Turkey scores big on all fronts, be it the legendary history, spectacular scenery or lip-smacking food. A trip to Turkey is a voyage of discovery where the intermingling of cultures through the ages serves up a delectable treat for the eyes and the soul.
Turkey straddles two continents, Asia and Europe, and so there is often confusion as to where it belongs. Although the European portion of Turkey known as Thrace makes up hardly 3% of the area, over 10% of Turkey’s population lives here. It’s quite a novelty to be able to flit between two continents on a ferry from Thrace’s largest city, Istanbul.
Istanbul is a beautiful amalgamation of cultures between the East and West. Its strategic location on the Silk Road saw many merchants from different parts of the world pass through its lands. Some were so enamored by the city that they extended their visits to gradually become permanent residents of the land, thus adding to the diverse culture.
Turkey’s cities which are bursting with minarets and history are worth every moment of your time. From the mausoleum of Ataturk in the capital Ankara, the Old Bazaars of Antalya, and the third capital of the Ottoman Empire, Edirne, there’s a lot about Turkey’s cities that will astound. It’s not just the cities though, Turkey also abounds in scenic villages eager to extend their hospitality.
Turkey has some iconic landmarks that leave deep impressions on the visitor such as the ‘fairy chimney’ rock formations of Cappadocia, the lyrical hot springs of Pamukkale and the UNESCO listed Ephesus. Turkey’s Asian half known as Anatolia is where you’ll come across some of the country’s heart-stopping wonders. Mount Ararat, Turkey’s highest point is located here and so is the wondrous stretch of Patara beach. This uncrowded stretch which extends for 17kms is a haven as few crowds converge on this stretch of the Mediterranean. The area near Patara is also said to be the birthplace of Saint Nicholas, Santa Claus.
There are plenty of activities to keep you entertained and occupied in Turkey, from kayaking over sunken ruins, traditional gület cruises on the Aegean or Mediterranean Seas and canyoning in mountain gorges. However, if being adventurous is not your glass of ‘cay,’ then just sit back and indulge in the culinary delights that Turkey has to offer.