Turkey is a great country for travel thanks to its climate, geography, culture and more. She offers an outstanding variant of touristic experience to choose from including sunny beaches, historically rooted cultural sight seeings and of course the Turkish cuisine. Therefore, Turkey has always been among the main destinations for tourists all around world. In this article we will share the best travel routes for prospective, current and former visitors who will or did come to Turkey to enjoy her beauties. Though it is a hard pick, we tried to compartmentalize the routes by their type of tourism roughly into three categories namely Cultural, Sea and Gastronomical Tourism. We also provide you with practical information such as how to arrive or get around in Turkey and more. We hope you find informative our article and enjoy your next vacation in Turkey!
How to Arrive in Turkey
There are various ways to reach to Turkey, but if you are not living in one of neighboring countries such as Greece or Iran, the best way would be by plane. There are 53 airports in Turkey and 37 of them are open to international flights.
The biggest and busiest among them is Istanbul Airport, which inaugurated in 2018. Most of the international flights destined to Turkey are via Istanbul Airport or Sabiha Gokçen (also in Istanbul). However, during the summer months international air traffic to southern and western cities are also increasing considerably, especially for Antalya and İzmir.
Best airline companies would be Turkish Airlines or Pegasus due to their affordable prices and number of flights. To have an idea about flight schedules and prices you can visit their webpages https://www.turkishairlines.com/en-int/flights/booking/index.html and https://www.flypgs.com/en
How to get Around in Turkey
Once you are in Turkey, you need to plan how to get to other cities as well. If you are not tight on budget, renting a car would be a good option. Some prominent rental car companies are https://www.garenta.com.tr/, https://www.avis.com.tr/ and https://yolcu360.com/
If you want to save on the budget, you can take domestic flights or buses. For flights, you can pick among airlines companies that are mentioned above and for the buses some important companies are https://www.flixbus.com.tr/ and https://www.pamukkale.com.tr/.
Especially during last years, railway has also become popular, and you can take train to many cities. You can check the web page of Turkish Railways
Touristic Destinations and Routes
Though they may overlap, we find it practical to categorize the travel routes based on types of tourism namely Cultural, Sea and Gastronomical Tourism. We will also present a sample itinerary for you so that you will not have to worry about how to travel among them.
Cultural Tourism Routes in Turkey
Turkey is so rich with regard to cultural heritage. So far, Turkey has inscribed 19 sites to UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Permanent List and 84 sites to Tentative List. In this chapter, we will share the ones that are in the Permanent List. The listed sites and city they are in are as follows: Aphrodisias (Aydin), Archeological Site of Ani (Kars), Archeological Site of Troy(Çanakkale), Arslantepe Mound(Malatya), Bursa and Cumalızık: the Birth of the Ottoman Empire (Bursa), City of Safranbolu(Karabük), Diyarbakır Fortress and Hevsel Gardens Cultural Landscape(Diyarbakır), Ephesus(İzmir), Göbeklitepe(Şanlıurfa), Great Mosque and Hospital of Divriği (Sivas), Historic Areas of Istanbul (İstanbul), Nemrut Dağ (Adıyaman), Neolithic Site of Çatalhöyük (Çorum), Pergamon and its Multilayered Cultural Landscape (İzmir), Selimiye Mosque and its Social Complex (Edirne), Xanthos-Letoon (Antalya-Muğla), Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia(Nevşehir), Hierapolis-Pamukkale(Denizli).
Considering the vast geography of Turkey, we decided to set three routes with regard to cultural tourism destinations. The North, South and the third route would be exclusive for Kars which is at very remote area of Turkey.
We suggest you take this route by bus. It would be cost-effective and less tiresome for you. If you take this route, you would be visiting 11 cultural sites.
This route is also advisable by bus. The best perk of this route would be its proximity to many popular beach destinations as well. You would be visiting 10 cultural sites.
Since Kars is at the easternmost part of Turkey, we suggest you take a domestic round trip flight from İstanbul in order to see the Archeological Site of Ani.
Sea Tourism Routes in Turkey
As for the sea tourism, the best option would be the Turkish Riviera with its turquoise waters and great climate. The term Turkish Riviera refers to southwestern and southern coast of Turkey that comprises cities such as Alanya, Antalya, Bodrum, Çeşme, Fethiye, Kalkan, Kaş, Kemer, Kuşadası, Marmaris, and Side.
There are several ways to travel around this route. You can go Istanbul and take plane from there to İzmir or Antalya. In summer it is very probable that you can find flights destined to İzmir and Antalya directly. Afterwards, we advise you to rent a car to see all the nice beaches and bays. You can also backpack around this area.
Gastronomic Tourism Routes in Turkey
Turkish cuisine is world-famous for its variety and deliciousness. You can find distinct foods in almost every city in Turkey thanks to its historical and cultural richness as well as climate conditions that makes many products to be cultivated. However, we decided to present the most famous destinations for the sake of this article.
Like any great journey in Turkey, gastronomic one would also start in Istanbul. What better way anyone can image to find the food of the Ottoman Sultans that enjoyed throughout the years? After Istanbul, we suggest you take a plane to gastronomic capital of Turkey, Gaziantep, where you will enjoy varieties of baklava, kebabs and what not. Consequently, you go on your journey with bus into Hatay and Adana which are also important centers of Turkish cuisine.
All in all, Turkey is among the richest and most exciting countries in the world for visiting. Anyone can find something that would be interesting and enjoyable for them. You can swim turquoise waters, admire the historical artifacts or enjoy the thousands of different variety of foods that the country have to offer. There are many other activities can be done apart from this article as well. Like skiing, ecotourism and so on. In this article, we tried to draw an outline of travel routes for international visitors that are looking for coming to Turkey. Notwithstanding, learning some Turkish along the way would also help any visitor to enjoy their journey even more.
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