Turkey offers an interesting twist on the traditional holiday in Europe. Its food, bazaars, warm waters and archaeological sites leave travellers excited for more. Once you’ve secured your car rental in Turkey, read our list of top 10 things to do.
The bazaars of Turkey are a relief from the commercial shopping centres which overtake the rest of Europe. Istanbul Grand Bazaar is warm and welcoming. Chat to locals and haggle down prices of jewellery, carpets and textiles, traditional crafts and ceramics. Whatever you do, don’t get lost!
Feel the tranquillity of the Pamukkale Thermal Pools. It is said the dazzling waters have the potential to heal ailments like asthma and many skin diseases. You can swim and bathe in the hot springs, with many parts of the pools open to the public.
Explore the historical site of Mount Ararat in Turkey’s far east. You might have some luck finding remnants of Noah’s ark, which is said to have washed up here. Climbing permits must be held by anyone looking to trek the mount. Speak to local authorities to arrange a permit and Turkish guide.
Laze on Patara Beach, the longest beach on the Mediterranean. With a backdrop of ancient ruins to make this beach even more spectacular, you will soon agree with the The Sunday Times that Patara Beach rates as one of the best in the world.
As far as archaeological sites go, Ephesus is unmissable. Just a 25 minute drive north of Kusadisi, the expansive site offers a sense of what life was like in 1st century BC, though it dates all the way back to the 13th century BC. With the Temple of Artemis and ruins of a theatre, library, public baths and village houses to go off and explore, the only downside of Ephesus is the large crowds it attracts.
Aphrodisias is a taste of ancient Turkey without the long queues. A shrine to Aphrodite, the goddess of love, the site is home to an impressive stadium that fills with poppies in the spring. West of Denizl, Aphrodisias can be reached via the Aydin/Denizli or Mugla/Denizli highway, depending on the direction you’re travelling from.
Ankara is Turkey’s capital city and second busiest hub. You’ll find amusement from its classical concerts, operas, museums, cinemas and quality restaurants which are all easy to access. Try a “döner kebap” Ankara’s dish of the city.
Diyarbakir is one of the oldest cities in the world. Its 6 km long city wall stands 10 to 15 meters in height, and is an example of the craftsmanship in the middle ages. Other attractions include its Great Mosque, built under Sultan Malik Shah’s reign.
The Turkish Riviera in south-western Turkey, covers Antalya, Mu?la, the provinces of Ayd?n, ?zmir and Mersin. The Riviera comprises thousands of kilometres of shoreline along the waters of the Mediterranean and Aegean. Warm waters, consistent sun and walks through archaeological sites makes the Riviera a tourist favourite.
Every year thousands of Australians and New Zealanders make the pilgrimage to Gallipoli, Turkey. The site is steeped with memories of the bloodied WWI battle, which is still remembered today. April 25, Anzac Day, commemorates the soldiers who risked their lives in the poignant battle.