Many ancient civilizations—including the Greeks, Thracians, Persians, the Turks, the Mongols, the Ottomans, and others—have laid claim to all or parts of what we know today as Turkey. This has made the culture, architecture, and history of this fascinating country a mishmash of early humanity.
It's an open, democratic society with a mostly Muslim population speaking Turkish. The country might not be a world power, but it's a force in the region and a truly unique place.
Istanbul is your jumping-off point, and there are regular flights to the luxurious city. In the past, Istanbul was a key waypoint on the famous Silk Road. It has been named Europe's capital of culture, and it's one of the most-visited tourist destinations in the world. The city is a rapidly developing metropolis that's expanding fast, but somehow maintains its old-world charm.
Needless to say, there's plenty of things to see and do. Take a relaxing sunset cruise on the Bosphorus or search for treasures in the many markets like the Spice Bazaar or Çarşamba. Food in Turkey runs the gamut from fresh mezze and Aegean vegetables to Anatolian kebabs. Check out the famous seafood restaurants in neighborhoods like Ortaköy, Bebek, Arnavutköy, or Yeniköy, or try the fish spots in the Kumkapi neighborhood near the Sea of Marmara.
But a trip to Turkey shouldn't be limited to Istanbul. Head to Cappadocia in the southwest for horseback riding, water sports, and some of the best views in the country. The east of the country is rougher terrain but rewards the adventurous with stunning vistas, hard won after a long trek.