Cheap flights to Turkey

Linking Europe and the Middle East, suspended between the new and the long-established, Turkey retains a disconcerted balance of both east and west, representing a cultural mix with many discrepancies and contradictions. Modern city boutiques and exotic bazaars clamour for customers, the weekly tolling of church bells interrupts the daily call of the muezzin, and Roman ruins and the beginnings of Christianity compete for attention with the history of the Ottoman Empire and modern secularity.

The different regions of Turkey offer an assortment of landscapes, activities and characters, and whether one is a history or archaeology enthusiast, a sun-worshipper, sailor, or city-lover keen on shopping, there is something on offer for everyone. Istanbul, with one part in Europe and the other in Oriental Asia, is a fascinating city with its frenzied market places, imperial residences and minarets, and sporting a lively ambience of contemporary art and musical entertainment. Cappadocia in Central Turkey offers an astounding landscape of eroded volcanic rock cones and fairy chimneys, remarkable subterranean cities and rock-hewn houses that merge harmoniously with the ochre-coloured landscape; while further south the 'Turquoise Coast' is a haven for boat cruises. One can enjoy a variety of water sports, sunbathe on golden sands, or explore the wonderful ancient cities of Troy and Ephesus on the shores of the Aegean Sea.

Most visitors concentrate on Western Turkey, with its picturesque seaside resorts along the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts, scenic and recreational attractions, well-preserved archaeological sites and fascinating museums that bring its rich history to life. Wherever one ventures in Turkey there is certain to be a warm welcome and traditional hospitality, making this a deeply satisfying corner of the world in which to travel.

Language

Turkish is the official language, but English is widely understood in the main tourist areas.

Attractions

Turkey is an action-packed destination with plenty to see and do for the adventurous visitor. The largest city, Istanbul, features some unique and world-class sights such as the Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace, not to mention the shopping paradise of the Grand Bazaar, the largest and oldest covered market in the world.

Further afield you can find the ancient attractions of Ephesus, Troy and Augustus' Temple. Turkey is a year-round destination although at its hottest during the peak summer month of July and August (don't forget the sun block!).

Getting around the country is a simple of matter of hoping on a short-haul flight or scheduled bus service while in Istanbul you can negotiate the services of a taxi driver.

Climate

The Aegean and Mediterranean coasts of Turkey have very hot and dry summers, and wet, mild winters when the coastal towns more or less shut down between October and April. Winter in Istanbul and Cappadocia can be very cold with a dusting of snow. The peak tourist season is during high summer, roughly between July and September, and this is the ideal time for a beach holiday in Turkey. The spring and autumn months are also a good time to to visit, with warm days, cool evenings, and no mosquitos. Eastern Turkey should be visited during summer as roads and mountain passes may close due to winter ice and snow.