A country with an air of exoticism where traditions are upheld and yet modernism shines through, Turkey is a beguiling destination. The people, the ambiance, the experiences, the sites, and the shopping are all so fantastic that Turkey as a holiday option easily stands out from the crowd. And the country as a whole is also great value for money which makes absorbing its rich culture, indulging in the nation’s time-honoured Turkish bathing rituals, savouring the flavoursome cuisine, and relaxing on the golden beaches, all the more pleasurable.
Steeped in history that spans thousands of years, re-visit the Hellenistic, Roman, Greek, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman eras through architectural wonders, from ruined cities to glittering mosques. Modern Turkey is more about sun-soaked beach holidays along the ‘Turkish Riviera’, and the Aegean coastal resorts in places like Bodrum provide the perfect base for topping up your tan and partying. Here as well is the opportunity to indulge in both the contemporary as well as the traditional. Stylish bars, yachts and nightclubs will appeal to some while the option to cruise aboard a Turkish gulet and sample dish after dish of meze, aubergines with yogurt, pastirma (pressed beef), hummus and so on, might be the choice of others. But whichever appeals, make room for Turkish coffee as well as a slice of sticky baklava studded with local honey, pistachio nuts and dried fruits.
Picking up a bargain in the bustling bazaars is almost obligatory and don’t be afraid to haggle for anything from jewellery and leather goods, to hand-painted ceramics and tribal carpets, to spices and even antiques. Treat yourself to some Turkish delight as you go; you’ll find it stacked high in pretty pyramid arrangements at most markets, in almost every flavour you can think of.
If the lure of the city beckons, Istanbul, which is divided by the Bosphorus Strait and straddles both Europe and Asia, is truly unique. For here West really does meet the East; you can spend the morning exploring ancient palaces and sites and then while away the afternoon in ultra-hip malls that rival Dubai’s behemoths. Whether you choose to enjoy the impressive skyline dominated by the Blue Mosque aboard a luxury cruise ship or spend a couple of days on shore, its many charms are bound to captivate you.
Tempted by what you’ve read? Need a few more ideas about where to go, what to see and how to go about it? Contact us – we’re always happy to help you choose your dream stay.