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Unspoilt places to visit in Turkey for travel snobs

Despite increasing popularity with the package-tour masses, there are still pockets of rural and unspoilt tranquillity in Turkey. Not a fan of huge high rise hotels? Then try these areas filled with untouched villages, sleepy coves and rugged hinterland instead…

Patara

Patara beach - best beaches in Turkey on GlobalGrasshopper.com

The first on our list is peaceful Patara – a once major naval port located at the mouth of the Xanthos River. It was a major trading port of Lycia, and is known as a wonderful unspoilt tourist destination which will please those who want to get in touch with the biologically diverse nature. Patara beach is one of the most beautiful beaches to visit in Turkey and even come with a few ancient ruins to gaze upon. It’s also part of a National Park that is filled with the most diverse birdlife in the area. If you’re seeking somewhere to get in touch with nature with a little history and gorgeous scenery thrown in then Patara is the place for you.

Datca Peninsula

Datca Peninsula

This is one of the prettiest unspoilt places to visit in Turkey which still has a very traditional way of life. Datca Peninsula is known for its major archaeological sites and picturesque small villages and has one of the best yachting communities around. If was once considered too poor an area for major tourism so it remains quite quaint and lovely – go now, before it’s discovered and the hordes descend.

Lycian Hinterland

Lycian hinterlands

If history and ancient ruins of old civilizations are more of your type of activity, then travelling to the ruins of old Lycian civilizations that reigned during the 6th Century, are a great place to go. It’s just a ten-minute drive behind the well-known resorts of Olu Deniz and Fethiye and remains barely touched by tourism – offering a glimpse of Turkey at its most rural and peaceful. Surrounded by plateaus, green mountains, and Patara Beach, the Lycian Hinterland offers an enticing mix of history and nature.

Alanya

Alanya

If modern hotels, gorgeous beaches and top-grade restaurants sitting in pristine surroundings is more your cup of tea then head for Alanya. Okay, this place is all about the sun, the sea and the beaches but there is still plenty of culture on offer which will please the travel snobs. For an alternative to sunbathing head for the nearby archaeology museum, Damlatas Cave or the Dim Çayi Valley.

Cappadocia

Cappadocia

This place is fast becoming famous amongst travellers-in-the-know. Cappadocia is filled with stunning rock formations, subterranean churches and even underground cities on a pretty impressive scale. Many of the cities have buildings that descend far into the ground, offering a sneak peek into an entirely alien way of living. Make sure you include a visit to Kaymakli, which has eight levels, and Derinkuyu, which descends some 55 metres.

Pamukkale

Pamukkale - places to visit in Turkey on GlobalGrasshopper.com

Finally, if you are looking to relax amongst a backdrop of snow-capped peaks, and crisp white landscapes, then Pamukkale should suit you perfectly. One of Turkey’s most impressive unspoilt natural wonders, it’s located on one of the most popular backpacking trails, has mineral spas and calcium-enriched waters which spring up from the earth and cascade over low cliffs, forming the surreal snow-like landscape.

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With itchy feet, an inquisitive nature and an ardent wanderlust, Emma Clair has always been a traveller at heart. Hailing from the Emerald Isle she calls a tiny coastal town near Dublin home, but has lived in a few countries including Saigon, Vietnam where she resided for over a year. She counts supping on Bloody Marys on a rooftop in Manhattan, downing Singapore slings at the Raffles Hotel, daring a paraglide on the Grand Cayman, spending an exotic Christmas in Malaysia and exploring the Angkor Wat Tomb Raider-style as her all time favourite travel moments. Although, she’ll always have a special place in her heart for the city where she makes her annual pilgrimages – Paris, her true city of lights.

19 Comments

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    Michael

    16 December, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    We haven’t found our way to Turkey yet, but these places are beautiful. Datca Peninsula looks stunning. It looks a lot like a small Italian town.

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    jay moore

    10 December, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    A wonderful and accurate post…great places all! Patara is truly unspoilt, and a great place to use as a central hub for exploring. There are Lycian/Greek/Roman ruins right next to the beach, a wonderful beach bar on the beach, and so much to see just a short drive away, including more Lycian towns and even a large section of Roman aqueduct! Great cooking there too at Akay’s. Cappadocia is probably the strangest place I’ve seen on earth, and there are some great hikes among the weird rock formations and ancient dwellings carved into the rock towers. Pamukkale is so gorgeous, and the ancient city of Hierapolis is just up above it and is spectacular. One you missed is Cirali, with a gorgeous and nearly untouched multi-colored pebble beach, great cooking, and a night-time hike up to the chimeras (eternally naturally burning flames coming out of the rocky hillside) has to be seen. Add to this that the Turkish people, especially when you get outside the major cities, are the nicest people I’ve ever met and the finest cooks…well, obviously we can’t wait to go back. Anyone who is curious, loves unspoilt nature and ancient Lycian or Greek or Roman ruins, should visit. Cheap too!

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    The Guy

    10 December, 2014 at 8:54 am

    I’ve heard so many mixed reports about people who go to Turkey I don’t know for sure if it is amazing or a horrible place to visit.

    This is the first time I’ve seen an article like this which highlights special places off the beaten track. They look truly wonderful. And if they have places like Petra then I’m most certainly interested.

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    Jess @UsedYorkCity

    9 December, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    These are all super gorgeous! I would be particularly interested in seeing the ruins in the side of the hill, so fascinating!

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    @mrsoaroundworld

    9 December, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Ohhhhh I know Istanbul reasonably well, and ventured out south once, many many years ago, but Turkey is such an incredible country with so much to see!!! Thanks for this 🙂

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