The country of Turkey is a Eurasian country with a large landmass, covering the Anatolian Peninsula in western Asia and into the Balkan region of southeastern Europe. Turkey, due to the fact that it is located over two continents, has a cultural blend of European and Western influence. The capital of Turkey is Ankara and it is divided into eighty-one different provinces.
Although Turkey is primarily located in a largely Mediterranean location, the climate is quite temperate and goes according to regional location. The coastal areas enjoy a milder climate, while locations around the Anatolian plateau can experience extremes between hot and cold. The coasts of the Aegean and Mediterranean coastlines have dry summers, the winters are cool and wet. The coastline of the Black Sea receives the most precipitation during the year with averages around 2,200 millimeters.
The Haghia Sophia Museum is a great example of Byzantine artwork. Built by Justinian in the 6th century, it is the third church to occupy this location and at the time of construction it was the largest church ever built. During the Latin Crusades of the 4th century, much of the church was destroyed and its contents were taken west. When the Ottoman Sultan, Memhet II, conquered Istanbul, the church was converted to a mosque. As of 1936, under the order of Ataturk, the church has been maintained as a museum.
Turkey is also the home of the infamous “Blue Mosque”, Sultan Ahmet Camii, which is considered by many to be the most beautiful in the world. Its name comes from the blue tiles that that decorate its interior. It was built and completed in 1616 by Mehmet Aga, Imperial Architect. The blue and green tiles on the wall are bathed in lovely steams of sunlight that filter through 260 windows. During the summer there are light and sound shows held on the grounds.
Pamukkale, is a unique natural geological formation that occurred over 14, 000 years ago. The water is said to have therapeutic qualities that can cure arthritis, kidney ailments and heart disease. Also located here is Hierapolis, with history dating back to 6th century BC. The runes contain the Temple of Apollo, Colonnaded Street, Byzantine Gate and the Necropolis which is a graveyard with over 1,000 tombs.
Sardis was once the capital city of the Kingdom of Lydia. It is founded upon the banks of the famous golden-bearing river Pactolus. Some popular tourist attractions in this location would include the temple of Artemis, which was one of the largest temples in Asia Minor. Also the Roman Gynamsium Complex, part of which was converted into a synagogue. Sardis is considered to be one of the Seven Churches of the Revelation.
Dalyan, is a small and unspoiled fishing village located in Turkey. There are popular mud baths that are said to have anti-aging qualities and make women look more beautiful. Daylan has beautiful, long, sandy beaches and is the meeting place of the Aegean and Mediterranean seas. It is one of the few beaches left along the Mediterranean coastline where Loggerhead turtles lay their eggs.
Side is located on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. It is a wonderful atmosphere filled with a quaint cottage-lined village and runes. Side is one place that offers something for everyone and is home to the largest and most well preserved ancient theaters in the world. The town has winding alleyways that offer fine dining, bars and souvenir shops.
Turkey offers some very charming hotels such as the Derssaadet Hotel and the Spina Hotel. For travelers wanting more luxe accommodations, there is the Hotel Bostanci Prenses Istanbul and the Marmara Istanbul Hotel. The most popular times for tourism in Turkey are during the months of June through September, when the skies are clear and the temperatures make travel ideal.