EuroTribe

your guide to Europe off the beaten path

Category: Turkey

4 Best Beach Holidays in Turkey To Book Now

Summer is here and that means almost everyone is craving a relaxing tropical vacation, possibly somewhere they’ve never been before. There is just something about that salty breeze in your…

Summer is here and that means almost everyone is craving a relaxing tropical vacation, possibly somewhere they’ve never been before. There is just something about that salty breeze in your hair that completely resets your mind and body.

With the holiday season in full swing, the list of destinations to choose from are plentiful, to say the least. Whether you’re a 5-star resort type of traveller or a camper, the world is your oyster! All you need to do is get around to picking a place for this year’s getaway.

In case you need some help, our top pick this time is definitely Turkey. It’s a land of impressive culture and stunning beaches that you will surely enjoy. Here’s a list of our suggestions for the best beach holidays in Turkey. 

Visa Requirements for Turkey

First things first – let’s get the visa requirements out of the way. 

Just like with any other country, check the date on your passport. It should be valid for at least 6 months from your planned trip. 

There are 78 visa exempt countries (click here to see which) and 42 territories are allowed to apply for an e-Visa (click here).

At the moment, residents of Northern Cyprus do not need a visa to stay, study or work in Turkey.

Luckily, the Turkey visa is not difficult to obtain, as long as you know where to look. Make sure to stay away from scam websites and only visit the official ones. You’ll only need to fill out a form, pay a fee (around $20) and you’re good to go. You can apply for your visa for Turkey and get it months in advance.

4 Best Beach Holidays in Turkey

Antalya

best beach holidays in turkey - antalya

Antalya is one of Turkey’s most famous summer destinations for a good reason. The exciting, bustling city never sleeps, but it’s also surrounded by some of Turkey’s most beautiful beaches. 

It is famous for its glamorous hotels and five-star resorts, but you can also spend a budget-friendly holiday here. The city’s main beaches are the Konyaaltı Beach and the Lara Beach, both close to the city center. 

Lara Beach is the most popular among tourists, while the stunning Konyaaltı Beach is mostly visited by locals. Konyaaltı is very long, so you’ll never have to worry about finding a free spot!

If you want to do more than just relax by the sea, you can visit some of the many wonderful sights in Antalya. Most of them are located in its Old Town and historic center called Kaleiçi. 

The scenic district is home to the famous Hadrian’s Gate, Yivli Minaret, Hıdırlık Tower and traditional-style houses. Its ancient streets will make you feel like you’re in another era! 

Also, a fun activity for both adults and children could be visiting the Antalya Aquarium. It is one of the biggest in the entire world!

Oludeniz

This picture-perfect town is an ideal beach vacation spot for nature enthusiasts and campers. However, even if you prefer staying in a hotel, you will have an amazing time in Oludeniz. 

Even though the town is becoming more popular, it still feels like you’re in the middle of untouched nature. An example of natural beauty is the world famous Blue Lagoon. It is easily one of the most stunning and breathtaking locations in Turkey. 

You can reach it by water taxi or by bus. Get your cameras ready, since this is one of the most photographed sights in the country!

If you enjoy some of the more extreme sports, Oludeniz is one of the best locations for tandem paragliding. The Babadag mountain above Oludeniz is the starting point, from where you’ll glide above the mountainside and coast of this area. Adrenaline junkies will surely enjoy the beautiful ride and the scenery accompanying it.

Also, make sure you visit the Butterfly Valley. It is a national preservation area and home to more than 100 species of butterflies, tucked between the mountains. It is truly a one of a kind experience.

There’s no better place for you if what you need is distance from the busy everyday life. 

Alanya

Located in the same province as Antalya, Alanya is a real Mediterranean gem. It is yet another vibrant city blessed with many natural treasures which make it a perfect holiday destination.

Although the things that stand out from the panorama are its magnificent castle and fortress, Alanya has lovely beaches. The most famous one is certainly Cleopatra’s Beach – a proud owner of the Blue Flag, covered with fine golden sand.

