Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey
Visit Turkey, a bedazzling country bridging the European and Asian continents. Dive deeper into Turkey's extraordinary and rich culture and let the country's many beautiful sights overwhelm you.
Istanbul: Magnificent monumental city
Visit Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul and you’ll be blown away by sense-sparking monuments in every direction. Sultan Ahmet’s Ottoman Blue Mosque is one of Istanbul’s most epic structures. The interior of this six minaret mosque is emblazoned with over 20,000 exquisite blue tiles. Another must is to test your haggling mastery at Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar – one of the oldest and largest of its type. It houses over 4,000 shops, offering jewellery, pottery, spice and carpet – you’re guaranteed to find whatever weird and wonderful souvenirs you could imagine. View more things to do in Istanbul.
The Blue Mosque is a 20-minute walk from Istanbul’s Sirkeci Garı train station and the Grand Bazaar is a 15-minute walk from there.
Far-out land formations
Buried in the heart of this huge country is Turkey’s splendid treasure: Cappadocia. An amalgamation of weird and intricate landforms – deep canyons, fairy chimney rock formations, as well as the highest peak Uçhisar and the ancient ruins of Mount Golgoli. Göreme – a small town and one of the only remaining Cappadocian settlements is a good base from which to explore this fascinating place. Pamukkale – a terrace of hot spring in the Denizli Province – is another absolute must-see . Take a dip in the mineral-rich 35°C waters, while marvelling at nature’s unique work.
To reach Göreme in Cappadocia take the train to Kayseri and from there take a bus. To reach the Pamukkale take the train to Denizli and from there take a bus.
Sports for every taste
For adrenaline-fueled fun hit Kaş – a pretty little fishing town, where you’re invited to try out mountain biking and paragliding. And for marine-lovers indulge in Turkey’s most breathtaking scuba-diving within sapphire waters. During snowy climes hit one of Turkey’s top ski resorts. Uludaǧ – just 1.5 hours from Istanbul is popular with locals and tourists alike. The resort has beginner slopes to giant slaloms, plus great facilities and a very lively night scene. In summer, this national park offers good hiking and camping opportunities.
To reach Kaş take the train to Denizli and then connect to a bus. From Istanbul it takes about 1,5 hours to reach Uludaǧ by bus.
Tempting Turkish riviera
Alanya on the Turkish Riviera is a beach resort city that has it all: a Mediterranean climate, historical attractions, natural sights and frisky nightlife. During the day visit Alanya’s magnificent castle dating back to 1226, followed by some beach action at the pristine Ulaş beach. By night Alanya is one of the most happening places in Turkey. The area around the harbour is where the most spirited bars and clubs can be found. Be warned, you may find it hard to leave this all-encompassing Mediterranean jewel.
Take the train to Karaman and then connect to a bus to Alanya.
Ephesus should be your first stop if you’re in search of ancient Roman remains – along with Pompeii it’s the best-preserved ancient settlement in the Mediterranean. Although just one column of the Temple of Artemis remains (this Seventh Wonder was destroyed in 401 BC) there are plenty of great excavated splendours to see, including the Library of Celsus and the Odeon amphitheatre. For more recent historical beauty head to mythical Amasya, with its enchanting Ottoman houses and impressive offering of mosques.
To reach Esphesus take the train to Selçuk and from there take a mini-bus from the main bus station to the site. Amasya is a 15-minute walk from the main train station.
Although Turkey is situated in a geographical location where climatic conditions are quite temperate, the diverse nature of the landscape, and the existence in particular of the mountains that run parallel to the coasts, result in significant differences in climatic conditions from one region to the other. While the coastal regions enjoy milder climates, the inland Anatolia plateau experiences hot summers and cold winters with limited rainfall.