Turkey is a country that inspires superlatives. As the nation that joins the East with the West, Turkey is home to a culture unique in the world and a heritage as rich as any nation. From the grandeur of its mosques to the stunning beauty of its coasts, Turkey is the perfect getaway for the discerning traveller.
Turkey is a vast country, stretching a land area of 302,535 square miles – roughly the area of Texas and Pennsylvania combined. Thanks to its long history and size, the country boasts dozens of places worthy of your time.
Located on the southwest coast of Turkey, the Bodrum Peninsula is the French Riviera of the East. Filled with preppy tourists and well-dressed Turkish locals, it’s the perfect getaway for a luxury vacation. Tour operators like First Choice are well-established in the Bodrum area, with everything from five-star resorts to sleek self-catered apartments.
Explore the ancient mosques and forts of Bodrum Town, but don’t miss out on a trip to the ancient fishing village of Torba for a taste of traditional Turkish life. When the sun sinks low, sip a mojito by the sea in the chic town of Turbuku, the vacation destination for Turkey’s elite or hire a yacht and visit the beaches of Aspat, Bagla and Akyarlar.
Istanbul – formerly Byzantium and Constantinople – has been one of the world’s most important cities for over a thousand years. Quintessentially Turkish, this city boasts a population of 14 million and should be your first stop in the country.
Visit the Hagia Sophia, a 1500-year-old building that counts among the architectural wonders of the world or takes in the Topkapi Palace, the former residence of the Ottoman Sultans, for a glimpse of the luxury of old. The building is absolutely stunning by itself, but the rare art collection inside is even better.
Cultural insights can be had at the Mevlevi dervish ceremony at the Divan Literature Museum – an ancient tradition reenacted on the last Sunday of each month, while you can feel like an international jet setter by taking a dip in the waters of Suada – a swimming pool right between Europe and Asia.
Datca Peninsula is Turkey’s most unspoiled region, filled with olive groves, vast, empty beaches, and tiny cafes. It’s a great place to go sailing with crystal-clear waters and charming fishing villages lining the coast.
The ancient port of Knidos was originally built 2,400 years ago and is worth a tour from Datca town, while the beach at Kargi feels more like Greece than Turkey, with its thriving Greek population. Eating-wise, there’s fresh seafood and local Turkish favourites at the Ada restaurant in Datca, or try out the many Turkish dishes on offer at Elaki Restaurant in Konagi.
Whether you find your slice of Turkish luxury while staring out at the jewelled horizon of Istanbul or claiming your own corner of rural Datca, Turkey holidays keep their promise of pure escape.