ISTANBUL: Turkey, with seas on three sides, is home to so many natural wonders, beaches and coves from popular ones to secluded havens, not to mention the endless camping sites one can spend weeks in peace as well as skiing for the adventurous
The concept of travel, be it a vacation, resting or taking leave from work, has diversified throughout history, becoming a soaring industry that includes innumerable activities that have emerged over the years.
Geographers working on tourism have found that as the number of activities in a region increases, that region shows development in terms of tourist density.
Although the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to travel or holiday is the sea, sand and sun, as these are at the top of the activities list for most people, there are many different holiday concepts depending on the preferences of people after a tiring working period.
One could even take their family or friends on a spiritual holiday.
While snow and ski holidays are popular in winter, resorts, hotels and local businesses enter a very busy period for domestic and foreign tourists in summer.
Apart from these, those who are far from their family and loved ones can spend their holidays visiting them.
This cultural habit, which is quite common in Turkey, still continues for people who have moved to the metropolis from the countryside. Especially with the start of the school holiday period, children go with their families to the place where their grandparents live and large family gatherings take place.
In this unique country surrounded by sea on three sides, every child has a few unforgettable memories of their summer holidays.
However, let’s start the concept of travel with some of the most famous beaches and coves of Turkey.
Probably at the top of the list stands the Phaselis Bay in Antalya’s Kemer, in southern Turkey, a region that houses many such a famous beach. Not only does it include beautiful blue waters of the Mediterranean but also the ruins of Phaselis, an ancient Greek and Roman city on the coast of ancient Lycia
Again in Antalya, there is Patara Beach, again the home of the ancient maritime city of Patara. That seems to be the trend in the Mediterranean region, you can shoot two birds with one stone as you could have your fun at the beach and also see some incredible historical sights.
Going more Aegean, in Izmir’s Çeşme, one can find the Cleopatra Cove, home to one of the most beautiful yet terribly overlooked beaches of the Aegean region. Also in Izmir, there is Kalem Island just off the coast with great beaches.
Again in Izmir, there are the Kalamaki Coves, a series of coves that enchant sea lovers with their natural wonder.
Faralya Cove in Muğla’s Fethiye is a similar story as it is a secret haven of sorts. Meanwhile, in Muğla’s Dalaman, there is the Sarsala Cove where pleasure boats anchor at a natural harbor in this secluded bay, with many enjoying swimming in the clear water.
Also in Muğla’s Bodrum – here is another trend as Muğla is home to so many dazzling natural retreats – there is the Yahşi Beach, the destination of countless tourists.
So, to round up this trend of what we can find in Muğla, in Akyaka one can find the little-known Albay Cove, in Marmaris there is the Çiftlik Cove with its sandy beaches, in Fethiye there is another secluded heaven at the Butterfly Valley where a valley meets a cove.
The Altınkum Beach in Aydın might just be too deserving of its name, which means Goldensand, with its golden, sandy beaches.
In Balıkesir’s Ayvalık, there is the Sarımsaklı Beach. Going more north, one comes upon Ayazma Beach, a sandy beach as long as the eye can see in Çanakkale’s Bozcaada. Along the same lines as Ayazma, in Çanakkale’s Gökçeada there is the Gizli Liman Beach, again a beach that stretches to the horizon.
Also, in Bursa, there is the Karacabey Boğazı Beach, and one could be forgiven for thinking that the beach never ends as it is that long.
When one goes all the way to the north and reaches the Karadeniz region, one does not expect to find many incredible beaches as the Black Sea is not as famous with its blue waters and sandy beaches as the Mediterranean or the Aegean. Yet, in Sinop at the northernmost point of Turkey, Hamsilos Beach with a beautiful blend of sandy beaches and green forests can be found.
Of course, beaches aren’t everything when it comes to holidays and traveling, as many people want to get away from busy beaches and have a relaxing vacation while still having access to the sea. For that, there are numerous locations all around the Aegean, Mediterranean and Black Sea regions with wonderful coves that are secluded.
Speaking of blue waters so much, have you ever heard the term Blue Voyage? If you are interested in vacationing in Turkey and want to see the beaches and coves, you might hear it.
It is used in Turkey’s tourism industry, has its origins in Turkish literature, deriving from the title of a book by Azra Erhat, and was first introduced into Turkish literature by a handful of writers, such as the famous “The Fisherman of Halicarnassus,” or Cevat Şakir Kabaağaçlı.
Kabaağaçlı who had been exiled to Bodrum in 1925, began taking trips with his friends on the local sponge divers’ sailing boats, called gulets, and was moved and inspired by the local culture and natural beauty. These excursions became known as “Blue Voyages.”
Numerous guidebooks were published in Turkish and German presenting romantic depictions of the voyage. Since that time, cruise tourism has grown to support a sizable portion of the local economy, and transformed Bodrum from a fishing village to a holiday destination.
Although the coastal shores are at the top of the places where local and foreign tourists flock, there are places that must be visited and seen in Southeastern Anatolia and Central Anatolia that may not be near a beach yet offer so much nonetheless.
Historical ruins and natural wonders are too many to count here.
Sometimes the peace of the holiday lies in setting up a tent alone or with friends in a camping area in the forest away from the noisy traffic and crowds of the city.
Leaving behind the dazzling sparkles of the city, it is hidden only in the flame of the fire you have lit up, in the sound of a bird accompanying the silence of the night in the trees with its own song.
Camping sites are more cost-effective than hotel accommodations. Although camping is an option mostly preferred by young people, it is possible to come across some old boys who still have not lost their zest for life while pitching a tent. If you are not experienced in camping, you can pick the brains of those young at heart. Camping is becoming widespread day by day, and camping grounds are built in forest areas in many cities.
Let’s set aside all the alternatives of the hot period and cool off by taking a look at the snow/ski holiday options with you.
Uludağ and Palandöken open their doors to visitors during the winter months in Turkey. Although the winter period, which is quite crowded and fun, does not last as long as the summer period, it is enough to jazz up tourism.
The season of the sector, which is revived especially during the 15-day school break, starts at the end of October and ends in the first weeks of May.
Uludağ, which is called the “White Paradise” by ski lovers, hosted approximately 2 million people the last year.