More and more visitors are being swept of their feet by the irrestible charms of a holiday in Turkey. Delicious food, beautiful sunshine, spectacular Mediterranean coastline and superb historical sites are just some of the reasons to visit this wonderful country. It's also one of the more affordable holiday destinations with a range of super resorts such as Marmaris. Just on the edge of Europe Turkey's developing reputation as a first-rate tourist destination led Istanbul to be named one of the World's Top 10 holiday cities by Travel and Leisure magazine in 2005.
Turkey has a unique location between Europe and Asia which helped it create a spectacular empire lasting centuries. The Ottoman Empire existed from 1299 to 1923 and at its peak in the 16/17th Centuries it was enormous covering the Middle East, North Africa and much of southern Europe. The modern Turkish Republic was founded in the 1920s. More recently Turkey has been in the news as a candidate for official EU status.
The Mediterranean coast includes beautiful beaches and secluded coves and a wide range of attractive holiday locations. Antalya is Turkey's holiday hot spot including Konyaalti and Lara beaches which are spread out before Antalya's impressive mountain range. Other attractions include the ancient Roman cities of Kanlidivane and Viransehir and the largely undiscovered province of Kahramanmaras, known for its traditional crafts including gilded silver, leather and copper works.
Expect some spectacular coastline with jutting peninsulas, hideaway coves and fine beaches. Many believe it to be the most beautiful coastline in the world. Famous destinations include, Ephesus, one of the biggest cities of the Roman era which displays ancient artefacts of the Ionian culture. Bodrum houses the mausoleum of King Mausolos, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world; while Marmaris offers the attraction of a modern marina, clear blue seas and some impressive mountain scenery.
Sunflower fields and vineyards create a breathtaking atmosphere on an endless landscape of rolling hills. This region is separated from Anatolia by the Bosphorus, The Sea of Marmara and the Dardanelles. There are many beautiful resorts in Marmara including Cinarcik, Armutlu, Gemlik, Mudanya, Erdek and the Marmara and Avsa Islands. This region also includes the country's first ski resort which was built on Uludag Mountain and the city of Gebze which has a reputation for its glazed tiles walls with their intricate patterns.
High mountains, low valleys and picturesque plains, rivers and lakes exist in a stunning colourful and panoramic landscape in this spectacular area. There are many interesting towns and cities to explore. The rivers Tigris and Euphrates weave towards the stunning plains of Mesopotamia and pass through Anatolia. You will also find some of the most impressive and distinctive Turkish architecture in this region. The basalt walls of Diyarbakir alone are worth the visit, more than 5 km in length, they are an impressive sight.
Rugged coasts with pretty villages and beaches rest beneath mountains rich in green forest, valleys and plains. Includes cities such as Artvin, Bolu, Düzce and Giresun as well as Samsun, one of the Black Sea's biggest ports. Unye and Fatsa east of Samsun are popular holiday resorts with beautiful beaches and first-rate accommodation. Ordu is a highly recommended Black Sea city which is surrounded by hazelnut orchards and overlooked by The Castle of Giresun.
Central Turkey has much to offer including the capital city of Ankara. Ankara is a modern city with lots to experience including The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations. The Anitkabir Mausoleum is another key attraction. It was built to celebrate Ataturk who founded the modern Republic of Turkey. The Anitkabir mausoleum is the most visually impressive structure in Ankara.
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