Deciding where to go in 2019? Consider Turkey, where East meets West and with loads to offer to travellers. We’ve outlined just some of the reasons to visit Turkey this year.
Thanks to a favourable exchange rate for travellers, Turkey is a top-value destination at the moment. You’ll find that meals out, souvenirs and optional activities are fairly cheap, particularly when compared with other European countries. So be sure to take advantage to taste Turkey’s delicious local food, leave some space in your bag for some shopping and make the most of the variety of activities on offer!
Turkey is larger and less visited than other European countries like Italy, Spain and Greece. Yet it still offers many of the things we're looking for in a holiday on the continent – sun, sand, culture and delicious cuisine. It also has many unique attractions that can’t be found elsewhere, like the limestone terraces at Pamukkale and the magical ‘fairy chimneys’ dotting the landscape of Cappadocia. Yes, the tourist hotspots are still very popular, but travel with Explore and we’ll take you to the quieter areas that haven’t been discovered by the masses yet, and to the must-see spots outside of the busiest times.
Loads of sunshine
Take a trip to Turkey and you’re pretty much guaranteed warm and sunny weather. The hottest months are between June and September, when temperatures can reach the mid-30s (Celsius) along the south coast. Outside of the summer months, temperatures generally stay fairly warm and sunny and our trips are timed to depart when conditions are good.
Thanks to its location next to the Mediterranean Sea, Turkey's south coast boasts stunning white sand beaches and turquoise waters. Visit some of Turkey’s quieter beaches, away from the big hotels and rows of sun loungers. On some of our Turkey trips we include the option to visit Iztuzu beach where you can visit the Turtle Conservation Centre that protects loggerhead turtles nesting in the area, and possibly even see some turtles in the wild. Or on our family or walking trips we go to Patara beach, another beach that is home to loggerhead turtles and which has the ancient Patara ruins within walking distance of the sea.
Excellent food and drink
From savoury dishes like traditional mezze and Menemen, a Turkish style omelette, to sweets like baklava and lokum (Turkish Delight), Turkey’s cuisine offers a taste sensation. Istanbul, in particular, offers a range of delicious food and drink to try, with hundreds of restaurants and street food stalls to choose from. On all of our tours, our local leaders will be happy to recommend the best restaurants in each area to try the local cuisine. Our active and cycling holidays to Turkey in particular call for plenty of food and drink stops to refuel and refresh.
Packed with experiences
Turkey is packed full of experiences, from exhilarating to culinary, that will leave lifelong memories. Its crystal clear waters are ideal for taking on some water sports like canoeing and snorkelling, and the Taurus Mountains are ready for exploring by foot or by bike. For an action-packed week of adventures, check out our Active Turkey trip. Its busy itinerary includes loads of different activities, ending with a relaxing cruise on a traditional gullet boat. Or if you’re looking for a trip for the family, adults and kids alike will be kept entertained on one of our active family trips.
Unparalleled historic sites
There are ancient sites dotted throughout Turkey and we visit many of the most beautiful and fascinating on our trips. Perhaps the most famous is the Greco-Roman city of Ephesus, which was once one of the main cultural and economic centres and has many architectural structures to see, including a 70,000 seat stadium, a theatre and the Library of Celsus. On our Treasures of Turkey trip we visit Ephesus early in the morning to beat the crowds, giving you the best opportunity to explore the site and immerse yourself in its lengthy history. Another ancient site popular with our customers is Aphrodisias - this Greco-Roman site is in many ways just as spectacular as Ephesus but with far fewer tourists as it’s less well known.