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Turkey travel guide

Turkey is where Europe and Asia collide, where secular modernisation meets ancient Muslim traditions

Turkey has long been a crossroads, forming a geographical bridge between the East and West; as a result its heritage is rich, from ancient Roman ruins to Ottoman palaces to Byzantine monasteries perched on cliffs to the First World War battlefields of Gallipoli.

Turkey’s terrain is varied too: there’s over 8,000km of coastline, split between the turquoise Mediterranean and the Black Sea, plus multiple mountain ranges (snow-topped Ararat is over 5,000m), undulating steppes and placid lakes.

A diverse land, and the perfect introduction to the East.

Wanderlust recommends

  • Explore the fairytale rock chimneys of Cappadocia – by foot, on horseback, or from a hot-air balloon
  • Trek Turkey’s long-distance paths: the stunning coastal Lycian Way or the lesser-known and remote St Paul’s Trail
  • Take the train to Istanbul – arrive in old Constantinople like the travellers of old, before exploring the city’s mosques and monuments
  • Tantalise your tastebuds on a cookery course at Yediburunlar Lighthouse, on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast
  • Wonder at the vast Roman ruins at Ephesus
  • Hike in the wild and remote Kackar Mountains
  • Soak up some Sufi mysticism and watch the whirling dervishes in Konya
  • Take the (cheap!) ferry from Istanbul up the Bosphorus to visit the fishing villages where Europe and Asia meet

    Wanderlust tips

    Drinking alcohol is accepted in Turkey; public drunkenness isn’t. Dress conservatively away from the beach – though relaxed, Turkey is still a Muslim country. When visiting mosques, shoes should be removed, and shoulders, knees and usually heads (for women) covered. Be prepared to haggle and be firm when walking through bazaars – traders can be persistent.

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