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Introducing Mardin

Everyone loves Mardin, and it’s immediately apparent why: this ancient town crowned with a castle overlooks the vast, roasted Mesopotamian plains extending to Syria, and the honey-coloured stone houses that trip down the side of the hillside give it something of the feel of old Jerusalem. Whatever the time of the year, the interplay of light and stone is enchanting. Another draw is the mosaic of people. Sizeable Yezidi, Christian and Syrian settlements, among others, add to the popu­lation mix, giving the area a refreshing burst of multiculturalism.

This region was particularly hard-hit by the troubles of the 1980s and ‘90s and has really reopened to tourism only in the last few years. It’s now a completely safe place to travel, and Mardin has started to become popular with Turkish travellers. Get there before the crowds do.