One glimpse of Turkey’s coastline and you can certainly empathize with all those tourists who never wander too far from the country’s glorious beaches. In a quest for sun, sea and relaxation, you can head with First Choice on Turkey holidays to those of Marmaris, Őlüdeniz and Altinkum, hoping to catch a few rays and return golden brown. However, Turkey provides you with many rewards if you venture a little further out (hard as it to tear yourself away from these resorts!).
Cycling the Aegean Coast
It’s often described as the wilderness but nothing can be further from the truth when it comes to the beauty found along the Aegean Coast. Cycling this route provides plenty of attractions, including Lake Bafa National Park, while the Bozburun Peninsula features idyllic coves, lush mountain regions (great for mountain biking) and quaint little fishing villages. There’s no coastal highway, which means there’s very little traffic roaring past you while you cycle, and you can savor locations such as the ruins of the ancient city of Ephesus and the remote Latmus Mountains.
Driving Along the Black Sea Coast by Car
Hiring a car is the best way to explore the Black Sea Coast, an amazing route that stretches from Istanbul to the Georgian border. This really is genuine Turkey and one of the highlights is the five-story high centuries old cliffside Sumela Monastery, which offers views over the Altindere National Park. There are plenty of walking and trekking trails here, and stops can be made at the many traditional mountain villages, which are tourist free for much of the year. Trazbon and Rize are the main cities along the coast, both boasting sub-tropical, summer temperatures.
Enjoying the Turquoise Coast
You can’t truly claim that you’ve been to Turkey until you’ve traveled to its southwest coast, also known as the Turquoise Coast because of the sea colors and horizon. If you just can’t stay away from the beaches, Marmaris, Antalya, Dalyan, Fethiye and Őlüdeniz can all satisfy that craving. If you wish to escape the crowds you can always journey into the mountain regions and visit the ancient Lycian ruins of Tios and Kadyanda. Mount Olympos, the highest mountain in the Turkish Riviera, is another inspiring sight and the cable car ride to 7,757 feet above sea level will reward you with views over Antalya.
Discovering the Nation’s Treasures
If you know where to look you then there’s no shortage of sightseeing opportunities when travelling through Turkey. Central Anatolia is home to Cappadocia with its moon-like landscape: you can actually stay in one of the cave hotels. The bee hive houses of Harran in Sanliurfa are also well worth a visit and it’s said these archaeological remains date back to the 3rd millennium BCE. Butterfly Valley near Őlüdeniz is regarded as one of the most beautiful spots in Turkey and features a cascading waterfall and an (almost) hidden beach that can easily match any of those found in the Caribbean Islands.
You can be forgiven if you decided to extend your vacation in Turkey, since the country has such a mass for visitors to see. You can get away from the tourist hotspots and journey into the real Turkey. And what a journey it will be!