If you have a car, there are also some beaches around Alanya that are worth visiting. For example, Ulas Beach is mostly unknown to tourists, but it’s an idyllic picnic spot popular among locals.

Since the Turks specialize in coastal resorts, you can also find them in Alanya. Besides that, there are plenty of high-standard hotels that guarantee a pleasant stay.

Marmaris

When it comes to things that make a holiday destination great, Marmaris has it all. This is an ideal place for families with children, but its nightlife makes it a great choice for young people too. The beaches are stunning, the local food is mouth-watering and the old town is picturesque and interesting. What more could you ask for? 

It is considered to be the border between the Aegean and Mediterranean Sea. Therefore, it has always been an important part of the Ottoman Empire. One of the most beautiful parts of Marmaris are its Old Town and castle, dating from that era.

Even though it is a big city, get ready to breathe in some of Turkey’s freshest air. The pine-covered hills almost give it a luxurious spa feeling, which is why the Turks call it Green Marmaris!

The central beach in Marmaris is long, sandy, clean and great for kids. If you’d like to see more, the beach in Icmeler (basically the suburbs of Marmaris) is stunning. 

For an authentic Turkish experience while on holiday, visit the Marmaris Grand Bazaar. Some of the handmade goods could be a great souvenir to take home. Don’t forget to bargain!

If you prefer a more active holiday check our guide to five must have adventures in Turkey.

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A Brief History of Whirling Dervishes (And Where To See Them)

Although Turkey is a vibrant land of impressive cultural heritage, one phenomenon stands out from the rest. It captures the attention of tourists and believers from the entire world, but…

Although Turkey is a vibrant land of impressive cultural heritage, one phenomenon stands out from the rest. It captures the attention of tourists and believers from the entire world, but it’s equally interesting to locals. It’s hypnotic, unusual and, in a way, calming. Yes, we are talking about the whirling dervishes.

Their authentic dance is a mixture of meditation and a religious ritual. In the text below, we will unpack everything, starting with what the word dervish means to this specific ceremony. At the very end, we’ll show you where you can witness it yourself. Continue reading for a captivating story!

Who are they?

To fully appreciate it, you should understand a thing or two about this spectacle. First of all, let’s start by defining the term dervish in the most simple way possible.

A dervish or a darwish is a type of Sufi (Sufi being a person who practices Sufism). Sufism is a mystical form of Islam which focuses on the inward search for God. It accentuates the personal, spiritual connection with God and self-improvement through various rituals and practices.

Although Sufism is present in many Islamic countries, Turkey is known for the Mevlevi Order of Sufis and their whirling. The order was formed in the 13th century and it still exists to this day.

The members, known as whirling dervishes, are all followers of the very famous Persian poet Rumi. It is believed that he created their well-known traditional ritual called Sama or Sema. The proof is that some references to it have been found in his poetry!

The Whirling Dervishes Ritual – Basics

Sama is one of UNESCO’s Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. It includes music, prayer, various stunts, and their signature spinning.

The point of the ritual is reaching spiritual perfection and maturity through hypnotic states and trances. The goal is to abandon your ego completely, disconnect from your earthly possessions and focus solely on love and God. The trances are the culmination of the practice and they can last up to several hours!

via GIPHY

Sometimes, the trances are so deep that the dervishes go through unimaginable physical and mental strain almost effortlessly. It’s not rare that they pierce their cheeks and throats with large needles without feeling a thing!

The ritual is very precise and well planned and that’s why there are always exactly four stages of it. They are packed with symbolism relating to Islam, the power of God and the gift of life.

The Phases of the Ritual

If you decide to witness one of these rituals, you should be introduced to its phases. It will help you notice their switches and really understand their significance.

The first phase is called Naat and Taksim. During this part, a solo singer recites or sings the Noble Eulogy, which praises the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. This part is followed with a solo improvisation played on the ney (a flute heavily used in Middle Eastern music).

During the second segment, Devr-i Veled, dervishes walk counterclockwise around the sheikh (the ritual leader) three times. They then bow to each other and remove their dark cloaks which mark their earthly life.

