Turkey is becoming increasingly popular as a tourist destination, but not everyone is convinced…yet. Here we intend to give you a rundown of the very best reasons to holiday in this fascinating country. By the end of it, there is a good chance you will be ready to book your trip.
With a vast coastline there is plenty of opportunity to enjoy fun by the sea in Turkey. Different areas of the country have their own vibes, but this only adds to the charm. Up in the north you can enjoy visiting resorts on the Black Sea, while in the south there is the Aegean and Mediterranean.
These latter regions benefit from sunshine for a large part of the year, with Antalya and Bodrum particularly popular among tourists. Whether you want to get a tan, build a sandcastle or enjoy some watersports, Turkey has the beach for you.
You cannot go anywhere in Turkey without stumbling across a historical monument. In fact the country is home to more archaeological sites than anywhere else in the world. Head to Ephesus where the Temple of Artemis was constructed, the city of Troy – famous for its war, and the stunning cave church of St Peter.
More recent history can also be found throughout the country and especially in Istanbul. Here you will find the likes of the Topkapi and Dolmabahce palaces and the Galata Tower, dating back to 1348.
Turkey is a fascinating mix of different cultures and religions that all add something to the whole. This means that music, dancing and folklore varies throughout the regions, with influences from all over.
This has also led to some amazing architecture on show. Don’t miss the Blue Mosque, named for the colour of the tiles lining the walls inside, and its neighbour the magnificent Aya Sofya. This structure has a huge freestanding down and amazing mosaics depicting figures from Christianity.
There are many places in the world where food is linked to the culture and eaten with gusto, but nowhere quite as much as Turkey. It has taken the best parts from Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines and made them its own.
The most amazing kebabs come from the southeastern part of the country and bear no resemblance to those you eat after a drunken night out. Wonderful assortments of meze are presented to diners prior to a main course and seafood plays a huge role in the food chain in Turkey.
Be sure to try a balik ekmek or fish sandwich while in Istanbul. Fish does not get any fresher than this. Once caught they are grilled right by the water, popped between some bread and served hot to tourists and locals alike.
Another assault on the senses is a walk through the spice bazaar, where mounds of rose and pale yellow cubes of Turkish delight is piled high. Try before you buy and never purchase the packaged stuff as the fresh is far more delicious.
5. Value for money
Turkey is a relatively cheap destination and those converting pounds into Turkish lira will find that they get a good exchange rate. You can end up spending a lot of money if you want to buy expensive rugs and souvenirs, which are tempting, but many everyday items are more reasonable.