For thousands of years, Istanbul has marked the point where East meets West — a crossroads of civilizations. A major city in Turkey that straddles Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Strait, this sprawling Turkish city boasts of its skyline of majestic domes and minarets.

Sea-side shenanigans in Bodrum

Its royal splendour mingles in a rich multicultural tapestry that has consistently been inspiring travellers for thousands of years. The city, so layered with rich history, was officially named Istanbul only in 1923 with the founding of the modern Turkish Republic, and was known as Constantinople before that.

Its architecture and history is rich and alive, sure to enthral anyone who plans a visit and spend time. The pristine blue waters of the Sea of Marmara to the south, the breath-taking sight as the sun sets in making the waters of the Golden Horn in the north glisten, are just some things that made us believe that this city is not a mundane one.

Landing in Istanbul, we immediately realised that the city is certainly influenced by both east and west, but has its own unique flavour of calm and chaos, and politics and people. We were prepared to will walk miles in splendour every day in this modern liberal city. After 16 centuries of urban life, Istanbul is a marvellous mixture of triumphant mosques, cafes, spooky subterranean cisterns, strong fortresses, treasure-filled museums and plenty of pastry shops.

After reaching Istanbul, it is a common realisation that there is too much to explore and too less time. We were told that we could go for smart shopping and get really good bargains if skilled enough; which we gladly did. We tried the Turkish cuisine and explored more about a city that has been the capital for two successive empires; Christian & Islamic.

It has it all; culture, history, hospitable nation, amazing shores and a great oriental hippy atmosphere. It’s Turquoise Sea with a hue of a-never-seen-before sight is sure to leave everyone in a state of mesmerism. The city’s narrow alleys are jam-packed full of stories, which results in travellers falling in love with Istanbul time and again. This is a city where we decided that we should most certainly roam, that too in splendour, as culture and excitement lay in and around every corner and more than 2000 years of history awaited to amaze and enthral us.

One of the most attractive towns on Turkey’s Aegean’s coast is the major resort town of Bodrum. With idyllic vistas, luxurious seaside towns and a quiet beauty, the region has a lot to offer and is a superb place for a relaxing beach holiday. Tourists are well catered for and there’s a great choice of hotels and resorts, but the natural beauty remains largely unspoilt; and we were inundated with great choices when it comes to picturesque beaches in the area.

To name a few; they are, the Bitez Beach, the Yalikavak Beach, the Güvercinlik Beach, the Aspat Beach, the Kadikalesi, the Ortakent Beach, and so on. The main beach, Günbatimi beach, in the town centre is the most popular with easy access, sandy coastline and abundance of refreshment amenities nearby. This Aegean coastline of Turkey is a hive of activity for beach lovers flocking from all over the world. Days are spent sunbathing and enjoying water sports, while at night, everyone quietly watches the orange sunset on the horizon.