ANTALYA, October 27, 2005 – Antalya, one of the most beautiful provinces of southern Turkey on the Mediterranean coast, is the best location in the world to witness the magnificent four minute total solar eclipse on March 29, 2006 because of its position on the path of totality and Turkey is rolling out the welcome mat for spectators. A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes in front of the sun, completely blocking its light. The total eclipse is only visible along the path of “totality”: a long narrow strip that covers less than one percent of the earth’s surface with its shadow and most often passes over sea or uninhabited land. Only places within this narrow band, such as Antalya, will experience the eclipse in perfect totality. Moreover Antalya boasts optimal weather for viewing with its temperate climate.
Observatories in Turkey are already preparing. One of the best places to view the event is the Tubitak National Observatory (TUG). The TUG is located less than an hour west of Antalya and offers visitors a spectacular view of the eclipse as well as the option to stay overnight in a guest house or neighboring lodgings. The coincidence of the location of the National Observatory within the totality path offers once-in-a-lifetime viewing opportunity. More information about TUG can be found at www.tug.tubitak.gov.tr. Numerous tour groups have also solidified schedules and are offering stunning sights of the eclipse.
Pacha Tours and Navigatour Travel Agency have designated a number of tours for visitors who wish to experience the total eclipse in conjunction with the culture and heritage of Turkey. Pacha Tours offers six different options traveling throughout Antalya and nearby Cappadocia spanning 10 to 17 days. For a shorter visit, Navigatour Travel Agency offers four tours that last from six to ten days. Costa cruise line also boasts a variety of cruises that will traverse the path of the eclipse. Costa offers guest lectures onboard providing both basic and advanced solar eclipse information to passengers and maintains that the maneuverability of the ship away from clouds on eclipse day will assure a spectacular viewing experience. Information about the Navigatour Travel Agency can be found at www.navigatour.com and information about the Costa cruises can be found at www.costacruise.com.
Turkey, the site of two wonders of the ancient world, is a present-day marvel – the cradle of civilization, the very center of world history and a modern Westward-looking republic. It is a country of fascinating contrasts, where antiquity is juxtaposed with the contemporary, the familiar with the exotic; where sun-swept beaches beckon less than an hour away from snow-capped mountains, and everywhere visitors are treated to the extraordinary warmth of the Turkish people.
For information about travel to Turkey, call 1-877-FOR-TURKEY or contact the Turkish Culture and Tourism Offices in New York at 212-687-2194 or in Washington D.C. at 202-612-6800 or in Los Angeles at 323-937-8066 and visit www.tourismturkey.org or www.kulturturizm.gov.tr.