Luxe Travel Blog

10 Compelling Reasons Why You Need to Travel to Turkey

Museum_Hotel_Nevsehir,_Turkey

While typically not a place that ranks on many travelers dream destinations, Turkey has something for every type of vacationer and should not be overlooked. Rich, varied history, breathtaking landscapes, art, extravagant shopping and white sand beaches are just a few of the treasures that make travel to Turkey a compelling destination. We look at 10 reason why you should consider travelling to Turkey for a cultural vacation you’ll never forget.

Because Istanbul was Constantinople

Gate_of_Salutation_Topkapi_Istanbul_movie Sleepless

We know the song runs through your heads as you think of traveling to Istanbul. Aside from having a reason to sing the lyrics, Istanbul was Constantinople, and a center of the Christian Roman Empire laid out by Constantine the Great. Constantinople’s history as one of the wealthiest cities in Europe was also rooted in Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman Empires. Throughout the city, these empires left behind influential architecture and relics such as the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace as well as art, stained glass and more.

Religious Center of Architecture

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Few places on earth find the concentration of religious architecture outside of Istanbul. At one time, Turkey served as a center for Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and Kurdish faiths and Istanbul represents many of these in the architecture left behind. Not to be missed edifices include the Hagia Sophia basilica, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque (also known as Blue Mosque), and the Roman Obelisk of Theodosius.

Prince Isles

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Considered the most exclusive resort getaways, the Prince Isles is home to charming architecture and natural beauty. Spend a day with a tour in a traditional horse-pulled carriage when you reach the island. Buyukada has awesome sceneries and famed fish restaurants. Enjoy a seafood lunch tasting olive oil appetizers and fresh sea bass by the shores of Marmara Sea.

Spice Markets & Silk Roads

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The bustling atmosphere of the Spice Market, dating back to the 17thcentury, is still the most popular bazaar in Istanbul. Strolling through the aisles of the market led by the enchanting smells, you will find an opportunity to blend with the locals and eager merchants will compete to show you their eye-dazzling displays of spices brought from different parts of the world. Istanbul also marks the end of the Silk Road, the legendary ancient trade route from east to west.

Art

Istanbul_Chora_Church

The art in Turkey is extraordinary thanks in part to the varied religious influences and to its geographical location. Because Turkey sits at an interesting crossroads between Asia and Europe, with Middle Eastern influence, you will find everything from murals to mosaics, fine tapestries, antiques and oriental rugs. Just a small sample of places to visit include

  • Mosaics in Chora Church
  • Istiklal Avenue, art galleries and eclectic architecture
  • The Treasury – exclusive jewelry and accessories worn by the sultans
  • Basilica of Saint Sophia – now a museum displaying Byzantine art
  • Grand Bazaar – a large indoor and outdoor bazaar filled with handcrafted rugs, textiles, jewelry and more.
  • Nuru Osmaniye District wide collections of Jewelry, antiques and oriental rugs

Turkish Coffee & Turkish Delight

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If you’re going to indulge in coffee and treats, why not indulge where the delicacies originated? Turkish cuisine is a delightful mix of flavors, spices and colors, taking the refined elements of Central Asian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Balkan cuisines. Turkish coffee, referring to the method of preparation, is an intangible cultural heritage of the Turks.

Troy

The city of legends and home to the face that launched a thousand ships, Troy is located just outside of Canakkale. Modern day archaeologists have uncovered nine layers of occupation in the 13th century BC city. Here you’ll find ruins representing the Bronze Age, Stone Age, Classical antiquity, Middle Ages, and the Ottoman Empires.

Temple of Artemis

One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Temple of Artemis is located in ancient Ephesus, near modern day Selcuk, Turkey. While the temple had been rebuilt three times since the 7th century BC, foundations and sculptural fragments remain.

Ephesus

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While in Ephesus to see the Temple of Artemis, take in the rest of the classical Greek and Roman ruins. At one time, part of the twelve cities of the Ionian League, at another one of the largest cities of Asia Minor, Ephesus remains a city of religious and archaeological importance, cited in the Book of Revelations. Home to many remaining prestigious buildings, stroll down the Marble Road that runs through the city, visit the Temple of Hadiran and Library Celsus, and the Great Theater.

The Turquoise Coast

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The Turquoise Coast, or the Turkish Riviera, is the southwest area of Turkey, along the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas. The warm sea and gentle climate stretch from Cesme to Alanya, over 500 miles worth of shoreline. Nearby ancient sites and ruins, volcanic mountains, and home to historical and mythological figures, the Turkish Riviera could easily provide everything you need in a vacation.

Not many places match the combination of European, Asian and Middle Eastern cultures, varied landscapes and historical architecture dating back thousands of years than Turkey. When you’re looking for a unique vacation destination, consider these compelling reasons to visit Turkey.

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