Turkey’s tale is one which spans millennia, not centuries. This land is dripping in history, influenced by cultures which came and went, but left plenty behind. Classical cities were founded here by the hundred, with Istanbul a surviving example which draws millions of awestruck visitors a year. And then there’s the breath-taking coastline, the magnificent food, the bustling bazaars, the soaring mountains.
Istanbul is unquestionably one of the world’s great cities – whichever measure you care to use. Whether it’s cosmopolitan cool, historic significance or incredible architecture, Turkey’s capital stands as tall as any. Explore the throng of traditional markets and designer boutiques, glitzy nightclubs and peaceful tea gardens. It’s all part of the fun of experiencing one of the world’s truest melting pots of east-meets-west.
Classical civilisation really made its mark on Turkey, and in Ephesus we’re left with one of the Mediterranean’s best preserved Roman cities. An absolute essential, and an established stop on any cruise itinerary worth its salt, Ephesus is also home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World in the Temple of Artemis. And if you’re not content with one, you can visit another in the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus – just one of the attractions in the millionaire’s playground of Bodrum.
Mother Nature was feeling particularly generous when she came to work with Turkey. The Turquoise Coast has more than its fair share of phenomenal white sandy beaches, and there are a fleet of ships eager to show you just how beautiful the coast is from the best possible vantage point. But inland Turkey isn’t short of its ‘must-sees’ either – head to Pamukkale for its famous therapeutic spa pools, or discover the splendour of the Cappadocia from a hot air balloon.
Ephesus is one of the world's best preserved ancient cities, delivering a fascinating insight into thousands of years of life by the Mediterranean. You'll find the site of one of the original Seven Wonders of the World in the city - and another one just down the road in Bodrum!
You don't have to head for the glamorous boutiques of Istanbul for an incredible shopping experience in Turkey. Practically every sizeable town has a thriving bazaar, where the heavily spiced air makes for a quintessentially Turkish experience.
Cappadocia is an other-worldly landscape of fairy chimneys. A timeless mountainscape which has been inhabited since the Neolithic - but Stone Age man could never explore this fantastical range by hot air balloon, like you can! If you can experience it by dawn or dusk, it's a truly magical event.