East meets west in Turkey in a fascinating, exotic collision of cultures and religions, ancient and modern. Combined with its reputation for good value for money, this makes Turkey “hot”. Turkey’s strategic location, straddling the continents of Europe and Asia, guarding the waterway between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, means it has already had a major role to play in world events. From Turkey rose the Byzantine and Ottoman empires and in Turkish soil rest the remains of more than 2300 Kiwi soldiers who died at Gallipoli during the First World War. This tragic war that helped shape New Zealand’s identity means Turkey has a special place in our hearts. This feeling is reciprocated by the Turks who seem to have an especially warm welcome for Kiwis.
Istanbul is a city of graceful minarets, whirling dervishes, bazaars overflowing with rugs, spices and Turkish delight. Turkey also has more than 8000 kilometres of Mediterranean coastline; spectacular ruins such as Ephesus, one of the best preserved ancient sites in the Mediterranean; legendary Troy; and one of the world’s most astonishing landscapes, the fairy chimneys and underground cities of Cappadocia. Sail in a traditional wooden Gulet, along the Turquoise and Aegean coasts.