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Many of you may ask – Why Turkey? Is it safe? Are there sites worth seeing? The answer to all of the above questions is a big yes! Turkey is an absolute delight to visit – right from postcard worthy beaches to pine covered mountains, rich culture and delicious food, hot air balloon rides in Cappadocia over breathtaking limestone formations to the stunning Ottoman mosques! There’s just so much to experience in Turkey! To make your planning a lot easier we have curated a Turkey travel guide to help you navigate your way through the best and most interesting cities in the country! So read along!

ANTALYA

Photo by Mert Kahveci / Unsplash

Fly in to Antalya as the starting destination of your extensive Turkey travels. First order of business is to hire a car because the roads are an absolute bliss and beauty to drive on! Antalya is packed with roman history, beauty and adrenaline filled adventures and hence you can easily spend a day (or two) in this beautiful city! Begin your day early with a tour through Roman history by visiting the ruins of Perge, which has a mega amphitheater that was built to accommodate around 15,000 spectators to watch chariot races! From here continue your journey through ancient Roman history by visiting the ruins of the city of Aspendos which also has a mammoth theatre which is very well preserved! After all the walking, take a dip or a boat ride to the majestic Duden Waterfalls that crashes down into the Mediterranean Sea! The falls have carved a deep gorge out of the rock to form a cave behind the veil of water! You can actually wander around through the cave for an unusual perspective on these mammoth waterfalls. End this exciting day by lounging on the beach and watching your very first,mesmerizing Turkish sunset. You can have a mouthwatering Turkish meal at one of the many beachside restaurants!

Photo by Kutsal Amaç Kuruhan / Unsplash

On your second day, spend your morning exploring Kaleici, Antalya’s Old Town that is a beautiful mish-mash of old and new! You can walk through the town exploring the elegant mosques such as the 13thcentury YivliMinare Mosque, or shop at the many tiny shops selling Turkish carpets, souvenirs and handicrafts. Last but not the least, stop over for another delicious lunch at one of the cafes in the old town before you begin your 3 hour drive to the beautiful town of Kas.

KAS

A quaint little beach town with a white sandy coast, clear turquoise water, cute cafes and restaurants serving delicious Turkish meals and numerous shops providing inexpensive shopping opportunities. Kas definitely calls for ATLEAST a day’s stay! Once you reach here in the evening, check in to your hotel and spend the rest of the night wandering through the lively Kas Square that overlooks a harbor. Eat a grand Turkish dinner at one of the many restaurants and wander through the cobblestoned streets of this cute little town!

On your next day, rise early and either take a day trip to Meis, which is an island in Greece that can easily be reached by a 20 minute boat ride from the harbor! Meis is simply beautiful and can be easily explored in half a day on foot! If not for Meis, or if you decide to spend another day here or if you can then rise up super early and head out to watch a spectacular sunrise up on the mountain which is a 40 minute hike! This hiking trail is a part of a 549 km hiking trail called the Lycian Way. Catch another gorgeous sunset by walking a few minutes out of town to an old amphitheater. Grab dinner from one of the quaint restaurants in the streets of Kas.

Next morning, sun bathe on the picturesque Kaputas Beach which is known for its glittering, clean turquoise waters! After grabbing breakfast, get back in the car to drive 1.5 hours along curvy, gorgeous cliff sides presenting views of a glimmering turquoise ocean underneath, to reach Kalkan for a grand Turkish lunch. Post lunch, drive 45 minutes and head to Saklikent Gorge, which is a 300 meter-high and 18 kilometer-long canyon, one of the deepest in the world. Continue your journey to reach the picturesque beach town of Fethiye.

FETHIYE

Fethiye is another gorgeous town that is set along the stunning coastline of Turkey that is well known for paragliding! Begin your morning early, if possible before the sunrise and head to Butterfly Valley viewpoint to catch a breathtaking sunrise from atop the mountain and watch the white sandy beach below glimmer in the early morning hues! From here, head over to Oludeniz town for the most looked forward to activity - paragliding!!! Paraglide from a height of 1,960 meters and enjoy the spectacular and stunning view of the lush mountains, deep valleys and pristine beaches below! After getting a pump of adrenaline, calm your nerves by spending the rest of the day walking through Oludeniz town, shopping and sun bathing on the beautiful beach!

The next morning, after a scrumptious breakfast head over to explore the majestic and grand Lycian Rock Tombs and in the noon, spend the time exploring the Fethiye Old town which has the famous Umbrella Street and a Fish Market from where you can pick a fish and a restaurant at the market prepares it for you!

PAMUKKALE

Photo by Vladyslav Cherkasenko / Unsplash

Another attraction is a day trip to the thermal hot springs of Pamukkale which is a 3 hour ride from Fethiye. But do note that Pamukkale is a popular place, therefore try to get there early in the morning to beat the crowd!The terraced pools of Pamukkale arefilled with milky mineral water that looks absolutely surreal in pictures and even more dreamlike in person. The white mineral deposits make it look as if you’re stepping on a snow-covered hill, but the warm water will tell you otherwise! Spend some time soaking, splashing and relaxing in these unique springs. And when your fingers turnpruney, head to the top of the hill where you can explore the ancient ruins of Hierapolis!

After spending the noon time in Pamukkale springs, either return your car back here and take an overnight bus ride to Goreme, Cappadocia or drive back 3 hours to Antalya, stay overnight at a hotel and the next morning take a flight to Kayseri, from where a 30 minute cab ride will get you to Cappadocia.

CAPPADOCIA

Hot air ballooning in the national park of Cappadocia. Every morning a hundred or more balloons lift off at sunrise, sailing over the remarkable landscapes of central Turkey.
Photo by John Cameron / Unsplash

Cappadocia is surely a little far out into the country, but we assure you that it is 100% worth the long hours of travel! Welcome to the fairytale city of Cappadocia that looks like it belongs in a storybook! Incredible limestone formations that form the landscape, caves carved into hotel rooms and a destination where you can finally strike off a hot air balloon ride off your bucket list! Reserve atleast 2 days if not more to explore this beautiful town with orange sunrises in a sky filled with hot air balloons and spectacular pink hued sunsets! Begin with a ride in a hot air balloon which takes place at around 5.45 am each day. You would be picked up from your hotel room at 5 am and the balloons take flight from 5.45 am onwards. It is without a doubt a magical experience to fly over the majestic limestone formations on land and when you look around you would see other hot air balloons in the sky that has only just lit up with the spectacular morning glow from the sun!

A hot air balloon in Cappadocia
Photo by Soyoung Han / Unsplash

Spend the day visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Site- Goreme open air museum which contains stunning rock-cut churches, with beautiful frescoes whose colors have withstood the test of time. Apart from this you can visit the Pasabag Valley where you will find giant cone shaped rocks and rocks that resemble mushroom shaped fairy chimneys or turrets. It is an incredible and very interesting site to see and hence is definitely a must visit. In the evening you can visit the rug shops in Goreme or the Friday potters market in Avanos, which is a 15 minute drive away from Goreme.

The next day, visit Derinkuyu which is the deepest and Kaymakli which is the largest underground city to see the huge network of underground tunnels, rooms and passageways that was built centuries ago! In the evening, enjoy a sunset horse ride in the spectacular Rose Valley. Another interesting experience that you must have in Cappadocia is to spend a night at one of the cave hotels in town!

by Fatih Yürür
Photo by Fatih Yürür / Unsplash

When you’re travelling to locations as beautiful and magical as Turkey, you would want pictures that are just as beautiful. So give your selfie stick a day (or more) off and hire a local photographer from Travographer. Hire one of our photographers to follow you around as you create beautiful memories in this vibrant country!