Straddling two continents, Turkey is a melting-pot of European grandeur and Asian exoticism. With bustling Byzantine cities punctuated with soaring minarets, fabulous bazaars, 15 World Heritage sites, geological wonders, Mediterranean beach resorts and fabulous food, you can't wish for more.
Incredible Istanbul is one of the main reasons to visit Turkey, with its intoxicating blend of ancient and modern, where the Blue Mosque (above left) and the Hagia Sophia, a domed monument originally built as a cathedral, held our travel editor, Sophie, in awe. Yet there is far more to Turkey than this great city on the Bosphorus. Marvel at the otherworldly geology and ancient cave dwellings of Cappadocia, or unwind in the serene bays of the Bodrum Peninsula. Once you've recharged your batteries, don't miss a trip to magnificent Ephesus, the largest collection of Roman ruins in the Eastern Mediterranean.
While Turkey may not be at the top of everybody's list at the moment, there are good reasons to go if you take care, not least the lack of queues at some of the world's most beautiful Byzantine and Ottoman Empire monuments.