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Discover Turkey’s Lesser-Known Gems For The Adventurer

By Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor May 10th, 2024 Posted in Asia Travel Blog, DIY Travel, Travel Blog, Travel Guides No comments

Turkey provides a treasure trove of undiscovered jewels just waiting to be discovered for the adventurous visitor looking to go off the well-travelled tourist path. While well-known locations like the majestic mosques of Istanbul, the ancient ruins of Ephesus, and the azure waters of the Mediterranean coast justifiably draw tourists from all over the world, this enormous and diverse country also conceals a multitude of lesser-known gems that have largely escaped the hands of mass tourism.

Discover Turkey's Lesser Known Gems For The Adventurer

Turkey’s off-the-beaten-path destinations beckon the adventurous spirit, promising authentic cultural immersion, breathtaking natural landscapes, and a glimpse into ways of life that have endured for centuries. From ancient cities shrouded in mystery to traditional mountain villages where time seems to stand still. Prepare yourself by booking Turkish Airlines tickets for an exciting tour across Turkey’s captivating but undiscovered regions.

The Northeast

Turkey’s northeastern area is an untamed paradise for people looking to immerse themselves in breathtaking natural beauty and rich cultural history, but it’s often missed by popular Western tour firms since it doesn’t have many beaches that get enough sunlight. The majestic Kaçkar Mountains provide outdoor enthusiasts with a breathtaking background and a playground with their snow-capped peaks and verdant valleys. Take a hike on paths that meander through old woods, go to secluded alpine meadows, and see the enduring traditional methods of living in this untainted, wild environment.

  • Camlihemsin

Discover Turkey''s Lesser Known Gems For The Adventurer

Nestled in the Fırtına Valley, the little town of Camlihemsin is one location that perfectly captures the beauty of the northeast. The Hemsin and Laz peoples, who are well-known for their exquisite pastries, traditional bagpipe music, and summertime migration to higher altitudes, invite you to immerse yourself in their distinct cultures. Discover historic stone bridges built by the Ottomans that cross bubbling streams, indulge in the delicious Muhlama cheese fondue, a speciality of the area, and take in the pristine scenery that surrounds you, spared from the homogenising effects of contemporary tourism.

  • Savsat National Park

Savsat National Park is another must-see location in the northeast; it’s a lush sanctuary that will have you wondering if you’ve somehow travelled to the French Alps. This protected region is a veritable haven for nature lovers, where long-standing traditions like livestock herding and beekeeping continue to flourish and provide a unique window into a way of life that has survived for many generations. You may take in the area’s unspoiled natural splendour and possibly even get a peek at the native fauna that makes this pristine setting home, all while enjoying the simple facilities and lack of opulent resorts.

The Southeast

While many travellers may be drawn to Turkey’s sun-kissed Mediterranean coast and its sandy beaches, the country’s southeast provides an appeal of its own, steeped in ancient history, rich cultural heritage, and a tapestry of varied customs. Adventuresome tourists have the chance to explore before the masses come and immerse themselves in a world that has remained largely unaffected by the homogenising forces of contemporary tourism, while Turkish residents increasingly discover this region’s distinctive attractions.

  • Mardin

The historic city of Mardin, which is positioned on a hillside with a view of the enormous Mesopotamian plains, is one such jewel. You will feel as if you have travelled back in time as you stroll around the old district and take in the stunning stone architecture of the homes, mosques, and monasteries that have weathered the test of time. Savour the distinctive cuisine, tasting the rich and earthy tastes of Dibek coffee and exquisite stuffed lamb ribs, and be captivated by the swooping pigeons that deftly negotiate the small, twisting alleyways.

  • Gaziantep

Discover Turkey's Lesser Known Gems For The Adventurer

A gourmet haven lies in the city of Gaziantep for those who are prepared to go from the usual route. The city has a lot more to offer the inquisitive tourist, even if its delicious baklava is well known for being the greatest in all of Turkey. Discover the history of the region’s rich spiritual legacy by immersing yourself in the whirling dervish culture at the Mevlevi Museum and exploring the historic fortress, whose walls murmur stories of conflicts long since the past. See the talent of master artisans at work in the ancient copper market as they hammer and shape burning metal into elaborate pieces of art.

The Uncharted Corners of Cappadocia

Although Cappadocia is unquestionably one of Turkey’s most well-known and popular travel destinations, known for its surreal lunar landscapes and the chance to fly above the fairy chimneys in a hot air balloon, this alluring area still has hidden gems for those prepared to stray from the well-travelled path.

  • Hacı Bektaş Veli Complex

The Hacı Bektaş Veli Complex, a 13th-century cultural landmark that provides a unique look into Turkey’s Alevi community—a mystical sect of Shia Islam—is located around one hour’s drive from the well-known town of Göreme. Explore the museum, pay homage to the revered preacher Hacı Bektaş Veli at his tomb, and, if you happen to be there in August, take in the sights and sounds of the site’s yearly celebration, which features a colourful display of dance, music, and spiritual expression.

  • Açıksaray (Open Palace)

To experience being off the grid and feeling as if you’ve discovered a vanished city, visit Açıksaray, also called the “Open Palace.” This mysterious, abandoned underground settlement has strange rock formations, ornate facades that lead to chambers, and historic churches cut right into the stone. You’ll get the chance to discover its mysteries in relative seclusion since not many people make the trip to this isolated part of Gülşehir. Let your imagination run wild as you consider the hidden tales carved into these ancient walls.

Discover Turkey’s rich cultural tapestry and immerse yourself in environments and lifestyles that have mostly escaped modernization as you discover these lesser-known gems. So embrace your spirit of adventure, walk off the well-travelled tourist path, and see the real Turkey—a country where nature, culture, and history dance together in a captivating way, just waiting to be discovered by those not afraid to venture off the beaten path.



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Written by Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor

Two Monkeys Travel Group – Community Travel Blog is a travel blog and website. We quickly grew into a valuable source of inspiring travel stories, advice, itineraries and travel guides, with the aim of demonstrating how to live a sustainable life of travel, whilst living your own definition of success. If you'd like to contribute and write a guest post, contact us at [email protected]