What is there to do in Turkey?
A brief history of Turkey
Despite common misconception, Turkey is not named after the gobbling bird, but rather the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Kemal Mustafa Ataturk. In 1922 the Ottoman Empire dissolved and the following year Ataturk became the first President of the newly formed Republic of Turkey. Although the country is primarily Muslim, the country has a rich history of many different societies thriving in its land. Although the administrative capital of the country is Ankara, the largest and most well-known city is Istanbul. Formerly known as Constantinople, the city has thousands of years of history from various civilizations and an endless list of things to do. But, Istanbul is just the very beginning of your journey in Turkey...
What is there to do in Turkey?
Many people are familiar with Turkey mainly because of Istanbul, the nation’s largest city, where “The East Meets the West”, but there is so much more to explore in Turkey. With Alaturka, your personalized Turkey expert, you can book Turkey tours all throughout the country, from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea.
Fortunately, the intercity bus system is extensive in Turkey, and we can advise you on how to tour the country. Comfortable overnight buses and quick puddle jumper flights are available through multiple companies to get from one region to another. Longer bus journeys even have a waiter who serves beverage and snack service!
The best travel advice for those who only have 8 days and 7 nights in the country is to visit the most popular regions of Turkey for international travellers: Istanbul, Ephesus, Pamukkale, and Cappadocia. There are several recommended routes that you can book in Turkey, which will bring you to some of the most exciting sights in Turkey!
Pamukkale, meaning “cotton castle” in Turkish is essentially a 200-meter high mountain of calcite deposits, which have created a white, cloud-like petrified waterfall. At the top of this white castle is the ancient city of Hierapolis, built on thermal springs.
The Cappadocia region, in the centre of Anatolia is one of the most popular regions on earth for hot air balloon rides. Known for it’s bizarre, yet unique “fairy house” rock formations, millions flock to Göreme to hike around the rocks during the day, visit the underground city, and watch the sunrise over this spectacular landscape from the air in a balloon.
Istanbul, being a city of 18 million people spanning across two continents, has a great deal to see. Wander from the majestic Hagia Sophia over to the Blue Mosque where you’ll see one of the world’s grandest mosques, and then sift through Turkish treasures at the Grand Bazaar.
Ephesus, one hour south of the coastal city of Izmir is one of Turkey’s most renowned historical sites. It was once a bustling port city of 250,000 home and is said to be the birthplace of philosophy and many great innovations. Several of our blue cruises and yachts make a stop for guests to explore and tour this impressive ancient city that was once home to the Ionians, Persians, and Byzantines, amongst many others.
The climate of Turkey varies depending on what region of the country you are in.
Summers in Western Turkey and Istanbul are hot, with temperatures in July reaching up to 38 C (100 F) degrees in the peak of the summer. The Black Sea region (popular points include Trabzon and Samsun) is foggy, chilly, and rainy in the winter and summer, often, until June. The high season runs late June through early September.
By the first week of September when families return home for work and school is the ideal time to visit. September to October is also when Turkey’s climate is moderate, but still ideal for summer activities such as swimming, hiking, and walking. April and May can be rainy, but the trees in most regions will be in full bloom, creating luscious, colourful scenery.