Hidden Spots in Turkey
Why You Should Visit Turkey ...
Turkey is truly a marvelous country. Situated on the border between Europe and Asia, the country offers everything a modern country has to offer to a demanding modern tourist on the one hand, as well as historic sites, full of natural and cultural heritage on the other. Regardless of the incidents that have recently pestered this majestic and history-rich country, you should not immediately disregard visiting Turkey.
One of the biggest advantages of Turkey is its size since the country offers just about everything to even the most demanding tourists. Whether you are more interested in visiting big cities or you are more a nature lover or you want to visit and appreciate the old historic sites where one of the oldest civilizations in the world lived - Turkey has it all! And on top of it all, once you get used to its specific cuisine, you will find yourself tasting the best marmalades and pomegranate juice in the world.
Have you ever visited Turkey?
First Spot - Istanbul
If you have never been to Istanbul, you are truly missing out. Big time! This is one of the most remarkable and fascinating cities in the world. The city with its suburbs has a population of nearly 18 million people is one of the largest in the world, and needless to say that it is always bustling with people. The city is so astonishing also due to the fact that it combines and intertwines the European culture and elements with the Asian culture, elements, and civilization. Not only that, but the city of Istanbul is also in fact situated on both continents, connected via a bridge or an inviting ferry ride.
Most tourists opt to find accommodation in the European part of the city and decide on at least one-day trips to the Asian part of the city. Many tourists that come from Europe or North America at first probably feel overwhelmed due to the different lifestyle and atmosphere, but soon find their way in Istanbul.
If you find yourself in Istanbul, be sure to visit both Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque, both boasting amazing architecture, giving you the feel of how the Turks once lived. Of course, you should also visit the famous bazaar and the famous long shopping street in Taksim that seems to have no end. And if you enjoy saunas and spas you should truly dip your toes in the famous hammams - Turkish baths. Be sure to give Istanbul the chance it deserves!
Next Spot - Western Coast of Turkey
If you are up for an adventure and you are not afraid to take on the famous Turkish roads and motorways, then I would suggest you take a road trip along the western coast of Turkey, of course, if you are heading south and make a few stops along the way. If you are a fan of history you will surely want to visit the ruins of Troy. Those of you interested in cultural heritage will probably want to stop in the historic city of Ephesus, boasting the majestic ruins of what was once a famous library.
If you are willing to go a bit towards the continental part of Turkey, you should really visit Pamukkale with the famous hot springs, where water seems to be endless while enriching the views over the famous white rocks. Numerous small pools allow visitors to rest in them, take in the sun and let their legs slide into the abyss of this world wonder. Pamukkale (the first picture on the top) is truly a sight for any eyes and it will surely not leave you with dry eyes.
Discover Ephesus in Turkey
Third Spot - Egirdir
If you are not really a huge fan of Turkey, chances that you haven't heard of Egirdir before, are pretty big. Egirdir is a small area in the center of western Turkey, at an altitude of almost a thousand metres. The area is also known as a military training base of the Turkish army. But what impressed me the most about Egirdir is the amazing lake that never seems to be completely still, its waves always being pushed from one side to the other by strong winds. It was in Egirdir where I saw the biggest waves in my life - not even the Atlantic Ocean has produced such big waves!
If you are up for a small adventure in Turkey, then I would suggest you visit Egirdir and discover the real and primal Turkey as it once was - without any tourists, just genuine local people, genuine food and drinks and genuine Turkish hospitality.
Discover Egirdir in Turkey
Final Spot - Antalya and Olympos
Antalya is probably by far the most touristic part of Turkey. But only the city of Antalya, not so much the region of Antalya. If you are not interested in walking into tourist at every step you take, then you should really consider finding accomodation in one of the numerous hostels along the Antalya beach area. One of such spots is the famous village of Olympos, located about 30 minutes drive from the city of Antalya, where one can find a place to sleep in one of the numerous treehouses among the orange groves. And not only that, the locals will gladly offer you some home-made orange or lemon jam to enjoy for your breakfast. One of the yummiest dishes I have ever tasted!
Near the village of Olympos you will find a fascinating restaurant, where it is possible to eat literally on the small stream, since tables and chairs are put on a wooden pedestal across the stream. You'll see your waiters jumping across the stream bringing you food and drinks. Super funny and something completely new and fresh.
Discover Olympos in Turkey
My Experience of Turkey
I have visited Turkey twice. The first time I came for a vacation, I was about 16 or 17 and I visited Antalya with my parents. It was just your regular family vacation, where we mostly laid on the beach for 7 days and did some sightseeing in the city and its surroundings.
The second time I came for a visit was just before Erdogan started his rule in Turkey. I flew to Istanbul and stayed there for 4 or 5 days, before continuing my trip along the western coast towards Izmir. On the way, I stopped at the famous Pamukkale site and continued on my way to the Egirdir lake, which was one of the most magnificent experiences in my life. The beauty of that huge lake won me over in a split second. Then I made my way towards the south, but instead of focusing on the city of Antalya, I decided to visit the treehouses on the beach in Olympos. If you haven't been there yet, I strongly encourage you to go and check them out for yourself. Truly peaceful and beautiful, with hospitable locals and beautiful beaches and nature all around.
I hope I will be able to experience the true nature of this old civilization again soon. Turkey is a really big country so there is plenty more for me to see and discover. While some may say that the Turkish people are abrupt and not to the liking of western civilization, I would say quite the opposite. In my experience, they are one of the nicest and most friendly people I have ever met.
So, don't wait anymore and book your trip to beautiful Turkey!