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Open door of a stone building, with a cart in front - Cappadocia, Turkey

Turkey

Turkey has always been a country in demand. Over the course of several thousand years, it has seen the rise of powerful civilizations and been a historic focal point. The Hittites were followed by the Greeks and Romans. Many of their ancient cities still boast magnificent ruins. Istanbul holds the honour of having been the capital of two huge empires - first the Byzantine then the Ottoman. Anatolia itself became a crossroads of peoples, cultures and religions. Set against a scenic backdrop of unrivaled natural beauty and still surprisingly affordable by Western standards, it’s easy to see why Turkey is centre stage once more.

From the ruins of Troy to the splendours of the Ottoman Sultans, Turkey is a huge open-air museum. Walk in the footsteps of St Paul through the marble paved streets of Ephesus, one of the most vibrant metropolises of ancient times. For the world’s best preserved Roman theatres, look no further than Aspendos. Like a lunar landscape, Capadoccia is home to a bizarre field of anthill-like cones and underground cities, where Christians once hid to avoid persecution - its Byzantine churches carved into the living rock, awash with frescoes. The Gallipoli Peninsula was the scene of extensive fighting during the First World War; it’s much quieter now and the perfect place to spend a reflective moment. The country also abounds with natural wonders like the blistering white ‘Cotton Castle’ of Pamukkale. At its hub lies the sprawling city of Istanbul. Buy a postcard and you’ll think it’s all soaring minarets, sunsets and Bosphorous views, but dig a little deeper and the city throbs with hip cafés and busy bazaars, appetizing restaurants, new art galleries and fascinating museums. View more trips to Turkey.


Featured Tours

  • In ancient times, Turkey was a major player in the Mediterranean. It's in vogue once again, but this time it's the historic sites, natural wonders and value for money that draw in the crowds.

  • Gifted with natural wonders like Göreme and the white terraces of Pamukkale, ancient Ephesus stands out as Turkey's finest gem.

  • This tour bursts with highlights, including Ephesus, Troy and Topkapi Palace. All the while, you are assured of a warm welcome and fantastic hospitality.

Many venues still stage traditional Turkish dancing of which the sensuous belly dance is the most famous. Turkey has many thermal spas in places such as Pamukkale and Bursa; they are a great way to relax. On the other hand, a large number of clubs, inns, bars, music bars and other entertainment spots can be found in the big cities.

Tour Director recommendation

Food for thought

Try to learn a few phrases to use on your vacation. It's amazing how far a 'hello' or 'thank you' will go with the locals - your Tour Director will be around to help if you get stuck.
Tour Director - Gigi Smith

Gigi Smith-Bromage

Tour Director, Western Europe

Factfile

Know before you go
  • Spring

    Mar-May

    Cloudy

    Av temp: 11˚C52˚F

  • Summer

    Jun-Aug

    Sun

    Av temp: 21˚C70˚F

  • Autumn

    Sep-Nov

    Cloudy

    Av temp: 11˚C52˚F

  • Winter

    Dec-Feb

    Snow

    Av temp: 2˚C36˚F

  • Time difference

    London GMT + 2hr

  • Currency

    Turkish lira (TRY)

When to go: May-October for the warmest temperatures; November-December for an alternative festive experience.

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