Turkey Tours for Nature Lovers

The country of Turkey is known for its beaches and ancient ruins, but I bet you didn’t know about the vastly different types of terrain the country has to offer. Turkey could be a nature lovers paradise if you only know where to look. Forests, mountains, beaches and volcanic tuff, Turkey has it all and each one is more beautiful than the last.

Turkey Tour for Nature Lovers, Istanbul Tour, Turkey Trips

Istanbul is Turkey’s most famous city, but only an hour away is the city of Bursa, the original capital of the Ottoman Empire and known for its greenery. Bursa lies at the foot of Uludag Mountain, which is a popular place to visit in summer and winter. During the wintertime, the mountain is filled with skiers but in the summer time it’s a beautiful forest and the perfect place to hike. There are marked hiking trails at the top of the mountain and after a few kilometers of hiking, you’ll come across the glacial lakes and you might even be able to glimpse the Marmara Sea!

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Turkey Tour for Nature Lovers, Trabzon Tour, Turkey Trips

The black Sea city of Trabzon is often overlooked for Turkey’s more popular destinations, making the city a diamond in the rough. Its alpine terrain makes it a wonderful place to explore and enjoy nature. Nearby is Sumela Monastery, which was built onto the side of a mountain. Take a day to hike around and see how the monks lived their daily lives. About 100 km away is the beautiful scenic town of Uzungol. The city is built around a lake and is surrounded by mountains. A popular trek from Uzungol takes you up to the nearby peaks of Ziyaret and Halizden. It is a long days hike but definitely worth it.

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Close to Trabzon and Uzungol is the mountainside town of Ayder. The main attractions are nearby waterfalls that fall off the mountainside and a hot spring complex. There are also some trekking trails, but you must transfer there by minibus. There are charming wooden bungalows to rent in Ayder and river rafting is also possible there.

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If beaches are more your style, then check out the Lycian Way, a long distance walking trail that follows the Turquoise Coast. If you were to walk the entire way, it would take about 5 weeks to complete. The trail starts near Oludeniz beach and ends near Antalya. The trail goes through mountain ranges and seascapes and the terrain consists of boulder strewn trails and forested paths. At some points, the trail is not clearly marked and overgrowth and construction makes the path hard to find. The original hiker who marked the trail also wrote a guidebook that can be purchased at shops along the trail or online. The book contains info on where to find water and overnight accommodations, although many of those places don’t exist anymore. The book also contains a map which at some points is the only thing that will help you find the trail. It is not recommended to attempt this hike in the summertime as temperatures get too hot. The best times to go are in October when the weather gets cooler or in April or May before the summer gets too hot.

Cappadocia tour, Turkey Tour for Nature Lovers, Istanbul Tour, Turkey Trips

Cappadocia gained its fame from the hot air balloons at sunrise. However, the volcanic tuff that makes up the terrain formed beautiful rock formations and gorges that are the perfect hiking destination. There is a two hour hike from the main city of Goreme to Uchisar. The hike through the Cappadocia countryside is visually rewarding and the hike isn’t too difficult. It you still have energy when you arrive in the village of Uchisar, climb to the top of the castle for the best view of the region.

The Ihlara Valley on the South side of Cappadocia is a beautiful gorge that is perfect for hikers. Churches and villages are carved into the rocks along the valley and the entire thing is 16km. There are villages with places to stay along the valley and cafes for refreshment.

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No matter what type of terrain you prefer to explore, Turkey is sure to have something to please you. Turkey is so much more than a beach destination. There are so many naturally beautiful places to explore here and you’ll definitely be glad you came!

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