Turkey- A Taste of Eastern Promise
With so many cheap flights to Turkey available now you can have a fantastic holiday in one of the world’s most fascinating countries at a very reasonable price. Despite a hectic pace of life in the big cities like Ankara and Istanbul, Turkey has a whole lot more to offer than bazaars, baths and carpets. It has such a varied climate and geography that you’ll be spoilt for choice whichever season you choose to go there.
The main tourist areas are clustered around the Aegean, and it’s easy to see why with its archipelago of small, picturesque islands, paradisiacal climate and clear emerald waters. Patara Beach near the small resort of Kalkan is especially gorgeous, so much so that the whole area is protected from enthusiastic Turkish developers and continues to play host to peace-loving Loggerhead turtles as well appreciative tourists.
In the coastal areas of the Aegean and further south there’s a nightlife to suit the most ardent clubber’s demands, as well as idyllic golden sands and masses of cultural attractions. Not the least of these is the ruins of ancient Greek cities that lie scattered around Western Turkey like bits of broken teeth and bear witness to a long lost civilisation of temples, amphitheatres and busy ports. Most of these are now far inland because of their rivers and deltas silting up, but they constitute one of Turkey’s most enduring and endearing features.
When you grow tired of the bars, dancing and shopping you can head further east along the modern coast road and experience the less populous Turkish Riviera towns such as Antalya and Alanya, almost opposite Cyprus. A bit further inland from here is the legendary lunar landscape of Cappadocia with its famous ‘fairy chimneys’ and troglodyte caves, and Pamukkale with its salt deposits and clear pools of mineral waters – a great place for health enthusiasts to hang out amidst stunning surroundings.
Further east still there are vast cedar forests and stupendous mountains such as the famous Mount Ararat where Noah’s Ark was supposed to have landed after the Biblical Flood. Nemrut Dag is topped with the remains of colossal ancient stone heads that make it a Turkish version of Easter Island, and there are also numerous remote monasteries and towns that haven’t changed much in hundreds of years.
Whether you’re into the great outdoors, culture, history or cuisine you’ll find that Turkey has a great range of attractions for you to explore. Empires and armies have criss-crossed this land bridge between the two continents for millennia and left their mark on the landscape and its people.
Even though Turkey has been attracting tourists for some decades now, it is still relatively unspoilt. Beyond the narrow coastal strip which is home to most of the resorts there’s virtually a whole continent available for anyone looking for a bit of adventure and a holiday with a difference. The Turkish people are also amongst the friendliest on the planet and will fall over backwards to help you if you get lost, and they’re rightly proud of their culture, achievements and heritage, and love to show them off.
[box]David Elliott is a freelance writer who loves to travel, especially in Europe and Turkey. He’s spent most of his adult life in a state of restless excitement but recently decided to settle in North London. He gets away whenever he can to immerse himself in foreign cultures and lap up the history of great cities.