Known for its diverse and natural landscapes, spectacular monuments, vibrant beachside resorts and the Grand Bazaar – the largest covered market in the world, Turkey has top attractions to suit all tastes and budgets.
Straddling eastern Europe and western Asia, Turkey boasts cultural connections with ancient Greek, Persian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires and is home to a choice of glitzy seaside resorts on the Turkish Riviera.
Seven of the top Turkey activities include:
Grand Bazaar, Istanbul
The Grand Bazaar covers an astonishing 61 streets and is home to over 4,000 shops in a total area of 30,700m2. One of the world’s most-visited tourist attractions – over 91 million people visit the Grand Bazaar each year – it dates to 1455. Colourful stalls sell everything from gold bracelets, furniture, carpets, leather goods, spices, ceramics, traditional sweets and clothes in this vibrant market – and don’t forget to haggle! While today the Grand Bazaar is no longer the commercial centre of Istanbul, it is still one of the best places to get a taste of life in Ottoman-era Turkey.
Ephesus Archaeological Museum
Situated 32km from CLC Kusadasi Golf & Spa resort, the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ephesus is the largest outdoor museum in the world and dates back to the 10th century. Home to the spectacular Anatolian Isa Bey Mosque, constructed in 1375, and the Temple of Artemis, this is a must-visit attraction for culture vultures who are visiting Turkey. See the House of the Virgin Mary – a Catholic shrine where she is said to have spent the last few years of her life.
In 129BC, Ephesus was brought into the Roman Empire. The reign of Augustus (who became emperor in 27BC) saw the beginning of the architecture we greatly admire today.
Located 9km from CLC Apollonium Spa & Beach resort, Altinkum is the perfect place to chill out. Soak up the sun or throw yourself into some water sports on Main Beach, which include paragliding, diving, jet skis and the flyboard, which provides a thrilling adrenalin-rush by propelling you seven metres into the sky using water jets. On Second Beach, a dedicated water fun park in the sea attracts children and adults, while Didim Aqua Park on the outskirts of town offers a vast choice of slides, including the Twister and Kamikaze, foam parties, a wave pool and 650m relaxing pool where you can chill out and soak up the sun. Boat trips from Altinkum are among the most popular excursions – most offer food and alcohol on-board.
Located off Kusadasi harbour, Pigeon Island is a 16km drive from CLC Kusadasi Golf & Spa Resort. A 350m long causeway leads out to this fascinating Island where the remnants of a 13th century Byzantine fortress, once a pirate’s lair, can still be found on the cliff top. The island is a great place to explore any time of the day and the sunsets from here are spectacular! Along the entire length of the causeway, fishing boats and traditional wooden gulets offer sailings. Boasting amazing panoramic views across to Kusadasi town and over the bay, why not spend a relaxing afternoon at the island café watching the yachts and cruise liners glide by.
One of Turkey’s most beautiful natural wonders, Pamukkale hot springs is a spectacular attraction, situated in the southwest of the country just 19km from Denizli. Since Roman times, the famous outdoor pools have attracted visitors who come to bathe in the natural pools, soak up the healthy waters and immerse themselves in the historical traditions of the region. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988, Pamukkale means ‘cotton castle’ in Turkish and is famous for a white carbonate mineral left by the clear flowing water. The Turkey hot springs were once used for scouring and drying wool and the temperatures range from 35ºC to 100ºC. Situated in Turkey´s Aegean region, which boasts a temperate climate all year round, Pamukkale offers a great day out for all the family.
Close enough to CLC Apollonium Spa & Beach resort to enjoy a day trip, Bodrum is famous for housing one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Mausoleum of Mausolus. Situated 80km from the resort, this vibrant city is home to a 15th century castle with magnificent sea views and picturesque gardens. The Museum of Underwater Archaeology at the castle is one of many Turkey activities that are worth a visit and exhibits many recovered relics from beneath the sea. If history and culture is not your ‘thing’ you will find a wide choice of amazing beaches and great shopping opportunities in this bustling port city, including street markets set up in the narrow streets, where bartering is commonplace. The new international marina and seafront are just a few places to find delicious local food.
Lake Bafa Nature Reserve
Top attractions in Turkey include Lake Bafa Nature Reserve, which is home to a beautiful park, a visitor centre, picnic areas, walking and trekking trails, bird-watching stations and of course, the lake itself. Something of a hidden treasure, Lake Bafa is situated between Milas and Izmir and is a historical site, situated in a protected area. The surrounding mountains house old Greek monasteries and pre-historic wall paintings. If you can tear yourself away from the beach, the best way to explore the area around the lake is on foot. The Monastery of the Seven Monks dates to the Byzantine period and is surrounded by beautiful nature. The elevated nature of the monastery offers breath-taking views, which must have had a stimulating effect on the spiritual state of mind of the monks.
Wherever you decide to visit while staying at CLC Kusadasi Spa & Golf resort or CLC Apollonium Spa & Beach resort you will find a wealth of amazing Turkish attractions and activities within easy driving distance, or ask about excursions!