Nowhere on Earth is there a land that has been more contested than Turkey. Maybe this is why it is a perfect blend between east and west, and a mosaic of different cultures, Turkey is a landscape dotted with ancient palaces, old battlegrounds and ruined castles.

 

Blue Mosque.

Turkey is the setting for numerous historical legends, the place where Achilles fought with the Trojans as depicted in Homer’s Illiad, where Alexander the Great secured his foothold in the quest for Asia, and where one of the world’s greatest empires, the Ottomans, fought and won battles that came to shape the modern world as we know it. For history buffs, Turkey offers a chance to become immersed in a world of relics and marvels that stretches back as far as human civilization itself.

 

Land of Ages

 

The Ottomans, the Greeks, the Romans - vestiges of them all can be found within the boundaries of modern Turkey. Visit the ruins of prestigious cities of antiquity that sit basking in the sun on the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts – Ephesus, Pergamon, Termessos to name just a few. And then there’s the remarkable city of Istanbul, an ode to the great Byzantine and Ottoman empires, with hundreds of stunning palaces and mosques to explore, while the capital Ankara is a symbol of the modernity which Turkey has come to embrace.

 

Istanbul at nights.On top of its rich history, Turkey is blessed with breathtaking nature. The rocky Cappadocia Mountains and the famous “Cotton Castle” in Pamukkale are simply awe-inspiring. Bounded by the Black Sea in the north, the Aegean to the East and the Mediterranean to the South, Turkey is a lover’s paradise surrounded by white sand beaches and turquoise waters, while the climate is perfect all year round.

 

Food and Fun – The Fuel of Armies and Tourism

 

Turkey’s charm also extends to its plates – a mixture of exotic influences defines Turkish cuisine as one of the most outstanding in the world. Add in a warm welcome from some of the most hospitable people on the planet, and you have all the right ingredients for a most enchanting holiday.

 

Belly dancer.And nightlife? Be amazed in the culinary paradise Turkey can be is one thing, but venturing into the country’s night is a waking dream of excitement and enchantment. Luxurious bars and clubs, beach resorts and corner café bars, even burlesque and yes, belly dancing, there is no place more fun loving than Turkey. Taken in bits and pieces, or all at once, Turkey is nothing less than a tapestry blending style, history, culture, and beauty for those who live there, and for guests. This is a marvelous country.

 

Budget for one week: More than 500 Euro ($750)

Taxes and gratuities: Gratuity is recommended

Local currency: Turkish lira

Spoken language and/or official language: Turkish

Area: 783,562 km2 (302,535 sq mi )

Population: 73,722,988

Sanitary requirements: Drinking water suitability varies by region and location

Major cities: Istanbul, Ankara, İzmir, Bursa, Adana, Gaziantep, and Konya.

 

Main image, courtesy Dennis Jarvis on Flickr, other images Eray @ Fotolia.com, and RubyVroom on Flickr.