Things We Love

Sun, Sea, and Ancient Ruins in Turkey’s Mediterranean Region

June 28, 2023

Turkey, the vibrant country that straddles Europe and Asia, is known for its rich and diverse culture, beautiful landscapes, and historical grandeur. Its Mediterranean region, also known as the Turquoise Coast, is especially captivating due to the harmonious blend of sun, sea, and ancient ruins that appeal to every type of traveler. Whether it’s relaxing on beautiful beaches, exploring ancient ruins, or immersing oneself in the local culture and cuisine, the Mediterranean region of Turkey offers an unparalleled, memorable experience. If you need a Visa to visit the country you can get an e-visa turkey before you fly in.

Basking in the Glow of the Sun

The Mediterranean region of Turkey is blessed with an almost idyllic climate, boasting more than 300 days of sunshine each year. Its weather lends itself well to outdoor activities and exploration, particularly from April to October when temperatures range from the mid-twenties to the high thirties (in Celsius).

Miles of pristine coastline are adorned with a variety of beaches, from pebble to fine sand, all invitingly bathed in the warmth of the Mediterranean sun. Patara, Kaputas, and Oludeniz are just a few of the beaches that draw sun-seekers from around the world, each with their unique charm and beauty.

Sailing the Azure Sea

The Mediterranean region’s crystal clear sea is a tantalizing draw for water enthusiasts. The Turquoise Coast, with its clear, warm waters and myriad of secluded bays, is a favorite destination for yachting, sailing, and cruising. For those looking for adventure, there are plentiful opportunities for snorkeling, scuba diving, and even exploring underwater ruins in areas like Kekova.

Not to be missed is the stunning Blue Cruise, or “Mavi Yolculuk”, a boating trip that starts from Bodrum and takes visitors along the coast, making stops at hidden coves, isolated beaches, and fishing villages.

Discovering the Ancient Ruins

The Mediterranean region of Turkey is a historian’s paradise, with its wealth of ancient ruins offering a tangible link to the past. The region is home to several archaeological sites from the Roman, Byzantine, Lycian, and Ottoman eras, among others.

In the heart of this region, the ancient city of Antalya is a treasure trove of history with its well-preserved Roman-era harbor and beautiful old town district, Kaleiçi. The nearby ancient cities of Perge and Aspendos provide a deep dive into the classical world with their well-preserved theaters, agora, baths, and aqueducts.

Further west, the ancient city of Myra, with its rock-cut tombs and the well-preserved Roman theater, offers a fascinating glimpse into Lycian civilization. And, of course, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ephesus near Izmir, with its colossal Library of Celsus and well-preserved terraced houses, is not to be missed.

The Soulful Connection of the Mediterranean Region: Arts and Festivals

Beyond sun-soaked beaches and ancient ruins, the region’s arts and festivals are integral to experiencing the heart of Turkish culture. Every summer, the city of Antalya hosts the Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival, the longest running film festival in Turkey. Showcasing a range of Turkish and international films, it offers an immersive plunge into the world of cinema.

Another cultural gem is the Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival. Set in the ancient Aspendos amphitheater, the festival treats audiences to a magical spectacle under the stars. The combination of the world-class performances and the unparalleled acoustics of the ancient theater provides an unforgettable experience.

Retreat into Nature: The Natural Wonders of the Mediterranean

Nature lovers will be enthralled by the Mediterranean region’s natural wonders. The Köprülü Canyon National Park, renowned for its cypress and cedar forests and the ancient Roman bridge, is a paradise for hiking and white-water rafting.

Then there’s Saklıkent Gorge, one of the deepest canyons in the world. With its icy waters, it’s an invigorating retreat from the summer heat. And for those keen to explore the region’s unique flora and fauna, a visit to the Dilek Peninsula-Büyük Menderes Delta National Park, home to several endangered species, is an absolute must.

Beyond the Ordinary: The Ghost Village of Kayaköy

Adding to the rich tapestry of the region’s experiences is Kayaköy, an abandoned village near Fethiye. Once a thriving Greek village, it was deserted in the 1920s during the population exchanges between Turkey and Greece. Walking amidst its ruins provides a poignant insight into the region’s complex history. Today, the deserted stone houses and narrow streets serve as a silent reminder of the past, casting a different, somber hue over the otherwise bright and vibrant Mediterranean canvas.

The Warm Embrace of Turkish Hospitality

The final ingredient that makes the Mediterranean region of Turkey a truly unique and memorable destination is the warmth and hospitality of its people. The region’s cities and villages are filled with friendly locals who are proud to share their culture and traditions with visitors.

The local cuisine is another highlight of the region. Turkish Mediterranean cuisine is known for its healthy, fresh, and aromatic dishes, with an emphasis on vegetables, grains, herbs, and seafood. The traditional meze (appetizers), kebabs, fresh seafood, and sweet baklava are all must-tries.

Turkey’s Mediterranean region is more than just a vacation destination. It’s a place where the sun, sea, and ancient ruins converge to create an immersive cultural and historical experience. It’s where one can witness the spectacular dance of past and present, intertwined in a setting of breathtaking natural beauty. This unique blend of elements makes Turkey’s Mediterranean region a fascinating destination that begs to be explored and savored.


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