bazaar.

It goes next to Izmir and the House of the Virgin Mary, the Greco-Roman cities of Ephesus (with the newly opened terrace houses) and Pergamum and the Konak, the city’s bazaar. Finally, in Cappadocia, you see the region’s haunting landscape with its erosion-formed “fairy chimneys,” cave dwellings in Cavusin, Pasabaglari and Zelve and the pottery town of Avanos.

The cost is $1,675 per person, double occupancy, and includes round-trip flight from Frankfurt, Germany, 10 nights in four- and five-star hotels, breakfasts, guided tour and entrance fees to all sites on the itinerary, bus transportation and services of a guide.

For more information, contact Katie Meyer in the States at (916) 786-3708 or send an e-mail to The company’s website is

B&Bs in ParisFor those who would like to feel at home in Paris, Alcôve and Agapes arranges bed-and-breakfast accommodation in guest bedrooms, guest houses and guest apartments.

The company was founded by Françoise Foret, who returned from travels in Scotland with the bed-and-breakfast concept. Her website allows visitors to find high-quality home stays in Paris according not only to type of lodging but also location and hosts’ profiles. Details include spoken languages (English included), family and interests. Several hosts offer other services such as evening meals, wine tasting and French conversation.

Types of accommodation include basic B&B bedrooms, rooms with a view, houses with gardens or terraces, unhosted studios and apartments. Prices start at 60 euros for a single and 87 euros for a double. For details, see

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