Turkey is a much-loved tourist and second home destination because of its stunningly varied landscapes, natural beauty, rich history, and friendly locals. As a result, popular holiday destinations can often become overly crowded and stifling. Fortunately, there is a way to avoid crowds because there are some fantastic hidden gems to visit in Turkey.
Off the beaten path, travelers in Turkey can take in some of the country’s most picturesque towns, an authentic way of life, and some breathtaking natural surroundings. At API Investment, we have a wealth of local knowledge that we love to share with our clients. So whether you are planning to buy a property in Turkey as a second home or make an investment for a holiday rental, we pride ourselves on our expertise in Turkey, including the best places to visit in Turkey. Of course, it’s hard to include every one of the undiscovered treasures this enormous nation has to offer, but we’ve narrowed it down to the following shortlist to inspire you on your next visit.
Historical Hidden Gems to Visit in Turkey
Turkey has a rich heritage, from surviving Ottoman and Roman routes to the intriguing Byzantine era. This is why Turkey is home to some excellent historical sites worth visiting. With the inclusion of the Arslantepe Mound, Turkey currently has 19 items on the UNESCO world heritage site list that qualify as global treasures. Here are our favorite lesser-known historical spots to visit in Turkey.
Mount Nemrut, Adiyaman
Once in your life, you must visit this enchanting historical spectacle. Nemrut Dag is both the name of the mountain and the site where these impressive human heads or eagle heads carved in stone were discovered, overlooking the town of Adiyaman. They were developed to solidify Alexander I’s and his generals’ dominance. For most tourists visiting Turkey for a beach vacation, this particular sight is undoubtedly off the main path, but if you want to get some exercise and see something truly gorgeous, it’s well worth the effort. While there, you can explore King Antiochus I of Komagene’s tomb, one of the tallest burial mounds in Europe and one of Turkey’s best-kept secrets.
If we are looking for the number one spot for hidden gems to visit in Turkey, the archeological site at Gobekli Tepe is the clear winner. Gobekli Tepe, a cluster of stone circles, is supposed to have served as a place of worship throughout the prehistoric era. As such, the site is a mystery that has baffled archaeologists from across the globe and altered the accepted theory of how humans came to form organized societies. Before Gobekli Tepe, it was thought that prehistoric man had transitioned from a lifestyle of hunting and gathering to one of farming, domesticating both animals and plants.
It is a sight to behold and is 6,500 years older than Stonehenge and the Pyramids at 12,000 years old. The fact that Gobekli Tepe is so far away in a volatile area has prevented tourists from truly “discovering” it. Despite the effort required to attend, it is well worth it. Gobekli Tepe is poised to become the next big thing but currently sees very few visitors despite being just recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2018. This incredible hidden gem in Turkey is just waiting to be found!
Natural Hidden Gems to Visit in Turkey
Turkey is abundant with natural treasures, several of which are protected as national parks, thanks to its distinctive and dynamic geological past. Many of these areas preserve their diverse plant and animal life and are also home to important archaeological sites. While there are parts of unspoiled shoreline and beaches in the coastal parks, marshes, lakes, waterfalls, caverns, mountains, forests, and canyons can all be found inland.
Bilgelik Valley, Antalya
Most visitors to Antalya in southern Turkey spend practically all their time on the beach, seldom making it to the Bilgelik (Wisdom) Valley or seeing its captivating Taz Canyon. So, take advantage of this location’s remote and see this breathtaking natural beauty without worrying about crowds.
Butterfly Valley, Mugla
Butterfly Valley is one of the true hidden gems in Turkey and can only be reached by boat or a strenuous hike down from Faralya village. However, if you can make it here, you’ll discover that it’s one of Turkey’s best off-the-beaten-path adventures. About 100 different kinds of butterflies, including the native orange, black, and white Jersey Tiger, may be found in the valley, which gives it its name. To preserve the butterflies and the native flora, the Turkish government designated the valley as a protected area in 1987. This location is ideal for hiking because of the lush vegetation, waterfalls, and sandy cove, and it falls on the path of Turkey’s famous Lycian Way foot trail.
Remote Hidden Gems to Visit in Turkey
The eastern Kars province has the destroyed medieval Armenian city of Ani, also known as “the city of a thousand and one churches.” Ani, which was once a busy commercial hub on a branch of the historic Silk Road and a junction for other trade routes leading into Anatolia, is now off the usual path, abandoned and exotic in all its isolation.
Amasra is a city that flourished formerly under the control of the Romans and Byzantines. It was built on the ruins of ancient cities in the Black Sea region. This little hamlet is currently one of Turkey’s most stunning seaside locations. Unexpectedly, this is among the most amazing tourist-free locations on Turkey’s coast. Despite its modest size, Amasra is a terrific destination to visit in Turkey since it has an authentic atmosphere. There are numerous beaches along the coastline and many places to go for walks. You can take a boat tour or visit the Amastra Museum to learn more about the area.
Local Knowledge with API Investment
There is no doubt that Turkey has a great deal of charm as somewhere to live, travel, and holiday. If you are looking for a base from which you can explore all the hidden gems to visit in Turkey, API Investment should be your first point of contact. With our wealth of local knowledge, we can assist you in finding your own hidden gem as a second home or rental investment property. Our experienced consultants will help you with all the paperwork and advise you on applying for Turkish citizenship by investment or Turkish residency by investment. Get in touch with our team to learn about the opportunities for investment in Turkey.