top ten things to do turkey

10 Best Things To Do In Turkey

As one of the most popular Middle Eastern countries for travelers, there are a number of amazing things to do in Turkey.

You’ll find amazing ancient architecture, unspoiled nature, great shopping in local markets, and surprisingly many pristine beaches.

Here is a top ten list, this is not in order and is only our opinion, there are many other great things to do in Turkey that didn’t make this list.

10. Explore the Island of Kekova

This tiny little island, mainly known for its ancient ruins beneath it and crystal clear water, attracts many day trippers from Antalya who come to relax and enjoy the unspoiled nature and ruins.

You can spend the day boating or kayaking around the island, which is the best way to explore the island as well as the ruins.

kekova island

9. Check out Ephesus

This ancient Greek city was constructed in the 10th century BC, it’s famous for the Temple of Artemis which is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Sadly it is gone but there is a replica that tries to recreate the original.

things to do in turkey ephesus

8. Explore Istanbul

Once known as Constantinople this city had an important economic and cultural significance back in ancient times.

Now it’s one of the most popular destinations in Turkey with stylish architecture, a variety of shops and bazaars, restaurants, and entertainment.

In addition to the fantastic scenery and architecture, Istanbul also offers terrific nightlife. An excellent way to explore the city is on a boat tour where you will see the city skyline come alive at night.

istanbul 2
Pedro Szekely

7. Climb Mount Nemrut

A surprisingly magical place, at the top of the 7000 ft mountain are ancient head statues scattered everywhere. They were built by Kind Antiochus I in 62 BC and the Persian and Greek influence is clearly visible in the craftsmanship of these unique relics.

The best way to visit this UNESCO world heritage site is on a guided tour from Adiyaman.

mt nemrut heads
nemrut turkey

6. Bathe in Pamukkale Hot Springs

Another UNESCO world heritage site, Pamukkale, or the “Cotton Castle” for obvious reasons features very strange and unique natural white terraces sprawled over the hill which are created from carbonate minerals left over by flowing water.

Pools are formed with rich mineral water from the hot springs. It’s an amazing place to enjoy nature and relax in the natural spa which has been used by the Greeks since the 2nd century BC. The ancient ruins of Hierapolis are also a great place to can visit above the springs.

pamukkale springs
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5. Go Paragliding in Ölüdeniz

Ölüdeniz is a popular beach destination, with an amazing beach, and clear water nestled within forest-covered mountains.

The weather is always pleasant, and recently it has become very popular with paragliding which offers fantastic views of the lagoons the crystal clear blue ocean, and the forests and hills below.

paragliding oludeniz
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4. Go on a Pilgrimage to Sumela

Carved right into the side of Melá Mountain is a 1600 year old monastery which consists of a church, chapel, a library and many other chambers. It’s truly a site to behold as it seems to be suspended into the rock thousands of feet above the abyss below. Every area in the monastery is open to visitors and the path along the way to the monastery is an excellent hike which some religious seekers consider as a pilgrimage.

sumela turkey
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3. Go Hiking in the Saklıkent Canyon

One of the deepest gorges in the world, found in Saklıkent National Park this canyon is 300 m (980 ft) deep and 18 km (11 mi) long.

During the summer the water levels drop and at this time visitors can enter the canyon, with amazing views of the steep cliffs up above.

saklikent canyon
Andrea Vail

2. Chill out in Antalya

This popular resort destination attracts millions of visitors every year. The weather is great, the beaches are soft and sandy and the warm water makes this the perfect way to escape Turkey’s typical countryside and bustling cities.

There are also lots of bazaars with local traders selling their handcrafted goods, don’t forget to haggle!

antalya turkey

1. Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia

Hands down the most famous attraction in Turkey, you cannot visit this country without taking a hot air balloon ride over this historic site.

The settlements here date back to the 6th century BC. It’s also famous for the “fairy chimneys” a true natural wonder that you will only find in a few places worldwide.

hot air ballons turkey
balloons cappadocia

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