Hoşgeldini! - Welcome to Turkey! The Republic of Turkey is surrounded on three sides by the sea, where the sun dances off the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean and welcoming smiles abound. Turkey is a delight to the senses; delicate tea cups whisked through the streets and trays of simits held aloft on vendors' heads. The cry of the water vendor and the fish monger, mixed with the languages of a dozen nations at once and the inviting scent of a spice market a thousand years old. Have your fortune read in the bottom of your coffee cup and enjoy the haunting notes of the ney flute. Admire the colors of Iznik tiles, like semi-precious stones, their traditional designs an age-old architectural element still current today.
Turkey is a mosaic of East and West. No other country has been such a pivotal focus of history and culture for two continents and thousands of years. Once the capital of the world, its empires spanned centuries. Thirteen civilizations trace their fascinating history across this country like an artisan's illumination, their cultures interwoven as colorfully as its traditional carpets. Turkey is as intricate and surprising as the beauty of its marbled papers, as magical as its monuments. A hypnotic blend of standing stone monuments, rising minarets, flashing tiles and Byzantine gold, Turkey holds two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the world's first cathedral at St. Peter's cave. It minted the first coins, and is the site of the legendary city of Troy. A millennium and more of rich cultural life has inspired an incomparable cuisine. Heady scents of kebab, baklava, dolma, meze and pilaf waft from restaurants and homes. You will feel like a guest of the Sultan's court whether at a local restaurant, one of the many tea houses that dot the country, a small kebab stand or quaint fishing village.
From high granite peaks through lush, fertile valleys, rugged coastlines and breathtaking beaches the landscapes of Turkey are incredible. Sea turtles populate the warm waters off Turkey's beautiful beaches, while angora goats roam the arid high plateaus and eagles soar in the high mountain peaks. The opportunities for travelers are as diverse as the landscapes; trekking, skiing, swimming and diving, rafting and spelunking for the adventurous, touring fabled historic sites, local villages or hot springs, taking a gulet sailing cruise or visiting its bustling cities.
Istanbul is a city of wonder and legend. Its two suspension bridges join Europe and Asia; the only city in the world to join two continents. The Oracle at Delphi is said to have decreed the establishment of the city of Byzantium here and it was the capital of three great empires. When the city was known as Constantinople its spice market was once the terminus of the fabled Silk Road. Ancient structures like the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and the fabulous Blue Mosque dominate the Old City while the New City boasts modern businesses, hotels, restaurants and nightlife. Istanbul will embrace you with its legacy of the past and views to the future.
Cappadocia in the plains and mountains of Eastern Turkey is the land of fabulous rock formations where early Christians lived in underground cave homes centuries ago. Rock-cut churches and Byzantine art, stone fortresses of ages past and "fairy chimneys" which echo the voice of the wind; this stunning landscape of rock, orchard and village changes color with the weather.
Ephesus was once the second largest city in the Roman Empire, so prosperous that the streets were lit by oil lamps and it remains one of the best preserved. Supposedly founded by the legendary Amazon race of female warriors it boasts a long history of affiliation with famous names: Androkles, Alexander the Great, the Virgin Mary, Saints Paul, John, Mark and Luke, Antony and Cleopatra. Ephesus is one of the highlights of any visit to Turkey; walk the ancient streets and imagine Roman life along its colonnades.
Konya, in south-central Anatolia is where Perseus was to have killed a dragon ravaging the town. The great Sufi Poet Rumi established the order of the famed whirling dervishes here. Archaeologists date human habitation in this area back 7500 years, making it one of the oldest known human settlements. Today you can visit the lovely medieval mosques and medrese and make a stop at one of the ancient Silk Road caravanserai.
Izmit is a bustling port city, half-way between Istanbul and Ankara. The district center of Kocaeli a region famous for its carpets. Izmit and was an important Roman capital. Traces of its Greek, Byzantine and Roman past are still visible. It is built on a number of hills and ski resorts are as popular in winter as its beaches are in the summer.
Antalya offers date palm-lined streets and a picturesque old quarter on the south-west coast; one of the most beautiful Mediterranean settings for travelers. Even the Emperor Hadrian visited Antalya. The beaches offer views of the mountains and in the spring you can ski in the mornings and sunbathe in the afternoons!
Join us and experience the treasures of Turkey!