Straddling eastern Europe and western Asia, the Republic of Turkey is a vast and varied country boasting natural wonders galore, a rich history and forward-facing cities. Nowhere more is this deep-rooted history and mix of cultural influences seen than in its largest metropolis, Istanbul. As the only city in the world that sits between two continents, it’s an intoxicating blend of cultures and traditions. Age-old mosques, Ottoman palaces and maze-like bazaars sit alongside achingly trendy boutiques and cutting-edge restaurants.
Wherever you go, food is integral to Turkey’s culture and its diversity is a highlight for anyone who visits. The country’s sweeping coastline is varied too, peppered with family-friendly hotspots, peaceful villages and hidden gems. Turkey is bordered by four different seas: the inland Sea of Marmara (separating the country’s European and Asian sides), the Black Sea to the north, the Mediterranean to the south, and the Aegean to the west. The latter two are the stuff of postcards – white sands, dazzling turquoise waters, pine-clad mountains and time-worn ancient ruins.