Why Visit Turkey?

Turkey is a BIG country with an even bigger history. Did you know that the oldest known megalithic site is in Turkey? Göbekli Tepe is more than twice as old as the Pyramids of Giza! But that’s just the beginning… From the Persians to the Greeks to the Ottomans, Turkey is a melting pot of cultures, and has been for a loooong time. What’s currently known as Istanbul was once known as Byzantium, and then Constantinople. Turkey is just a country with as rich of a culture as its godly cuisine. In fact, there are so many things to do in Turkey that you absolutely have to go at some point. It’s just one of those things.

If you’re more into nature than history, then Turkey is no slob here either. From the awe-inspiring Pamukkale thermal pools to the craggy landscape of Cappadocia, complete with its hot air balloon sunrises. From the Lycian Way, a legendary hiking trail that sprawls out near the south-western coast for 320 miles (520km), to the beautiful sea resorts along the Mediterranean or the Black Sea. Turkey has everything a budding traveller needs.

Oh, and did we mention that it’s dirt cheap? While this is a bit of a touchy subject because the inflation crisis there is making everyday life miserable for millions of locals, if you come from a country with a stronger currency then you should enjoy a fantastic lifestyle in Turkey with minimal effect on your wallet.

And by fantastic lifestyle, we mean one thing: hammams. The legendary Turkish bath, adopted from the Romans, is the perfect way to relax and have a little self-care, at a fraction of the cost back home. Saunas and massage places are all over Turkey and you have to try them. Of course, we also mean salivating over a Turkish pide, eating an amazing simit, or dipping one of the former into some delicious hummus.

How to Get to Turkey

Turkey is far enough away for it to feel like a real adventure, but close enough that you can get there in just 4-5 hours (from the UK). As Turkey has a lot of holiday destinations, most notably Bodrum and Antalya, there are quite a few cheap flights to this beautiful country. The cheapest direct flights are to Dalaman, Bodrum, and Antalya depending on when you want to go. Even in July, you can get return flights for under £100. Go off season and you’re looking at a real bargain. I flew from London to Antalya in early January 2022 and it was less than £50 one way. I can also confirm it was a lot warmer there…

If you’re up for a more adventurous route, you could stop by Greece or Bulgaria on the way, heading overland to Istanbul. It’ll take you longer and the train to Istanbul will probably make it the same price as flying direct, but you’ll get to see a bunch of other places on the way.

Getting Around in Turkey

Buses are generally cheap when travelling around Turkey. However, if you’re going from one side of the country to the other then domestic flights are also super affordable compared to a lot of countries. I flew from Ankara to Şanlıurfa and from there to Izmir for under £40 total.

While not for everybody, Turkey is also a fantastic country to hitchhike in. I hitched quite a lot when I first visited in 2018. I climbed over a fence in central Istanbul and hitched from the main highway to Ankara. I also hitched rides from Izmir to Bulgaria in less than a day, meeting some of the kindest strangers ever along the way. Some even bought me dinner! If hitchhiking is your thing, don’t hesitate to give it a whirl here. It’s a rewarding experience.

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