Invaded and settled from every direction since the start of recorded history, Turkey combines influences from the Middle East and the Mediterranean, the Balkans and Central Asia. Find out more in our feature on facts about Turkey . In the meantime, enjoy these highlights of things not to miss in Turkey.
A lighter-than-air float gives an unrivalled perspective on the “fairy chimneys” and other features of the landscape.
Strategically set astride the Silk Route, this architecturally eclectic seventeenth-century palace is one of eastern Turkey’s most emblematic sites.
Dramatically built into the side of the Pontic mountains, this Byzantine monastery is adorned with beautiful frescoes.
Members of a sect founded by the Konya-based Sufi mystic Celaleddin Rumi conduct “turning” ceremonies to effect union with God.
This ancient city, addressed by Saint Paul in one of his epistles, is the best preserved of its kind in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Extraordinary mountain-top temple-tomb complex that’s the outlandish legacy of an obscure, ancient kingdom.
You may not get a bargain, but you can’t beat the banter, especially at Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar .
Anatolia’s largest and best preserved Classical theatre hosts an opera and ballet festival in summer.
Medieval houses, historic mosques and churches, and boutique hotels mingle in this hilltop eyrie, high above the Mesopotamian plain.
The seemingly unsupported dome of Haghia Sophia is one of the architectural marvels of the world.
The ancient capital of the Hittites still impresses, with its extensive perimeter walls.
This sixteenth-century mosque is the masterpiece of the greatest Ottoman architect, Mimar Sinan .
Lying just inland from the Black Sea, this glacially sculpted granite mountain range, spangled with dozens of lakes, is Turkey’s premier trekking venue.
A fabulous collection of mosaics from ancient Zeugma, a Hellenistic/Roman frontier city now under the waters of a reservoir on the nearby Euphrates .
One of the traditional sensual comforts of Turkey, hamams (Turkish baths) make a wonderfully relaxing (and cleansing) way to round off a day’s sightseeing.
This unspoiled beach, one of the longest in the Mediterranean, is the perfect coda to a visit of the nearby, eponymous ancient city.
The finest collection of Byzantine mosaics and frescoes in Turkey, adorning an attractive church near the city’s land walls.
The favourite dessert of the sweet-toothed Turks, rich, buttery baklava, in which thin layers of filo pastry are stuffed with pistachio or walnuts, is best enjoyed with a strong, black Turkish coffee.
Moving and unexpectedly beautiful legacy of one of the fiercest campaigns of World War I.
The deeply indented coastline between Bodrum and Finike is the venue for multi-day cruises on a gulet, or traditional wooden motor-schooner.
Pergamon was one of the chief Roman cities of Anatolia, and extensive ruins remain; shown here is the sanctuary of the restored Trajan temple.
This well-marked path, suited to all abilities, follows some of the most scenic portions of the Turquoise Coast .
Cappadocia's many rock-hewn churches contain superb early Christian frescoes.
Home to finds of native cultures from the Stone Age onwards, this superb museum is the capital’s one must-see attraction.
Medieval Armenian capital in a superb setting at the Turkish border, scattered with fine churches.
The medieval churches northeast of Erzurum are among northeastern Anatolia’s most striking monuments.
The cobalt-blue expanse of Turkey's largest lake is at its most scenic in late spring or early summer.