The Republic of Turkey is a fascinating blend of old and new, of history and modernity. This country has been invaded many times, and the effects of the influence are seen in unforgettable ways. The entire country offers endless opportunities of exploration, entertainment and learning. If you plan Turkey tours, remember that this is a country where you can take a cruise, shop to your heart's content, lounge on some of the best beaches in the world, and visit places of historical and cultural importance. 

Here are some of the best places to experience Turkey. 

  1. Hagia Sofia - Here's a challenge - find a list of Turkey vacation packages that doesn't include Hagia Sofia. It might be very hard, even impossible to do. This museum was a mosque that started off as a church. It was built in the sixth century, by the order of Emperor Justinian. Some 900 years later, it was changed into a mosque. It is now a museum. Hagia Sofia features in the picture postcards that visitors send from Turkey because it is a spectacular piece of architecture. In fact, when it was built, it was the biggest building in the world, and an absolute marvel of engineering. It is still known for its gigantic dome.  Istanbul is home to this wonderful place of learning.

  2. Temple of Artemis at Ephesus - One of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Temple was built twice- once in 550 BC and second in 323 BC. It was the target of plundering and of arson, but its past glory is reflected in the ruins one can see today. Travel to Selçuk near where the Temple is situated and spend some time there, wondering about the ingenuity of man and his desire to leave a mark on the world. 

  3. Grand Bazaar - How can you plan your Turkey tours and travel to Istanbul and not visit this place? It is more than a shopping extravaganza- it is an experience. You need to experience the grand magic of Grand Bazaar. With more than four thousand shops to choose from, you'll surely come away with more than one souvenir and treasure to remember your trip.

  4. Topkapi Palace - While in Istanbul, check out the foremost palace-museum of the country- Topkapi. Spread over more than 400,000 square metres and containing over 300,000 documents and papers of vital historical importance, this museum is a great way to take in the many influences the country boasts of. 

  5. Patara - The longest beach in Turkey is home to some lovely cafes. Sit on a dune and watch as nature unfolds around you. 

  6. Bosphorus Cruise - Glide down this famous river in the best way possible- in a cruise. You can easily spend many hours with an experienced guide and explore the district and Golden Horn. Talk about slowing down life to enjoy the small things!

  7. Dilek National Park - You will need to journey to Kusadasi to enjoy this piece of the country's natural beauty. The park is considered to be an important natural site. It's almost 28,000 hectares in size and you can spot some of the most threatened and endangered species in the country here. 

  8. Kabak Valley - Get to Fathiye, and travel to the peaceful Kabak Bay. The beauty that will greet you will stop you in your tracks. Day hikes are also possible, so check with your tour operator on your options. Memphis Tours is a travel agency that you can trust to give you fabulous tours. Check with them on how to maximise your time spent at Kabak. 

  9. Mausoleum at Halicarnassus - Turkey is home to not one, but two of the seven wonders of the ancient world. This Mausoleum is 148 feet in height and carries sculpture on each of its four sides, made by four different sculptors. 

  10. Anatolia Cemetery - It might seem a bit morbid when you plan your Turkey tours to include a cemetery. But, it is a popular destination for tourists because it is one of the best maintained ancient cemeteries on the planet. Some of the tombs have elaborate carvings and decorations, temples and other embellishments. It makes for a good visit.