Top 5 Essential Experiences in Turkey

Turkey is one of the most diverse of countries that I have visited. The different landscapes, the character of each town, the glorious cuisine and amazing people are just a few of the incredible experiences you can seek when you visit.

Here are the top 5 experiences you must try when you visit Turkey.

Road Trip from Izmir to Kas

Turkey is known for many things, but not a lot of people venture out to road-trip down the country.

A Turkish road trip will give you insight into the different cultures and personalities of different cities and towns; a testament to the natural beauty within the country.

Our road trip from Izmir to Kas lasted a few days because we stopped over in Kusadasi and Fethiye to break the trip (and discover the towns).

Sure, it is only a 6-7 hour drive in total, but the art of road-tripping is not simply to get from point A to B in the quickest way (in my opinion, of course), but rather to enjoy the adventure and experience.

If you happen to be planning a Turkey trip, try factor in as little as 3 days to drive to/through a few towns. Perhaps when you reach the beautiful town of Kas, you will want to extend your stay.

If you are visiting in the summer months, the drives can get pretty warm.

Try on a pair of Tiffany & Co. TF4119 sunglasses to keep you looking stylish, but also to make the drive a lot more comfortable.

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Pamukkale Baths

If you have never been to Pamukkale, you most probably have seen it in through some form of media.

Pamukkale Hierapolis is a UNESCO World Heritage site where you can explore the travertines (all naturally formed), hot springs as well as some ancient ruins.

Due to their popularity, the site does get quite busy so try get there early or spend the night in Pamukkale so that you can enjoy the springs before the crowds of tourists arrive (usually towards midday).

Do bring some swimwear so that you can sit/wade in the water. You must remove your shoes before walking along the travertines so it is worth bringing a bag along with you too.

Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Ride

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If you visit Turkey, don’t make the mistake of skipping Cappadocia. Some of my favourite memories were made in this incredible town.

The main attraction is a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the valleys and it is absolutely incredible.

The feeling of hovering above such incredible natural beauty, of seeing hundreds of other balloons slowly float up in the air, and the complete serenity of being so many meters above ground is so hard to explain.

Do some research on the hot air balloon company beforehand to make sure you’re with a well-reviewed company – even if it is a bit more expensive.

Whilst in Cappadocia, also have a look at the open air museum, the underground cities, and maybe even a day trip to the Saklikent gorge.

Kayakoy

Kayakoy is a ghost town in the south west of Turkey (close to Fethiye). If you do the Izmir-Kas route, you could easily take a detour to visit the preserved houses of the Anatolian Greeks.

Explore the town, its churches and take in the views from the top the hill. Fun Fact: There is a scene from the Water Diviner that has been shot here.

If you are walking through on a sunny day, make sure you are wearing enough sun protection as there is not a lot of shade as you explore the town.

Try on a pair of Ray-Ban RB2132 – New Wayfarer sunglasses to keep your eyes protected.

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Food Hit-List

As with any vacation, food is of great importance. One of my favourite things about travelling to new places is the opportunity to try out new food.

Turkey was definitely a treat, with so many incredible dishes we certainly were spoilt for choice.

Some local favourites include Ayran (a cold, salted yogurt drink which hits the spot on a sunny day or with an evening meal), Turkish mezze (the fresh flavours are so tasty), lokum (Turkish delights) – try the ones from Hazar Baba – you won’t go wrong. My favourite one is made with nuts, pomegranate and rose petals), Turkish tea, fresh figs, hot pide etc.

The list goes on. Just keep an eye out for the tourist-trap restaurants that are not necessarily the best quality and representation of the Turkish cuisine.

City View from Mikla (Alternative: Galata Tower)

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Amongst all the touristic sites in Istanbul, one of my favourite aspects of the city is the view from above.

The densely packed buildings, the mosques, the squares, the boats on the Bosphorus, all look so fascinating from a height.

Visit Mikla, a rooftop restaurant and bar at the Marmara Pera for some fine dining, or enjoy the sunset from the rooftop bar.

One thing to note however, is that Mikla is far from cheap. An alternative would be to climb up the Galata tower and view the city from that vantage point.

It is just as beautiful and much more easy on the pockets. Perhaps grab one drink at Mikla for the sunset view and then head over to the Galata tower for a night view of Istanbul.

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