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Summer is already here, the sun is shining, the beaches are inviting, and there is no excuse not to visit the heavenly Mediterranean region in Turkey! In here, you can enjoy the otherworldly beaches, delicious gastronomy and have a fabulous time. If you are looking for an ideal holiday destination, where you can enjoy the aquamarine waters as well as ancient history, here is your guide!
With its pure white buildings and its Saxon blue doors and windows' frames, as well as with its amazing seacoast and gorgeous bougainvillea flowers, Bodrum is our first stop! This gorgeous town is located on the southern Aegean coast of Turkey. This old fishing town is one of today's most popular tourist attractions! Bodrum is located on the coast of the astoundingly clear blue waters of the Aegean Sea and also hosts the ancient city of Halicarnassus, which is said to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World! The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus is an ancient tomb, which was built between 353 and 350 BC! This gorgeous structure was designed by Satyros and Pythius of Priene, who were both basically the ancient Gods of architecture. The city of Halicarnassus was the capital of a small kingdom within the Achaemenid Empire, which was ruled by Hecatomnus of Milas in the 4th Century BC. This ancient Mausoleum was 45 meters high and covered with amazing sculptures. It was destroyed by massive earthquakes during the 12th to the 15th century, but today you can still admire some of its ruins. You can also check out the Myndos Gate, an old city gate, which was built under the reign of King Mausolus. This gate witnessed the greatest battles during the siege of the city by Alexander the Great.
Our second stop is Marmaris, which is one of the biggest port cities and tourist resorts on the Mediterranean coast. With its busy nightlife, its bars and restaurants, as well as its plenty shopping facilities, this place will satisfy you both during the day and the night. Other than its gorgeous beaches and crystal clear waters, you can also check out the Marmaris National Park. The Marmaris National Park includes some specially protected areas, which create the perfect harmony of flora and fauna! This national park is very important for yacht tourism, due to its gorgeous indented coastline. You can enjoy beautiful and virgin beaches, have a great picnic & camping and even have a “Horse Safari” tour! The common tree here is the red pine, but you can also get to see oaks, plane trees, cypresses and sweetgum trees. There are also plants, such as wild olive, arbutus, sumac, locust, oleander, and laurel spreading over a wide area in here.
With its breathtaking marina, amazing night-life and otherworldly sea, Fethiye is our third stop. It's in fact the only city in the world, where you'll find sarcophaguses in the streets! While here, you can enjoy your drink while gazing the Lycian rock tombs on the cliffs above the town. At the same time, you can swim in the Dead Sea/Blue Lagoon, and also do fun activities like lounging, parasailing, paragliding, canoeing and many more! The world famous beach and its blue lagoon, Ölüdeniz, is known for its shades of turquoise and aquamarine, while it is an officially awarded "Blue Flag beach". In addition, it's a national nature reserve, where construction of any kind is strictly prohibited. Ölüdeniz in Turkish means "dead sea" and because of the stillness of the water, the lagoon is a natural preserve. After enjoying the mesmerizing sea, you can do paragliding while admiring the unique panoramic views of the Blue Lagoon and of the valleys and mountains covered with pine forests. In here, you can also hike the ancient Lycian Way and check out the amazing views of the sea, of the mountains, and of the Ölüdeniz beach. You also have to check out the gorgeous Butterfly Valley! This valley's name comes from the endemic butterflies, the habitat of which is near the waterfalls on the canyon wall, a bit furthest from the sea. From the top of this valley, the view of the bay is just breathtaking. You can arrive there by boat, enjoy a daily tour or even camp for a couple of days!
Alanya is a "beach resort" city, which is our fourth stop! With its amazing Mediterranean climate, beautiful natural attractions, and historical heritage, Alanya is one of the most visited cities in Turkey. Due to its beauty, this place has hosted many civilizations too. But most importantly, Alanya's coastline is what makes it breathtaking. The first stop here is the Alanya Citadel, which was rebuilt by Alaaddin Keykubat, the Sultan of Seljuk. The first construction of the castle dates back to the Hellenistic Period, but it took its monumental form during the Seljuk Empire. "The Citadel and the tower of Alanya" is an open-air museum with 140 towers, and about 400 cisterns and doors with inscriptions! Inside the garden of the citadel, you can enjoy the authentic food and shop for silk and cotton ornaments! The second stop is the tower of Kızıl Kale, which was built in the 13th Century for military and dockyard control purposes. This fantastic tower, with its octagonal figure, aka "Red Tower," is the symbol of Alanya. The tower was made of red bricks, and because of that, it was named the "Red Tower." The first floor of the building functions as an ethnography museum, so don't forget to check that out as well! With its exceptional beauty, Kurşunlu Waterfall and the Nature Park must be visited! They're both located in one of the most attractive landscapes of lush greenery and picnic areas. The Kurşunlu Waterfall is on a terrain rich in flora, and amongst the pine trees, where seven small lakes connect through little falls. In here, you can check out the freshwater tortoises, crabs, many fish, and picnic while gazing the breathtaking fountains. The great atmosphere of the Nature Park makes it the prime location for ecotourism activities, such as nature walks, as well as plant and animal life observation. So, don't leave without checking out this mysterious place.
Our final stop , Mersin, is a gorgeous ancient city. Very close to Adana, this city is often called "The Pearl of the Mediterranean", because it is not only an important hub of Turkey's economy but also it is covered with history, ancient sites and gorgeous old castles! This ancient tower, named Erdemli, is located in the beautiful town of Mersin. It is said to be one of the most attractive tourist destinations in Mersin. Also known as "Deniz Kalesi," aka "Sea Castle" in English, the castle's original name is "Maiden's Tower", or simply in Turkish, "Kızkalesi." If you ever visited İstanbul, you know there is also another Maiden's Tower in the middle of the Marmara sea. This gorgeous castle was built during the times of the Byzantine Empire, but it was rebuilt in the 13th Century. It is 600 meters away from the coastline, so to get there, you can swim or just rent a water bike! Another ancient castle in Mersin is the Mamure Castle! This amazing castle is a bit older than the Maiden's Tower. It was built in the 4th century in order to protect the city from the pirates of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia. It has changed hands throughout the centuries, but lastly, it was annexed by the Ottoman Empire. After being repaired for three centuries, it was eventually used as a caravanserai. The Mamure Castle has 39 gorgeous towers, three central courtyards, a lighthouse, a little mosque and of course ancient Turkish baths. It is one of the most picturesque stops in the ancient Mersin!
Cover Picture © Credits to iStock/Daria_Serdtseva
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