The Republic of Turkey is a Eurasian country connecting both eastern and western cultures. Bridging two continents, Turkey is a place where you can admire Sultan mosques and remnants of pre-European ancient Greek culture. What's more, in Turkey you can experience all four seasons of the year simultaneously. No matter if you’re interested in art, history, archaeology or nature, you’ll remain completely fascinated during your stay in Turkey.
Surrounded by the navy-blue waters of the Black, Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, Turkey has a picturesque 8,000-kilometre coastline. The Aegean and Mediterranean coasts feature Mediterranean weather, with hot summers and mild winters. When travelling to the Black Sea shore, you can expect warm summers, soft winters, and heavy rainfall. Among the popular resorts, there’s Bodrum, Datca, Kusadasi, Marmaris, Antalya and Alanya. On the other hand, Turkey also has extraordinary ski resorts such as Bursa, situated in the north-western part of the country.
Apart from the seaside, there’s plenty of places of natural beauty in Turkey. You shouldn't miss Cappadocia, a rocky area with weird moon-like scenery, wonderful canyons and unusual rock formations. You can find houses and churches situated inside the caves or carved into the rock.
Due to its extensive seaside and strategic location that makes it a neighbour to the entire world, Turkey has been a major centre of culture for centuries. A cradle of European culture, Turkey boasts a rich ancient heritage, comprising places of unique historical value such as Troy, Miletus, Ephesus, Hierapolis-Pamukkale and Izmir (ancient Smyrna). A place certainly not to miss is Bodrum, historically Halicarnassus. There’s a Roman amphitheatre, the Castle of St Peter and the remains of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. It's where the art of winemaking was developed and the first Christian Church was built. Another highlight of Turkey is the town of Trabzon (formerly Trebizon), with the gorgeous Sumela Monastery built directly into the rock.
Istanbul is the largest Turkish city and arguably the most fascinating one. It’s nestled just between the European and Asian sides of Turkey, separated by the Bosphorus. Most people who come to Istanbul go to Sultanahmet, the old town of Istanbul. The home of Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque, Yerebatan, and the Hippodrome, Sultanahmet is also filled with hotels, souvenir shops, restaurants, bars and cafes, as well as a plethora of exceptional museums, mosques, markets and historical sites. Divan Yolu, the main drag, is the heartbeat of the area and there are many tiny back streets and alleyways in which one can discover the history of the old city. The Covered Bazaar near Beyazit University is also on this street.
Ankara, the capital city of Turkey, doesn't match the popularity of Istanbul. However, it’s worth a visit for the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the spiritual father of Turkey. There’s also a range of interesting archaeological sites and several museums, as well. Visiting Ankara, don't forget to taste doner kebap, a dish which originated there and has already conquered a large area of Europe.
However exotic and Asian, Turkey is a developed and democratic country which welcomes visitors from all over the world. So don't feel afraid before your trip, and be prepared to see colourful bazaars, Byzantine mosaics, whirling dervishes and the treasures of sultans. Its natural beauty is abundant, with great strips of sandy beaches and beautiful rocky coves. Visitors will find Turks to be exceptionally hospitable and kind, which isn’t surprising if you keep in mind the country's location at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. In recent years, Turkey has significantly improved its tourist infrastructure, so a visit to this Asian European country has never been so easy and so pleasant!