Ankara is the capital of Turkey, the second largest city in the country with a population of 4 million people. Until the XX century, Ankara was a small town with a population of 16 thousand people and was famous for its angora wool. In 1923, during the national liberation war, Ankara became the capital of Turkey. Ankara architecture is varied and reflects the history of the city. The oldest city attractions originate from Roman times – these are Roman Baths, Julian’s Column and Roman Temple. From the byzantine period are particularly interesting Hissar citadel and a cemetery. The Seljuks gave Ankara Aladdin Mosque square in shape with a single minaret. In the Ottoman period, most of the historic buildings although less impressive than the buildings of earlier times but deserving the tourists’ attention were built in Ankara. Of these, the most notable are Haci Bayram Mosque and Mahmud Pasha market. The central structure in the modern city is mausoleum complex of Ataturk which still enjoys great respect in Turkey. For the lovers of entertainment and nightlife, Ankara offers a variety of options: it could be a night club and discos. Also, tourists can visit the many restaurants, bars and cafes that offer dishes for all tastes. A huge number of craft workshops and shops offer visitors a variety of products and souvenirs from copper: dishes, pitchers, mugs, candlesticks and other utensils. In the Turkish capital, you can get a good handmade Turkish carpet. There are also many modern department stores, shopping centres and boutiques.
Istanbul is the heart of Turkey. The East and West meet here, centuries-old history and culture imprinted here. Today, it is a social, artistic and commercial centre of Turkey, where life is in full swing all year round and at any time of the day. That is why it is worth to visit Istanbul at least once. Istanbul’s history is amazing. Formerly, the city consistently was the capital of three empires: Roman, Eastern Roman (Byzantine) and Ottoman. Time has not erased the reminders of the three epochs which the unique character of Istanbul was formed under the influence of. In addition, for over 2,500 years Istanbul remains one of the most important and busiest ports at the crossroads of trade routes between Europe and Asia. It is not difficult to notice and appreciate the uniqueness of Istanbul – you just stroll through the district of Sultanahmet in the very heart of the Old Town which is almost 3,000 years. The incredible history and rich heritage of the city are embodied in the three most famous, truly iconic attractions: Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace. The elements of the unique cultural heritage of Istanbul can be found everywhere. This is the everyday life of the citizens and the city’s infrastructure and centuries-old traditions little changed under the influence of the West and other countries of the East. Today Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and the cultural and financial centre of the country where bazaars are full of life and trendy restaurants and coffee houses await visitors. Another type of cultural activities existing around for centuries is to visit the traditional Turkish bath. The first public baths appeared in Istanbul in 1400s. They were called ‘hammam’ and initially intended for the urban poor whose homes did not have bathrooms or water supply system. However, the baths have become popular gradually and have turned into a meeting place with friends where came all regardless of age, social status and gender. In Istanbul, hammams are everywhere, it is a great place for relax after shopping or sightseeing. Women and men generally wash in different halves, and the process itself consists of several stages and lasts indefinitely. However, no hurry is in hammam. First, a guest is forwarded to the steam room (hararet) where he/she performs ablutions with water from a small tub. Then he/she goes into another room, where bathhouse attendant cleans, washes and massages the body. The ritual ends with wash and gentle scalp massage. After that, a guest returns to hararet where he/she finishes washing at will. Exhilarating combination of bath and massage will leave a guest full of energy for a long time!
