Turkey: Bridging Europe & Asia

Turkey is a fascinating country with a rich history and a diverse culture.  Located on the crossroads between Europe and Asia, this unique destination offers a blend of both worlds.  From its stunning landscapes to its vibrant cities, Turkey has something to offer for every traveler.  

Let’s take a closer look at this captivating country. 


Situated at the eastern edge of Europe and the western edge of Asia, Turkey is known as the gateway between the two continents.  It is surrounded by four different seas – the Black Sea to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, the Aegean Sea to the west, and the Sea of Marmara in between.  With its strategic location, Turkey shares borders with eight different countries, including Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest, Syria and Iraq to the south, and Iran to the east. 

People and Culture

Turkey is home to a diverse population, with a majority being of Turkish ethnicity.  However, the country also has significant Kurdish, Arab, and other minority populations.  Despite these differences, the Turkish people are known for their warm hospitality and their friendly nature.  They take pride in their culture, which is a fusion of various influences, including ancient Anatolian civilisations, Islamic traditions, and European influences from the Ottoman Empire. 

Famous for

Of course, you can’t go past Turkey for its famous cuisine; a true testament to the country’s cultural diversity.  From delicious, mouth-watering kebabs and savory mezes to sweet Turkish delights and strong Turkish tea, you’ll find a wide variety of flavors to tantalise your taste buds.  Turkish food is truly a sensory experience, and it’s not uncommon to be invited into a local’s home for a traditional meal. 

Turkey is also famous for its historical sites, breathtaking landscapes, and vibrant cities.  One of the most iconic landmarks is Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia, which was once a Byzantine church and then was converted into a mosque.  Visitors can also explore ancient ruins like the Ephesus archaeological site and the UNESCO-listed city of Troy, which are a testament to Turkey’s rich history. 

The country’s natural beauty is also a major draw for tourists.  From the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia to the stunning beaches of the Turquoise Coast, Turkey offers a diverse range of landscapes to explore.  If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you can hike in the majestic Taurus Mountains or swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean. 

Some pretty cool, and not so well known facts 

While Turkey is famous for its historical sites, some lesser-known gems are waiting to be discovered. For example, the town of Şirince, near Ephesus, is a hidden gem known for its charming stone houses and vineyards.  Another hidden treasure is the ancient city of Zeugma, which was once one of the biggest cities of the Roman Empire.  Here, you can visit the Zeugma Mosaic Museum, which houses some of the most beautiful and well-preserved Roman mosaics in the world. 

Turkey is also home to some unique cultural traditions.  One such tradition is oil wrestling, which dates to the Ottoman period.  This traditional sport involves wrestlers dousing themselves in olive oil and competing to pin down their opponents.  It’s a spectacle that shouldn’t be missed if you have the chance to witness it during your visit. 


What to See and Do?

Naturally, if you’re considering a trip to Turkey, you’ll want to know the must do and see things in the country.   As a tourist, there are countless reasons why you should consider adding this unique country to your travel bucket list.  From its rich history and cultural heritage to its stunning landscapes and vibrant cities, Turkey offers something for every type of traveler.  Here are just a few ideas:

•  Immerse yourself in history: Turkey is home to some of the most fascinating historical sites in the world.  From the ancient city of Troy, famously mentioned in Homer’s Iliad, to the impressive ruins of Ephesus, where you can walk through the streets once walked by Julius Caesar.   

•  Explore Istanbul: No visit to Turkey would be complete without a visit to Istanbul, the country’s cultural and economic epicenter.  Explore the iconic Hagia Sophia, a former church that became a mosque and is now a museum.  Take a stroll through the bustling Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world, where you can shop for traditional crafts, trinkets, spices, and textiles. 

•  Relax in the Mediterranean paradise of Antalya: With its clear turquoise waters, picturesque cliffs, and idyllic sandy beaches, Antalya is a true paradise for beach lovers.  Spend your days sunbathing, snorkeling, or exploring the ancient ruins that dot the coastline. 

•  Marvel at the natural wonders of Cappadocia: Step into a fairy tale as you wander through the mystical landscapes of Cappadocia.  Famous for its unique rock formations, known as fairy chimneys, Cappadocia offers breathtaking hot air balloon rides over the stunning valleys, as well as hiking and horseback riding opportunities. 

•  Take a dip in Pamukkale’s thermal springs: Pamukkale, meaning “Cotton Castle” in Turkish, is famous for its terraces of white mineral-rich waters, formed over thousands of years.  Here, you can relax and rejuvenate your body and mind as you bathe in the thermal springs that have attracted visitors for centuries. 

•  Discover the stunning landscapes of Cengelkoy: Nestled on the Asian side of Istanbul, the charming neighborhood of Cengelkoy offers breathtaking views of the Bosphorus Strait.  Enjoy a stroll along its narrow streets, lined with colorful Ottoman-era houses, and sample traditional Turkish pastries at the local bakeries.

•  Sail along the Turquoise Coast:  Embark on a boat tour along the stunning Turquoise Coast, where you can relax on deck, take a refreshing swim in the clear waters, and explore hidden coves and caves.  This is an experience you won’t want to miss. 

•  Visit the ancient city of Ephesus:  Step back in time as you wander through the well-preserved remains of Ephesus, one of the best-preserved ancient cities in the world.  Marvel at the grandeur of the Library of Celsus and imagine what life was like in ancient times. 


Things to Consider Before You Go

Turkey is a Muslim country, so it’s important to respect Islamic traditions and customs.  Dress modestly, especially when visiting mosques or religious sites, by covering your shoulders and knees.  Be sure to take off your shoes before entering someone’s home or a mosque.  Greet people with a handshake and say “Merhaba” (hello) or “Selam” (hi) when meeting locals.  Whilst wine and beer are commonly enjoyed in Turkey, avoid public displays of alcohol consumption, especially excess; some will consider it offensive.  Remember, during Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, so it’s important to be respectful by not eating, drinking, or smoking in public during daylight hours, unless it’s a tourist hotel, restaurant or resort. 


Packing essentials for visiting Turkey

*             Comfortable and modest clothing to suit the conservative nature of the country.

*             Lightweight scarf or shawl for women – to cover your shoulders and head when visiting religious sites. 

*             Turkey is hot; so definitely pack sunscreen, a hat and your sunnies.  

*             Comfortable walking shoes.

*             Power converter/adaptor for charging your phone etc; Turkey uses a Type F Plug.  

Whether you’re fascinated by ancient civilisations, captivated by natural landscapes, or intrigued by local traditions, Turkey has something for everyone and because, at Luxury Women’s Tours, we organise everything; your trip will be wonderful and relaxing and safe.  All you have to do is pack and then get set for a wonderful adventure.     

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