Turkey, I think, falls into the same trap that the Netherlands, England, France, and a few others countries do. When it comes to tourism, people think of one city and don’t really consider visiting any other places within that country. So while many people are perfectly content to spend a week in Amsterdam or London, only venturing out for a few days trips and neglecting the rest of the country, so too do far too many people seem to accept that it makes sense to visit Turkey and only visit Istanbul.
While Istanbul is a treasure-trove of a city worth spending significant time in, it’s not the only place in Turkey that holds appeal for tourists. The highlights of Turkey stretch across the country, from the Mediterranean coast to the valleys and mountains of the Asian side, from big cities and small towns to rural and deserted settlements. Visit the ancient city of Ephesus, Mount Nemrut, the ghost town of Kayaköy, and the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia and you’ll see just how far from Istanbul – both literally and figuratively – you can get withing Turkey.
Istanbul certainly deserves a large portion of your trip (especially as most cheap flights to Turkey arrive there), but it will also eat up more of your budget. Cheap Istanbul hotels are available, but dining, drinking, transport and sightseeing will cost you more in a major city, where the cost of living is simply higher than in more rural areas. By expanding your travels to the lesser-known regions of Turkey, you’ll gain a richer experience, without being much poorer for it.
Photo by deepgoswami