Turkey
Turkey
Turkey

Turkey

Blessed with stunning natural beauty, fine cuisine and the rich history of the Ottoman and Byzantine Empires, Turkey is an exceptional destination. Its beautiful beaches and Byzantine frescoes combine with the stunning architectural treasures of Istanbul and the extraordinary landscapes of Cappadocia to create a country of incredible depth and vibrancy. From the azure Aegean, to the remote mountains of the east, Turkey is a breathtaking kaleidoscope of colour and culture.

Highlights of Turkey

Things to See & Do

  • Istanbul

    Istanbul

    Istanbul is Turkey’s largest city (approx. 12 million) and the country’s undisputed cultural and financial centre. Istanbul offers a great deal in the way of history, culture, food and entertainment, in fact far too much to take in on a short city break, you will need to come back time and time again to truly see all that this atmospheric city has to offer. Enjoying a deeply romantic setting as the only city in the world that straddles two continents and surrounded by the waters of the Bosphorus, Istanbul is the former capital of three great empires, Eastern Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman and the city exudes history at every turn, with its centuries-old palaces, castles, mosques, churches and other monuments. Istanbul today is also a city undergoing a dramatic renaissance, bubbling with a bold new energy that’s exciting and intensely alive with cutting-edge international film and music festivals, designer shops and chic restaurants and bars.

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  • Temple of Aphrodite

    Temple of Aphrodite

    One of the oldest sacred sites in Turkey, the magnificent 1st century ruins of the Temple of Aphrodite are dedicated to the Greek goddess of love and fertility. Completed during the reign of the emperor Augustus, the temple was once one of the cult’s most revered centres of worship.

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  • Troy

    Troy

    Troy, with its 4,000 years of history, is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. The first excavations at the site were undertaken by the famous archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann in 1870. In scientific terms, its extensive remains are the most significant demonstration of the first contact between the civilizations of Anatolia and the Mediterranean world. Moreover, the siege of Troy by Spartan and Achaean warriors from Greece in the 13th or 12th century B.C., immortalized by Homer in the Iliad, has inspired great creative artists throughout the world ever since.

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  • Gallipoli

    Gallipoli

    One of the bloodiest battles of the First World War, the Dardanelles Campaign resulted in the death of over 130,000 men. Considered to be a defining moment in modern Turkish history, the battlefields, cemeteries and memorials are today part of the 33,000 hectare Gallipoli Peninsula Historical National Park.

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  • Blue Mosque, Istanbul

    Blue Mosque, Istanbul

    The Sultan Ahmed Mosque dates back to the 17th century rule of Ahmed I and is a stunning fusion of Byzantine and Ottoman design. Considered to be the last great mosque of the classical period, its name comes from the thousands of blue tiles that adorn its exterior.

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  • Lake Van

    Lake Van

    Turkey has over 300 natural and 130 artificial lakes. In terms of numbers of lakes, the Eastern Anatolian region is the richest including Lake Van, (the largest of the country with its 3,713 square kilometres surface). Lake Van is  a huge expanse of blue water with only inlets and no outlets, a virtual inland sea. It did once have an outlet until blocked by an ancient volcano. Van castle, located like most of the Urartian castles on a declining ridge, once stood on the lakeside but no longer. The lake has receded over the centuries so the castle and the city stand 2-3km from its shores.

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  • Mount Ararat

    Mount Ararat

    The holy mountain of Mount Ararat, believed to be the final resting place of Noah’s Ark. This volcanic mountain rises 5,165 meters or 16,945 feet high, far above the plains that are at 2,000-3,000 feet high. Mount Ararat may be the largest single-mass or volume mountain in the world as it is huge (one really has to see it in person to appreciate its immensity). Ararat has only a few native trees growing on it in Ahora village, shrubs around Korhan, and several small forests on Little Ararat.

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  • Pamukkale

    Pamukkale

    The calcified travertines of Pamukkale are one of Turkey’s most remarkable natural treasures. Formed by the hot springs that flow from deep within the Cal Dagi Mountains in western Anatolia, the frozen cascades are formed by the rapidly cooling waters depositing calcium down the steep hillside, resulting in the famous limestone terraces.

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  • Pergamum Acropolis

    Pergamum Acropolis

    The Acropolis in Pergamon was once the capital of the Pergamon Kingdom and was cited in the Book of Revelations as one of the 7 churches of Asia. The famous Altar of Zeus in Pergamon is on the south of the theatre, built by Eumenes II (197-159 BC).

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  • Trabzon

    Trabzon

    The cities in the east of the country have quite a different flavour. Trabzon on the far north-eastern Black Sea coast has its own Haghia Sophia from the 13th century and makes a good base to visit the cliff-hugging Sumela Monastery set in the spectacular semi-tropical forested landscape that so typifies this region.

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