Things to do in Turkey

Things to do in Turkey


Our top activities in Turkey

Coasting along

Turkey's 7,200km of coast blends dazzling beaches with history and wild ambience. At Patara, the temple of Apollo offers a break from lounging on the 18km white sand ribbon of Turkey's longest beach. The lovely fishing village Ucagiz contrasts the laidback resort of Kalkan and dreamy coves like Kaputas. Kabak is another star of the Turquoise Coast, a camping idyll with lovely cliff-flanked beach. Near Dalyan, Iztuzu beach boasts a nature reserve for turtles.
Along the Teke peninsula, gorgeous Mediterranean beaches (some amazingly secluded) come with a plethora of ancient ruins and walking options along the Lycian Way. And don't think just Greece has sand-fringed islands check out the Turkish options like Gokceada and Bozcaada.
Want to get active? Turkey has wonderful windsurfing, including pro meccas like Alcati. Sea kayaking is fantastic too paddle out to gaze down at the ancient sunken city of Simena for a unique experience (but no diving on the ruins - it's forbidden). Then treat yourself to a helping of Turkey's delicious chewy dondurma ice-cream!

Gulet cruises

People have sailed Turkey's coast for aeons, from merchants to mythic kings. But when a group of Turkish writers joyfully described 1920s recreational jaunts on traditional wooden gulets they inspired a new traveling passion. Sail into lonely bays to swim by ancient ruins, watch dolphins arc against azure skies or gorgeous sunsets - or just relax far from the land and all its cares.

Family activities

Turkey is an adventure playground liberally laced with child-friendly history and culture. The coast offers pristine white strands visited by turtles and dolphins, while adrenaline junkies can get a buzz from the likes of 'don't panic!' tandem paragliding or sea kayaking over ancient sunken cities. Fantastic coastal walks are complemented by evocative beachside ruins ripe for storytelling.
Islands like Bozcaada are brilliant for gentle cycling followed by more dips in the azure Aegean. Inland, active sorts can try white water river rafting or go canyoning in places like the 18km Saklikent Gorge near Fethiye. Dipping into Turkish culture is made easy by its exoticness, from stunning mosques to the transfixing spinning sight of 'whirling dervishes'. And if you want to get kids into hiking, just stroll through Cappadocia's surreal mix of cave dwellings and 'fairy chimneys'!

Old ways of walking

The 800km Carian Way is just the newest Turkish long-distance trail mixing breathtaking vistas with incredible historic sites. The 500km Lycian Way traces an idyllic coastline, St Paul's Trail mixes medieval paving with cascades and forests, while the Hittite Trail delves an ancient Central Anatolian kingdom. Add hillier hikes in the lush Kackar range and Cappadocia's rugged Taurus Mountains.
Photo credits: [Coasting along : Philippe Perreaux] [Gulet cruises: Chris_Parfitt] [Family activities: Chris_Parfitt] [Old ways of walking: Warren Talbot]
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