Experience Turkey by train
|Population||Ca 81,1 million|
Turkey – long walks and beautiful beaches
Turkey is teeming with seaside resorts, cozy villages, fantastic hiking trails and of course Istanbul. A fantastic big city with an incredible amount to do and see. If you have the opportunity to visit both the capital and also go out into nature, it may be preferable to start with the big city bustle and end with relaxing birdwatchers and rippling water.
Marmaris and Lycian trail
If you want a perfect balance of entertainment and relaxation, Marmaris is for you. The fishing village has a population of about 35,000 people, but during the tourist season almost the number of people staying there doubles. Despite becoming so popular with tourists, the small town has managed to retain that cozy feeling that has a calming effect on the soul. In the harbour you will find colourful small fishing boats, beach bars and cafes with Turkish pastries. Have a look around the bazaar in the old part of the village where you can buy spices, fabrics, handmade bags and jewellery among other things. Other very popular seaside resorts in Turkey are Alanya, the Turkish Riviera with fine cultural monuments and water and amusement parks, and Antalya which gives you some of the big city pulse and the beach hanging in one and the same package.
If you like to go on hikes, you just have to hike at least one piece of the Lycian trail. The entire hike is 540 km and is divided into 29 stages, counting about 30 days if you want to walk the entire distance. But of course, you can go on shorter day trips, and if you have plenty of time you can stay a little longer in cities and villages that you fall a little in love with. It is truly a spectacular walk that takes you along the coastal area with rocky landscapes, old remains from bygone times, and views that make you lose your breath a little. Feel free to rest for a day or two in the Valley of the Butterflies, a small paradise with sunflowers and bananas, free-range chickens, fragrant lavender and about 100 different kinds of butterflies. The place feels a bit like a collective from the 70s and the people who live here practice small scale farming, are yoga instructors or house walkers in B & Bs, huts or tents.
Are you ready for the big city pulse? Istanbul is not only Turkey’s largest city; it is the largest city in Europe and the population is approaching 15 million. Thus, there are five million more inhabitants in the largest city of Turkey than there is in all of Sweden. So it’s a good idea to pick out some things that you think are especially interesting to you because otherwise it’s easy to feel a bit lost in the crowd. Some good news is that you rarely have to go to a restaurant when you are hungry, the street food is tasty and saturates you well for the low price. Döner kebab comes from here, so if you want the best kebab, you will find it in Istanbul. When you want to go shopping you should go to a baazar, where it is teeming with crafts, carpets and semi-precious stones and take the opportunity to taste Turkish tea and their delicious candy Lokum, which is a kind of jam. If you are looking for spices, go to the Egyptian bazaar. Enjoy an old Turkish tradition dating back to the Middle Ages, hammam! Go on a hammam in one of the oldest steam baths in the world, you can ask to be scrubbed so that you get really rosy about the skin, finish off with a relaxing massage. There are of course many sights in Istanbul, one of the more interesting is Hagia Sofia from the 500’s which was initially a church but has been a mosque since the 1400’s, that it is a mosque is quickly recognized by the four mirants that built to. Architecturally, it is a true Byzantine-style masterpiece.
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