One country that has been on my list for a while, and yet I still haven’t visited, is Turkey. I was close to it in 2006, when I visited Yerevan, Armenia’s capital city located a mere 15 miles from the Turkish border, but due to poor relations between the countries, the border is closed. I’m sure that sometime in the near future, however, I’ll be able to visit. Turkish Airlines has several direct flights to Istanbul from several US cities including Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago and often runs discounted airfare specials that make a trip there especially enticing. And, if you don’t want to do the legwork yourself, some tour operators off special packages for Turkey all inclusive holidays that combine flights, hotels and some additional services such as touring.
Straddling the continents of Europe and Asia, Istanbul is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Turkey, and in fact, is the tenth most popular tourist destination in the world (In 2010, over seven million people visited Istanbul). Antalya, located on the southwestern coast of Turkey, on the Mediterranean Sea, is the most popular tourist destination, primarily due to its narrow cobblestone streets lined with historic Ottoman homes, and beautiful beaches with views of the Mediterranean and surrounding mountains.
While I am a history buff, and would undoubtedly find much to occupy myself with while in Turkey, one of my main reasons for wanting to go is the food. I fell in love with Turkish cuisine when I lived in London for a year, which has plenty of excellent Turkish restaurants. Of course, best to go straight to the source, so that is why I am looking forward to ending a long day of touring with some meze, pide, kebabs, and dolma. Followed by baklava and Turkish coffee, of course.