Overview of Turkey
One of the leading tourism destinations in the world, Turkey is a land of contradictions and diversity and effortlessly combines the old and the new. Offering warm and gracious local hospitality and world class cuisine, vibrant cities and important ancient sites, beautiful beaches and stunning landscapes, it’s no wonder the country’s tourism industry is growing rapidly year on year. Straddling two continents Turkey is a meeting of East and West as well as the ancient and the modern. Seen as a bridging nation between Asia and Europe, it also touches Africa and holds a unique position as the historical capital of the Ottoman, Roman, Latin and Byzantine Empires.
An exotic melting pot of different cultures and people, the thriving city of Istanbul boasts a dazzling array of attractions. From beautiful historic palaces and mosques to bustling, vibrant and world famous bazaars, there is something for everyone in this enchanting city. The 2010 European Capital of Culture boasts some of the most famous landmarks in the world, including the world famous Blue Mosque with its wonderfully intricate blue tiling and proud minarets. There are countless mosques and palaces to explore but the 14th century Topkapi Palace with its lush gardens and courtyards is another must-see. The exciting bars and nightlife of the city combine with a renowned restaurant scene, offering all manners of top quality global and traditional cuisine, to offer any visitor a multitude of stimulating nights out. If shopping is your thing you could not be better placed – Istanbul is widely regarded as one of the top shopping cities in the world, whether you are seeking intricately crafted souvenirs, rugs, carpets and jewellery or designer label clothes. Do visit the thriving bazaars, don’t forget the world famous intoxicating spice markets and don’t be afraid to haggle, it’s all part of the fun!
Often initially overlooked due to Turkey’s incredible cities and cultural sites, the beaches and resorts are stunning. If you are looking for a relaxing holiday on a beautiful beach lapped with turquoise waters, Turkey couldn’t be better. The southern areas boast nearly 6 months of summertime and the sandy beaches along the Mediterranean and Aegean coastlines with their sparkling turquoise waters are a must-see for any sun, sand and sea worshippers. From large beaches with countless water sports to secluded coves with turtles and sparkling waters, there is a great variety of beautiful resorts for you to choose from and Bodrum and Antalya are especially popular.
Turkey has a wealth of rich history and culture and the country boasts more archaeological sites than anywhere else in the world. From the WWII sites at Gallipoli (ANZAC Day is a particularly poignant time to visit) to the ancient city of Troy, Turkey has probably more key historical and cultural sites that anywhere in the world. The ancient city of Troy lay undiscovered until the mid 19th century and the Roman site of Ephesus is regarded as one of the best preserved ancient cities in the Mediterranean. The beautiful landscape of Cappadocia is a must see for any visitor, a fairytale setting of underground villages and incredible rock formations that capture the imagination like nowhere else.
In short, Turkey is an intoxicating country full of natural splendours, wonderful people, beautiful scenery and incredible food. We highly recommend it for a truly memorable experience.