Endless bucket lists are only good with endless bank balances right? So it’s welcome news when a favourable exchange rate means more travel bang for your buck. With Turkey’s lira not in the greatest shape, that means Turkey is cheap cheap for Aussies.
Quite literally where ‘East meets West’, Turkey straddles eastern Europe and western Asia. A dream travel destination for all the right reasons, Turkey blends modern and ancient culture and architecture against a backdrop of spectacular landscapes. Think exotic Seljuk and Ottoman architecture, rocky outcrops or “fairy chimneys”, historic battlefields, thermal pools, Islamic art, coastal waterfalls and balloon-filled skies.
Check out these three of the best.
The surreal rocky landscapes of Cappadocia (or Kapadokya in Turkish) are probably our favourite thing about Turkey. Focus too closely, and the mind plays tricks on you – are people staring back at you? The open-air museum and underground cities can fascinate for hours, and the view of hot-air balloons above the skyline is truly heavenly. Amen.
The pure white mineral terraces of western town Pamukkale, look like gleaming, snowy slopes – and you can swim in these! Pamukkale means ‘Cotton Castle’ in Turkish, and it’s easy to see why. So breath-taking, it and the adjoining Roman thermal spa Hierapolis are UNESCO Heritage Listed.
No road is long with good company – Turkish proverb
Napoleon Bonaparte said that “If the earth were a single state, Istanbul would be its capital”. Decadent and colourful, the city blends rich history and modern energy, it’s easy to feel like you’re living in the present here. Art, architecture and artefacts from various influences – Roman, Egyptian, Byzantine, Christian and Ottoman – pepper the streets of this vibrant city. Domes, minarets and cobbled streets cover much of the old quarter of the city. Don’t miss a wander through the 4000 shops-strong Grand Bazaar, nor a traditional Turkish breakfast of serpme kahvaltı – a collection of bites to share. Think plump olives, jams, honey, spicy sausage, creamy eggs, roasted red peppers, cheese and cucumbers, seasonal fruits, fresh bread and as many little cups of black tea that your heart desires.
Keen to spend your dollars in Turkey? TripADeal travels to Turkey here.
Image: Blue Mosque, Istanbul