From historic Istanbul with its iconic mosques to Cappadocia with its distinctive fairy chimneys, and from the rich Roman remains at Ephesus to the mineral-rich thermal waters of Pamukkale – Turkey is a country filled with treasures. Stories can be found around every corner and no two are the same.
Archaeology lovers will be inspired by the sites on offer here, which range from those linked to ancient legends such as Troy to an extraordinary underground city and even megaliths that predate Stonehenge by an astonishing 7,500 years. There are an array of phenomenal museums around the country, some of which are home to the finest arrays of mosaics in the world. With the Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans all having left their mark here, it’s no surprise that the monuments left behind are truly awe-inspiring.
As for its culinary delights, there are many – and to eat one’s way around Turkey is to learn more about it as a destination. Take a sip of delicious Turkish coffee, indulge in some sweet baklava or go all out with some meaty skewers – the flavours, produce and combination of ingredients are unforgettable.
For British citizens, travel to Turkey for up to 90 days is permitted without a visa in any 180-day period. The Turkish government advises all visitors should ensure their passports are valid for at least six months from the day they enter the country. For American citizens who wish to visit Turkey for less than 90 days, an e-visa for Turkey must be obtained, which can be done online.
In Turkey, the currency used is the Turkish Lira. ATMs are widely found, and this currency is easy to obtain from any exchange bureau.
The country’s geographical position makes it tricky to define its climate in general, but winters can get down to single figures and summers can be hot, typically peaking at around 30 degrees Celsius. Due to this, it’s advisable to pack layered clothing, especially in order to shade your skin from the sun where necessary. Also, you should dress modestly while visiting any mosques or religious centres.
It’s important to note that it’s illegal not to carry photographic ID in Turkey, so do bear this in mind while preparing your bag for each day of the tour. Where photography is concerned, it is always wise to ask permission before photographing people and never take pictures of military installations.
The official language is Turkish, but it’s common to find that many people will have a good standard of English – especially in the country’s more prominent cities.
It is generally expected to tip in Turkey, but the amount can differ depending on the situation and service provided. A good rule of thumb is to tip around 10% of the total.