Turkey combines the best that the Mediterranean has to offer. From ancient mountains to golden beaches; it is in Turkey that the collision of exotic east with cosmopolitan west is most palpable. The by-product of this collision? A country that has something for everyone
Turkey for the historian
Once home to some of the worlds most ancient civilizations, its hard not to be inspired by Turkeys past. The ruins of Ephesus are some of the best preserved from the ancient world and a stroll down the marble streets will take you back to a time of Roman rule. The Hagia Sophia and The Blue Mosque dominate the Istanbul skyline and are iconic destinations, steeped in tradition and so intricately created. The Dolmabahçe Palace is also worth a visit to step back in time and enjoy the opulence of the Ottoman Empire. Not to be missed though is an epic balloon ride over Cappodoccia, for an unforgettable perspective of the breath-taking prehistoric landscape.
Turkey for the beach bum
Turkey is host to some of the most spectacular and secluded beaches in Europe. It also offers you the chance to swim in the Aegean, one of the oldest seas in the world. On Cirali beach and Iztuzu (Dalyan) you can spot nesting loggerhead turtles whilst Çeşme is a favourite with wealthy locals and certainly wont disappoint in providing a tranquil retreat. The Bodrum peninsula is also geared up for the discerning beach bum and Türbükü hosts two of the finest hotels, the Mandarin Oriental and the Maçakizi.
Turkey for the foodie
It is essential to try traditional Turkish coffee poured from a copper ibrik during your stay. Strong, dark, sweet and slightly scented with cardamom youll never want Starbucks again.
And if you havent had a Turkish kebab, you simply havent lived. They come in many forms, but watch out for the manti, a beef or lamb filled dumpling thats something of a very welcome assault on the senses. Be sure also to try karniyarik, fried minced lamb and aubergines, and yaprak sarma, wrapped vine leaves stuffed with spiced rice.
Turkey for the luxury lover
Relax and indulge in a luxury hammam. These Turkish baths can be found across the country but some of the best are in Istanbul. The spa at the Four Seasons in particular offers a variety of treatments, from massages to facials and scrubs.
To combine sightseeing with a truly regal experience, take a private yacht up the bosphorus for an evening and enjoy a sundowner en-route. If your sea legs arent up to par, a drink at one of the bars at the Raffles Hotel or the newly opened Soho House Istanbul will easily suffice.
If theres still some time to spare, the Zorlu Center will certainly satisfy, hosting a range of luxury outlets within award winning architecture, chances are youll find yourself returning home with extra luggage.
Tom Marchant is Co-founder of Black Tomato.
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