Everything you need to know before going to Turkey
On social networks, we notice that there are many beautiful photos of Bodrum, hot air balloons in Cappadocia or birds flying over the Bosphorus and Hagia Sophia. Indeed, this number of images is multiplying visibly, because more and more tourists are choosing Turkey as a destination. Have you been tempted by such a trip yourself? You may then be among the 42 million people expected this year. The enthusiasm for this destination may be growing, but it is far from surprising when you know the various facets of this country which handles its culture both Eastern and Western to perfection. Discover everything you need to know as well as our advice to organize your expedition.
What type of country is Turkey?
A country in the Middle East, Turkey borders Iran to the east, Bulgaria and Greece to the northeast, Iraq and Syria to the southeast and the Aegean Sea to the west. It is bordered by the Black Sea and Armenia to the north and by the Mediterranean to the south. From its transition from Christianity to Islam to its Kemalist heritage, while passing through its Ottoman sultans, its civil wars and its coups, this country has an extraordinary heritage. Besides, Turks are generally very proud and nationalistic. Their state currently benefits from a very modern infrastructure and also offers very different landscapes depending on the regions where you go.
The leader of this republic Recep Tayyip Erdogan ensures that Muslim culture and traditions never affect foreigners. Thus, if you travel there during the month of Ramadan, you will not particularly notice the change in the habits of the locals. Note that this candidate country to become a member of the European Union for 35 years, and having a growing wine sector, requires respectable outfits to visit its religious sites.
Why is Turkey rich?
Turkey was ranked the 22nd richest country in the world in 2022. According to estimates by the International Monetary Fund this year, its GDP stood at $844 billion. Its economy is based on its industry, its agriculture, but above all on its tertiary sector (tourism, trade, transport, health, etc.).
You should know that for two decades now the Turkish government, headed by President Erdogan, has not skimped on the means to further develop its wealth. One of the strategies serving this purpose is based on the fruition of economic cooperation with various nations, in the four corners of the world.
Remember that Turkey currently seems to be positioning itself as a privileged mediator in the Ukrainian conflict. This was evidenced by the agreement of July 22, 2022 which was signed on its soil. The role it plays today is driven by its dependence on Russia and Ukraine in terms of, among other things, grain and tourism cooperation.
What is the official language of Turkey?
Due to its location between Europe and Asia and its history, Turkey is clearly a very cosmopolitan country. You will be able to hear many languages there: Kurdish, Azeri, Arabic, Armenian, Zazaki…
However, its official language, which is defined in its 1982 constitution, is Turkish. If you do not master it, know that you can easily communicate with people who work in tourist places in English.
When is the best time to travel to Turkey?
The climate is continental. Thus, winters can be especially cold. Moreover, it snows in many cities during this season. Among the latter, there is Istanbul, but especially Bursa, Antalya and Cappadocia. Many tourists rush there as soon as the first snowflakes begin to fall to admire magnificent landscapes in an immaculate setting. This usually takes place around mid-December and can extend into April.
If you are more looking for mild weather that allows you to fully discover the jewels of this superb country, book your flight between March and May or between September and October.
Finally, if you dream of swimming, we advise you to travel to Turkey during the summer season (from June to early September). Note, however, that temperatures can be very high. They can reach, and even exceed, 40 degrees.
What are the formalities to go to Turkey?
According to the website of the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, the mandatory presentation of the PCR or a negative antigen test has been canceled by the Turkish authorities since June 2022.
Regarding the short-stay visa and less than 90 days, some countries are exempt. France and the other states of the European Union are part of it. You must, however, have on you a passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of your arrival in Turkish territory. Otherwise, you will be turned away at the airport.
What is the most visited city in Turkey?
With an area of over 783,500 km², Turkey has just under 52,000 cities. Those that are most popular with tourists are themselves numerous. But we can say that there are still 4 that clearly stand out.
Among the latter, Antalya ranks first. This seaside resort receives more than 9 million visitors each year, who are mainly Russian and European. Istanbul, on the other hand, is the historical and cultural center of the country and has more than 7 million tourists a year. Third on the podium are Bodrum, Marmaris and Fethiye which are located in the Mugla region. Finally, there is the Izmir peninsula with cities like Alacati and Cesme.
What is the most beautiful place in Turkey?
We find it difficult to select a single location. There are, in fact, an impressive number. Some are creations of mother nature. Others are treasures inherited by the empires and civilizations that Turkey once knew.
The Pamukkale basins are magical with their immaculate white limestone that makes you think of snow. You will love recharging your batteries in their warm waters that come out of the bowels of the mountain.
But you will also be amazed by the young ladies with their hair, also called the fairy chimneys. These rocky blocks are a geological curiosity that gives you the impression of exploring a fantastic city.
Finally, we can also recommend you to visit the ruins of Ephesus. Although they are only vestiges of a Greek city, they retain all their sumptuousness. You will find there the temple of Artemis which was considered during antiquity as one of the 7 wonders of the world.
Where are the most beautiful beaches in Turkey?
The reputation of Turkish beaches is well established. But if you are looking for the ones that clearly think outside the box and stand out from the rest, here is our selection:
● İztuzu Beach in Dalyan is so “wild” that sea turtles have decided to make it their natural habitat. Bordered by golden-colored sand over a perimeter of 4.5 km, it will delight those who are looking for intimate and natural corners.
● The cove of Kaputaş Beach, in Kalkan, can be discovered by descending 180 steps. But you will be amply rewarded for your efforts when you arrive at your destination. The beach is a breathtaking turquoise blue and you will have all the essential equipment for your comfort on site.
● Ölüdeniz is home to a blue Mediterranean lagoon. It is described by the inhabitants of this region as a real paradise on earth because of its sublimely colored waters and its white sand. You will be surrounded by pine forests and pine hills.
Which city to choose in Turkey?
Some Turkish cities are so different from each other that you will feel like you have completely changed countries. The choice of the one you choose as a vacation destination will mainly depend on your objectives as a traveler. Whether you are planning a romantic or family stay, your desires will surely be different.
● Where to go in Turkey as a couple?
If you’re looking for romantic towns and locations for your getaway, you might want to consider Bodrum. This is the Turkish Saint-Tropez and is offered at prices that have nothing to do with ours. This seaside resort looks like a Greek island with its pedestrian streets and white houses overlooking superb beaches. It is also very stylish and hosts great parties in its trendy bars and restaurants.
You can also opt for Cappadocia for its magnificent valley of love, its fairy chimneys and the superb sunsets that you can observe there.
And do not forget the Turkish islands, they are enchanting and will make you live memorable moments thanks to their beauty. On the Princes’ Island, you can take a ride on a “fayton”. These are their traditional horse-drawn carriages. Also discover the beautiful bathing spots of the Aegean Sea and the many waterfalls in the parks located on the island of Cunda. Finally, note that the island of Sulu is also worth a visit.
● Where to go with the family?
For family holidays, we cannot suggest a better destination than Istanbul for its high cultural potential. You and your children will love discovering Topkapi, Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque and the unmissable Dolmabahçe Palace. You can also amaze your little ones by taking them to see the fish in one of the largest aquariums in the world: Sea Life. But if you prefer an expedition under the sign of idleness, we recommend Antalya, its all-inclusive hotel complexes and their gigantic slides. You will rest while your dear little ones enjoy the many fun and aquatic activities.
Finally, if you are looking for the unusual, your little ones are not likely to forget a stay in a troglodyte hotel or a hot air balloon flight in the Göreme region.