Celebrated for its immense diversity, Turkey is a European country that offers travelers rich culture and history, scenic beauty and delectable cuisine. From the buzzing bazaars to the idyllic mountain ranges, Turkey is a unique European gem.
Turkey is a land of relationships, where time sits still to permit you to go about getting to know your surroundings. Here, travelers are welcomed and greeted with both respect and curiosity. The antiquities, thermal pools, coastline and Turkish baths are all there waiting to be explored, but it is in the marketplace with the people that Turkey is best experienced, because it is there that the warmth and culture of this ancient civilization is authentically expressed.
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The “must-dos” of Turkey:
Experience a Haman – the Turkish bath with its vigorous scrubbing, hot water and ambiance is an experience, a cultural episode that ranks with running with the bulls in Spain or a Thai massage. There are a number of historic Turkish baths in Istanbul and practically every city of any size. Do yourself a favor.
Visit the covered bazaar – The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the oldest and largest covered markets anywhere in the world. Bargain like a friend and true traveler and you will find many original and unique delights. This is the place to begin your search for the perfect rug, the tea set, the talisman to ward off the evil-eye. Again, this is archetype of all shopping experiences.
Enjoy a thermal pool – the country is blessed with a large number of rich mineral water springs. Turkey’s geographic location right above a volcanically active belt provides the nation with a rich abundance of natural hot springs and mineral baths with temperatures that vary from 68 to 230 degrees Fahrenheit! The healing properties and therapeutic effects of the waters are renown.
Visit Pergamum – once the cultural center of the region the ruins here hint at the grandeur of the civilization that has camped on these hillsides in times past. The extraordinary theater at Pergamum was constructed in the 3rd century B.C. In the Acropolis, you will see the remains of both the temple of Athena and the ruins of the Library with once contained 200,000 texts, a wedding gift to Cleopatra by Mark Anthony.
Cruise the Turquoise Coast – the rugged coastline of Turkey shares with Greece a sense of history unmatched elsewhere. Here are the beginnings of classical civilization, and the mists of history lift only in part to give us a glimpse of the stories of Turkish and Greek mythologies. Day-long excursions provide a leisurely opportunity to take in the beauty of the mountains and the ruins, the bluest of waters and the wonderful breezes. Or spend time at Ölüdeniz Beach and let the Mediteranean sun do its work.
Explore the Lycian Tombs – the sarcophagi, carved into the vertical cliffs are dramatic and mysterious. The quality of the stone masonry, the originality of Lycian art and the visible detail after all of these centuries is remarkable. The tombs are often integrated into the daily commercial areas of the towns and markets, or visible from the water.
Visit Nemrut – A UNESCO world heritage site, the colossal statues on the top of Mountain of Nemrut in the north-east of Adiyaman are the tomb of King Antiochus I (69-38 B.C.).
Ottoman cuisine is most common Turkish cuisine: some of the best food Europe has to offer. Dishes with fresh fish from the Black Sea, rices, olives and olive oil, kebabs and baklava are typical for Turkey and there are restaurants throughout the country offering incredible, authentic food.
From five star hotels along the coastline to hostels in the bustling cities, there’s a wide range of accommodations for every type of traveler. Istabul offers hotels with panoramic views in the heart of the city and the Grand Bazaar while resorts sprinkled on the coast offer the perfect beach getaway in close proximity to the sites and activities nearby.
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