From the ancient Hittite Empire, through the ancient Greek settlements in Ionia and Caria, through the Byzantine Empire, the migration of the Seljuk Turks, and the Ottoman Empire, the modern-day country of Turkey stands upon a land with a dynamic, deep and resounding history.
This article looks at three holidays in Turkey with a historical theme, focused around easy access to places of historical interest. Because of their specialised nature, these holidays require a higher budget than most conventional Turkish holidays, and they are not the sort of things you should book if you are looking for a relaxing beach break.
They are ideal, however, if you are looking for a chance to absorb the culture of a fascinating and unique land.
- Walking and Cruising the Lycian Shore, with Peter Sommer Travels. For the adventurous outdoors type, this 15 day hiking trip explores Turkey's beautiful Lycian coast, visiting, among many other highlights, the 2500 year old Greek city of Sidyma, the ancient amphitheatre at Apollonia, the oracle of Apollo at Sura, the Byzantine remains on the island of Kekova, and the Ottoman castle of Kale. The cost per person is £3,425, which includes full-board accommodation and entrance fees for all archaeological excursions. Search for more information online at PeterSommer.com.
- Grand Tour of Turkey, with Archers Direct. A 13 day coach tour taking in all the major historical sites of Turkey, including several days in Istanbul, visits to Troy, Gallipolli, Izmir, Cappadocia, and many other landmark locations. You can also arrange optional extra excursions including visits to Ephesus and Topkapi palace, and a cruise along the Bosphorus. Prices start from £845 per person, including flights return flights from the UK, accommodation, and most of the breakfasts and evening meals on the trip. Book online at ArchersDirect.co.uk.
- A personalised historical trip around Southern Turkey, with Southern Turkey Family Holidays. A unique, personalised experience with no standardised price or itinerary, this company offers private tours in small groups (more than two people) visiting any historical sites in Antalya and Southern Turkey which they choose. Itineraries can be made up of any combination of visits to Aspendos (Roman city with an amphitheatre), Kekova Island, Xanthos (the ancient capital of Lycia), Limyra (the home of Pericles), and many more sites. Check out Southern-Turkey.co.uk/historical-tours/ for your own personal quote.