East meets west to deliver one of the most exotic and diverse destinations on the planet. Here's how you can make the most of it...
Turkey has long been a crossroads, forming a geographical bridge between the East and West. As a result, its heritage is rich, with ancient Roman ruins, Ottoman palaces, Byzantine monasteries and 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.
What are you waiting for?
The fairy chimneys of Cappadocia top many a traveller’s wishlist and Terry Richardson’s extensive guide to the region will ensure that it more than fulfills your dreams. From planning your trip, accommodation options and different ways of ‘doing’ Cappadocia, Terry’s tips are well worth seeking out.
If trekking is your thing, you’ll want to read David Atkinson’s account of his walk along the St Paul trail. He says it’s a wild and wonderful walk across central Turkey, and if you use homestays you'll get an inexpensive insight into the region’s people and culture as well.
For something completely different, Amelia Stewart suggests swimming the Lycian Way. Not only does it give you a different perspective on this fascinating stretch of the Turkish coast, life on board a traditional Turkish gullet between dips is pretty sweet too.
Travel Icon: Cappadocia, Turkey – Terry Richardson
The St Paul Trail, Central Turkey – David Atkinson
Swimming the Lycian Way – Amelia Stewart
Lira too tight to mention? Then you need to check out our guide on free things to do in Istanbul. From watching whirling dervishes do their thing to brisk strolls along the Bosphorus, the only time you’ll put your hand in your pocket is to take out your camera.
7 things to do for free: Istanbul, Turkey – Wanderlust Team
Top 6 walks around Cappadocia – Kav Dadfar
8 tips to belly dancing success – Burcu Kisakurek
Turkish cuisine is a fusion of the best of East and West flavours. Leading Turkish chef Somer Sivrioglu reveals the best places to sample Turkish food in his home city of Istanbul. From fine dining to street-side kebabs, this is an essential guide for eating well in the city.
And it’s easy to continue tantalising your tastebuds when you get home, too. Rebecca Seal has put together a collection of recipes for Turkish breakfast feasts. And Lyn Hughes shares the tips she picked up at a vegetarian cookery course at Turkey’s Yediburunlar Lighthouse for putting together the perfect Turkish mezze. Yum!
5 unmissable cuisines in Istanbul – Somer Sivrioglu
How to breakfast in Istanbul – Rebecca Seal
How to make Turkish mezze – Lyn Hughes
From the monumental mosques and bustling street life of Istanbul, to the otherworldly rock formations of Cappadocia, there’s no denying that Turkey is one photogenic country. Little wonder then that Nori Jemil’s innovative photo of the Hagia Sofia (above) took our Icon Travel Photo of the Year in 2010.
For more inspiration, make sure you check out the photos our readers have taken on their travels in Turkey.
Wanderlust Travel Photo of the Year 2010: Icon – Nori Jemil
Ready to start planning your trip? Our Turkey Travel Guide is the perfect place to start. Make sure you drop by our Turkey Essential Information page too, for the more everyday (but equally vital) information. And keen trekkers will want to consult our guide to Turkey’s top 5 trekking routes.
If you have a particular question that needs answering, pop over to the myWanderlust Forum, where our knowledgeable community are ready to spring into action and share all that they know. Or check out the questions people have already asked about Turkey. The answer to yours might already be there.
Turkey’s Top 5 Trekking Routes – Wanderlust Team