Why Should You Vacation In Turkey This Year?

Recently released figures show that 50 million tourists came to Turkey last year. Of these, 3.8 million were from the UK, seriously outstripping 2019's 2.5 million. This increasingly attractive corner of the world will even overtake France, the second most visited country in Europe after Spain, in 2024.

Turkey continues to welcome tourists with an ever-increasing appeal in recent years. It’s not hard to see why the country’s popularity is growing.

Turkey boasts over 6,000 kilometers of Aegean and Mediterranean coastline, ideal for everything from fun-filled family beach holidays to relaxing cruises.

It is also home to numerous fascinating Unesco World Heritage Sites such as Troy, Ephesus and Göbekli Tepe.

The allure of Turkey becomes even more apparent when you add to the equation one of the most beautiful cities in the world, the metropolis of Istanbul, which straddles two continents, the bizarre and seductive natural wonders of Cappadocia, and a cuisine that combines the best flavors of the region.

At the same time, the Turkish people are considered one of the most hospitable in Europe, the Middle East and even the world.

With this year sure to be the year of Turkey, we’ve rounded up the best ways to explore the country’s beauty…

Bustling yachting hotspot Fethiye and the surrounding area has long been a magnet for visitors.

Given the tranquil, island-filled bay, the curves of pine-clad limestone peaks, the many atmospheric ancient sites and the opportunities for outdoor adventures such as paragliding, it’s hardly surprising that the region has attracted so much attention.

If terms like “Fertile Crescent” and “Upper Mesopotamia” aren’t enough to convince you to explore Turkey’s spectacular Syrian border regions, the world’s most exciting archaeological sites will certainly help.

Gaziantep has the mosaic-filled Zeugma Museum and one of Turkey’s best food cultures.

Sanliurfa has the recently unearthed ancient temple of Göbeklitepe, which predates Stonehenge by 6,000 years.

Connecting two continents, Istanbul has a history comparable to few other cities, yet it is constantly changing and evolving.

Istanbul Modern, a stunning contemporary art gallery, opened in its new building in 2023.

In the same year, the old cruise ship terminal in Karaköy was revitalized as Galataport, itself both a pier and a trendy shopping center.

The Basilica Cistern also reopened after restoration, complete with a light show and art installations.

Cappadocia’s spectacular peaks, gorges, jagged rocks and relatively untouched rock-hewn churches make for a fantastic trip.

The famous balloon ride is exhilarating, but for more tranquillity head to the Soğanlı valleys south of Ürgüp, the Old Gümüşler monastery at the southern tip of Cappadocia or the historic underground city of Özkonak near Avanos.

Once Turkey’s most remote city, once buried under snow every winter, the local tourism craze in Kars has finally put the city on the radar of foreign visitors.

Key to the city’s popularity is the spectacular train ride, a 30-hour visual feast of plateaus, peaks and rivers.

Kars has an imposing castle, an Armenian church and Turkey’s best cheese.

Turkey’s Aegean Coast is home to some of the most spectacular and fascinating Greek and Roman ruins you will encounter anywhere.

Troy with its spectacular new museum, Pergamon built on an impressive rocky outcrop, Pamukkale, a geological wonderland, and the well-preserved streets and theater of Ephesus are just a few of the highlights. All of these ancient wonders are on the Unesco list.

Turkey’s diverse topography and climate mean that it is home to an amazing diversity of flora and fauna, as well as many endemic species.

See loggerhead turtles and white-breasted kingfishers on the Mediterranean coast, brown bear and hazar snow cock in the lush Kaçkar Mountains, flamingos around Lake Van, and snow finches and mountain goats in the Aladağlar.

Mücahid Ahlatçı

Hi, I'm Mucahid. I am a writer for Expat Guide Turkey and I strive to create the best content for you. To contact me, you can send an e-mail to Happy reading!

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