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Turkey

Introduction
Turkey is becoming one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe. Here you can find everything you need for your get away: sun, beautiful beaches, well developed tourist infrastructure, high level of service, delicious traditional food, national historic sights and all this at a very affordable price.

With a combination of warm dry summer climate and relatively low prices, Turkey is famous as a resort destination. Some of the most well know Turkish resort areas include: the Loryma Peninsula (Marmaris, IÏçmeler, Turunç etc), The Bodrum Peninsula (Bodrum, Gümbet, etc.), The Fethiye Region (Ölüdeniz, Fethiye etc.), The Turkish Riviera (Side, Antalya, Belek, Kemer etc.), The Kalkan Region (Kalkan, Kas etc.), North Aegean (Kusadasy, Ephesus, Izmir etc.), Cappadocia Region (Ürgüp, Göreme, Avanos etc.).

Maps
Map of Turkey
Map of Europe

Transportation
The most common form of transportation to Turkey is airplane, but boat, bus and train are also possibilities. Many airlines fly to Turkey, including a few discount airlines, making air travel to Turkey relatively inexpensive.

Going by train to Turkey will probably be more expensive than flying and will take about 3 days to travel to Turkey from locations such as London or Paris. However, if your heart is set on traveling to Turkey by train you can find information about train travel to Turkey OR check train schedules using the German international train website which offers train schedules throughout Europe.

Within Turkey, transportation by train is possible and on some lines, such as Istanbul to Ankara, trains may be a good alternative. However, the train system is not as well developed as the national bus system and you will find that to many places you can get only by bus.
Taxis are not very expensive in Turkey. However it is important to agree on the price before you get into the car. Also prices can differ dramatically from one company to another.

General Information

* Capital City: Ankara
* Languages: Turkish is the native language. In touristic areas German, Russian and English may be spoken. However, at this time, language knowledge is not high with the Turkish population. If you only speak one language, you may find it difficult to communicate with the locals.
* Size: Turkey is a relatively large country. At 783,562km2 it is the 37th largest country in the world. For comparison Turkey is larger than France, Spain, Germany or the state of Texas. Turkey is nearly as large as the countries of Germany and Spain combined.
* Population: With nearly 75 million people, Turkey is one of the most populated countries in Europe. It has more citizens than France, but less than Germany.
* Money: The official currency of Turkey is the new Turkish Lira. However, do not waste your time on money converting. Everywhere you go, you are offered an option to pay in Turkish Lira or Euros or sometimes even US Dollars. Euros are as widely accepted in Turkey as Turkish Lira. It did not seem to us to be more expensive when paying in Euro.
* Visas: If you are from a country where you frequently need a visa to travel abroad, you may be delighted at the visa process in Turkey. Upon exiting the airplane, there were several visa kiosks just before passport control. You simply give the man at the visa kiosk your passports and $20, no application, no photos are required. Within 10 seconds visa stickers are placed in the passports and you are on your way to passport control. That was the easiest visa either of us had ever received. Some nationalities must get visas in advance and different nationalities are granted different lengths of stays. To see if you can get your visa at the boarder or airport, see this information from the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
-- Click English
-- Consular information>For Foreigners>Visa Information
-- Visa Information For Foreingers
Alternatively you can find information that was valid in June 2007 about Turkish Visas, but check to make sure it is up to date at the time you travel.

Religion
Over 97% of the population is Muslim. But Turkey is a secular country, meaning that there is a separation between church and state. A constitutional rule prohibits discrimination on religious grounds.

Other Information
Turkish airports can be expensive. Airports everywhere tend to charge high prices for food and drinks, but the aiport in Turkey was amazing. As we were leaving Turkey, our flight was delayed for several hours. We shared a large beer, a bottle of water and a plate of french fries and paid $25!

Key Cities of Interest:
Antalya
Istanbul

When is the best time to travel to Turkey?
We traveled to Antalya, Turkey from 12-26 May and found almost perfect weather. The temperatures were between 20 to 27 degrees with an average of around 24 degrees. Out of our 14 days we experienced rain twice but only for a few hours. Also one or two days were overcast, but it gave a nice break from the otherwise intense sun. May and June as well as September to mid-October are the best times to travel to Turkey as the weather is ideal and the crowds are not so intense. In July and August you can expect temperatures up to 40 degrees and very crowded hotels, since this is the period of school holidays and most Europeans take these months for their vacation time. From November to April, weather can be unpredictable and it can rain.

Weather in Antalya

            Month  Jan  Feb  Mar  April  May  June  July  Aug Sep   Oct  Nov  Dec
 Sun (hours/day)  4  6  7  8  10  12  12  12  10  8  6  5
 Temp Noon C  14  16  18  21  24  29  35  35  31  24  20  15
 Temp Night C  6  7  8  11  16  20  23  23  19  15  11  8
 Temp Sea C  16  16  16  17  20  23  25  27  26  23  20  18
 Rainy Days  13  11  9  7  4  2  0  0  1  7  9 12