54 Fun and Interesting Things To Do When in Turkey
Beyond the Blue Mosque, Ephesus, and Cappadocia, Places to Visit and Things to Do When Travelling in Turkey.
Although our area of “expertise" is in Gulet Cruise holidays and sail Turkey tours we get enormous enquiries about other things related to traveling to Turkey.
We generally come across these statements from our passengers on sail Turkey tours " after my sailing tour in Turkey I will visit the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia in Istanbul. "What else is there to do in Turkey?"
So here's a random list of fun and interesting things to do in Turkey. Some are popular (like visit the Blue Mosque), others less so (like trying a squat toilet). But for a real Turkey experience you should have all those things on your bucket list when you are traveling in Turkey; A country of great food, history, friendliest people.
We have listed all things to do in Turkey in no particular order;
1.Spend a day at a beach in the southwest of Turkey which is also known as Turkish Riviera or Turquoise coasts, literally any beach. Turkey has over 400 Blue Flag beaches, which are recognized for their safety and cleanliness internationally.
2.Take a cooking class when in Turkey. This country is huge and every region has its own specialty made from local ingredients and special spices. Mediterranean cuisine is the most popular that we serve on our private gulet charters and Turkey sailing tours.
3.Wander through the ruins of ancient churches built to honor St. Nicholas (Yes, Santa is real) on St. Nicholas island; one of the famous blue cruises stops on our 4 day and 7 day sail Turkey tours.
4. Put on your comfortable hiking shoes and explore the ghost village at Kayakoy in Fethiye. This amazing gulet cruise hub has a lot to offer. Ghost village known as Kayakoy today is a Unesco site with over 2000 abandoned houses which used to be a Greek village before world war 1.
5. Ride the ferry between Europe and Asia. Istanbul is the only city in the world which straddles on two continent. Get on a ferry and change the continent only in 15 minutes. It is amazing how you order a Turkish Tea on the ferry and starts sipping and your tea will be still hot when you change a continent.
6. Visit a shipyard which is a great place for photography enthusiasts and watch master boat builders craft wooden gulets by hand when in Fethiye or Bodrum.
7.Visit Konya and Mevlana museum where spiritual performance called Whirling Dervishes originated from.
8. On the Fethiye Marmaris route make sure you visit a great Carian ancient city located on Dalyan delta which is a great day trip on our sail Turkey tours. After your exploration, you can enjoy the rest of the day on an amazing beach called turtle beach where famous loggerhead sea turtles laying their eggs at a particular time of the year.
9. Shop till you drop in the Grand Bazaar which is considered the biggest covered market place in ancient times, make sure you show your bargaining skills when shopping.
10.Explore one of the underground cities in the Cappadocia region, which dates back to the bronze age, and of course you should visit Goreme open-air museum in Cappadocia that houses many cave churches carved by monks in the early years of Christianity. Goreme is listed as a world heritage by Unesco in the 1970s.
11. No doubt Ephesus is one of the most visited places in Turkey, when you are there make sure you pay a visit to the ancient latrina (public toilets) and be thankful that modern-day toilets are a little less social.
12.Visit Bodrum Castle which was built by the medieval knights in the early 15th century used to be one of the most important military garrisons of its age.
13.Explore Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, which was home of the Ottoman sultans for over 400 years
14. Admire a stunning 360-degree view of Istanbul at the top of Galata Tower.
15.Forget about McDonald's and Burger King, eat mouth-watering Turkish street food instead.
16.Do rafting at Saklıkent Gorge.
17.Hike the Lycian trail which is one of the most famous hiking trails in the world. The entire trail is nearly 550km long!
18.Join a boat trip through the Dalyan Delta, a brackish, bamboo filled wetland with the view of gorgeous rock tombs. A must-do activity during your blue cruise holiday.
19.Sleep in a tree-house hotel in Olympos which houses an ancient city and amazing beach. Olympos is the start and end point of our amazing Fethiye Olympos 4 days gulet cruises.
