With a rich history and culture as well as plethora of natural resources, Turkey became the third most popular destination in the world last year. In 2013 alone, the country was visited by 39.7 million travelers from Europe and foreign nations, which was predicted to increase last year and in 2015 as reported by the Daily Sabah. If you’re visiting Turkey anytime soon, here are some of its hotspots to include in your list of must-see places.
1. Baba Mountain around Fethiye
Also called Mount Cragus, this ancient mountain is almost 2,000-meters high and gives visitors a great view of the Mediterranean Coast as well as a valley full of beautiful rolling hills. Most postcards are photographed here in this scenic area, including the top view of the Ölüdeniz beach. Some adventurous tourists also visit the spot for paragliding.
2. Yenice Forests in Karabük
This is a naturally protected area in the inner Black Sea province, the Yenice Forest is a place where its beautiful foresty can be enjoyed. It’s a common place for hikers, trekkers, and those who are into mountain biking.
3. Küre Mountains National Park
Among the list of natural havens in Turkey, the Küre Mountains is one of the most popular areas in Turkey, drawing thousands of foreign travelers annually. The area boasts an array of canyons, trees, caves, rock formations, as well as waterfalls. The mountain can be found in between Bartin and Kastamonu in the western Black Sea.
4. Karçal Mountains at Artvin
At the northern part near the Georgian border, this mountain offers a view and experience of untouched forests as well as glacial lakes. It is also known in Europe for its large population of brown bears.
5. Firtina Valley in Rize
Near the 4th location in this list, this valley is one of the common tourist attraction in the eastern part of the Black Sea. It is not only the valley that attracts visitors, but also the Firtina River where water rafting is apparent.
6. Belrad Forest in Istanbul
This 5,500-hectare healthy, natural forest is home to various plants, trees, animals, and different species of birds. The Sessile Oak is the most common tree that you will find in the Belrad Forest. Various historical reservoirs can also be found here.
7. Nur Mountain in Hatay province
Also known as the Amanos Mountains, this natural beauty stretches up to Syria. It offers visitors typical flora that is found in the Mediterranean area, but it is acknowledged by various organizations as one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots.
8. İbradı-Akseki Forests in Antalya
Due to the area’s high precipitation level, the forest grew a large number of endemic plants. Apart from plants, mature trees can also be found in the area, as well as the Altınbeşik Cave, which features a 40-meter deep lake inside it.
9. Datça and Bozburun Peninsula in the Muğla province
An 80-kilometer peninsula, the Datça and Bozburun is a common destination for local and foreign tourists during the summer months due to its golden sandy beach area. The coastline is also something to admire because during the early hours the blue waters are crystallized.
10. Pamukkale in the Denizli province
In the south west of the country, you will find Pamukkale, which is the Turkish word for “cotton castle.” Most of the year, the climate is temperate, while the water remains as a natural hot springs from flowing carbonated water. It is now one of the World’s most revered Heritage sites.
Apart from the aforementioned locations, Istanbul is also home to many phenomenal architectural structures, while continuously promoting eco-tourism. In fact, the city has included agriculture in their sustainable tourism efforts by developing the Ta-Tu-Ta (Tarim-Turizm-Takas) to promote their agriculture, tourism, and barter. Only separated by a common sea, seasoned travelers will easily see the similarities between Istanbul and Monte Carlo. A resource page for exclusive night activities for tourists once showed how the town in Monaco also has “a majestic view overlooking the Mediterranean Sea,” exclusive and grand buildings, and a list of establishments that were awarded for their sustainable efforts.
However, Turkey will always be a unique destination for travelers who want to experience “east meets west” and appreciate well-kept natural treasures even on a budget.