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 a unique country, where the main language is Turkish and the population is mostly Muslim.
Istanbul is your jumping-off point; 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 a European 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 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 has rougher terrain but rewards the adventurous with stunning vistas, hard won after a long trek.