Searching for that picture perfect holiday destination, filled with romance, clear seas and passionate cultures can lead tourists to any of the island destinations, even Spain but the most desirable selling points of these countries are all-year round warm weather, coastlines of white sandy beaches, diving in flawless turquoise waters and the open welcoming people, in Turkey you can have all this for a fraction of the cost.
Coastline cruising and relaxing on the beaches is one of the lures to Turkey but they have fishing (I’m not big on fishing but they offer fly fishing, night fishing or bottom-sea fishing), Snorkelling – Low level exploration of the turquoise waters) & Scuba Diving (There is astonishing clarity and visibility of marine life and awesome wrecks and reefs). Relax along the opulence and beauty of Patara in Turkey, the longest stretch of white sandy beach in the Mediterranean.
Çatalhöyük (near Ankara) is a UNESCO heritage site where you can find the largest and best preserved Neolithic (New stone-age) and Chalcolithic (Copper-age) settlement which existed around 7500BC to 5700BC. You can walk the interactive tour and see the streetless cluster of houses and discover one of the world’s first cities.
Head to the Denizli Province to marvel at the “cotton castle/fortress” or “Pamuk kale” created by these balconies of talcum-white and pearlescent carbonated minerals and take a dip in their hot spring waters, before heading to town and feasting on delicious Borek or Adana Kebabs with a refreshing cup of tea or strong traditional Turkish coffee…remember always leave a little behind in the cup, it’s tradition and also means you won’t drink the very bitter sediments left over…it will spoil the flavour.
There are more common touristy places like Safranbolu, the magnificent preserved and vibrant Ottoman town, it felt like a “living museum”. This town recently made the UNESCO Heritage list for its preservation of traditional Ottoman houses and is extremely popular with Turks as well as international tourists.
I nearly forgot the Aspendos Theatre, a preserved Roman theatre that sometimes has ballet or Opera performances within its 2000 year old stone walls and you should especially visit Bodrum Castle of the Knights of St. John (the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology), which is built out of stones from the once Mausoleum of Halicarnassus (one of the seven wonders of the ancient world). It truly is fascinating and that alone is well worth a visit to Turkey
Cost of Travel
Currently the cost of traveling to Turkey is 35% less than going to Spain. Although travelling to Spain and Turkey from nearly anywhere within Europe is easy, you can always find cheap flights to Dalaman or Barcelona with popular flight agents like flythomascook.com, Virgin or other flight centres. Turkey and Spain are good destinations to compare the cost of travelling, you will immediately see the benefits of travelling to Turkey over the traditional European holiday destinations with its rich heritage and beach bliss, it will captivate your heart and you will soon want to call it home.