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9 Things to Do in Turkey: Explore the Best of Turkish Culture and Adventure

Things to Do in Turkey

10 Fun and Unique Things to Do in Turkey

Magnificent is another word for Turkey. From local markets to paying visits to cultural sites and the white sand beaches, and to make it even better, there are a whole lot of fun things to do in Turkey. Turkey has many unusual things to do while visiting the place. Here is a list of unique and fun things to do in Turkey:

  1. A Stay at the Gamirasu Cave Hotel.

Located in a reclaimed thousand-year-old Byzantine, Gairasu Cave Hotel is a retreat destination that offers modern aspects artistically integrated into and without altering the spiritual nature and feel of the area, which has been known to exist without habitation for more than half a decade. The hotel is one of the best cave hotels in the country. Accommodation and meal prices for the hotel vary according to booking.

Gamirasu Cave Hotel is situated in the Ayvali Village near Urgup in the Cappadocia region of Turkey. The location offers a peaceful and unique setting amid Cappadocia’s surreal landscapes.

The hotel offers a range of cave rooms and suites carved into the soft tuff rock. These rooms maintain a harmonious balance between modern comfort and the historic charm of cave dwellings.

While maintaining its cave authenticity, Gamirasu Cave Hotel offers modern amenities, including free Wi-Fi, private bathrooms, and comfortable furnishings. Some rooms may include additional features like Jacuzzis or fireplaces.

Staying at Gamirasu Cave Hotel provides guests with an opportunity to immerse themselves in the local culture and history of Cappadocia. The architecture and design reflect the region’s rich heritage.

 

Gairasu Cave Hotel
  1. Tour the Kekova Island

Kekova Island is the epitome of therapeutic sceneries characterized by the iconic Semina ruins and the partially submerged city of Lycians. The place holds a storybook charm from its history to the tranquility of the waters and the coolness of the breeze that blows over it. The fun things to do in Turkey are made even better by the friendly and accommodating locals that make it a perfect destination for you and you’re loved ones.

Activities

Besides exploring the historical sites and enjoying the natural beauty, there are several activities to partake in while touring Kekova Island:

  • Boat Tours: Exploring the submerged city and coastline by boat is a popular activity. Many boat tours are available, which provide opportunities for swimming and snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters.

  • Hiking: For those who love outdoor adventures, there are hiking trails on the island and in the surrounding areas. These trails offer stunning views of the Mediterranean and the island’s rugged terrain.

  • Cultural Experiences: Visit the local markets and shops to discover authentic Turkish crafts, textiles, and souvenirs. You can also attend cultural events and festivals that showcase traditional music and dance.

  • Cuisine: Savor delicious Turkish cuisine at local restaurants and taverns. The Mediterranean flavors, fresh seafood, and traditional dishes are a gastronomic delight.

Tour the Kekova Island
  1. Ballooning Over Cappadocia

Ballooning over the Cappadocia gives you an unsettling experience of the beautiful escarpments of Turkey from an aerial perspective. You can opt for a standard and very affordable package, which is a 90 to 2hr flight accompanied by 16 to 22 people. You could also choose a deluxe package to get the experience alone. Due to the popularity of the experience, it’s advisable to book your balloon ride in advance, especially during the high season. Many operators offer online booking options.

Picture this: you’re in central Turkey, surrounded by towns like Göreme, Ürgüp, and Uçhisar. What makes these places special, you ask? Well, they’re home to some mind-blowing sights, like fairy chimney rock formations, cave dwellings, and landscapes that’ll make you question if you’ve stepped into another dimension.

Ballooning Season

Now, when should you plan your airborne adventure? Well, my friend, ballooning in Cappadocia is a year-round gig, but the high season runs from April to November. Why? Because those are the months when the weather plays nice and the conditions are just perfect.

Sunrise Flights

And speaking of mornings, buckle up, because the best time to hop into a balloon basket is at the crack of dawn. Yes, you read that right – sunrise flights are the thing here. The serene morning air combined with the soft light of dawn creates a mystical atmosphere that’ll make you feel like a character in a fairytale. Plus, as if it couldn’t get any better, the colors of the sky will change before your eyes, adding an extra touch of magic to the whole experience.

