An unusual type of tourism in Turkey

Turkey, the favorite vacation destination of its compatriots, distinguishes itself from European countries not only by its affordable prices, but also by the unique variety of its natural, historical and cultural attractions. Thanks to this combination, even the most sophisticated traveler will be able to find something which strikes them as new and interesting.

As a rule, the country “All inclusive” is mainly associated with beach vacations, considered the most popular direction of the tourism sector. In terms of the number of holidaymakers, Turkey is one of the top ten countries in the world, attracting sunbathers not only from Russia, but also from Europe and the Middle East. The Mediterranean and Aegean coasts are the usual center of summer tourism.

However, there is more to Turkey than the triad of sea, sun, sand and winter tourism. Although winter vacations are still gaining in popularity, local resorts are up to international standards. Palandoken, the young center of ski tourism, located in the northeast of the country, not far from Erzurum, is developing dynamically. The resort has gained popularity due to its wide variety of intermediate and easy slopes. For those looking for a more relaxed family vacation, Turkey offers the resort of Uludag, located 150 km from Istanbul.

If you prefer to rest not only your body, but also your soul, Turkey is ready to offer you health tourism with visits to hot springs. One of the most popular destinations is Pamukkale. The bright white salt waterfalls that glisten in the sun do not leave tourists indifferent, attracting more and more people willing to test the curative effects of the local mineral waters. There are treatments for diseases of the cardiovascular system, musculoskeletal system, nervous system, etc. The provinces of Ankara, Balikesir, Bursa, Denizli, Izmir, Nevşehir and Yalova are the centers of spa tourism.

The natural beauty of the country is not its only asset though. Due to the rapid growth in demand for medical services, Turkey is on the list of top destinations for medical tourism, especially eye surgery, dentistry, traumatology, cardiology, oncology, plastic surgery and neurosurgery. Another factor that attracts foreigners seeking medical care is the difference in the cost of treatment procedures. Most popular destinations for such reasons are Istanbul, Antalya and Ankara. Dental tourism is particularly popular at this point in time. An Istanbul clinic named Periodonta has recently been gaining enormous tractions due to its high quality dental services. You can visit them at

Environmental issues have affected the tourism sector, contributing to the emergence of ecotourism. In Turkey, eco-tours take place in the national parks of Köprülü, Olimpos, Dilek, Üludag and Karatepe. The most popular tour is to Köprülü National Park, located 50 km from Antalya. The highest point of the park is a gorge of the same name, through which a mountain river flows. Another ecotourism destination is Cappadocia, with its many caves and undulating canyons that resemble a Martian landscape and leave a lasting impression.

The next type of tourism will not leave you coming back from your trip empty-handed. Yes, we are talking about shopping tourism. Located at the crossroads of trade routes between Europe and Asia, Russia and the Middle East, Turkish cities (especially Istanbul) have been important trading centers for centuries. There are still traditional markets of historical and cultural value, some of which have become major tourist attractions. These include the 15th century Grand Bazaar of Istanbul, the nearby Egyptian Bazaar at the entrance to the Golden Horn, and the Arasta Bazaar at the Blue Mosque, where you can find handmade carpets, antiques and iznik ceramics. There are also large shopping centers in Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa, Bursa, Izmir, Antalya and Trabzon.

Turkish national cuisine is no less popular, which is why gastronomic tourism has recently emerged as a destination in its own right. Although the particularities of the national cuisine are rarely used in the advertisements of tourist services, gastronomic tours are one of the fastest emerging tour types in Turkey. Oasis Tours and Turkish Flavors are among the few specialized tour operators that organize tours to regions known for their culinary delights (Aegean and Mediterranean coasts, Cappadocia, Southeast Anatolia). Tourists are encouraged to taste local food and wine, visit famous markets and learn more about regional cuisine.

Religious tourism is closely linked to visiting cultural and historical sites. Participants visit pilgrimage sites, religious ceremonies and festivals. Although Turkey is rich in spiritual and sacred places, this type of tourism is not yet properly developed. Nevertheless, it is worth mentioning that the country has many sacred places: the world-famous Gebekli Tepe temple, Mount Ararat, where Noah’s ark landed, the underground cities of Cappadocia, which are the remains of the first followers of Christianity. There is also a popular trail to Konya, where everything is connected to Jalaleddin Rumi – just to name a few of the sacred sites in Turkey.

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