Do not get me wrong: I am happy for those who go to Turkey to enjoy the amazingly clean and breathtaking sea. They prefer to stay in hotels with high-quality service and comfort for decent money. Many of these tourists can get hold of only a small part of the Turkish treasures. You can discover them in full at another time of the year and in a different format of rest: culinary, sports, health, and culture-related tourism.
Cultural and educational tourism
You can get the advice to visit ancient sights from anyone who will take the trouble. We are no exception! In the summer, however, tourists want to use the most of the excellent weather and refuse to travel away from the sea at least for one day. Perge, Side, Demre, Aphrodisias, Sagalassos, Phaselis. And this is only in Antalya!
Turkey is an amazing country, which history goes back to many centuries. This land was once home to people whose traces vanished forever, and we can only guess and presume about their lives. No wonder that the exhibition of the Archaeological Museum of Antalya starts with prehistoric times. This part of the exposition is no less interesting than the halls, where exhibits of the ancient world are on display.
Many famous characters of the past, we have read about in history books and adventure novels, lived here: Alexander the Great, Mark Anthony and Cleopatra, Ala ad-Din Kay-Kubad I, and Bayazid I The Blazing. Without them, the world today would have been different.
Autumn and winter are the ideal seasons to discover all these ancient towns. Their inhabitants would live here, go to the temples and theaters, baths and markets, pay visits to friends, read books, love each other, quarrel and reconcile. If you listen closely while walking among ancient stones and mosaics, you will hear their voices: noble citizens, ordinary maids, fish traders, philosophers, and sculptors.
I have read once in a guide book on Turkey read the following: When traveling in Turkey, and making a stop in a village for tea, keep your eyes open. There might be a goat tied to the wreckage of the Doric column. Then a pot is getting cold on the stone, which amazingly resembles a piece of a sarcophagus. Do not miss this beauty. Be observant of the details.
The logical continuation of the idea of cultural and educational tourism will be a story about gastronomy travels. Cooking traditions and numerous recipes are often connected with a legend or a famous character in the past. For example, the Sultan Liked It (lamb and eggplants) is considered a favorite dish of the Turkish Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. These recipes are an essential part of the national-historical heritage of Turkey.
Being tasty food lovers, the Turks are very sensitive to this part of their history. So, they go to Afyon not only for bathing in healing mineral springs but also for trying the famous Afyon cream and the local modification of pişmaniye (sweet in fine strands). Gaziantep is famous for its dishes with pistachios and local spicy lahmacun (pizza). By the way, there is a great variety of cooking it, but Gaziantep's style recipe is included in the UNESCO heritage list.
If we go back to the previous piece of advice, "Be more attentive to the details, I would add, "Try everything and everywhere. Don't miss the tiny miracles that can be found in a small town cafe or a roadside restaurant". Once, on our way to St. Nicholas Church, my son and I made a stop in the suburbs of Mira. We went to a small restaurant with a sign of a blue crab. True gourmets come here to enjoy this delicacy. Crabs were like crabs, but what a treat was the fish soup (balık çorbası)!
Health tourism in Turkey has experienced an unprecedented rise in recent years. It primarily accounts for the high level of medical services and attractive prices in comparison with Europe. The professionalism of doctors, skilled staff, modern equipment, the level of treatment – all this has enabled 49 hospitals in different regions of Turkey to be certified by the Joint International Commission (JCI). For comparison, there are only 30 such clinics in Israel, 28 in South Korea, and 10 in Germany. Health tourism is definitely worth coverage in a special article.
When in Turkey You Can also Try:
Picturesque Tourism - for those who want to learn and love to draw. There are so many rocky cliffs, mysterious caves, and scenic bays. The sea at sunrise, the sky at sunset, gorgeous flowers in every courtyard. Just keep up with it, draw, imprint as masterpieces. As one of my artist acquaintances once exclaimed on a cable car: I really need to put a face to this cloud!
Fishing Tourism. The coastal waters of Antalya are teeming with fish of almost all varieties of the Mediterranean species. It seems that you can catch fish with your hands. However, believe me, sea fishing is a challenge even to real anglers. Which bait to use, at what time of the day? Fishing in Turkey will be a separate topic.
Literature or Fantasy Tourism.There are so many places in Turkey as if created by the fertile imagination of writers. When you find yourself there, you instantly move to the pages of well-known or not yet written books. The village of Olympos - I know for sure that it was once the city of pirates. Only they could choose such an unapproachable place to live, hide their ships in the riverbed, and watch the sea expanses out of the windows cut in the rocks dwellings. Alternatively, visit Lake Salda! It is nothing less than Bradbury's or Lem's fantasy!
To explore Turkey in full, one must live here. Above all, in Antalya!
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