Bridge between the east and west since times immemorial, the Republic of Turkey is a dream destination for travelers. Surrounded by the Mediterranean, Aegean, and the Black Sea, and blessed with rich cultural diversity, Turkey been home to many civilizations over the years.
The culmination point for the erstwhile silk route, Turkey is imbued with charisma and mysticism. It is bordered by eight countries and spans across two continents (Asia and Europe), and thus is blessed with a sheer diverse landscape. Pristine beaches, rolling hills, ancient architecture, mesmerizing ruins, and bustling bazaars - we are just getting started! Have a look at these 'must-visit' places and plan your itinerary well.
Start your journey with Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey. Once coveted by the emperors, it boasts of being the only transcontinental city that offers engrossing experiences. Time stands still in the prominent landmarks such as the iconic Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Galata Bridge, Hippodrome, Aya Sophya, and Topkapi Palace.
Step into a whimsical fairytale landscape as you arrive in Cappadocia. Formed by volcanic eruptions eons ago, these Fairy Chimneys have been transformed into rock-cut villages, caves, churches, and tunnels. Hop on to a hot air balloon for a bird’s eye view of the golden hue valley speckled with vineyards.
A trip to Turkey is incomplete unless you soak in the pristine waters of Pamukkale. Literally meaning 'Cotton Castle', these travertine pools are revered since the ancient times for their healing properties.
Ankara/ Central Anatolia
Situated in the heart of Central Anatolia is the capital city, Ankara. It is dotted with museums and monuments dedicated to the country’s rich cultural history. Also, check out the region around Ankara, and take the road less travelled. Located a few miles away from the city, you can visit Gordion, the Phrygian archeological site and the small town of Beypazari.
St. Tropez of Turkey
Take a well-deserved break and indulge your body and soul in the pleasures St. Tropez has to offer. It is a collection of several exotic yet inviting cities with azure bays, gardened boulevards, and citrus plantations. Among these cities, Bodrum is a thriving fusion of modern lifestyle and ancient architecture.
Other important places:
• Antalya - Relax in one of the spas; visit the ancient Aspendos theatre.
• Izmir - Also known as Turkey's second city, it is home to several ancient buildings such as the Priene, and Clock Tower. The city is famous for its water sports, festivals, museums, arts, nightlife, seaside restaurant, etc.
• Marmaris - Flanked by sharp mountains descending into bright-blue seas, Marmaris is traveler's heaven. Enjoy mountain-biking, kayaking, wreck diving. Here, you can watch history unfold at the Marmaris Castle.
A typical Turkish holiday is incomplete without scouring local bazaars tucked in almost every city. These are fragrant troves of spices, restaurants, hamams, and goods. The bazaars are also perfect to get a flavour of Turkish hospitality. The citizens are extremely cordial, have infectious energy, and might even invite you over for a cup of tea.
Diverse yet utterly familiar, Turkey has option for every mood and moment. It is hardly surprising that Turkey has attracted several civilizations. Its dynamic cities are a fusion of historical flair and modernism propelled by renaissance. Further, Turkey is famous for its extravagant cuisine. Street food, although tempting and delicious, can make you indisposed. It never harms to be prepared for some unpleasant surprises. Opt for a comprehensive travel insurance plan and get insured against medical emergencies while on your gastronomic journey to Turkey.
So, plan your travel, pack your bags, and Turkiye'ye hos geldiniz! (Welcome to Turkey!)