Diversity is the best word to describe the beauty that Turkey has to offer. Ancient ruins, a rich culture, stunning beaches, incredible landscapes, and welcoming people draw travelers to this amazing country, one of my favorites in the world.
“If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet.” – Rachel Wolchin
I hope this helps inspire you for your next trip, once the current crisis is over and you are ready to book (sign-up for free to get more content about great destinations to pass the time!)
Culture and landscapes: that is what’s great about Turkey. If you’re like me and like to discover other cultures and get out of your comfort zone, Turkey is for you. I recently re-visited Turkey, and it’s still one of my favorite countries out of the 50+ I’ve been to. And since I’ve now been there twice, I thought I’d share with you the best spots to check out when you’re there.
We’ll have more content about this great destination… and a great tip to save hundreds when flying to Istanbul (and many other European destinations—it’s the same tip for each place). We’ll soon share it, along with a complete guide to finding cheap flights to Europe, so stay tuned! And when we resume spotting deals, we often find some to Turkey, so keep an eye on our cheap flight deals page to realize your dream trip to this great destination.
So here are 5 of the best spots to visit in Turkey.
Besides the Hagia Sophia Mosque, you can visit the Grand Bazaar, Blue Mosque, Galata Tower, and the Spice Bazaar. There is so much history in Istanbul, formerly known as Constantinople, which has been one of the world’s most important cities for centuries.
The city is still Turkey’s heart and soul and has the distinction of straddling both the European and Asian continents.
What a magical place! This spectacular landscape, entirely sculpted by erosion, earns its spot on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
You can sleep in a cave hotel, eat breakfast at sunrise while watching hot air balloons, and even fly in one to admire the view from above! Visiting this region is definitely worth the affordable flight from Istanbul!
No, this is not snow! Those are fresh deposits of calcium carbonate, which gives these formations a dazzling white coating. Who wants to swim in those unique hot springs? Roman ruins can also be found on-site, and we enjoyed visiting these.
You can daytrip here from the following two spots, but we actually spent a few days in the nearby city of Denizli, which was quite the experience: there weren’t many travelers (or any at all actually), it was very authentic!
4. Ephesus & Izmir
In Ephesus, there’s the iconic Library of Celsus. Dating back to the early 2nd century A.D., this ancient monument is a must-see.
Nearby Izmir is a major city on the coast, in the Aegean region that sits just across from many Greek Islands! Izmir is where you’ll find the landmark Clock Tower and plenty of other urban attractions, being the country’s 3rd-largest city!
If you have Marriott points, there is a nice Category 1 hotel in Izmir: it’s one of those where you can get 17 free nights with a travel buddy just by getting the Marriott Bonvoy Card (and if you want an even more luxurious 5-star hotel, go off the beaten path, to the Sheraton Grand Samsun on the Black Sea coast).
If you have the American Express Cobalt Card, which is by far the best to earn Marriott points (6 points per dollar on groceries), you can also transfer points to Hilton. It’s rarely a good value, except for Hilton hotels that cost only 5,000 points per night… and there are 16 of them in Turkey, including in Izmir (although the others are all in smaller towns).
5. Ölüdeniz, Marmaris & Bodrum
Ölüdeniz is a spot in Turkey’s Mediterranean region famous for paragliding, due to its stable weather conditions and its unique panoramic views. Don’t forget to spend a day at the beach and the Ölüdeniz blue lagoon as well.
Marmaris is a popular seaside town nearby, an ideal spot for water activities. Bodrum is another historic city in that region, with a stunning castle.
Bonus: Antalya & Side
Here’s a bonus because at Flytrippers, we love giving you more!
Antalya is a city a little further on the beautiful Mediterranean coast. The waterfront is amazing, especially with the high mountains as a backdrop. A short ride away is Side, another seaside town known for its impressive Roman amphitheater and temple.
These 6 spots are all located in the western half of this huge country (and excluding Cappadocia, they’re even all in the westernmost quarter of the country).
So that means it’s easy to see them all on one trip… and it means there is so much to discover in the other part: you can visit the unique Kurdistan region out East, the mountains near the Caucasus, the capital city of Ankara, the aforementioned Black Sea coast, and much more.
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If you’ve been looking for an adventure, you’ll have no shortage of activities to choose from in any of the spots we listed. After the crisis ends, I hope you’ll be keeping an eye on our flight deals to Turkey!
Have you visited any of the magnificent Turkey spots from our list? Tell us in the comments below!
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Featured Image: Cappadocia, Turkey (Photo Credit: Unsplash)
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