Knocking at Europe's door yet on the threshold of Asia, Turkey is truly a land of contrasts. Here you can scale the icy heights of remote Mount Ararat in search of Noah's Ark, cross the historic Euphrates and Tigris rivers, follow in the footsteps of St Paul or simply relax on the golden Mediterranean sands of Patara beach. Vibrant Istanbul, straddling the blue waters of the Bosphorus separating Europe from Asia, beckons with its skyline pierced by countless minarets, chaotic bazaars and a history redolent with harem intrigue and despotic Sultans.

Knocking at Europe's door yet on the threshold of Asia, Turkey is truly a land of contrasts. Here you can scale the icy heights of remote Mount Ararat in search of Noah's Ark, cross the historic Euphrates and Tigris rivers, follow in the footsteps of St Paul or simply relax on the golden Mediterranean sands of Patara beach. Vibrant Istanbul, straddling the blue waters of the Bosphorus separating Europe from Asia, beckons with its skyline pierced by countless minarets, chaotic bazaars and a history redolent with harem intrigue and despotic Sultans.

 In Turkey, you can also cruise along more than a thousand kilometers of Mediterranean coastline, past secluded coves, rocky headlands and pretty fishing villages, or explore a hinterland rich in the wonderfully preserved remains of Graeco-Roman cities such as Ephesus. For the adventurous, the austere beauty of the Anatolian plateau, the surreal rock-chimney landscape of Cappadocia and the atmospheric ruins of the enigmatic Hittites await discovery. Here, too, is the unique experience of watching the dervishes whirl in pious Konya.

 With a code of hospitality nurtured by their Islamic beliefs yet with a remarkable tolerance of other customs, the Turks offer a warm welcome wherever you travel - be it sipping sweet black tea or thick coffee with friendly villagers or sharing a bottle of raki over mezes (hors d'oeuvres) with cosmopolitan Istanbul 'city slickers'.

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