The third portion is known as The Four Selams. This is where the magic actually happens. Pay attention to the position of their body – it is not accidental! Their right palm is turned upwards, towards God’s blessings, while the left one is facing the Earth, distributing those blessings.

The first Selam describes humans accepting that they are creatures of God. Then, the second one celebrates the rapture of humans when they witness and experience God’s omnipotence.

The third symbolizes complete surrender and submission to God and his power and love.

Finally, during the fourth Selam, the sheikh joins in and the dervishes descend back to the Earth to continue serving.

The fourth and final part of the ceremony is the reading of the Qu’ran and a prayer led by the sheikh.

Why spinning?

There’s a clear answer to that.

If you think about it, the continual movement is the natural state of things in the universe. The planets of the Solar system revolve around the Sun, atoms and their components move without stopping, etc. Therefore, the dervishes chose their whirling and dancing as a crucial part of the ritual. They view it as moving in complete harmony with all dynamic things created by God.

The Clothing and Its Symbolism

The practitioners’ outfits are also a very important part of the Sama. They wear long white robes that end in skirts and they symbolize the ego’s shrouds. Over that, they have dark cloaks which, as you remember, represent the earthly life, which is why they’re removed during the ceremony.

They also wear tall dark hats, which are viewed as tombstones of their egos.

Besides being a religious ritual, the whirling dervishes show is a very popular tourist attraction. Witnessing it is an entertaining, mind-blowing experience, but remember: be respectful and never applaud during the ceremony!

Whirling Dervishes Istanbul

Now that we’ve explored this fascinating practice, here are some suggestions on where you can enjoy it. Istanbul is one of the best places on Earth to see whirling dervishes and here are the exact places where you can do that.

Galata Mevlevihanesi

This is one of the most popular spots for whirling dervishes ceremonies. You can enjoy the show each Sunday at 5pm, but you can’t buy tickets before Saturday. Therefore, there’s a chance you won’t be able to get in. If you do, though, you will be in awe of their performance!

Address: Şahkulu Mah. Galip Dede Caddesi No: 15 Tünel PK:34420 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

Hodjapasha Cultural Center

In case you miss the Sunday show, the Hodjapasha Cultural Center has them each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 7pm. You can also visit one of their exhibitions dedicated to whirling dervishes.

Address: Ankara Caddesi Hocapaşa Hamamı Sok No: 3.B;
Sirkeci/İstanbul

Yenikapi Mevlevi Lodge

If you’re on a budget, this is one of the places where the entrance is free of charge! The rituals are held on the first and the third Thursday of the month, as well as the last Friday. However, you must call them in advance to make a reservation. You can ask your hotel or a host do it for you.

Address: Merkezefendi Mah. Fatih Sultan Mehmet Üniversite Kampüsü, 34015 Zeytinburnu/İstanbul

If you’re ready to explore more of Turkey, here are five must have adventures.

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5 Must Have Adventures in Turkey

As travellers and tourists, we all have a list of things we’d like to see or try. Those could be the food, activities or famous landmarks, to name a few….

As travellers and tourists, we all have a list of things we’d like to see or try. Those could be the food, activities or famous landmarks, to name a few. Ideally, you could experience all of those in one place.

One of the best countries to visit if you’d like a concoction of all of the above is Turkey. Turkey embodies the best of the East and the West. It offers an abundance of culture as well as lots of unforgettable fun.

Other than that, Turkey is heaven for thrill seekers. For all of you out there, we’ve prepared a list of adventures you must have when you visit. Between trying the local specialties and visiting the historical monuments, try to squeeze in a bit of excitement. Just note, the citizens of some countries require a visa to visit Turkey. If you need assistance, apply here for your Turkey visa

That way, you can be sure that you’ll have a trip to remember for a long time. Pick something from the list, or just do it all!

5 Must Have Adventures in Turkey

Climbing Mount Ararat

If you’re an experienced climber, you should consider trying to conquer this mountain. It’s the highest mountain in Turkey, but also one with an interesting legend linked to it.

