Gateway to Europe
Balanced between the Europe and the Middle East, Turkey is a country of fantastic historical lineage. If you are interested in antiquity, classics and myth, Turkey is a great place to visit. With access to both the Aegean and Black Seas, there is plenty of coast to go round, and the hills and mountains that dominate the interior have some wondrous formations and features, such as the amazing volcanic Cappadocia rock formations. By the way now we can get Turkey visa requirements online.
In the west of the country, there are remains of Ancient Greek settlements. Most notably, the area boasts three of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World: the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, the Temple of Artemis and the Colossus at Rhodes. Not much of any now remain, but the significance of the area is indisputable. Turkey also features the site of the ancient city of Troy, setting of the Homeric Trojan war.
The remains of the ancient city of Ephesus are more impressive, with temples, amphitheatres and the famous Library of Celsus all intact to a large degree; at Ephesus you can really feel that spooky, amazing tingle that pops up when you feel especially close to the ancient past. You can book a guided trip around Turkey’s best historical sites with companies like Encounters Travel. These kind of places are always more enjoyable with an expert on hand to bring them to life.
Turkey has a lot of cultural tropes to delve into. Some, like Turkish barbers and rugs have lodged solidly it into western popular culture, but there’s much more to check out. Çay, the beautiful flavoured tea tastes better nowhere else. The whole concept of mezze is one of man’s greatest achievements and the Turks are experts at it. Kebabs are treated with the respect they deserve, with lovely breads and wraps, pitta, dips and sea food. Make sure to try Dondurma, the delicious Turkish take on ice cream.
Turkey is a modern country, with connections to the EU. It isn’t in the EU though, so you will need to buy a visa to enter the country. Luckily it is a mere £10 for UK passport holders. More visa information is here. Although secular in government, the country is overwhelmingly Islamic in its culture, meaning it won’t be a great ‘party holiday’.
If you’re in the area, a tip from me is to check out Tlos Yakapark. Near Fethiye, it’s an amazing restaurant next to a trout farm, near the beautiful Saklikent national park. The fish is amazing, and some clever plumbing has put a trout stream along the middle of the bar.
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