Many don’t associate Turkey with outdoor activities, but this large country that is spreading on two continents, undoubtedly has a lot of adventures to offer to travelers. After you arrange your flights, find a good accommodation, gather a group of friends and sort out your Turkey visa, it’s time to start the adventure.
From hiking along the beautiful Mediterranean coast to taking one of the most dangerous motorcycling roads in the world, below are 5 incredible outdoor activities to try in Turkey.
There are many mountains and national parks in Turkey that offer numerous hiking trails to choose from. Some of them follow the coast and are more laid-back, while others can take you up to 5 000+ meters above the sea level. Here are two hikes to include in your list of outdoor activities in Turkey:
- Lycian Trail
This trail is about 509 km long and stretches from Ölüdeniz to Geyikbayırı (about 20 km away from the famous resort town of Antalya) in southern Turkey. The footpath takes you through stunning natural beaches, such as Patara beach, and ancient ruins of the Lycian cities.
The trail name itself comes from the ancient civilization, which once ruled the area. It is estimated that the whole Lycian trail takes around 29 days in total to be completed. The trail is well marked and there are guides in every village on the way to help you out if you need it.
- Mount Ararat
Ararat is the highest peak in today’s Turkey, rising at 5, 137 meters above sea level. The hike to the highest summit in Turkey usually takes 4 days and it’s surely an adventure to remember for a lifetime. To do that, however, the Turkish government requires a climbing permit and the use of a certified guide. These arrangements can sometimes take up to two months to be completed, so make sure you plan your hike well in advance.
Mount Ararat is not just a hiking destination, but also a dormant volcano. The last volcanic activity of the mountain was back in July 1840 during a major earthquake around the Ahora Gorge, an abyss that drops from the top of the mountain.
With 8, 000 km of Mediterranean coastline is no wonder that Turkey is becoming one of the next best diving destinations. Plus, diving is good all year round with a visibility of up to 30 meters. The best places for diving in Turkey are the Mediterranean Sea, the Aegean Sea, and the Marmara Sea with Kaş, in particular, known to be the diving capital of Turkey.
The underwater world of Turkey is attracting divers from all over the world with exotic marine life, ancient relics, caves, and deep canyons. But even if you’re not a certified diver, don’t worry. There are plenty of diving centers in places like Bodrum, Marmaris, Kaş, Antalya, etc.
Okay, this one might not be for everybody. Bayburt of Yolu is said to be one of the most challenging and dangerous roads in the world. If you like motorcycling and adrenaline rush, then this might be the greatest outdoor activity in Turkey for you.
The Bayburt of Yolu road has a length of 106 km and climbs up several mountain passes. The road connects the town of Of in the Black Sea region with Bayburt, a city in northeast Turkey.
If you like the idea of exploring Turkey on a motorbike, but not very much like the idea of taking one of the most dangerous roads in the world, no worries. Turkey is one of the world’s greatest motorcycling destinations, so there are many other roads and journeys to choose from.
As an alternative to motorcycling trips, you can take a cycling one. One of the most popular routes for bikers in Turkey is The Nevşehir route in Cappadocia. During that 43 km route, you’ll pass by ancient underground cities, rock-hewn churches, and natural beauties.
Advanced and thrill-seeking bikers can head to the Rize province in northeast Turkey. Starting in the İkizdere district, this route has a biking incline up to 3, 000 meters, goes through lush green fields and the Eğvane waterfall, finishing at Çamlıhemşin district after 100+ km of cycling.
Skiing & snowboarding
The majority of the outdoor activities in Turkey are associated with the summer season. However, Turkey has great winter sport areas as well. Skiing and snowboarding in Turkey is not something unheard of. For instance, 3 hours away from Istanbul, you can reach Kartalkaya resort – a wonderful destination for the winter sports fans.
Helpful Visa Info
e-visa Turkey: You can get an electronic visa for Turkey quite fast and easy. Applying can be done by filling out an online application form. This takes about 5 minutes. All British citizens, and any other nationalities that are not part of the visa-exempt countries for Turkey, will need to apply for a visa.
The mentioned e-visa is an official travel authorization from the Turkish government to enter the country through land, sea or air. The Turkey visa is valid for 180 days starting on the date of arrival. Make sure to read all the visa requirements and details when applying.