According to the Old Testament of the Bible, this is the resting place of Noah’s Ark. Some have claimed to have found pieces of it, but it still remains a mystery that makes this place more intriguing.

The view from the top is stunning to say the least. Actually, not only will you be able to see a large portion of Turkey, but also parts of Iran and Armenia!

Make sure you plan in advance, since you have to apply for a special permission two months before your trip. We recommend relying on a specialist company, so you can be sure you’ll get the best possible experience.

If you’re an adventurer ready for some challenges and possible extreme temperatures, this climb will definitely be rewarding!

Scuba Diving in Kaş

must have adventures in turkey

With over 8,000 km of coastline, Turkey is an amazing destination for water sports. As a matter of fact, many think that one of the best diving spots in the Mediterranean sea is located near Kaş.

Even though this picturesque town is still a hidden gem, it’s becoming increasingly popular thanks to its diving potential. If you decide to go under the surface of its turquoise waters, expect to see everything. Antique amphoras, airplane wrecks, as well as an abundance of marine life. These are all part of the experience!

One of the most interesting sights is the Dakota DC-3 airplane, manufactured during World War II. If you’re curious, you can actually enter the cargo hold of the plane. Although it’s quite eerie, it is today inhabited by various octopuses, turtles and many types of fish.

You won’t be surprised to hear that Kas is often called “the adventure capital of the Mediterranean”. Except for diving, the town offers many other activities, such as kayaking and trekking. Make sure you give them a shot!

Paragliding Over The Blue Lagoon in Oludeniz

must have adventures in turkey

This is one of the world’s best paragliding spots – stable and breathtakingly beautiful. You don’t need to have any experience, just a wild spirit and 30 minutes of free time to spend in the air!

The adventure starts with you getting to the top of Babadag Mountain. Pay attention to the scenery around you while riding to the top. This can prepare you for the incredible views you’ll later experience.

Then, from that 1,960 m high spot, you will run and jump straight into the air. It’s a feeling that can be difficult to put into words. You’ll feel safe with an experienced professional around you, but still incredibly free and ecstatic.

Without a doubt, this is an unmissable experience for all those who are not faint hearted. No matter how busy your holiday schedule is, you shouldn’t miss one of the best paragliding spots in the world!

Rafting On The Coruh River

The Coruh River is one of the fastest running rivers of the world. Here, you’ll be able to find rapids ranging from class 1 to class 5. Therefore, this makes it perfect for those who want an exciting, sport-filled holiday.

Rafting perfectly combines excitement and simply sailing through some of the most beautiful parts of Turkey. The river flows through incredible canyons and valleys, past ancient ruined castles and little villages. Not only is the river itself stunning, but also the entire experience and the scenery.

In the spring time, rafting can be quite challenging. Since the snow melts and the river gets higher, there isn’t a chance of remaining dry! However, that’s the time of year when it’s the most exciting, so why not pick that?

You can definitely compare Coruh River rafting to a rollercoaster ride. If you’re into those, this adventure will suit you perfectly!

Hiking The Lycian Way

If you choose to embark on this 29-day long walking trip, you won’t regret it. This long-distance hike is one of the most beautiful in the world. So, if you’re spending some time in Turkey, bring comfy shoes and head this way!

The journey starts in Fethiye and ends in Antalya. It is over 500 km long and it’s best to take the hike during the spring or fall.

The variety of the trail is one of the most exciting things about it. This adventure will take you through the rocky Taurus Mountains, stunning beaches and valleys, as well as ancient ruins, such as the Myra rock-tombs.

If you get bored with walking, there are many opportunities for kayaking and swimming along the way. The magnificent Turquoise Coast offers a great deal of activities that you can incorporate into your hike!

P.S. Before starting the trip, it would be helpful to read The Lycian Way: Turkey’s First Long Distance Walk. It was written by Kate Clow, the woman who waymarked the route.

Who would be better to tell you about the Lycian Way than the woman who knows everything about it?

Enjoy!

