Top Things to do in Turkey in 2021-22

Things to do in Turkey


Have you been to Turkey yet? No? Why not? Turkey is a country that’ll charm you with its rich and varied geography and its incredibly complex history and warm and rich cultural heritage. The geography ranges from high plateaus to incredible mountain ranges to sugar-white-sand beaches and bluer than blue seas. Add to that an endless summer, a long winding coastline that begs to be explored, distance hiking trails, amazing sights, historical monuments, museums – ok, we need to take a breath here. And did we tell you about Turkey’s food? Yes – that alone should be reason enough to travel to this incredible gem of a nation. Lets start about Things to do in Turkey below.

Go Adventuring!

Turkey’s landscape and coastline lend themselves to some amazing adventures and adventure sports. The rocky mountain ranges are perfect for biking, trekking, caving, canyoning, rock-climbing and paragliding. Top places for paragliding and other adventure sports are Ölüdeniz and Pamukkale.

Ölüdeniz is the perfect place to head to for some world-renowned tandem paragliding tours. The enviable backdrops of craggy mountains surrounded by pine trees with the blue seas looming up as you come down – simply mind-blowing. Over Pamukkale, you’ll be gliding over exquisitely preserved Roman city ruins. There’s more fun to be had in the waters too! Deep sea fishing, swimming, sea kayaking in Kaş, where you can kayak over the Kekova Island area, peering down at underwater Sunken City ruins.

Ballooning Over Fabulous Rock Formations

Cappadocia is a blissful region comprising of amazing rock formations. Balloons can fly very close to the ground here, as there is no wildlife in the area. That makes it possible for you to enjoy fabulous views both from high above and up close. A globally famous ballooning destination, Cappadocia is best viewed after sunrise, when you fly over the tall, chimney like rock formations and the very alien-like craggy formations of hills and valleys. The red stones and even redder earth gleam in the early morning light, when the sun is just about ready to bathe the entire area in its orange glow. For 45 minutes, you’ll be suspended both high and low, along with other people, enjoying one of the rarest spectacles in the world.

Head Out On a Food Tour

The whole of Turkey, and Istanbul in particular, are absolute foodie destinations. What better way is there to get to know a country and its people than through its food? You can take a pre-set food tour which introduces you to Turkey’s most important meals and food items, or you can choose to explore on your own. A food tour will take you through food markets, local restaurants, street food stalls and even some homes where you can watch the Meze being arranged. You’ll get to meet vendors and purveyors of cheese, vegetables, coffee roasters, confectioners and more. And at each stage, you’ll get to sample some truly amazing food. If you’re exploring on your own, be sure to check out the Bazaar district, either Kadıköy or Beyoğlu, and check out European and Asian influences in Turkish food. It is one of the top Things to do in Turkey.

Roman Ruin Exploration

If you’re into exploring ruins, Ephesus should be on top of your list. It’s an amazing well preserved Roman ruin, once home to about 250,000 people. It was once the capital city of the Roman Empire in Asia Minor. Be sure to take selfies in front of the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian and the 25,000 seater Great Theater. There’s a Terraced Houses complex, where you can actually see the original mosaic floors that the Romans walked on, plus the amazing frescoes on the wall of the rich that are still vibrant. Check out how the Romans used to bathe, through the Roman bathing houses. As with the Greeks, the Romans believed in a whole pantheon of gods and goddesses, and you can see temples dedicated to many of these.

Things to do in Turkey


Sail to 12 Islands

One of the best ways to enjoy Turkey’s coastline and landscape is to go off on a yachting trip from Fethiye. There’s a trip that takes you on a tour of the 12 islands that are scattered around Fethiye Bay. You can complete this tour in a single, sunny day with plenty of stops to enjoy some fishing, diving and swimming. There are other tours, such as the Blue Cruise tour which takes you away for three full days all the way from Fethiye to Olympos. This cruise stops for long breaks at Gemiler (St. Nicholas) Island, Butterfly Valley, Kaş, and Kekova Island. July and August, though trips are possible from April through to October. Sailing to all the 12 islands is such an amazing experience that you’ll be lining up for a Turkey visa again soon!

Eastern Express Winter Landscape Tour

Turkey is warm throughout the year in the south, but the Northeast sees a more European weather. The Eastern Express (Doğu Ekspresi) train connects Ankara with Kars, taking you through some of the most rugged mountains, pine forests and high plateaus in Anatolia. For 24 hours, you will enjoy a beautiful winter landscape, of rugged mountains, rocks and plateaus covered with a deep layer of snow. The historic cities of Sivas and Erzurum feature train stops, so you can explore the historic monuments and ruins here.

Hit the Long-distance Hiking Trail

Turkey's fascinating coastline draws people from all over the world. It’s a long, long walk, stretching all the way from Fethiye down to Antalya, on the Mediterranean Coast. It’s literally a 540 kilometer long walk, passing some of the most enchanting of Turkey's ruins. As you trek along, you’ll see Xanthos and Letoön, two of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Lycian city ruins, apart from several others. The views are to die for, from enchanting coves surrounded by rocky pine forests, to craggy Taurus Mountain vistas and all the while, the blue Mediterranean Sea lapping against your feet. It takes 29 long days to walk the entire hike. You can walk the entire length, or do a section hike, depending on how much time you have. If you can only manage a shorter hike, try the Fethiye, Patara, Kalkan, and Kaş Lycian hikes.

Enjoy a Bath in a Traditional Hammam

We’ve all had baths at home and some of us are lucky enough to experience regular Jacuzzis. However, nothing can prepare you for the utterly decadent experience of a genuine Turkish hamam. A hamam is a public bathhouse. In the Islamic religion, maintaining physical hygiene is considered godly, and during the Ottoman era, a number of hammams went up in Turkey. Sign up for the pampering of your life at an ornate hammam, where you’ll first undergo a steam bath, and then get scrubbed within an inch of your life with traditional kese mitten. Then comes the welcome cold water to combat the heat of the steam, followed by an oil rub, a soapy wash plus aromatherapy massage. Try the Cağaloğlu Hamam which was opened in 1741 in Istanbul. The other fab option is the hammam that was Ayasofya Hürrem Sultan Hamam, built by the famed Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan for Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent, are two of the best hammams to scrub up in.

Conclusion

There are any number of reasons to visit Turkey and any number of things to do in Turkey. From stunning views to splendid adventures to incredible food to a wonderful culture that you will remember long after, Turkey has it all. It’s a unique mix of the prehistoric, the historic, the old and the modern. A trip to this fabulous country will leave you longing to return, time and again.

 

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