Bodrum is one of the most popular resorts in Turkey. The town stands at Bodrum Bay – meeting place of the Aegean and Mediterranean seas. Bodrum was founded by the Dorians in a thousand years before the Nativity of Christ, and it was called Halicarnassus then. It was here where Herodotus was born in 484 BC. In the IV century BC, during the reign of Mausolus II in Halicarnassus were built city walls, new palaces, theatres and temples, as well as an amphitheatre. After Mausolus’s death, the city was captured by the troops of Alexander the Great and it was looted and destroyed for the resistance. Later, after the Byzantine and Roman periods in the history of the city, Rhodes knights built a castle here – St Peter Castle. But in 1523 the Ottomans expelled the knights from the city and took the power into their hands. Modern Bodrum is one of the best Turkish resorts. Blue, warm sea, numerous beaches in bays decorated with rocks offer an excellent rest for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. The city is built on two-, three-storey whitewashed buildings in the Greek style which give a special charm to Bodrum. Summer in Bodrum is softer than in Antalya or Alanya, even in July and August the temperature rarely reaches the 30-degree mark. Most vacationers visit the Bay of Gumbet where there are all possibilities for surfing, scuba diving, water skiing. No less attractive is neighbouring Bitez bay bordered by orange and tangerine gardens. Bodrum is international sailing centre.
Antalya is the capital of the province of Antalya on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, with a population of about 600 thousand inhabitants, reaching up to 2 million in summer. Picturesque Antalya rises on a steep sea plateau, in the beautiful bay of the same name. This is one of the most popular resorts in Turkey, with the international airport and developed entertainment industry. Antalya, with its many modern hotels, sports facilities, nightlife of bars, restaurants, discotheques, fascinating voyages along the delightful coast, carefree skating with slides in Aqua Park is the centre of tourism and recreation. Mountains approach very close to the city. The shore is slightly elevated, so only a few places have beaches. As a rule, three-star hotels do not have own beach, their inhabitants often enjoy the city pebble beach. The hotels of higher status has own access to the sea but limited in size.
Fethiye resort is called ‘turquoise coast’ of Turkey. It nestled among the hills covered with pine forest, in a picturesque bay on the Mediterranean shore and the beautiful beaches of Fethiye are among the best in Turkey and attract tourists from around the world to the city and its surroundings. Today, Fethiye is a resort full of beauty and charm. From the hill dotted with buildings of Old town and crowned by a medieval castle, you can see a cosy bay securely protected by 12 small islands. Its embankment along which traditional wooden fishing boats and pleasure boats peacefully sway at berth is one of the favourite places for evening walks of townspeople and tourists. There are no beaches in the town of Fethiye and those wishing to swim should take a short boat ride either to the numerous bays or islands in the Gulf of Fethiye. Buried in verdure Fethiye peninsula stands out by exceptional environmental friendliness, beautiful air and climate. In the vast basins surrounded by magnificent pine forests and clean water, there are several tourist complexes. Indented coastline abounds in bays and ridges of islands which creates an excellent basis for the development of yacht tourism. Also, the region is famous for its magnificent sea and underwater tuff caves especially interesting for diving enthusiasts, and in the vicinity of Fethiye, near the town of Olu Deniz is a unique natural reserve Blue Lagoon.
Marmaris is one of the best resorts in Turkey, it is considered the most ‘European’ one in the country. The point is that not so long ago, the bulk of holidaymakers here consisted of the British and the Dutch, who, as we know, are a good judge of quality rest. To make a choice in favour of Marmaris, several definite plus of this resort helped them. Firstly, here is ideal climate: even in July and August, there is no exhausting heat. Secondly, the calm sea as the resort is located in a closed bay fenced off the open sea by islands and peninsula, waves almost never occur here, water ‘holds’ well and thus, the resort is for those who are not very good swimmer, including children. And the entrance to the sea is smooth here. And thirdly, Marmaris has the reputation of the most dance town in Turkey – there is no room to swing a cat in disco bars in the evenings. And here, there is a stunningly beautiful harbour, where white yachts and pleasure gyuletys are laid up.