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Travel Guide To Besiktas Neighborhood, Istanbul

On my third visit to Istanbul I’ve stayed in Besiktas on the European side of the city. It’s a great area close to many attractions and museums. It also has…

On my third visit to Istanbul I’ve stayed in Besiktas on the European side of the city. It’s a great area close to many attractions and museums. It also has a nice restaurant and bar scene and there is always something interesting happening here. This travel guide to Besiktas should hopefully help you find unique and interesting things to do in the area;

Attractions

Dolmabahce Palace

One of the most grandiose palaces in the world, Dolmabahce was an administrative center of Ottoman Empire. The palace and the gardens are huge so plan to spend at least 4 hours here. It’s one of the most beautiful attractions in Istanbul, not only because of its beauty and historical significance but an amazing location too. Tickets for Selamlik (official part) and Harem can be bought as one or separately. Common ticket is 40 TL. It’s also possible to book a guided tour.

Dolmabahce palace - travel guide to besiktas

Rainbow stairs

Rainbow stairs became a local phenomena. At first, this was thought to be an act by gay rights groups, however the initiative started by a local resident who wanted to beautify the surroundings. Few days later municipality workers painted them back to grey. This lead to protests after which stairs got their rainbow colors again.

Rainbow stairs Besiktas

Istanbul Modern

If you love art you have to visit this museum! In my opinion it’s one of the best in Europe. The artistic collection is very rich and there are numerous exhibitions of modern art and photography. You’ll be rewarded with some lovely views of the city too, as Istanbul Modern is located by the water. The museum also has a nice cafe where you can snack and grab coffee after your visit.

Istanbul Modern - travel guide to besiktas

 

Parks

Parks in Istanbul are rare and most often small in size like this one called Findikli. Now, some people wouldn’t even call this a park but the only reason I’m recommending it is because of the view. You get some fantastic views of the Asian side and bridges.

Findikli Parki - travel guide to besiktas

Bars

Le Fumoir at Ciragan Palace Kempinski

If you don’t mind to splurge for an amazing view and an atmosphere that will be unforgettable come here. Surroundings are beautiful, at both day and night. Beautiful palace, amazing water scenery and a lit up bridge – what more can you ask for? With an amazing view like this and a great service comes the price though. It’s a luxury brand and definitely not budget friendly but you only live once so why not? After all, Istanbul is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Address: Çırağan Cad. No:32, Beşiktaş

Joker no 19

I liked this place a lot and have visited it more than once during my last trip to Istanbul. It attracts young and hip crowd and it’s ideal for a night out with friends. There’s a great selection of alcohol especially fancy craft beer. Joker also has an open front kitchen and seafood and sandwiches seem to be the most popular. However, most people come here for drinks and a chit/chat before heading to a club. Oh, and try their potatoes. They are great! 🙂

Address: Sinanpaşa, Beşiktaş Cd. No:19

Beer Hall

Quite similar establishment to Joker no 19. Large interior packed with good music and rich selection of beers and food. They also give a free popcorn. The only downside is that the place is packed and you’ll have a problem finding free seat. It’s worth trying though!

Address: Vişnezade Mh., Süleyman Seba Cd. No:46

Kaset Bistro

This bar has a really warm atmosphere and it’s great for a night of entertainment. You can play table football or enjoy one of their live music nights. Turkish coffee is really good here.

Address: Cihannüma, Barbaros Blv. No:61, Beşiktaş

Food

City Burger

Highly rated place by burger fans. It’s good for groups as it’s set in a small street full of cafes and bars.

Fish market

This place is buzzing with locals and visitors. If you love street life you should put it on your to-do list. Dining here is an interesting experience at night but you can also just look around and feel the vibe of the place.

Where to stay

I’ve stayed in W hotel as part of the World Tourism Forum event. The hotel is very trendy and is quite popular in the neighborhood, but far from budget friendly! Besides fantastic location it has a very modern design, awesome breakfast, gym and you get an Android phone free of charge. You can take it out of your room and use it while sightseeing. It has free internet and unlimited calls. Great idea! If you want to look for something that won’t break the bank head to Booking.com. Don’t forget to check HotelsCombined too as this site will search for the best price across top travel platforms.

