Turkey tailor-made holidays
Straddling Europe and Asia, Turkey provides a bridge between cultures and continents. Secular and Westernised, it's still possible to get a flavour of traditional Turkey by stopping for tea at a street market or being scrubbed and massaged in a hamam steam bath.
Istanbul is the exotic hub where East meets West and ancient collides with modern. Formerly called Constantinople, this vibrant, evolving city straddles the Bosphorus and is Turkey's modern face. Yet it is also home to architectural wonders such as Aya Sofia, a cathedral built by the Romans and converted into a mosque by the conquering Ottomans. It features an enormous dome and some stunning Byzantine mosaics. Make sure to also see the Topkapi Palace, admire the minarets of the Blue Mosque and browse the intoxicating Grand Bazaar.
Go in search of archaeological sites and ruins at Ephesus, the best-preserved ancient city in the region, travel to Pergamum to see the Acropolis and Asclepion or watch sunrise over the enormous sculpted heads lying on the mountain top at Nemrut Dagi. Tour the Gallipoli Peninsula to see the poignant Anzac battlefields, trek into the Kackar Mountains to see Sumela monastery clinging to a rockface or explore the ruins of the Ishak Pasa Palace as the sunsets over Mt Ararat.
Elsewhere, Cappadocia has an unusual landscape of surreal rock formations. Capped pinnacles and jutting ravines hide dwellings hewn from the rock and are the remains of a semi-troglodyte population, which can best be appreciated from a hot air balloon. Elsewhere, in East Anatolia, the landscape is a mixture of red ochre plateaux, forests, waterfalls and green pastures whilst the peak of Mount Agri is permanently snow-capped.
The Turquoise Coast is a beautiful stretch of shore; drift along it and explore the archipelago of islands that lie close by on board a gullet or traditional sailing craft. Weigh anchor in secluded bays to explore historic sites or snorkel in clear waters. Ports such as Fethiye are perfect places to pick up a boat. Alternatively, walk sections of the Lycian Way to appreciate the rugged beauty of this region.
At a glance
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Where to go in Turkey
Mediterranean Turkey is a less developed version of the Turquoise Coast. For those who bypass the busy tourist regions of Antalya and Ölüdeniz, this is one of the most unspoilt coastal stretches in Turkey. The sweep of the Taurus Mountains hovers above the sea line, fringed by golden sands.
Giving onto the Mediterranean Sea, the Turquoise Coast takes its name from the stunning hues of its seascapes. Here you will find some of the most idyllic beaches in the world, including the iconic white-sand beaches at Ölüdeniz. This abundance of natural beauty has long established the area as the…
The Black Sea is a spot famous for bathing because of its low salinity, caused by the constant flow of fresh water from rain-swollen rivers and run-off from the region's verdant mountain slopes. This unusually wet weather has helped stem the influx of mass tourism to this region, making this one of…
The Marmara Region marks the joining of Europe and Asia and is home to Istanbul, the only city in the world to span continental boundaries. The most developed region in Turkey, this is the land of the Grand bazaar, where all that is traditionally Turkish comes together in one loud frenetic collisio…
When to go
The climate in Turkey depends on the proximity to the coast. The coastal regions experience mild winters and warm, dry summers, whereas inland temperatures vary wildly, especially towards the eastern end of the country, where winters see heavy snowfall and sub-zero temperatures and summers bring oven-like conditions, with temperatures reaching the mid-40s. The pleasant summer temperatures along the coast attract big holiday crowds. Spring and autumn can be the best seasons for visiting Turkey, when temperatures don't make sightseeing quite so exhausting (or, during periods of heavy snowfall and intense cold, near-impossible) and coastal resorts are a little quieter.
Top itineraries in Turkey
This fascinating city has long been the bridge between Europe and Asia. This short break will see you explore the city in the company of an expert private guide. Highlights include the Blue Mosque, the Basilica Cistern, the food-lovers' district of Beyoglu, and the Grand Bazaar.
This 14-day tour takes you from the shores of the Bosphorus in Istanbul, through the Balkan mountain range in Bulgaria on the Shipka mountain pass, before crossing the Carpathian mountains to Transylvania in Romania.
Enjoy the highest standards of luxury accommodation, cuisine and service as you travel from Istanbul to Venice aboard the Golden Eagle Danube Express, passing through the historic towns and cities, verdant landscapes and sparkling coastline of the Balkans.
Top places to stay in Turkey
Located near the small town of Belek on Turkey's spectacular Mediterranean coast and set between two 18-hole championship golf courses and a nine-hole academy course, the Gloria Golf Resort features a wealth of facilities and activities for adults and kids alike. The resort is around a 30-minute dr…
Located on the northern tip of the beautiful Bodrum Peninsula with views of the Aegean Sea, Hilton Bodrum Turkbuku Resort & Spa offers luxury beachfront accommodation just 22 kilometres from Bodrum's historic marina and the vibrant nightlife of the city centre.
Set high up on a hillside on Turkey's stunning Datça Peninsula where the Mediterranean meets the Aegean Sea, D-Hotel Maris offers exclusive accommodation in one of the most breathtaking locations imaginable. Surrounded by lush pine forests, volcanic mountains and the crystal waters this is a peacef…
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