Terrific Holidays to Turkey
With cities that simmer with unstoppable, abounding energy, communities that exude historical pride and cuisine that explodes with flavour, all cradled by panoramic sweeps of stunningly dramatic scenery, Turkey is truly a traveller’s dream. Immerse yourself in one of planet Earth’s most vibrant, diverse lands and discover what makes this glorious country tick.
Whether you seek the sun-kissed luxury of Turkey’s dazzling coastline, Istanbul’s splash of colour, or the rolling hills and mountains of the country’s rural landscapes, Turkey holidays will not disappoint. Discover a culture that simmers with life and delights at every turn – it won’t be long before you are swept along for the ride.
White sandy beaches, atmospheric cities and tasty cuisine are amongst some of most loved things to do in Turkey, but many visitors come to see its striking architectural sites. From the ancient ruins of Ephesus, to Bodrum Castle and the Aspendos Theatre, this country is scattered with traces of magical times gone by. The skyline of bustling Istanbul is filled with gleaming domes and slender minarets, while the Antalya Coast boasts golden sands as far as the eye can see. Inland you will find landscapes winding amid gems such as the Nemrut Mountains and the mysterious Cappadocia, all waiting to make your holiday to Turkey a memorable one.
Wine and Dine
Rich and alluring, Turkey’s cuisine is influenced by its colourful history, with Asian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Balkan flavours all found within its food. The Black Sea region is the perfect place to try some fresh seafood, while the Mediterranean and Aegean region typically offer colourful Mediterranean inspired dishes.
For fresh fish in Istanbul take a seat along the harbour, where moored boats barbecue mackerel and serve it between warm bread. Seafood is served with stunning vistas just outside the town of Egirdir, where a scattering of restaurants sits on a small island at the end of a causeway, and one of the best gastronomical Turkey attractions.
Action and Adventure
From snorkelling in the Mediterranean to trekking across the mountains, there are plenty of adventurous things to do in Turkey. Along its lengthy coastline you can enjoy endless water sports, boat trips and hiking, or you can delve deep into the sea to explore underwater caves and shipwrecks with some scuba diving. The Dalman River and the Rize Firtina River both provide a great setting for whitewater rafting, water skiing and canoeing, while the snow-capped Rize Kacker Mountain and the Agri-Mount Ararat are perfect for winter sports and climbing.
If you’re looking for a thrill, take to the skies with some of Turkey’s air sports. Balloon rides, parachuting and paragliding all offer an adrenaline injection and some unforgettable views.
Turkey’s mysterious ambience lends itself well to holidays filled with romance. Find love on an Istanbul city break, the waterside city that boasts historical highlights and bold architecture, and head to its Beyoglu district for magical rooftop dining. Islamlar twists across elegant corners amid olive groves, streams and villas, providing the perfect setting for lazy days and laid-back evenings.
Find an injection of style in the fashionable Alacati, where boutique hotels promise pampered stays and gourmet restaurants offer romantic meals. Stroll along cobbled streets in Safranbolu, where Ottoman buildings hide the Cinci Hamami Turkish bath; perfect for some pampering for two. You’ll certainly find some peace in Cappadocia, a craggy landscape where towns have thrived underground, seeing churches, hammams and even wineries built within the local caves. If you fancy the sights of the city but in quiet surrounds, Kaleici sits above Antalya, with views across the harbour.
With such a rich history, Turkey is brimming with culture. Its countless antique cities provide whispers of the past amid impressive crumbling ruins. Don’t miss Halicarnassus and its 5000 years of history, or Termessos, which sits perched on a hillside and boasts magical views across the Taurus Mountains. The ancient Lycian Rock Tombs are carved spectacularly within a mountain side, built so angels could easily reach those that were buried there. In Istanbul you can join the likes of Tony Curtis and Florence Nightingale in experiencing some relaxation in one of the oldest Turkish baths in the world at Cagaloglu hammam. Follow this with an evening visit to the Blue Mosque, the perfect time to avoid the day-tripping crowds and see the beautiful building lit up.
Turkey’s cities are filled with interesting museums, which range from open air ruins, to archaeological exhibits. Some of the more unusual highlights include the Hair Museum in Avanos and the Cappadocia Cave Museum Hotel, both top things to do in Turkey.
Festivals and Parties
Many festivals top the list of must see Turkey attractions, and they range from the popular religious celebrations such as Ramadan and Kadir Gecesi, to some more unusual cultural events. You will definitely see some unusual sights at Selcuk’s Camel Wrestling Festival in January, while traditional folk dancing is on the menu in May at the Ephesus Festival.
Budding champions visit Yagli Gures from all corners of the globe in the summer to compete in the Oil Wrestling festival, while bulls do the fighting at the Kafkasor Festival in Artvin. For some highbrow entertainment look to the Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival near Side, or the Bodrum Festival in autumn.
Bustling Cities and Magical Landscapes
Blessed with such an enticing stretch of stunning coastline, Turkey holidays offer beach relaxation like no other. For a sheer slice of luxury, head to beautiful Antalya, nestled in the delicate coastal sweeps of the Turkish Riviera. Offering an abundance of sandy expanses on which to lie back and relax, as well as countless lively resorts and hotel complexes, this is the perfect destination for those looking to chill out and explore, in the most glorious of surroundings.
The Bodrum region is equally as beguiling when it comes to beautiful sweeps of coastline, and offers a wealth of vibrant towns. Check into a Bodrum resort or hotel, and discover Turkey holidays at their most enchanting.
For a coastal experience the traditional way, head to the stunning Dalaman region. Replete with picturesque harbour towns and serving up endless, freshly-caught seafood dishes, holidays in Dalaman offer a slice of tranquillity and endless opportunities for exploration, as well as an excellent selection of guesthouses and hotels.
It is impossible to reference holidays to Turkey without mentioning the sparkling jewel in its crown – the incredible city of Istanbul. Through winding streets of bustling markets, gorgeous curves of ornate mosques and explosions of fragrant incense unfolding among the humming crowds, Istanbul offers all manner of accommodation options, from chic, contemporary hotels to family-fun guesthouses. Check in and check it out!
To describe and recount Turkey’s diverse patchwork of history is an impossible task. From the luxurious opulence of Ottoman sultans and their monolithic, glittering palaces to the fascinating Byzantine carvings and the countless Roman, Sufi and Lycian influences, there’s a surprise waiting at every turn. With landmarks and sights scattered evenly through this richly spiced country, if you are seeking history and culture, you will certainly find it on a holiday to Turkey.
Such an impressive and varied historical legacy is nothing but apparent in modern day Turkey. The Turks themselves are always keen to delight travellers with many a tale and informative fact about their country’s past, but the cultural mix of the country leaps out from every carved church in the stone chimneys of Cappadocia, each tasty kebab served from countless street-vendors, and every Ottoman palace that grandly lines the horizon of Istanbul.
Aside from Turkey’s intriguing past and the bustle of its modern cities, the country is characterised by the undulating arcs of its distinctive landscapes and natural vistas. With miles of sun-drenched, Aegean coast on which to relax, mystical mountains to explore and ancient ruins to discover, wherever you find yourself on a Turkey holiday, fascination is never far away.