This travel guide to Besiktas will be updated regularly so feel free to give your tips in the comments section below.

 

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Safety Travel Tips for Istanbul

Istanbul is huge and just like in every large city you should take precautions regarding your valuables and safety. Here are some safety travel tips for Istanbul that are worth…

Istanbul is huge and just like in every large city you should take precautions regarding your valuables and safety.

Here are some safety travel tips for Istanbul that are worth knowing;

Pickpockets

Quite common, not just in Istanbul but in every other city. Be cautious especially if you’re using a backpack. For example, if you’re in a cafe keep it close to you and not on an opposing chair. It’s very easy to snatch bags like this. Also I advise against carrying a backpack on your back as you’ll likely be unaware that somebody is trailing behind you. This is how my wallet got stolen from me – in my own city nonetheless. Don’t forget to check your bag from time to time to ensure it’s safely closed. Of course the consequences are higher when you’re traveling.

Taxis

Taxis are a universal travel scam. Drivers barely speak English (or pretend they don’t) and even if you give them a card with your address the ride can take longer than the usual. Foreigners are their favorite target group to exploit. Make sure to have enough change, they’ll probably claim they don’t have any in an attempt to get a generous tip. Be wary you don’t get charged with a night rate only because you’re a foreigner. Actually if possible try to avoid taxis altogether. If you’re still keen to test your luck with taxi drivers, make sure to take a taxi from a taxi station rather than hauling one on a street.

Bagdat avenue Istanbul

 

Women travelers

I’ve been to Istanbul three times and I’ve never experienced anything bad, but sometimes Turkish men can interpret friendliness as flirtation, an invitation for much more. If you are traveling solo you should be cautious of the possible signals you might be sending or if you notice someone following you. Ask for help from the nearest person.

Bring a friend with you (if possible a male) – this will discourage men resulting in them approaching you less. There have been stories of women who got raped or molested in small shops, even in the Grand Bazaar.

Mobile phones

Beside bags, mobile phones are another popular item for thief’s shopping cart so take caution.

Traffic

Traffic in Istanbul is crazy. You need to be alert and careful at all time. Regulations are often not even respected, so green light doesn’t necessarily mean you should cross the street.

Dolmus Istanbul

Money

Be especially careful in public transport. Don’t have any valuables on you and just carry things you need for the day. You can always leave money or credit cards in your hotel safe.

Shoe polishers

This is another really famous scam in Istanbul. They drop the brush ‘accidentally’, people let them know and as gratitude they want to shine your shoes free of charge. Most of the times they’ll keep insisting and eventually you’ll give up. What happens next you’ll want to reward them with some coin money but they keep pushing for more. There are many shoe polishers in Istanbul so if you spot one who just dropped his brush, walk away.

simple man

Bar Scams

This is occurring more among guys. “Friendly” stranger will approach you and will try to recommend you a good bar where you can see a Turkish dance. You will order a drink and then a group of good looking girls will join you and order drinks. In the end your bill could be even more than 1000 USD and you won’t be able to leave the place because it’s surrounded by thugs.

Taksim

There are many bad stories surrounding Taksim square but I never had a problem there. You should definitely avoid protests though. Political rallies and demonstrations usually take place in Taksim and they are also a prime target for terrorist attacks.

Taksim square Istanbul

Terrorism

The threat from terrorism in Turkey is high at the moment. Kurdish groups, Islamic State and some other far left organizations will continue to target the state. Tourists are in high risk of an attack. In January 2016, 10 people died in a suicide bombing in Sultanahmet area. If possible tourists should avoid public transport and major touristic sights. This of course won’t be possible if you’re visiting Istanbul for the first time but you could apply some precaution measures (f.e when visiting major tourist sights, make sure to visit very early in the morning when there is a smaller crowd). Terrorists will target large groups as they want to cause pandemonium and spread panic to echo across the world.

