Turkey’s Hidden Secrets
Turkey is one of the world’s most popular destinations for tourism thanks to its huge diversity, from stunning beaches to busy markets and ancient ruins. If you fancy seeing parts of Turkey that are not chock full of tourists, you’ll want to know the best hidden secrets that the country has to offer. Here are some ideas of great locations that will show you a more unique side of Turkey:
Butterfly Valley in Faralya
Turkey has some amazing beaches, but Butterfly Valley could be one of the best in the world! You’ll find it in the small village of Faralya and the beach gets its name from all the wonderful exotic species of butterflies that are found in the nearby canyon that flutter across the beach. Sounds like heaven! It is an unspoilt oasis of peace with a distinctly bohemian feel. You won’t find big hotels here, just some food shacks and tents. You can even spend the night sleeping on the beach. Not too far away is the seaside resort of Kas on the Mediterranean. For Kas Villas, visit kas4villarentals.com
When you’ve exhausted Istanbul, try visiting Bursa, a neighbouring city with a fun, energetic vibe. Bursa is home to Turkey’s textile industry, and you can indulge in seeing all the wonderful silk goods that linked the country to the East through the Silk Road.
You’ll also find attractive tea gardens, an amazing market place and the impressive Ulu Cami mosque. Bursa is also home to possibly the best kebab in the world, called the Iskender Kebap.
If you can hire a car, a drive along the glistening turquoise coast is a must. The Datca Peninsula is ruggedly beautiful, wild and windswept and takes in a range of sights including Greek ruins, fishing villages, beautiful beaches and thousands of olive and almond trees along the roadside.
This city offers a sophistication and trendy take on modern Turkish life. The architecture is distinctly urban and here you’ll find top universities and a strong economic hub. The origins of the city might date back to 3000 BC but visiting Kayseri is like viewing Turkey from the future.
Compared to San Francisco, this city is very much about the ‘new’ and the technological but also lies not far from one of the most important archaeological sites on earth. Kultepe, Urgup and the famous cave hotels are all within an hour’s drive.
For those who love ancient sites, Mardin is full of old limestone houses, beautiful views and a mixed culture of Syrian, Christian and Kurdish settlements living in harmony. The city has been called an open-air museum, with incredible relics almost around every corner.
The diverse mix of cultures results in Mardin being a foodie’s dream. Be sure to try the walnuts dipped in grape molasses for a seriously sweet treat!