Best region to experience local life?
Iam considering going to north eastern anatolia, black sea coast, western anatolia, OR ankara and central anatolia for 6 or 7 days before going to Istanbul for 5 days. I’m willing to rent a car but I’m having trouble deciding which region to go to for an off-the-beaten path experience of Turkey. Any suggestions?
I’ve just returned from a research trip around Turkey and can very much vouch for Ankara and Cappadocia.
The former is full of charms if you scratch the surface, from the Museum of Anatolian Civilisations to a fascinating citadel and rejuvenated restaurant scene.
The latter is a breathtaking place. Goreme, the cave churches, underground cities, vineyards and of course ballooning over the landscape were all highlights.
We had an article on the website about this very subject recently –
But for Turkey specifically, one obvious off-the-beaten track experience (of sorts) is Butterfly Valley (Kelebek Vadisi). It’s possible to get there overland, but most people take a boat from Ölüdeniz. It’ll mostly be non-Turkish travellers there, though.
If you want to escape other visitors, I don’t think many people travel much further east than Adana, but that was just the impression I got when I was there.
It’ll be easy enough to interact with locals – if it’s possible to make such a generalisation, I’d say Turkey is the friendliest nation I’ve visited.