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7 Fantastic Walks in Eastern Europe

Eastern Europe offers some fantastic opportunities for walking and not just in the countryside and wilderness, but also in its cities rich with culture and history. Not only will you…

Eastern Europe offers some fantastic opportunities for walking and not just in the countryside and wilderness, but also in its cities rich with culture and history. Not only will you explore new places, but walking is also a fun recreational activity suitable for all ages. Here are my picks for the 7 fantastic walks in Eastern Europe:

The Castle District and The Old Town, Prague

Prague is definitely one of Europe’s most beautiful cities and the best way to explore it is to start from the Castle District. The Prague Castle is the seat of the Czech president and it’s one of the most famous attractions in the city. The views from the top are amazing and from here you can get down to the Charles Bridge which is flooded by tourists, musicians and painters. Continuing to the Old Town you’ll see numerous historic buildings including the famous Astronomical Clock.

View from the Charles Bridge Prague

Meteora, Greece

You don’t get to walk in “the middle of the sky” every day. Well, that’s what Meteora basically means in Greek. This complex consists of 24 monasteries located on immense rocks which were split by earthquakes a million of years ago. This place served as a shelter for those people who seeked spiritual isolation, and considering that they had to use ladders and ropes to inhabitate this unfriendly area, it’s pretty amazing to imagine what they’ve done. However, only six remain today and they are part of the UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Walking is definitely the best way to explore Meteora and to enjoy truly breathtaking views and that’s the reason why so many tourist agencies offer interesting hiking tours.

Meteora monasteries

Durmitor and Northern Montenegro

The best way to explore Durmitor national park is to start from Zabljak, which is the highest populated town in the Balkans. 18 glacial lakes also known as the “mountain eyes” add so much to the beauty of this place. The park has more than 200km of marked hiking trails that pass through pine forests and numerous springs. I also suggest a visit to the Holy Trinity Monastery in Pljevlja which is hidden in the woods and has one of the richest art collections in the ex-Yugoslav countries.

Holy Trinity Monastery Pljevlja Montenegro

Old Town, Warsaw

Surely there are more beautiful historic centres in Europe but Warsaw deserves to be a part of this list mainly because of the reconstruction of its urban core after the WW2. It’s just amazing to walk its streets and to imagine that 90% of the city was completely demolished and that exactly looked like this. The historic centre is surrounded by Barbican  – one of the few remaining fortifications in Warsaw. Other prominent tourist attractions in the Old Town include the Royal Castle, St. John’s Cathedral and the Sigismund’s Column.

Old town Warsaw

Eastern Serbia

If you want to escape from civilization Eastern Serbia is a place to go! This hidden gem is famous for its fascinating beauties, waiting to be discovered by more travelers. Picturesque villages located below Stara planina, the highest mountain in eastern Serbia, Zavoj lake with ideal places for camping and interesting geological forms are definitely gonna attract more travelers interested in adventure tourism to this area. For instance, Dry Mountain is a great place for hiking as it offers breathtaking views from the top and it often gathers mountaineers from various parts of the Balkans.

Zavoj lake Serbia

Skocjan Educational Trail, Slovenia

You definitely shouldn’t miss Skocjan Caves once in Slovenia as this place ideally combines beautiful nature and cultural heritage. The underground canyon of Skocjan caves is the largest of its kind in the world and touring this place will make you feel like you’re in an Indiana Jones movie! The most impressive part is walking down the stairs and reaching the bridge inside the cave which is located above the Reka river, some 45 meters above. The cave is surrounded by Skocjan and Betanja villages which are also part of the Skocjan Educational Trail and they are also worth exploring because of the rich cultural heritage and great hiking paths.

Skocjan caves Slovenia

Istiklal Avenue, Istanbul

Walking down this street for the first time will surely never leave your memory. With a never ending flow of people, art galleries, cinemas, libraries, historical patisseries, cafes and restaurants you’ll be like Alice in Wonderland.  The only thing that can interrupt your walk are beautiful historic red trams which are the symbol of the city.  However don’t just walk the Istiklal street, but also explore the alleyways with markets and restaurants.

Istiklal avenue

What’s your most memorable walk?

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