Among seasoned travelers, Turkey is a top destination. Turkey is a beautiful country with amazing food, colorful cities, and rich culture. It’s the type of place where, after you visit once, you can’t help but come back again and again.
Why not make this summer your first time visiting Turkey? Here are our top eight reasons to convince you to plan this trip immediately!
Turkish cuisine is incredibly flavorful, combining European, Asian, and Middle Eastern flavors. One of the most popular dishes you’ll see at restaurants is mezze platters – a tasting dish of bread, dips, vegetables, and more. You’ll also have countless opportunities to eat delicious meat-forward dishes of kebabs, shawarma, stews, and more. For dessert, try Maraş dondurması – a Turkish style of ice cream that melts very, very slowly. This cooling dessert will be the perfect treat on warm summer nights.
You’ll also likely indulge in Turkish coffee and baklava every morning and afternoon – you’ll miss this once you leave.
2. The Aegean Coast
The Meditteranean Aegean Coast is easily one of the most breathtaking coastlines in this part of the world. We recommend taking a day excursion on a boat floating around on the bright blue waters to fully enjoy the shore’s views.
While you’re in the area, we highly recommend walking down the 300-mile route known as “The Lycian Way.” This route runs along the Turkish coast, giving you water views on one side and enormous mountains on the other. The trail is clearly marked and includes public transportation connections along the way. You can attempt to do the whole route, staying at small hotels along the way. Make sure to take this route in early summer before the heat becomes unbearable.
3. Outdoor Adventures
For the outdoor enthusiast, Turkey has plenty to offer. First, there are the jeep excursions through Alanya. The tour includes driving through the Taurus Mountains, seeing beautiful views of Alanya’s landscape, and stops in small villages to taste authentic traditional Turkish bread.
While you’re in Alanya, add on a second excursion and go diving in Europe’s first Side Underwater Museum. 110 sculptures were carefully placed in the water under several themes, such as the “Turkish War of Independence” and “Whirling Dervishes.”
Lastly, check out one of the 1,500 thermal hot springs spread out throughout the country. Our favorite location is the Pamukkale Thermal Springs.
Let’s face it, anytime travel is affordable, it’s an added benefit. Turkey is a very affordable destination, with low prices for food and lodging and plenty of free attractions. You can stay in a three-star hotel for as little as $12 a night or opt for a luxury hotel resort at $150 per night.
These cheap prices mean you can probably afford to stay a while in Turkey and take in more of the country!
Istanbul gets its own mention because it’s truly one of the most magical parts of Turkey. This is the only city in the world to span two continents, bringing to mind the phrase “where east meets west.” This bustling city has so much to offer tourists. First, check out the massive Grand Bazaar, which has over 4,000 stalls selling jewelry, antiques, and other goods. Other fun activities include visiting the Dolmabahce Palace, catching a belly dancing show at dinner, and walking along the Bosphorus Strait.
6. Hot Air Balloon Rides
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Turkey is taking a hot air balloon ride above the city of Cappadocia. The best hot air balloon rides are at sunset or sunrise, so you can enjoy views of the city under a warm glowing light. Trust us – this is an experience you’ll remember for the rest of your life!
7. Archaeological Sites
For the history buff, Turkey is full of archaeological sites that are definitely worth exploring. In total, the country has 28 archaeological sites that reflect some of the earliest civilizations in the world. You can visit historic ruins of ancient ruins in Ephesus, Antalya, the forgotten city of Ani, the ancient city of Troy, and the Neolithic sanctuary Gobekli Tepe.
A hammam is a type of Turkish bath usually held in a public bathhouse. This is a truly authentic experience that everyone who visits Turkey should experience at least once. Typically, a hammam includes a bathing experience (an attendant washes you) followed by a relaxing massage. The hammam is a unique experience that will leave you feeling refreshed and relaxed. And – it’s a lot more affordable than massages and spa packages in other parts of the world!
Note that men and women are separated for hammams, so you won’t be in the same rooms if you’re traveling with the opposite sex.
Turkey is calling your name this summer! Now that we’ve established an itinerary for you, all you have to do is book your flight!