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There's plenty to see and do in Turkey. With resorts like Istanbul, Antalya and Bodrum, there's probably something for everyone. You can find out exactly what there is to do in Turkey by reading our in depth travel guide. You could also save yourself some money and pick up a bargain holiday after reading our cheap holiday guide.
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Turkey, which straddles Europe and Asia, is a land of seas and mountains. It is a large country and as such has much to offer the holiday maker. Whether your interest lies in sand and sea, archaeological remains or architectural wonders Turkey will more than satisfy you. Adding to the attraction of a Turkey holiday is the guaranteed summer sunshine which lasts from April to September. With three coasts to choose from, all offering miles of golden sands and clear seas, Turkey is a favourite holiday destination. The scenery is as varied as it is spectacular.
Although Turkish holiday resorts are well planned with excellent facilities Turkey manages to retain its traditional appeal thus enabling visitors to experience the authentic atmosphere of Turkish life as well as enjoying the facilities that holiday makers have grown to expect.
The beaches are excellent with a wide variety of water sporting facilities. The nightlife is varied and caters for all tastes from those who wish to party through the night to those searching for a romantic dinner for two. Similarly the diverse cuisine satisfies most palates.
Those interested in ancient history will find themselves overwhelmed by the sheer number of archaeological sites.
Turkey is popular with all age ranges and appears to satisfy most tastes. Families with small children and those who just want to relax in the sun will find many beaches with shallow safe waters. There is a wealth of sporting activities to satisfy the most energetic of holiday makers. Those interested in ancient history will be overawed by the many historical sites.
The holiday season lasts from early spring until late autumn when the temperature range is from the twenties to the high thirties. Although the summer period is the most popular, autumn and winter are good times to visit historical sites when the days are cooler.
The two most popular holiday regions in Turkey are the Mediterranean and the Aegean regions. Resorts in the Mediterranean region have wonderful stretches of sandy beaches bordered by citrus trees and washed by warm clear waters. There are many opportunities for aqua sports including waterskiing, sailing, diving, snorkelling and fishing. For those interested in archaeology the Mediterranean region is a good place to explore the many ancient Roman cities found there. It is said that the Aegean region has some of the most beautiful views in the world. There are miles of glorious beaches with excellent facilities. The area includes the historic towns of Troy and Ephesus, a positive treasury of Ionian culture.
Throughout Turkey there are numerous shops, bazaars and markets where haggling for goods has become something of a sport.
Turkish baths with their cleansing steam and massages are popular in all areas of Turkey.
Although the population of Turkey is mainly Muslim, it is a secular society providing religious freedom for those who are not of the Islamic faith. Turkey has a wealth of ancient ruins and buildings within its shores including many Roman viaducts and theatres and Ottoman bridges.
The nightlife in Turkey is often based around the hotels, restaurants and bars where you can find entertainment to suit most tastes. Larger hotels offer floor shows with belly dancers and live music which are generally open to the public.
Turkey provides many opportunities for shopping, from boutiques, jewellers, craft and souvenir shops to roadside stalls and bazaars. Bartering is expected and the asking price is always inflated. There are many outlets for leather goods, carpets and gold and silver jewellery.
Traditional Turkish food is very tasty and includes stuffed peppers and vine leaves, kebabs and of course feta cheese, olive and tomato salads. Rice dishes are also popular. In larger resorts and towns restaurants will offer a wide variety of international food.
The national drink of Turkey is raki which is aniseed flavoured.
Turkish people are friendly and welcome visitors warmly. Hand shaking is the usual form of greeting. Overt displays of affection between the sexes should be avoided as this may cause offence.
When visiting mosques shoes should be removed and clothing should be modest. Women are expected to cover their hair.
Coffee houses remain part of Turkish culture and even the smallest village will have one. Here the men go to drink their coffee, smoke their pipes and set the world to right.
Turkey is an excellent destination for cheap holidays, served well year round by budget and low cost airlines. The best time of year get a cheap turkey holiday is in the off-peak season in April, May or October, when there are less tourists but Turkey still enjoys great holiday weather. During these periods Turkey hosts a variety of cultural festivals and entertainments so that even holidaymakers on a tight budget can enjoy a fantastic cheap turkey holiday.
April and May are very busy times in Turkey with plenty of different celebrations and festivals that will probably take your fancy. There’s the Traditional Manisa Mesir festival where Mesir, a blend of 41 different herbs and spices, is thrown from the minaret of the Sultan Mosque against a backdrop of concerts, craft exhibitions and sporting events. Turkish Children’s Day is another festival that is worth taking a look at, especially if you have children. On April 23 every year, Turkish children travel to the Grand National Assembly in Ankara where they replace the Turkish government and run the country for a day! Children from other countries often provide entertainment such as theatre and music for their Turkish hosts. Kids will love this, so if you’re on a family holiday, this is a great way to keep them entertained. Children will also be entertained by the Ankara Cartoon Festival around the same time. At this event, some of the world’s greatest cartoonists compete against each other to produce their wittiest cartoons about a specific theme and it’s always good fun. There are plenty of film festivals in Turkey around this time too. There’s the Ankara Film and Music festival where you’ll be able to see many different types of Turkish and international musicians, as well as what’s known as the “Turkish Oscars” in the Film festival itself. In Istanbul there’s the international film festival too which is considered one of the most important film festivals in the world, and Turkey’s own version of Cannes.
October features a number of other festivals such as the Ataturk Dam Watersports Festival which is held annually in Sanliurfa. There are all sorts of water events such as rowing, sailing and canoeing, and teams from all over the world attend to compete. The Alanya International Culture and Arts Festival is another must see if you’re interested in the countries culture and traditions. Turkish music and poetry are celebrated in Alanya, which is a beautiful holiday destination with gorgeous beaches and fantastic hotels and restaurants.
These are just some of the things you’ll get to witness if you visit Turkey outside of the busy summer period, so if it’s a cheap Turkey holiday you’re after, you should consider booking in any of these three months.