Side Resort is located on the Mediterranean coast about 75km from Antalya. Greek colonists settled here first in the 7th century BC. From Greek, ‘Side’ is translated as ‘a pomegranate’ and symbolizes fertility. According to legend, Cleopatra and Mark Antony once arranged a romantic date here. Since then, thousands of loving couples come here each year. Side surrounded by modern tourist complexes is one of the busiest resorts in southern Turkey. Vast sandy beaches come down in a warm, clear sea. To the west of the peninsula where is located the resort, beaches stretch for 10km. There are many modern hotels located on the first line of the beach, boarding houses, restaurants and cafes. Coastal sands are more desert on the east side and stretch up to Alanya. In the height of the season, on the crowded beaches of Side are popular water sports. To visit Side, we recommended April and October, as the summer is very hot and, moreover, in the summer months there are many Ankara residents resting here. Many historical monuments remained: one of the largest in Turkey amphitheatres of ancient Greek period, the temples of Apollo and Artemis, ancient city gates, water-supply, museums and much more.
Uludag is Turkey’s largest ski resort. It is located 150km from Istanbul and 35km from Bursa, in the national park, on the slopes of the mountain range of the same name which is the largest in the west of the country (its name is translated too as ‘High Mountain’). The maximum height reaches 2,543m, it stretches for 80km. On the slopes grow chestnut, beech and pine forests, above 2,000m – alpine meadows and woodlands. In winter, almost everything is covered with snow making the place is very popular with winter sports enthusiasts. Uludag is an inexpensive alternative to expensive European ski resorts. Local prices for all are significantly lower. A well-developed infrastructure and excellent routes attract many people in the winter. But it is not empty in the summer too, since great opportunities for hiking and cycling tours in the national park are provided. And there is no speaking about the local beauty. Each season is charming in own way. Rest in Uludag offers excellent opportunities not only for skiing, you can do some work on slalom, ski racing and biathlon. After a busy day you can relax in the hot springs. Or visit the shopping and entertainment centre.
Kusadasi Resort is family recreation centre on the Aegean coast of Turkey. Kusadasi is a popular resort in Turkey, a major port where cruise ships stop. During the year, the flow of tourists reaches 2 million people. Kusadasi is located near the best attractions of Turkey: ancient cities of Ephesus, Troy, Miletus, Priene, and natural hot springs of Pamukkale. And the city is not inferior to the number of historical monuments, sights and attractions for the perfect rest. Rest in Kusadasi is best done in the summer months – from late May to early September. At this time, there is the optimum combination of water and air temperatures, and the fickle wind makes the rest pleasant even on the hottest days. The resort of Kusadasi is known for its comfort hotels buried in verdure and occupying a vast territory, high quality service, well-equipped beaches, a variety of exciting entertainment for children. Convenient location of elegant residential complexes seduces by a wonderful carpet of white sand. The colouring of the East with the invigorating aromas of fruits and spices will awaken the power of nature in you! In the evening and night, the city lives a very different stormy and eventful life – cosy restaurants and cafes, night bars and discos open their doors for active youth. Everyone is absorbed by the noisy maelstrom of ‘dance floor’! Here, everyone wants to outdo each other in their ability to have fun! Surf carries fresh water to pools and lagoons and those who decided to freshen up gather on the beach at night. For a sports holiday, in Kusadasi are also perfectly suited: windsurfing, kitesurfing, diving, sailing, fishing and much more. Kusadasi is a universal place for shopping. Huge selection of high-quality goods at low prices and friendly sellers are the earnest of success for a lucky shopping experience.
Izmir is the city in western Turkey, at eastern coast of the Aegean Sea, on the shore of the Gulf of Izmir. It is the second largest port and third largest city with a population of 3 million people. Total area with the surrounding areas is 7,340 sq km. Due to its favourable location on the Aegean coast it is very popular among tourists. It is known for certain that there were settlements even 5,000 years ago. Gradually, they grew and merged into the city. In 133 BC it comes under the authority of Rome and became the capital of the Roman province of ‘Asia’. At that time, the city was called Smyrna. Izmir is worth a visit for those who want to touch history and ancient architecture of Turkey. It is exactly not worth to visit for beach lovers because there is a large port. In addition, the city is densely populated and absolutely unsuitable for relaxation and especially for wild rest in the lap of nature.