Capacity

Alright, let’s address the elephant in the basket – capacity. When it comes to these soaring contraptions, size does matter. They range from cozy little baskets that can fit only a select few (think intimate vibes) to larger ones that can accommodate over 20 passengers. It just depends on the size of the balloon you choose.

Things to Do in Turkey
  1. Tour the Underground Mosque in Istanbul.

This is spiritual place is taled to have been a Byzantine fort back when the Galata was inhabited by the Genoese settlement. The uniqueness and the history associated with it qualify it as one of the best places to visit during your visit to Turkey.

Historical Roots

The Underground Mosque has a deep historical heritage, with its origins traced back to the Byzantine era. It is believed to have been a Byzantine fort during a time when the area of Galata was inhabited by the Genoese settlement. This historical backdrop adds a layer of intrigue to the place, as it has witnessed the transformation of Istanbul through the centuries.

Spiritual Significance

Today, the Underground Mosque serves as a place of worship and spiritual reflection. The tranquility and reverence that pervade the underground chambers create an environment conducive to prayer and meditation. Many visitors and locals come here to seek a spiritual connection, making it a vital religious center in Istanbul.

Visiting the Underground Mosque is a unique and off-the-beaten-path experience in Istanbul. While many tourists flock to the city’s more famous landmarks, this hidden gem offers a quieter and more personal exploration of history and spirituality. It’s an opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse oneself in the depths of history and faith.

Underground Mosque in Istanbul
  1. Watch Men, Oil Wrestle

Oil wrestling has existed since the year 1346 in Turkey and is used as a commemoration of the grease wrestling festival. This type of festival is an experience that you wouldn’t want to miss when you are in Turkey. The sport has a mixture of both exciting and thrilling sensations as you watch the men coated with oil to make them slick and tough to get a grip on. For some reason, I don’t think I’d have a problem with this one. 

Watch Men Oil Wrestle
  1. Go on a Biblical Pilgrimage

Being home to many sites identified by Christians to be among the holiest places, Turkey is often known as the biblical pilgrimage. The country is home to holy Christian sites like the Seven Churches of the Revelation, the Assyrian Orthodox Church of the Virgin Mary, the Early Christian Settlement, the St. Nicholas Birthplace, and the St. Nicholas Church. Most of these sites are located in Istanbul, Usak, Konya, and Antakya.

Biblical Pilgrimage
  1. Camping at the Kackar Mountains.

Kackar Mountain has a height of 3972 meters above sea level. Hiking to the top of the mountain is an experience of a life filled with thrilling adventure. Enjoy the comfy settlement piloted by the exquisite view of the sunset in the dramatic precipices and clad peaks.

Ayder Plateau: Where Beauty Meets Adventure

First up, we’ve got the Ayder Plateau. This place is a total gem. Alpine meadows, breathtaking mountain views – it’s like a postcard come to life. Find your perfect spot for camping and soak in all that natural beauty.

Gito Plateau: Zen and the Art of Camping

Looking for a tranquil escape not too far from Ayder? Head to the Gito Plateau. Picture lush greenery, mountain landscapes, and that zen vibe that’ll make your soul sing.

Pokut Plateau: Charming Highs

Now, let’s talk charm. Welcome to the Pokut Plateau, where alpine meadows and wooden mountain houses will steal your heart. It’s the perfect starting point for your trekking adventures and a cozy night under the stars.

Samistal Plateau: Pine Forest Haven

Feeling the need to surround yourself with pine forests? The Samistal Plateau is calling your name. It’s a peaceful haven where you can explore nearby trails and get lost in the beauty of nature.

Yusufeli Highlands: Elevate Your Camping Game

These highlands offer you endless camping opportunities. From rolling hills to meadows and mountainous terrain, the Yusufeli Highlands have it all.

Kaçkar National Park: Where Adventure Begins

Now, buckle up, my fearless ladies, because we’re heading to the Kaçkar National Park. This is our treasure trove of adventure, with countless trekking routes and hidden camping spots waiting for us. Just make sure to play by the rules and check the guidelines – safety first, always!

