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Hidden gems waiting to be discovered in Turkey

Wonderfully diverse scenery and nature, rich history and warm hospitality make Turkey a very popular tourist destination. However, sometimes it means that well-known vacation spots can get extremely crowded and stuffy. There is a way to avoid that though thanks to the abundance of great destinations and sights Turkey has to offer. Shutterstock Photo


Located on the Datça Peninsula, the Palamutbükü area is known for its very clean water. This Aegean bay has a long and stony beach as well as a private harbor for yachts and boats. There are two villages in Palamutbükü, where locals grow olives and almonds. There is also the opportunity to taste a wide variety of local foods at the restaurants along the beach. Shutterstock Photo


Known as the city of Ottoman princes, Amasya is one of the most precious cities of the Black Sea region in northern Turkey. Amasya is just like an open-air museum with its history of 7,500 years, extraordinary atmosphere, natural and cultural assets surrounding the city. Shutterstock Photo

Kaleköy (Gökçeada)

Kaleköy, named after the Byzantine castle that once towered over the island of Gökçeada off Turkey’s western coast, is the ideal accommodation location if you want to stay at a seaside guesthouse or enjoy drinks or dinner in a quaint tavern as the sun sets. It also hosts the country’s first protected sea zone, the Gökçeada Underwater Park and the Gökçeada Diving Center, which make it an ideal scuba diving location. Shutterstock Photo


Ani is a ruined medieval Armenian city located in eastern Kars province known as “the city of a thousand and one churches.” Once a hustling and bustling commercial center on a branch of the ancient Silk Road, sitting at the crossroads of other trade routes that flowed into the heart of Anatolia, Ani now lies off the beaten track – deserted and exotic in all its remoteness. Shutterstock Photo

Bilgelik Valley

Spending almost all of their time on the beach, most of the tourists who visit southern Turkey’s Antalya leave without ever visiting the Bilgelik (Wisdom) Valley and seeing its mesmerizing Tazı Canyon. You can take advantage of how secluded this place is and pay a visit to this stunning natural beauty without having to worry about any crowds. Shutterstock Photo


Built on the remains of ancient settlements in the Black Sea region, Amasra is a city that once thrived under the rule of the Romans and Byzantines. Now, this small town is one of the most gorgeous seaside spots Turkey has to offer. Shutterstock Photo

Akdamar Island

Akdamar Island on Lake Van is a unique destination in eastern Turkey, not only because of its natural beauty but also as home to one of the best examples of Armenian architecture in the region: Akdamar Church. It’s located in the southeastern Van province and far away from crowds of foreign tourists. Shutterstock Photo


More than 20 years ago some parts of Halfeti submerged when the Birecik Dam was constructed. To visit the partially underwater part of this city, regarded as the “hidden paradise” of the southeastern Anatolia region with its natural beauty and stone houses, tourists have to travel by boat. Halfeti is also a member of the “slow city” movement initiated by the Cittaslow Network. Shutterstock Photo

Santa Valley

Santa Valley is one of the most inaccessible parts in the mountains of the eastern Black Sea region. Here visitors can enjoy the exceptional views of centuries-old ruins just below thick white clouds. Shutterstock Photo

Kaleköy (Antalya)

Kaleköy is a small village in Antalya province that can only be reached by boat. The people here live among ruins dating back to the Lycian and Byzantine periods. Dating back over 2,000 years, this village, which was submerged 6 meters (20 feet) underwater due to earthquakes, is a protected area with diving and even swimming prohibited. Shutterstock Photo