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Top Outdoor Adventures in Turkey

Adrenaline junkies and nature enthusiasts will find their share of outdoor adventures in Turkey. Contact the tour agencies listed in Moon Istanbul & the Turkish Coast in advance for itineraries and departure dates as you consider the following trip ideas.

Scanic view of the ocean from a rocky outcropping along the Lycian way.
The Lycian Way can accommodate both beginner and experienced hikers. Photo © Boris Bartels, licensed Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike.

Outdoor Adventures on Land

  • Biking: Embark on a downhill mountain-biking expedition through the villages near Demre.
  • Hiking: The 509-kilometer Lycian Way is the crème de la crème of Anatolian trails for beginners and experienced hikers. Venturing into the icy cascading waters of Ak Dağı (White Mountain) to walk Saklıkent Gorge should be on a hiking itinerary, as should the summer trails of Uludağ near Bursa, which also becomes Turkey’s premier snow resort four months a year.
  • Other activities: Hiking the not-to-be-missed valleys of Cappadocia is an option, but horseback rides and ATV tours are also available. While you’re close by, roam parts of the enchanting 14-kilometer Ihlara Valley.
A woman stands near water flowing between a passage through narrow white rock walls in Turkey's Saklikent Gorge.
Saklıkent Gorge. Photo © Pavel Rybin, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

Outdoor Adventures on the Water

  • Scuba diving: The remains of World War I battleships near Çanakkale and Gallipoli are fascinating, as is the diversity of underwater landscapes and marine life off Antalya, Bodrum, and Marmaris. But most agree that Kaş is the best places for diving; it offers an unforgettable experience with over 19 locations and wrecks scattered around a Mediterranean cove brimming with creatures such as loggerhead turtles.
  • White-water rafting: Rafters can try the Dalaman River with organized tours from any of the coastal towns between Bodrum and Fethiye.
Hot air balloons float above the rocky landscape of Cappadocia, Turkey.
Hot air balloons above Cappadocia. Photo © Halina Jasińska/123rf.

Outdoor Adventures in the Air

  • Ballooning: Jump into the basket of a hot-air balloon for a bird’s-eye view of Cappadocia’s volcanic landscape.
  • Paragliding: Start from Babdagı (Father Mountain) for a 40-minute flight over the Blue Lagoon of Ölüdeniz.
  • Skydiving: Take flight over the ancient city of Ephesus.

Excerpted from the Second Edition of Moon Istanbul & the Turkish Coast.