Turkey may recently have had a hard time of it however it is extremely open for business and always one of the favorite Middle East destinations with its enticing mix of history, culture, scenery and incredible hospitality. Here are key reasons why Turkey should be your next vacation destination.
Turkey is located at the crossroads between Europe and Asia and, having been taken by everyone from the Romans to the Greeks, Ottomans, and Byzantines, its royal history reads like a who’s who of big-Empire hitters. Herein lays the reason for Turkey’s modern-day thawing pot of people, architecture and religion that make it such a thrilling destination for anyone with an iota of interest in culture and history.
The mixture of Asian, European and Middle Eastern influences come together again, this time to create an amazing selection of cuisines. Expect mezze platters full with fresh and seasonal products; delicious kebabs, stews, shawarmas and so a lot more.
Every region in Turkey has unique local specialties: sample wild herbs along the Aegean coast and freshly caught seafood, kebabs aplenty in the centre of the country, while in Istanbul try the striking flavors of Ottoman cooking in broths and rice and red meat-based dishes that were enjoyed by the sultans and their courtiers all through the Ottoman Empire. If you have not filled up too much on your main course, you cannot lose out on trying the wonderfully rich, baklava, sweet dessert, that originates from the Ottoman Empire.
As the single city in the whole world that spans two continents, we could not miss Istanbul off our list of reasons to visit Turkey. This is the city where east meets west that is entirely encapsulated by Hagia Sophia, a building that has been both an Ottoman imperial mosque and a Greek Orthodox Church in its time and is thought to be one of the greatly impressive and significant buildings ever constructed.
Other unmissable sights consist of the Hippodrome, once the heart of Constantinople’s sporting and political life, and the Sultan Blue Mosque, or the Ahmed Mosque so named for the blue tiles that line the interior walls.
The lunar-like landscape of Cappadocia is one of the preferred rural regions in Turkey, spotted with remote caves and underground cities that were stamped out of smooth volcanic shock by antique civilizations, as well as the well-known ‘fairy chimneys’ of Goreme. Head to Uchisar Rock Castle that is the uppermost point in the region, to admire panoramic visions of the valleys of Cappadocia!
The Pontic Mountain series in the north is one more stunning area to visit, in exacting the Monastery of Sumela that is built into the side of the mountain and is a Byzantine monastery decorated with stunning frescoes.
The Aegean Coast is one of the greatest coastlines in the Middle East. We do suggest seeing this stretch of coastline by boat, so either stay aboard a comfort gulet or rent one for the day and travel up and down the coast stopping off in private coves and enjoying the unbelievable snorkeling. Back on the dry land, there are several big coastal walks including Lycian Way that is listed as one of the top ten long-distance walks in the world.
Turkey is an interesting, colorful country with so much to see and do! Plan a trip today and enjoy your vacations in this stunning country.