Ephesus is a must-see in Turkey and is one of the world’s best known historical sites. First an ancient Greek city and later occupied by the Romans, the remains of this residential and administrative centre are remarkably well-preserved. Located in the province of Izmir, its main sites include the Library of Celsus, the Basilica of St. John and the Temple of Artemis.
There are countless other historical sites across Turkey, meaning wherever you choose to stay you will be able to experience the country’s history with ease. Aspendos boasts a Roman amphitheatre, Anatolia is the place to visit the acropolis of ancient Pergamon and the Byzantine Orthodox monastery of Sumela can be found built into the side of the Pontic mountains.
Turkey boasts some of Europe’s most beautiful beaches – whether you are looking for a secluded cove or swanky seaside bar. Situated on the coast, Oludeniz is a beautiful inland bay and one of the best-known beach spots in the country. Hidden from the open sea and backed by pine forests, this area is a true paradise for those looking for a relaxing beach holiday. A wide selection of Oludeniz hotels means you can soak up the sun by day and return to luxury by night.
Visiting Turkey and catching an event or festival is a great way to soak up some local culture. If you fancy taking a trip out of season, then check out Konya in the south of Turkey in the month of December. Get caught up in Mevlana Week and the Whirling Dervish Ceremonies which happen here annually. Hypnotic dancing and celebrations occur over a ten day period to commemorate philosopher and poet Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi.
Fans of the traditional arts must catch the Aspendos International Operand Ballet Festival which draws visitors from across the world. Even if you are new to opera and ballet you will not fail to be awed by the festival’s setting: a 2000 year old Roman amphitheatre.
A visit to Turkey would not be complete without a stop-off in this awe-inspiring city. The skyline is dominated by the iconic Hagia Sophia, a Byzantine church whose interior will wow as much as its formidable exterior.
A boat trip on the Bosphorus provides an introduction to the city’s primary sites, though you will need to delve into its twisting streets and bustling marketplaces to get to the real heart of this city. The Eminönü Egyptian Spice Bazaar is open seven days a week and is crammed with exotic sights and smells, whilst any bargain-hunter will delight in an afternoon spent haggling at the Grand Bazaar.