Author: Adam Singleton
As one of the world's most culturally unique holiday destinations, it's hard to pin down Turkey into any specific continental camp. On one hand, it's strongly rooted in its Middle Eastern origins and still basks in its rich Ottoman heritage. On the other, Turkey is a fiercely modern, secular state that bridges the divide between Europe and Asia with ease. However, the only real way to evaluate this intriguing country's significance to the modern world is to visit - and any holiday in Turkey is guaranteed to be an unforgettable one.
Turkey's diverse geographical regions mean that a visit to the country could incorporate a city break, mountain trek and seaside holiday all in one. Fly to Istanbul, Turkey's largest city, and experience its stunning cityscape, vibrant arts scene and exciting café culture. Take in Turkey's diverse museums and art galleries, including the Istanbul Modern, Istanbul Archaeology Museum, the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum and the Pera Museum.
Or if you're interested in finding some valuable antiques while you're on your holiday in Turkey, don't miss The Grand Bazaar, which dates back to 1455. Of course no trip to Istanbul would be complete without a visit to the Haghia Sofia, a spectacular building which was one of the greatest Christian Cathedrals of the Middle Ages before being converted into an imperial mosque in 1453. Today, it is known as the Ayasofya Museum.
Additionally, make sure you visit Turkey's often-overlooked capital of Ankara. Although smaller and less cosmopolitan than Istanbul, Ankara is home to many museums, important Roman archaeological sites and a range of public parks. Moreover, Ankara is home to Turkey's foremost performing arts organisations, including the Turkish State Opera and Ballet, Turkish State Theatre and the Turkish Presidential Symphony Orchestra.
And if fun in the sun is what you're after, make sure that you spend some time on the "Turkish Riviera". The Turkish Riviera is the name used to denote Turkey's Antalya Province and Mugla provinces, and offers tourists several hundred kilometres of sandy beaches and sparkling blue waters. With a range of ancient fishing towns, harbours, memorial tombs and coves found along the shore, the Turkish Riviera is one of the country's most beautiful - and most visited - destinations.
As a result of Turkey's newfound popularity with holidaymakers, its beach resorts and city hotels tend to be quite costly. So if you're hoping to take a trip to Turkey without blowing your bank account, it's probably a good idea to look up villas in Turkey, which you'll often be able to rent for a lower price than other forms of accommodation. Many villas in Turkey come complete with swimming pools, gardens and space to sleep upwards of four people, so can come in especially handy of you're on holiday with a large group of friends or family - so you'll all be able to enjoy the magic of Turkey together in comfort.
About the Author:
Adam Singleton is an online, freelance journalist and keen amateur photographer.