Beautiful beaches, a rich history and a renowned nightlife have combined to help Turkey become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, attracting more than thirty million foreign travellers each year.
Whether you want to relax on the shores of the Mediterranean or Black Sea, rummage through bazaars in Istanbul, dance the night away or visit historical sites, Turkey is the place.
With so much on offer, one of the best ways to truly explore the country is to organise car hire and get out of the cities and resorts and investigate the many sites of interest in and around them. Turkey has a number of airports and the easiest way to organise car hire is book in advance for pick-up at an airport. Istanbul Ataturk (IST), Dalaman (DLM), Izmir (IZM), Antalya (AYT) and Bodrum (BJV) all have pick-up and drop-off points.
If you enjoy beaches, you have several choices while in Turkey. Located on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean and on the southern shores of the Black Sea, there is no shortage of stunning beach areas and there are a huge number of resorts on both shorelines. For those who love busy beaches, Marmaris, Antalya, Kemer and Bodrum are among the most popular places where you can enjoy a break surrounded by like-minded holiday makers.
The coastline is not completely taken up by resort towns, however and, with the aid of a hire car you can enjoy some of the more hidden gems that dot the landscape. In the Datca peninsula, Ovabuku beach is a relatively small stretch of gorgeous shingle that is adjacent to a small cluster of restaurants and bars. Similarly, Gemiler beach, which lies at the very end of the Fethiye peninsula, is lovely and secluded and surrounded by olive groves with just a couple of restaurants serving meze and cold beer.
For real seclusion, try Kabak, which is a beautiful stretch of coastline. At night you can see the lights of the much busier Olu Deniz from here and revel in some much-needed tranquillity.
For those who want to indulge in a bit of retail therapy, you will find exciting and colourful bazaars all over the country. Most resort areas have a number of small and large markets offering everything from street foods to traditional crafts and beautiful, unique jewellery.
Things to look out for specifically are Turkish carpets, which are traditionally knotted or woven and known around the world for their beauty and durability. Leather goods are also a good choice in Turkey as the craftsmen are renowned for their skill. Traditional crafts such as ceramics and jewellery make for excellent gifts and keepsakes and you will find that prices are cheap. This is due to the lower cost of labour and is not a reflection of the quality of the materials.
No shopping holiday will be complete unless you visit the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. A visit might take an entire day as it encompasses over 3000 shops spread over sixty-five streets. Many people choose to visit Istanbul only for a few days of their holiday, which is ideal if you are driving. You can head to the city to experience the shopping and the nightlife before continuing your exploration of the country.
While in Istanbul you will want to enjoy the busy nightlife of this very cosmopolitan city. You can enjoy whole evenings wandering from place to place, people watching and soaking up the atmosphere.
You will find that Turkey is very proud of its rich history. By organising car hire in Turkey you can visit amazing sites such as the archaeological dig at Troy. Recording 4000 years of history, this dig showcases a number of altars, temples and houses.
The drive to remote Mount Nemrut is definitely worth hiring a car for. At this site you will see massive stone carvings of the ancient gods and experience a breathtaking view at the same time. Mamure Kalesi is a massive fortified construction that is also a must-see. It rests on third-century foundations and it is possible to trace Turkey's history through the many additions and renovations made over the years by the Romans, Crusaders and Ottomans.
If you want to truly explore Turkey car hire will allow you to experience all of the culture, beauty and history that this stunning country has to offer.
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