If you love to travel and you love to seek once in a lifetime experiences, Turkey is the place for you! Turkey is full of vibrant culture, delicious food, and unique experiences that are largely unknown to travelers but it is also incredibly tourist friendly. From the breathtaking mountainside in Kemaliye to the exciting city life in Istanbul, Turkey is a truly memorable destination for anyone looking to have an adventure for a great price!
After traveling around a few places in Turkey with SilkRoad moments, I came up with a list of my favorite unique experiences. Here they are!
1. Eating a traditional Turkish Khavalti breakfast in Erzurum
One of my favorite food experiences so far has been the traditional Turkish breakfasts called Khavalti (KAH-val-tuh). In Turkey, spending time to eat a meal with your friends and family is very important and the meals reflect this cultural practice. Turkish breakfasts involve an assortment of breads, cheeses, olives, meats, fruits, vegetables, and spreads as well as some hot dishes like minemen which consists of eggs and tomatoes. These foods are arranged on the table so that throughout the meal you can pick and choose what you would like on your plate. It’s designed to create community around the table and give you space to relax, enjoy the food, and good company. The food is delicious and I thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience. Many restaurants offer Khavalti, and they serve the food with coffee and/or tea.
2. Zip-lining across the Euphrates river in Kemaliye
Not many people can say they have zip lined across the Euphrates but if you visit Kemaliye you can cross it off of your bucket list! The experience was so fun and budget friendly! Safety is definitely a priority for the company so that you can zip line without any worries and simply enjoy the experience. There is no feeling like flying through the air above the emerald waters of the Euphrates. I would do it again and again if I could! The location is so breathtakingly beautiful and this is just one of the many things to enjoy there. The location also has a place to sit, enjoy the views, eat some ice cream and sip on some çay. The people are very kind and welcoming to tourists and travelers. The zip line is just a few minutes from town and the wonderful hotels in Kemaliye. With SilkRoad Moments you will be provided with transportation, but there is also a great taxi system that can take you anywhere in Kemaliye.
3. Riding in a Jeep along canyon roads beside the Euphrates in Kemaliye
After your exhilarating zip-lining trip across the Euphrates, you can hop right into a Land Rover and take a road tour through the canyon roads and caverns that run along the river. This experience was so much fun and full of incredible views. You feel like you have been transported into an Indiana Jones movie as you drive through the caverns. If you crave adventure this is certainly the experience for you. While it was exciting and adventurous, we also felt very safe with our driver so we could enjoy the experience to the fullest. Kemaliye is incredibly welcoming to tourists and they took great care of us. It is a must see place in Turkey for sure.
4. Going on a giant swing on the top of Palandöken mountain in Erzurum
While Palandöken mountain is more widely known for its winter sports like skiing and snowboarding, it is also a beautiful place to visit in the summer. The restaurants at the top of the mountain are open all year with great food and beautiful views of the city of Erzurum. But the best experience to have in the summer on Palandöken mountain is the giant swing at Ejder 3200. First you get to ride in a cable car to get to the top of the mountain, then when you arrive at Edjer 3200, before you sit down to have a meal, you have the chance to fly over the edge of the mountain on a giant swing right next to the restaurant! The price is only around 4 U.S. dollars and they put you right into a harness and lift you up about 33 feet in the air and drop you so that you swing through the air above the city of Erzurum. It is so much fun and hilarious to watch. It is easily one of the least expensive and most fun experiences I have had in Turkey. It is also very safe and easy to access. After your experience on the giant swing you can go right inside to the restaurant and have a great meal overlooking Erzurum.
5. Shopping at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul
The next experience that I highly recommend when visiting Turkey is to shop at the Grand Bazaar. The Bazaar is full of uniquely Turkish foods and items. They make wonderful gifts for your friends and family. There are so many beautiful colors and things to try there that it would be a mistake to miss out on it all. I really enjoy the traditional Turkish delights that they sell there and hand make for you to enjoy. There is also a large variety of teas and beautifully crafted tea sets. Tea, or çay, is very important in Turkish culture so they take great care to make beautiful and unique cups that reflect their culture. The Grand Bazaar is so beautiful to see and there are so many things to buy there to remember the experience. It is one of the more popular tourist attractions in Turkey, but this makes it very easy to navigate because the shopkeepers are very friendly and welcoming to tourists. It is a popular attraction for good reason.
These are only a few of the incredible things to do in various parts of the country. There is so much more to explore and experience in Turkey and I highly recommend that you see this beautiful country for yourself. It is very budget friendly and great fun for the whole family, especially for those with an adventurous side!