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Discover the best of East and West in Turkey. This fascinating country, spanning both Asia and Europe, is a treasure trove of grand palaces, monuments, and ancient wonders.
From the sun-blessed Aegean coast and Pamukkale’s thermal cascades to the stunningly preserved ruins of the city of Ephesus and Istanbul’s Byzantine and Ottoman past, holidays to Turkey reveal the some of the most captivating sights in both continents.
Step back in time and stand at the ancient crossroads between Europe and the East in the enthralling Turkish capital, Istanbul. Discover and explore a city that was once the heart of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires. Wander through some of its finest classical sites, marvel at the vast, mystical churches, mosques and palaces, and haggle for a bargain in the bustling bazaars.
Yet more history is revealed at the ancient ruins of Ephesus, the Roman capital of Asia, where you’ll have the chance to discover why this fascinating ruined city is known to some as the Pompeii of the East. Delve further into history and visit the fascinating excavations at Troy, which has uncovered remains dating back over 5,000 years, and that reveal the rise and fall of a series of different cities.
Moving from history to nature, discover the Land of the Eternal Blue, the sun-drenched Aegean coast, beside the spectacular azure waters of the Aegean Sea. Board a traditional Gulet to cruise along the Aegean coast and take the chance to relax on the beach as you soak up the sun, or perhaps take a visit to the remarkable geological wonder that is Pamukkale.
Take a holiday to Turkey with us, and discover beautiful beaches and some of the most fascinating remnants of the ancient world – all brought to life on a Newmarket Holidays escorted tour.
Whether you’re exploring Turkey’s ancient sites or merely relaxing in the hotel or on the beach, Turkey has much to offer. Here’s a list of must-do things for your holiday in Turkey.
With a capital that claims to have invented the concept of dining out – and as home to one of the world’s most instantly recognised international cuisines – Turkey offers a vast range of eating options, from simple lokantas (workers’ cafés) to internationally acclaimed restaurants.
Don’t miss the chance to dine on fresh fish overlooking the Sea of Marmara or the Golden Horn, and no holiday to Turkey is complete without a visit to a traditional meyhane where a selection of meze dishes is always available to share. Turkish cuisine varies across the country. Ottoman court cuisine makes lighter use of spices, while the Black Sea cuisine is heavily based on seafood and takes influence from the Balkans and Slavic cuisines.
Lamb is the main meat in the Turkish kitchen – threaded onto skewers and grilled over a charcoal fire, stewed or minced and mixed with spices and onions to form kofte – but you'll also find chicken and beef in many places. Istanbul is also home to the original doner kebab, served everywhere, and other street-food options include traditional filled pastries, and pide (Turkish pizza).
Turks are famously sweet-toothed, and you'll find a vast array of pastane (sweet shops) offering Turkish Delight, halva and baklava-type desserts to eager locals. And if all the sugar gets a bit much, you can always turn to the country's sour – almost salty – natural yoghurt.
The national drink – and passion – is tea, served with great ceremony and at all times of day and night throughout the country, and drunk in black and herbal varieties. Beer and wine – the former largely imported, the latter mainly from vineyards in Anatolia and of surprisingly good quality – are widely available, and most visitors will at some stage succumb to a glass or two of raki, Turkey's powerful, aniseed-based aperitif.