One of the great cradles of civilization, Turkey’s architectural treasures are reason enough to visit a nation that straddles Europe and Asia. Iconic spots like the Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, the ancient cities of Ephesus and Troy, or the incredible troglodyte dwellings and underground towns of Cappadocia.
Yet Turkey is much more than brick and mortar. It’s also one of the premier beach destinations of the Mediterranean, framed by a deeply indented coastline (with numerous coves and islands) that includes both the fabled Aegean and the Black Sea.
Considered one of the world’s three most distinctive traditional cuisines, Turkish food is another delight, a blend of all the incredible flavors one find in the Balkans and Middle East. And with places like the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul and 400-year-old Kemeralti Market in Izmir, you really can shop until you’re almost ready to drop.