20. Go fishing from a bridge, or from a boat, or from pretty much anywhere.
21. Try famous Turkish tea; known as “çay” in the Turkish language.
22. Wake up for a once in a lifetime experience in Cappadocia and go for a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the stunning valleys of Cappadocia.
23. Cruise the Bosphorus day and night and admire the beauty of Istanbul.
24. Wander through the ruins of Simena castle in the Kekova region. All of our sail Turkey tours either 4 days or 8 days gulet cruises stop at Kekova to discover its wonders.
25. Watch the sunset over the Mediterranean from the amphitheater in Kaş. Another beautiful resort town along the Turquoise coast
26.Play Backgammon, a popular board game that originated in the Middle East about 5000 years ago. Many Turks like playing at lightning speed. Sit next to them and try to keep up
27.Go to a Shisha bar and try different flavors when having some drinks with (also called a hookah).
28.Drink Turkish coffee with a local and have your fortune told. Without drinking Turkish coffee your journey in Turkey is never completed.
29.Watch a Whirling Dervish performance and dip into spirituality with Sufi music.
30.Go scuba diving in Kaş to experience some of the clearest water in the Mediterranean. It is one of the highlights of our Turkey sailing tours.
31.Learn to belly dance. Turkish belly dancers are the best in the world and most of them have dance schools all around Turkey.
32. Learn about the traditional art of carpet weaving. Most carpet sellers will be happy to talk about the craft for hours in Cappadocia, Istanbul, or Ephesus.
33.Visit the church of St Nicholas where his tomb was kept there for centuries. St. Nicholas himself was a bishop in one of those famous Lycian cities who lived in the 4th century.
34.Pay your respects at Gallipoli which was one of the major battlefields of WW1.
35. when on a blue cruise gulet in Olympos make sure you hike up to mountains to witness the eternal flames on the rocks called the fire of the gods
36. Visit the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus in Bodrum which is in the list of 7 wonders of the ancient world. Most parts are displayed in the British museum today but still, you can explore the original spot where it used to be.
37.Watch the mighty sunrise at Mount Nemrut.
38. Eat Turkish ice-cream made with orchid flowers and goat milk) and enjoy ice-cream man's traditional show.
39.Paraglide off Mount Babadağ at Blue Lagoon which is one of the optional activities on our sail Turkey tours that your crew will help you to organize.
40.Eat Baklava whenever you find a shop.
41.Visit the ruins of legendary Troy where the mythological Trojan war took place.
42. Discover why Turkish people call raki (national alcoholic beverage) "Lion's Milk".
43.Visit the House of the Virgin Mary at Ephesus.
44.Sunbathe on Patara Beach, Turkey's longest sand beach and the birthplace of St. Nicholas.
45.Visit Atatürk's Mausoleum in Ankara where his eternal resting place is and watch the changing of the Guards.
46.Marvel at the Blue Mosque which houses 20000 blue tiles.
47.Explore the ruins at Tlos, the mythological home of Pegasus. You can have a day trip from Fethiye to Tlos.
48.Drink Ayran, a foamy, salty yogurt-based drink that Turks love drinking it especially on hot summer days to cool off
49.Tour Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul which is as big as Versay in Paris and Buckingham in London.
50.Learn about ceramic art, many of the upscale ceramics shops offer free workshops or demonstrations especially in Cappadocia where this art is originated from.
51.Splash in the thermal baths at Pamukkale which is one of the highlights in Turkey tours and Pamukkale means cotton castle in Turkish language is a unique place in the world with calcium carbonate terraces
52. Experience Turkish Bath like sultans
53.Eat all flavors of Turkish Delight you can find- and pick a favorite. ( ours is double roasted pistachio)
54 Last but not least; Take small boat cruises in Turkey and cruise along the turquoise coast with Go Turkey sail and Enjoy our curated Sail Turkey tours with amazing food, friendliest crew, and of course the Mediterranean itself.
For more information; www.goturkeysail.com