Turkey is a nation straddling eastern Europe and western Asia with cultural connections to ancient Greek, Persian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires. Cosmopolitan Istanbul, on the Bosphorus Strait, is home to the iconic Hagia Sophia, with its soaring dome and Christian mosaics, the massive 17th-century Blue Mosque and the circa-1460 Topkapı Palace, former home of sultans. Ankara is Turkey’s modern capital.
Population: 74.93 million (2013) World Bank
Neighboring countries: Syria, Greece, Iraq, Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Bulgaria, Georgia
Renowned as one of the most beautiful buildings in the world, the spellbinding Byzantine glory of the Aya Sofya Museum (Hagia Sophia) is not only Istanbul’s top sightseeing attraction, but also one of the top sites in Turkey. The staggering bulk of its exterior is rimmed by the delicate minarets added after the Ottoman conquest while the sumptuous and cavernous frescoed interior is a grand reminder of old Constantinople’s might and power.
Not to be missed, the mighty ruin of Ephesus is a city of colossal monuments and marble-columned roads. One of the most complete, still-standing Roman cities, this is the place to experience what life must have been like during the golden age of the Roman Empire.
A visit to Topkapı Palace leads you into the fantastical, opulent world of the sultans. It was from here that the leaders of the Ottoman Era carved out an empire that would extend up into Europe and down through the Middle East and into Africa. The interiors with their decadently exuberant tiling and lavish jewelled decor are an unforgettable peek into the Ottoman’s powerbase.
One of Turkey’s most famous natural wonders, the pure white travertine terraces of Pamukkale cascade down the slope looking like an out-of-place snow field amid the green landscape. Although the travertines are themselves a highlight of a trip to Turkey, the vast and rambling ruins of Roman Hierapolis lie on the top of this calcite hill providing another reason to visit.
5.Yacht cruising on the Mediterranean
Turkey’s Mediterranean coastline has ruins galore and much to do, but for many people it’s all about soaking up the sun while enjoying the gorgeous coastal views. Cruising on a yacht is the number one activity for visitors to Bodrum and Fethiye. The steep forest-clad slopes, hidden coves sporting tiny white sand beaches, and hundreds of scattered islands are the perfect place for exploring by sea. Even diehard landlubbers will be impressed.
1.Liberty Hotels Lara
Address:Kemeragzi Mevkii Kundu Bolgesi, Lara, Antalya 07235, Turkey (Formerly Hotel Lara Beach)
Phone:00 90 242 352 3132
Address:Guzeloba Mahallesi, Yasar Sobutay Bulvari, No:30, Antalya 07235, Turkey
Phone:00 90 242 352 2200
3.Voyage Belek Golf & Spa
Address:Iskele Mevkii, Belek, Turk
Phone:00 90 242 710 2500