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Selçuk, Turkey and the riches of Anatolia

We so often think of ancient Rome, the famous sights of Athens, the Pyramids and wonders of Egypt to be the highlights of western antiquity. Another country, Turkey, bridges the lands between east and west and holds a wealth of civilisation and history with vast treasures just waiting to be rediscovered by the more intrepid traveller.

Tourists visiting Turkey may coo at the Hagia Sophia or the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, they may rave at the natural wonders of Pamukkale or Cappadocia; however, far too often a trip to Turkey is undertaken as a whistle-stop tick the boxes type of tour and given the vast size of the country it seems, at the least, to do a vast disservice to both host country and visitor alike.

temple of apollo

It is tempting if one only has a short break or a tight budget to try to cram as much in as possible. I would suggest that visitors could get “more bang for their buck” by concentrating on a couple of regions and endeavouring to spend less time travelling on long distance buses and more of their valuable vacation actually in situ.
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6 Hotspots of Turkish Delight

When the rain is falling in Western Europe and the drizzle is backed up the Thames River I think of Turkey sitting there with iridescent blue waters, ancient ruins, endless summer nights and plenty of cold beer.

Hold on tight for a quick run down of my six favourite places in Turkey.

One: Istanbul
One could write pages and pages about this wonderful city but let’s stick to the basics. Get in by plane from the UK, as cheap as chips if you can swing that deal with EasyJet, or come down the long way from Budapest by the old “Stamboul Train” route passing through Bucharest and the crumbling Romania and Bulgaria.

Stay in Sultanahmet, the semi sleazy backpacking area near the main sights, some of the hostels here have been around for years as have some of the residents! The views of the Bosphorus from the obligatory rooftop terraces are perfect for cold beers and watching the sun go down.

Eat a fresh grilled fish sandwich from one of the boats near the old Galata Bridge and watch the ferryboats as they rush madly across the river or shop in the Grand Bazaar, possibly the most famous market in Europe.

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