From hosting some of the world's oldest ruins to more recent Ottoman mosques, palaces, and bazaars, Turkey is a veritable kaleidoscope of history where you could spend a lifetime exploring its treasures. The country's art and its cultures—both past and present—are incredibly rich and multi-faceted given its role as a bridge between East and West. Pick your people, and Turkey likely has traces of their presence: Hittites, Phrygians, Gauls, Lydians, Trojans, Greeks, Persians, Romans, Byzantines, Armenians, Kurds, and, of course, Turks. Given this antique land's incredible wealth and physical beauty, it's no wonder they all wanted to live here. Not only is Turkey a history buff's idea of heaven, it's also a paradise for foodies, shoppers, nature lovers, and worshippers of sun and sea.
The following sample itinerary is for a classic 11-day excursion showcasing some of Turkey's greatest cultural and archeological wonders.
❊ - indicates a UNESCO World Heritage Site