Beautiful, exotic and home to the most welcoming people in the world, few countries can match Turkey for its rich history, gorgeous coastline and spectacular scenery. Istanbul fuses western and Islamic culture, food and traditions while the honeycombed hills and caves of Cappadocia boast landscapes that even Tolkien couldn't have imagined. Further south, pine forested slopes swoop down to sparkling beaches; brochure-cover perfect and blissfully clean.
Two decades after my first trip to Turkey, it's still my summer holiday destination of choice. For me, it offers the perfect mix of lazy beach days and time exploring; walking the beautiful Lycian way, drifting between islands on a gulet, and the ultimate guilty pleasure - bartering in the markets for fake handbags! Early evening, with the call to prayer echoing in the mountains, a cold Efes to hand and the sun starting to set, there's nowhere in the world I'd rather be.