On the eastern coastline of the Mediterranean Sea, Turkey lies as a transcontinental country, as it spans over Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. In this geopolitically strategic location, Turkey is one of the most visited countries worldwide, offering an abundance of beautiful and untouched places to explore. Ankara is the capital of Turkey, located in the central part of Asia Minor or Anatolia, full of ancient sites and beautiful places to visit, while Istanbul, straddling Europe and Asia, stands as the largest city of Turkey and offers a magnificent trip to the Byzantine past.
Turkey carries a long and important past which is prominent across the country. Turkey was home to one of the earliest settled regions worldwide, as the ancient civilisations of Hattians and Anatolian were settled as early as in the Neolithic period.
Turkey’s coastline by the Mediterranean Sea, housed colonies established by the civilisations of Aeolian and Ionian people travelling from today’s Greece; Miletus, Ephesus and Smyrna became centre of the ancient Hellenic civilisations and afterwards home to the Persian Empire. During the Hellenistic period, Alexander the Great of Macedonia reached deep in the Asian territories, forming a vast empire of cultural homogeneity, including this area as well.
Moving on to the Roman Empire, the area of today’s Turkey became the centre of attention again in the year 324 AC, when Constantine I chose the territory of today’s Istanbul as the new capital of his Empire; Constantinople, situated in the crossroads between Europe and Asia, was meant to become one of the most important cities of the world back then, as the capital of the Byzantine Empire ruled until the Late Middle Ages. From the 15th century and on, and under Mehmed the Conqueror, Ottoman Empire was strengthened and expanded, forming the vibes that run across Turkey until today.
So, if you are an avid lover of historical ruins, Turkey will leave you in awe with its rich history. However, if nature is your true call, Turkey has a diversity of beautiful landscapes to offer for every demanding traveler. From olive groves to steppe areas, this country, on the east of Europe and west of Asia, can be the amazing setting of an unforgettable experience and this is the reason why over 30 million visitors per year choose Turkey as their dream destination. On the Mediterranean coastline, golden beaches welcome visitors with their relaxing vibes, whilst vivid forests, taken out of a fairytale, cover the Pontic Mountains in northern Turkey, but also the eastern part near Caucasus. Travelling across Turkey, you will also find the Turkish pine, a species found almost exclusively in the country and a few other Mediterranean countries of the east, and some wild species of tulip, which originates in the area of Anatolia – the flower was firstly introduced to Europe around the 16th century.
Turkey’s lovely climate all year around is another factor of why travelers love to explore this vast country. Across the coastal area facing the Mediterranean Sea, the climate is temperate Mediterranean, meaning that winters are mild and wet, while summers are hot and dry. At the parts across the Black Sea, Turkey features a temperate oceanic climate, carrying mild to cool and wet winters and warm and wet summers.