10 Reasons Turkey Rocks – in Association with Cosmos
On the boundary between Europe and Asia, on the cusp between the Middle East and the West, Turkey is a stellar place to spend a holiday – not least for the weather.
Here’s ten reasons, brought to you with the support of bargain holiday specialists Cosmos, why you should visit Turkey now.
SUNRISE BALLOON RIDES
There are few things more magical than rising with the sun in a hot air balloon, the roar of a gas burner sending you skywards as the lunar landscape of Cappadocia appears below you. Simply stunning.
Turkey’s Aegean coast, a blend of rugged, forested hills and stunning beaches looking out over the deep blue sea, is one of the best places in Europe to chill out with a good book. Or try watersports from sailing and windsurfing through to paragliding, waterskiing and more.
Even during the British winter, it’s possible to sit outside on Turkey’s Aegean Coast and feed your face with the bounty of the Mediterranean. Turkish stuffed mussels, fresh sea bass, snapper, mullet, octopus, shrimp – you name it, and it’s there, all cooked up in the style of one of the world’s great cuisines.
Turkey boasts a tonne of history, but the underground cities and cave churches of Cappadocia are seriously magical. Winding your way through the cramped, underground caves where entire communities lived and worked in hiding will bring out the Indiana Jones in anyone.
When most of us think ruins, we think Greece or Italy. But both the Greeks and the Romans built and settled in Turkey (as did the Lycians, the Trojans and the Hittites), and the remains of Ephesus, the city to which Saint Paul addressed his letters to the Ephesians, simply wow.
DAZZLING HOT SPRINGS
For more than 2000 years, folk have flooded to Pamukkale to bathe in the warm waters that trickle down through a succession of white, travertine pools, in a landscape so pristine that even in midsummer it makes you think of snow.
STRETCHY ICE CREAM
With or without kids, dondurma, Turkey’s stretchy ice cream, is a magical experience. It tastes like ice cream, comes in flavours from blackcurrant through to chocolate, but stretches almost as much as chewing gum. And many street vendors do magic with it, too.
Love markets? Then Turkey is for you. From the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, with its welter of carpets, antiques and souvenirs, through the luscious confines of the Spice Bazaar, to the quirky chaos of the Animal and Flower Market, Turkey is haggling heaven.
MOSQUES AND PALACES
During the Ottoman period, Turkey was one of the greatest empires in the world. And this heritage remains in the form of the Blue Mosque, the Aya Sofya, and the grandiose splendour of Topkapı Palace, where the sultan’s harem spent their days and nights in luxury.
We’re absolute suckers for a good waterpark, and Turkey’s Aegean Coast has waterparks aplenty. We love Adaland and Aqua Fantasy, for their long slides, their boomerangs, their lazy rivers and the welter of fun, but all along the coast it’s hard to go wrong.