Let’s start with the ancient city of Istanbul, where two continents meet. Dating back thousands of years, the Old Town is rife with hidden gems and treasures. None more so than the fabled Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. Boasting over 4,000 shops, the smells of myriad spices waft through the air, drawing you into a kaleidoscope of colours. Get caught up and you could easily spend a whole day here.
The Topkapi Palace aya Sofia, former centre for the Ottoman Empire, offers a glimpse into the decadent lives of the Sultans. Many relics and jewels, some dating back centuries, can be found in the museum. Next, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, awash with azure, and bathed in blue spotlight of an evening; it’s no wonder it’s known as The Blue Mosque. Take a tour, wonder at the craftsmanship of the hand painted tiles which adorn the interior – but remember to be outside at dusk to catch the spotlight.
You can escape the city along the Aegean coast, where miles and miles of pristine sea and spectacular coast will unfold in front of you. The list of activities available is endless. You can charter your own Gulet and get a new perspective as your cruise along the coastline. You can snorkel, sunbathe and soak it all in. You can visit villages scattered along the way. Or you can sail to natural harbour of Fethiye and immerse yourself in a bygone era. For an unforgettable experience, we recommend exploring the tomb of Amyntas which dates back to 350 BC and is hewn into the side of a mountain.
For those wanting a bit more glitz and glamour, try the twin bays of Bodrum. The 15th century castle dominates the peninsula, but it’s the marina that makes Bodrum the St Tropez of Turkey. You’ll find high-end restaurants and fashionable shops, interspersed with smaller, more traditional fayre.
When to go
Hot summers and cold winters make Spring or Autumn the best time to visit.