DOWN BY THE SEA
Bordered on three sides by sea, Turkey offers up every imaginable flavor of coast¬line. Rumor has it that Marc Antony imported Akyaka’s powder-white silica as a gift to Cleopatra on their honeymoon. Alagadl Beach, on Northern Cyprus, and Patara are two of the last preserves of the endangered logger¬head turtles. Munch on fried mussels in Çengelköy, or try the catch of the day at Sinop’s seaside restaurants. Learn why it’s called the “Turkish Rivi¬era:” by day, windsurf at Altinkum Beach, chew on Turkish taffy-like ice cream in Antalya , or bronze with the beautiful people at İçmeler. By night, play it cool in a boater’s bar in Dalyan or gyrate to bass-heavy beats in Marmaris’s open-air discos.Get set for a transnational nautical booty call in Bodrum, the “Bedroom of the Mediterranean.”
FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN
Turkey’s otherworldly landscapes will make even the most peak-weary rambler’s jaw drop. Hikers of all abilities can meet their match among the alien rock clusters of Cappadocia, the yaylas (alpine plateaus of northern Turkey, or the serene waterfalls of Butterfly Valley. For a more in-depth experience, join a trek through Turkey’s stunning Kaçkar Mountains. Adrenaline junk¬ies can reach new highs river rafting in the Çoruh Valley, parasailing over the Mediterranean in İçmeler, gawking at Kirkpmar grease wrestlers , skiing on a budget at Mt. Uludağ, or witnessing bloodless bullfights in Artvin. From Mediterranean pine groves to Black Sea villages, Let’s Go gives you the low-down on the best places to commune with the great outdoors.
IT ALL STARTED HERE
Ancient foreign conquests pay off for history buffs today, as Turkey boasts the world’s most outstanding collection of ancient ruins. Some, like Ephesus and Troy, are well placed on the tourist stampede and for a good reason don’t miss them. At emptier Miletus and Aphrodlsias, you’ll have some of antiquity’s best temples and theaters to yourself. A visit to the Çatalhöyük, the world’s oldest settlement, or the Hittite capital of Hattuşaş, puts the Greeks’ leftovers to shame. Beam ahead a few years to the incomparable Ottoman mosques in Bursa, Edirne , and İstanbul. Heading east will bring you to Şanlıurfa, “the City of Prophets” and the birthplace of Abraham and Job, and the stunning Armenian ruins of Ani .
FLYING WITH THE JET SET . . .
Explore the playgrounds of Turkey’s rich, famous, and painfully cool at the impos¬sibly posh nightclubs of İstanbul but don’t even think of trying to get in unless you can roll up in your own yacht. Next, pop on down to the turquoise waters of the Turkish Riviera and mix with retiring millionaires, pop stars, and famous designers at Bodrum, Marmaris, and Antalya. On your way back up through Anatolia, schmooze with the power brokers of Ankara before finally heading to the crystal-blue waters of lush Black Sea retreats, only minutes away from Sinop, a Neolithic settlement turned resort town.