Turkey Tourism Turkey Travel, Tour of Turkey Turkey Tour, Holiday in Turkey

Turkey Holiday - Turkey Travel & Tourism

Country and People

Turkey's rich culture, hospitality and beautiful countryside make it one of the top 10 tourist destinations in the world. For centuries, Turkey's unique location has influenced its culture, which it proudly declares is the foundation of its republic.

Astride the continents of Europe and Asia, Turkey's past goes back to pre-historic times. The Hittites, Phrygians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Crusaders, Seljuks, Mongols and the Ottomans have left their imprint on this land that lies between the Black, Aegean and Mediterranean seas, and the culturally diverse countries of Greece, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq and Syria.

Modern Turkey came into being in 1923 when Mustafa Kemal overthrew the Ottoman Empire, and set the reforms rolling. Since then Turkish culture has evolved from one that was based on religion, to one that is modern and progressive. The Turkish identity today is a happy blend of traditional values and the adopted Western culture.

What to do in Turkey

Turkey has something for everyone. On the slopes of the Anatolian and Taurus mountains, you can go mountaineering or skiing when it snows, or take to yachting and deep sea diving on either the Mediterranean, Aegean, Marmara and Black seas.

Not very far from urban centres are almost 40,000 limestone caves across Turkey, and you can explore the amazing karst topography anywhere from close to Ankara to Sinop and Tokat.

Bird watching in Turkey is a national pastime, and you'll find 450 varieties across the country's arid, forest, marshy, grassland, coastal and mountainous regions. Observation towers have been set up at various locations that fall on the route of migratory birds. Turkey's varied topography supports a rich plant life, with the mountains of Anatolia still harboring plants of the ice age

For pilgrims, a religious tour of the numerous mosques across 40 locations in Turkey that date back several centuries can be taken. Or, feel the therapeutic power of the warm waters at any of the 1000 odd thermal springs across Turkey's geothermal belt.

Perhaps the only country which permits hunting, Turkey's animals in the wild include the bear, hook horned samua or mountain goat, wild boar, lynx, jackal and fox in specially designated hunting grounds.

Turkey Tourist Attractions - Places to Visit in Turkey

At the historic city of Istanbul, the Bosphorus Strait separates the European section of the city from the Asian. The various cultural influences have given Istanbul a unique architectural identity, with the oldest monument, the Serpentine Column at the Hippodrome dating back to 479 BC.

The Maiden's Tower represents the Greek influence, built to check the advance of the Persian ships in 408 BC. Constantine erected the Column of Constantine and later the Hippodrome of Constantinople to establish the Roman Empire in 330 AD.

The Hagia Sophia is the oldest representative of Byzantine architecture, and from its origins as a basilica to a mosque, it now houses a museum. Your city tour will include the Topkapi Palace, the seat of the Ottoman Empire. The Blue Mosque or the Sultan Ahmed mosque is another familiar sight in Istanbul facing the Hagia Sophia.

A visit to the Istanbul's Grand Bazaar is a must - supposedly the largest covered market with 4400 shops through 58 streets - you can pick up anything from jewellery to spices, and carpets to glass eye beads!

Ankara, the capital is a modern, largely European city, and conveniently located as a base for traveling to Anatolia, Cappadocia or the Black Sea. For a trip through history, visit any of the 10 museums in the city, but make sure you don't miss out on the Museum of Anatolian Civilisation and the one at the mausoleum of Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey.

Take a day off to visit neighboring Safranbolu, which takes you back to the Ottoman period. For souvenirs and antiques, the little junk shops have much to offer!

The natural wonders of the Cappadocia region in Central Turkey have made it a must-visit destination for tourists. Linked by air and rail from Ankara and Istanbul, Cappadocia's volcanic formations in Gerome and the rock carved churches of Yusuf KoƧ, Ortahane, Durmus Kadir and Bezirhane continue to fascinate tourists.

Antalya on the Mediterranean coast offers picturesque environs, great history, sunny beaches and a pulsating night life.

Best time to visit Turkey

Central Anatolia faces extreme weather in summer and winter, so it's best to plan your trip during March-April and again during September-October. The Black Sea coast is pleasant between April and September, while eastern Turkey is ideally visited between June and September.

Partake of the rich Turkish cuisine while in Turkey, which again, is a fusion of Central Asian, Middle Eastern and Balkan dishes, and quite region-specific. Beyond the baklava, the kebabs and the mezes, Turkish dishes include kashkak, manti and gozleme.

And before you pack your bags, don't forget to pick up Turkey's blue glass eye charms and talismans to keep evil at bay!

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