Turkey: the land of the Byzantines, Ottomans and Seljuk Turks, and home to arguably the greatest Silk Road city of them all, Constantinople – today’s Istanbul. Straddling Europe and Asia, Turkey is bordered by eight countries, with Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest; Georgia to the northeast; Armenia, Azerbaijan and Iran to the east; and Iraq and Syria to the south.
This vast nation has an enormous amount to offer the cultural or adventurous traveller. You can lounge on beaches, soak in hot springs, hike up mountains, ski, look for rare wildlife in the wild eastern mountains, hunt for Noah’s Ark, stay in cave hotels and eat some of the world’s finest food.
Known as ‘Uzun Yol’ (the Long Road) or ‘ipek yolu’ (literally the silk road) – in Turkish, the Silk Road entered Turkey from Iran, Georgia, Armenia, Syria and Iraq, then threaded its way towards Constantinople across the Anatolian Plains. Today the country is a key player in China’s much-vaunted ‘One Belt One Road’ New Silk Road project, with the new China-Europe railway running across the centre of country. Soon (although the date keeps being delayed) travellers will be able to travel from Kars, in eastern Turkey, to Baku, in Azerbaijan, by train.
We are currently developing several brilliant trips in Turkey – keep an eye on the website to find out more.
Things we love about Turkey
- Istanbul Gazing up at the vast domes of the 6th century Hagia Sophia. Soaking up the aromas of the famous spice bazaar. Getting lost in the streets of Galata. Watching whirling dervishes. Eating freshly caught mackerel sandwiches on the shores of the Bosphorus….
- The Kaçkar Mountains 1000 km of craggy, 3000 metre + peaks stretching inland from the eastern Black Sea coast. Think proper wilderness, bear prints in the snow, awesome ski-touring, nomad-grazed pastures and more.
- Silk Road caravanserais such as the Karatay Han, one of many ancient Silk Road motels dotted across the central Anatolian plains.
- Having a hammam The quintessential Silk Road ‘spa’ experience, this involves being laid on a marble slab, beaten (technically it’s a massage – but it sure ain’t for the faint of heart) by a portly Turk, scrubbed within an inch of your life and soaked in pools of steaming hot and icy cold water. Enlivening in the extreme.