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turkey

Turkey, crossroads of culture and history. You experience it in the bazaars of Istanbul, the city founded by the Romans, cultivated by the Byzantines, conquered by the Ottomans and made cosmopolitan in the modern era. You feel it in the ancient ruins of Ephesus, the Armenian churches in the east and the medieval fortresses along the south coast. You taste it in the olive oil–lathered Aegean vegetables and the spicy Anatolian kebabs. Turkey truly is the place where East meets West - come and explore it with us.

when

The best time

to travel to 

turkey

places

Best places to see in

turkey

experience

Best things to do in 

turkey

tours

Our best itineraries in

turkey

best time to travel

 

The best time to travel to Turkey is between March and May as well as September and October. You can visit in summer too, but it is a hot time of year.

 
 

places to go 

key experiences 

Istanbul

Founded by the Romans, cultivated by the Byzantines, conquered by the Ottomans and made cosmopolitan in the modern era, Istanbul straddles two continents.  History itself is on exhibit here in the many churches, mosques and palaces, while the people exhibit their endless hospitality in tea gardens, coffee houses and taverns.  Top it off with excellent museums and great bazaars, and you have a destination worthy of a long stay.


Ephesus

More than three quarters of this metropolis  still lies buried beneath the soil, but already it is Europe's most complete classical Greco-Roman town.  The Temple of Artemis was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and there is a gladiator’s cemetery, a Roman-era synagogue as well as the famous library.


Pamukkale and Hieropolis

Like a limestone cave in the outdoors, the travertine terraces of Pamukkale overflow with warm, mineral-rich waters, the perfect place to watch the sunset.  The Roman and Byzantine spa city of Hieropolis lies nearby and is worth exploring.


Turqoise Coast

The seas of the aptly named Turquoise Coast hide ancient underwater ruins, while on rugged cliffs above the sandy coves lie ancient cities, backed by dark forests.  This is an area of sun, sand and sea, best explored by boat or on foot.


Antalya

Wrapped around a beautiful Roman-era port, the city of Antalya has a perfectly preserved old city where Roman ruins and  Ottoman houses juggle for space.


Konya

One of Turkey's most compelling cities, the medieval Selçuk capital of Konya is home to the Sufic sect of the Whirling Dervishes.  Although one of the country’s most conservative cities, the bustling town feels modern, with fashionable stores rubbing shoulders with  monumental buildings.


Cappadocia

Like something straight out of a fairy tale, the beautiful chimneys, cliffs and badlands of Cappadocia are a site to behold.  Fresco-adorned rock-cut churches testify to centuries of people seeking refuge from marauders underground.  Stay in a cave hotel, hike the fantastical landscapes or ride a balloon - the choice is yours.


Nemrut Dağı

Colossal statues of gods and a megalomaniac king adorn the top of Nemrut Dağı, a mountain in central Anatolia. It is a magical place to see the sun rise over the surrounding peaks and valleys.


Ishak Pasa Sarayı

Combining Seljuk, Ottoman, Georgian, Persian and Armenian architecture, interesting İshak Paşa Palace lies on a mountainous desert plateau in the far east of the country, not far from the Iranian border.


Monastery of Sumela

The Greek Othodox monastery of Sumela clings to a cliff wall south of the Black Sea Coast, high above dark woods and a gushing stream.  Colourful frescoes adorn the walls of the church.


Ankara

A bustling, modern city, the main highlights of Turkey's capital, apart from the sidewalk cafes and booming restaurant scene, are the superb Museum of Anatolian Civilizations and the shrine to Atatürk, modern Turkey's founder.


Safranbolu

A UNESCO protected site, Safranbolu has a strong Ottoman heritage, with beautifully timber-framed mansions and cobblestone streets.  This is a village where time seems to have stood still.


Gallipoli

A place of pilgrimage for Australians and New Zealanders alike, this peninsula was the site of bloody battles in the Great War.


Troy

The grass-covered ruins of ancient Troy can be brought to life by an informative guide.

Hot air balloon over fairy chimneys

See the fantastical landscapes of Cappadocia spread out beneath you in the soft light of dawn, as your balloon rises up into the sky.  There is no other place on earth you'd rather be!


Whirling Dervishes

The whirling ceremony of this Sufic sect, is a means of freedom from earthly bondage and abandonment to God’s love.


Bosporus boat ride

Taking a boat trip up the Bosporus, the strait dividing Asia and Europe, is a highlight of any visit to İstanbul, whether you take it during the day, or at night.


Call to Prayer

A muezzin calling the faithful to prayer from the top of a minaret has a timeless, evocative quality that will stir your senses.


Tea for two

Tea is not so much a national drink as it is a ritual. Enjoy a cup or two as you chat with locals in a tea house, or while haggling in a bazaar.


Sunrise at Nemrut

Colossal statues of gods and a megalomaniac king adorn the top of Nemrut Dağı, a mountain in central Anatolia. It is a magical place to see the sun rise over the surrounding peaks and valleys.


Sunset at Pamukkale

Experience the travertine pools of this "Cotton Castle" and see the colours of the formations change from red to pink to orange.


Shop the bazaar

There is nothing quite like meandering at your leisure through the warren of covered passageways that make up Istanbul's bazaar. Get lost in the crowds and stop to examine the wares. Enjoy a cup of tea while bargaining over your next purchase.


Sleep in a cave

While people used the underground cities of Cappadocia to escape marauding armies for centuries, you can experience life underground by sleeping in a cave hotel.


Hike to a monastery

The Greek Orthodox monastery of Sumela clings to a cliff wall south of the Black Sea Coast, high above dark woods and a gushing stream.  Hike up through forests and alpine meadows, finally arriving to the complex and enjoying a spectacular view.


Hamam experience

Be ready to get scrubbed down, massaged and showered in a traditional hamam experience.  Enjoy hours soaking in hot and cold pools, or just laze around and chat with locals.


Step back in time

Lying as it does at the crossroads of civilizations, history is big in Turkey.  From old Ephesus to 10,000 year-old Göbekli Tepe, and from Hagia Sophia, the spiritual heart of Byzantium, to the Blue Mosque, Turkey is at the heart of history and in the maelstrom of empires.


Hit the beach

Beaches abound in Turkey, but some of the best are found on the south-west coast.  Reach them by boat, by vehicle or on foot and enjoy some well-deserved R&R.


Cruise the Turquoise Coast

Board a gulet, a traditional wooden ship, and sail the azure waters of the south coast.  Snorkel, kayak or swim from the boat, find a hidden beach in a forgotten cave, or hike to a clifftop for a spectacular view.


Kayak over ruins

Destroyed by an earthquake in the second century, rebuilt and then abandoned due to foreign incursions, the ruins of Kekova now lie underwater and make for a fabulous trip by sea kayak.


Walk the Lycian Way

The ancient ruins, deserted beaches, scented pine forests and rocky coastline of the Lycian Coast in Turkey's south, make for great hiking country.  Add to that the almost limitless hospitality of the local villagers, and you have an experience like no other.


Eat your heart out

The Ottoman gave us such classics as imam bayaldi ("the priest fainted"), but modern Turkish cuisine relies on simple combinations and few ingredients. Staples include cheeses and yogurt, fresh produce and great cuts of meat. A typical meal begins with mezes (appetizers) followed by mains of roasted meats or meatballs.

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