Why you should explore Turkey

Beaches and Sun | | 4 minutes

Connecting southern Europe to the middle east, Turkey has always been an exotic choice of holiday destination.

Through periods of extreme popularity and notable reservations, tourism in the historically and cultural rich country has fluctuated.

But now, as it enjoys a boost of visitors returning to its shores, the one thing that has never changed are the stunning destinations Turkey has to offer.

We are taking a closer look at two of the most popular tourism hot spots, Kusadasi and Antalya. And with average summer temperatures of 34 degrees, they are guaranteed to be hot.

Kusadasi

This beach resort on the western Aegean Coast literally translates as Bird Island, named after the seasonal migration. And once you visit the place, you’ll see why the birds kept coming back. When you arrive, get acquainted with the area by taking in the panoramic views of Anaturk Hill. From here you will also see Pigeon Island that is connected to the mainland via a causeway. On the island, a stone wall circles a Byzantine Castle that once guarded the town.

Kusadasi
The Temple of Artemis

Steep yourself in even more history with a day trip to the ancient city of Epheus, the 10th Century BC Port city and former site of The Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. Home to the one of the world’s oldest libraries and with stunningly preserved and reconstructed living quarters, amazingly what we can see of Epheus is only 15% of the city’s entirety. Numerous invasions and earthquakes over the centuries have buried the other 85% underground. Outside the ruins, a golden statue of the Virgin Mary beckons in visitors, as it is widely believed that she was taken to area following the crucifixion and remained there for the rest of her days. A house she supposedly lived in is now a shrine on Mount Koressos.

To the south of Kusadasi, find respite from the heat of the day with a dip inside the Cave of Zeus, where the king of the Greek Gods himself used to find refuge. After descending the 50 feet pathway, a cold pool of mountain runoff and seawater awaits, partially covered by the cave ceiling.

And if that little dip whets your appetite for some more aqua activities, Kusadasi has plenty of waterparks to keep all the family entertained.

Antalya

This resort city is the gateway to the Turkish Riveria or otherwise known as the Turquoise Coast. The yacht filled harbour was once a major Roman port and reminders of the past are everywhere. In the walls that surround the city and habour, the entry way of Hadrians Gate is remarkably preserved, having been constructed in 130 AD to welcome the Roman Emperor.

Antalya

Antalya boosts some stunning beaches and lots of kids favourites such as Beach Park and Dolphin Land, making it an ideal location for families. For those looking for a little adventure, take a hike to the Upper Dudden Falls, the Kursunlu Falls or the Tunek Tepe for some stunning views. And if you’re after some more immersive history, check out the Perge and Termessos Ruins, both located just a short drive from Antalya.

Termessos Ruins

All this sightseeing is bound to work up an appetite and finding food you like in Turkey is never going to be a problem. We all know their exported favourites of kebabs, baklava and Turkish delight but when you taste the real thing in their natural habitat, it’s a completely different experience. And if you are open to experimenting with your usual breakfast of tea and toast, opt for a Kavhalti, a traditional Turkish breakfast. Similar to a continental, it offers a selection of local produce and varies from region to region. But for the truly adventurous among you, why not pick up a Kokorec either in a restaurant or street vendor. The Turkish delicacy comes in different forms, either a sandwich or as a kind of meaty roll up. Either way, be advised its lamb or goat intestines.

Often overlooked for its most westerly neighbours, Turkey has a lot to offer the holidaymaker, stunning beaches, sunny skies, areas of historic and cultural significance and a truly unique ambience. There’s never been a better time to explore it.


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