Turkey is a vast and varied country boasting incredible landscapes and natural wonders, bordered by four different seas.
Well known as a great destination for relaxing beach holidays, it also offers many sporting activities, some of the world's most important ancient monuments, welcoming Turkish hospitality and a delicious and varied national cuisine. All I can say is if you are a fan of movies like 'Troy', mini-series' like 'Spartacus', Rome itself or anything to do with ancient worlds, Turkey is your movie set and you are the star.
Starting on my journey from the bustling city of Istanbul we head out for the Gallipoli Peninsula. In World War I, on this blustery and exposed peninsula, ANZAC and British Forces struggled unsuccessfully for nine months to dislodge Turkish troops from the hills above the beaches. It is a moving experience to visit the war graves and battlegrounds.
We swing through the (proposed) ancient site of Troy on our way to Ephesus and spend the next 2 nights camping on the coast. Built by the Greeks a thousand years before Christ and then rebuilt by the Romans , this immense ancient city boasts an amphitheater that can seat 24,000 and a harbor with no water.
Pamukkale is next where you can swim in warm, mineral-rich water and the mud baths not only cleanse and tone the skin but are said to have anti aging properties.
The next day we head for glorious Olu Deniz on the edge of the beautiful Mediterranean Sea, have a warm swim and check out the worlds highest commercial para-gliding site. Further down the Med Coast we stop off at Saklikent Gorge where there is the opportunity to go river tubing and then we are off to Olympos - rumored home of the original Olympic flame. Flames pouring out of the mountainside are topped only by the opportunity to sleep in a tree-house tonight!
From here we travel inland and upwards through the often snowy Konya Pass, to the mind-blowing, windswept landforms of Cappadocia. In Cappadoccia over the century’s, houses, churches, fortresses and even underground cities have been carved into this eerily eroded volcanic rock. The Goreme Valley provides us with an astonishing setting in which to spend a few days investigating the region. Grab a local guide to show you around.
The few days that I spent exploring Turkey from the Blue Mosque in Istanbul to the underground city of Zelve in Cappadocia taught me that there is still so much left - but sadly I was heading back to Istanbul on an overnight bus.
Turkey has so much to offer with historic sites, bustling souks, incredible food, friendly people and numerous adventures available at all corners of this magical place.
Head to Turkey - it easy on the eyes and even easier on the pocket.