Wildlife When Camping Here

Alright, ladies, let’s talk about the Kaçkar Mountains – a freaking biodiversity paradise! This place is like a giant buffet for flora and fauna. But hold up, before you go all Tarzan on us, let’s remember to be a responsible and respectful camper. We’ve got some key points to keep in mind.

Flora: When Mother Nature Shows Off Her Style

Damn, the Kaçkar Mountains are a botanical fashion show! We’ve got alpine flowers, coniferous trees, and fancy endemic plants strutting their stuff. Here’s a tip: Resist the urge to start a plant-picking frenzy. We want to let those plants do their thing and keep the ecosystem in check. Plus, they’ll look way better in their natural habitat than in your Instagram selfie.

Fauna: From Brown Bears to Zoom-Zoom Birds

Hold on to your hats, ladies! The Kaçkar Mountains are home to a diverse wildlife crew. We’re talking brown bears, wolves, lynxes, chamois, and a whole lot of bird species. Now, it’s tempting to unleash your inner Dr. Dolittle and get all up in their business, but let’s be cool about it. Keep a safe distance, admire the animals without being a total creeper, and let them live their wild lives in peace.

Campsite Selection: Picking the Perfect Spot, Like a Boss

Choosing a campsite is an art, my empowered ladies. We want to minimize our impact on the local ecosystem. So here’s the deal: Don’t camp too close to water sources. Yeah, I know it’s oh-so-tempting to have that creekside view, but we’re doing our part to protect aquatic habitats.

Camping Kackar Mountains
  1. Soak in the Pamukkale Thermal Pools.

Those who are thinking of just having a relaxing experience and wish to ditch the hustle and bustle of life will love all of the unique things to do in Turkey. Thermal pools are natural formations made of minerals, which hold water and help it in staying warm.

Mineral-Rich

The thermal pools in Pamukkale are famed for their mineral-rich waters, particularly calcium and magnesium. These minerals are not only responsible for the formation of the dazzling terraces but also contribute to the water’s reputed healing properties. Many believe that soaking in these pools can be beneficial for the skin, muscles, and general well-being.

Stunning Views

Besides their therapeutic properties, the Pamukkale Thermal Pools also offer stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Visitors can take leisurely walks along the terraces, capturing the beauty of the cascading pools and the lush greenery that contrasts with the white travertine formations.

Pamukkale Thermal Pools
  1. Avanos Hair Museum

This museum is one of a kind. The museum consists of hair, all donated by female visitors in the area. Turkey not only gives you the thrill, the fun, and the spiritual calmness but it also allows you to be part of its vast heritage.

Avanos Hair Museum

10. Go Underground in Derinkuyu

Alright, my fearless explorers, we’re going underground in Derinkuyu! This ancient underground city is one of several in the Cappadocia region, known for its distinct landscapes and historical sites. It’s believed to have been carved into the soft volcanic rock by the Phrygians, possibly way back in the 8th-7th centuries BCE. And later, like a renovation project on steroids, the Byzantines expanded the city to what we see today.

What was this underground city used for, you might ask? Well, during times of invasion and persecution, it was likely used as a protective fortress.

Architectural Features

Now, let’s talk about architectural features because this underground wonderland does not disappoint. It’s a complex network of tunnels, rooms, and chambers, reaching a depth of about 60 meters. Yeah, you read that right – 60 METERS! It features living quarters, kitchens, stables (I mean, come on, where else are you gonna keep your pet horse during a crisis?), storage rooms, and get this – even a church!

Multi-Level Layout

Let’s talk strategy, ladies, because this underground city layout was designed like a boss. It has multiple levels connected by staircases and tunnels that serve different purposes and were designed to provide security and organization. Our ancient counterparts knew that organization was key, and they took it to a whole new level – literally.

Exploring Derinkuyu offers a unique glimpse into the past, allowing visitors to appreciate the resourcefulness of ancient communities in creating intricate underground structures for protection and survival. It’s like stepping into a time machine and witnessing first-hand how badass our ancient ancestors were. Plus, it’s an intriguing and educational experience for those interested in history and archaeology.

 

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About Jill

Hi, Jill Here

Hi! I’m Jill, a Dallas, Texas girl traveling the world. After a career in the Air Force and touring over 50 countries later, my need to explore keeps going! It’s time to rock & roll and find all those places I never knew I was missing.

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