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From windsurfing to wine tasting – 20 things to do in Turkaegean this summer


Bodrum, Muğla

Bodrum, Muğla

Bodrum, Muğla

Located along the western coast of Turkey (Türkiye), the Aegean region has something for everyone in 2022.

Picture the scene: you arrive back to your boutique hotel after a morning stroll around the local farmers’ market. Now, you could head to the beach for a couple of hours of well-deserved sunbathing, or you could pop your walking shoes on and explore the ruins of a nearby ancient city. Either way it will be a fabulous day!

With lots to choose from, we’ve rounded up the top 20 things to do in the Aegean this summer.

Visit the spectacular beaches


Home to over 200 sandy beaches, along a 600 km coastline, the Aegean is a sun worshipper’s delight. Spend the day snoozing under a bamboo umbrella or catch some waves at one of the numerous surf spots.

  • Ladies Beach: With its iconic palm tree-lined promenade, this is the ideal place to base yourself for a mellow afternoon by the shore.
  • Ilıca Beach: Here you will find hot thermal springs and powder white sand. Local legend says that bathing here can have a healing effect on the skin, thanks to the blend of thermal and sea water.
  • Turunç Beach: A more off-the-beaten-track experience. Overlooked by mountains and surrounded by dense greenery, this pebbly-sandy beach is a hidden gem for snorkelling.

Explore the underwater world

Its generous visibility and tepid water make the Aegean Sea everything a diver could hope for. Head to The Great Reef, just 20 minutes off the shore of Bodrum and spend some time with the local octopi, bream and scorpionfish.

Aquarium Bay in Fethiye is an exciting spot for underwater photographers, due to the richness of its marine life. Be sure to take your action camera, as you might be lucky enough to see a seahorse or an octopus during your dive.

Cycle through the countryside

Nestled among the bays and the pine forests, the villages of Marmaris are a must visit. Get to know the locals, whose hospitality is legendary, and explore the lively village streets. Cycle between the blue flag beaches, where you will find a flat route, or push your legs to the limit on the hilly forest roads.

Taste the local cuisine


Fruit and vegetables are a key ingredient in many Turkish dishes, meaning vegetarians and vegans will find plenty of options during their visit. Seafood lovers will also be spoilt for choice with fresh fish, stuffed mussels, shrimp fried in butter and hot sauce and other delicacies that easily make anyone reach for a second helping.

Some native dishes to try during your travels include:

  • Kumru: A Turkish street food delicacy, this toasted sandwich is prepared with an artisanal bread enriched with chickpea flour and is usually filled with cheese and sausages.
  • Boyoz: Typically eaten at breakfast with a filling of egg, this pastry is a staple in the Aegean.
  • Mesir Paste: A traditional paste that consists of 41 kinds of herbs and spices.
  • Stuffed Artichokes: A gift from nature to the locals of the Aegean, artichokes are harvested every March, signalling the arrival of spring. A typical dish is made by stuffing artichokes with carrot and potato cubes, peas, and endemic herbs as well as drizzling them with a generous amount of locally produced virgin olive oil.

Sample the local wine

The fruitful vineyards of the Aegean have been harvested for thousands of years, making it one of the oldest wine regions in the world. Thanks to its idyllic climate and proximity to the sea, the mineral-rich soil is perfect for growing grapes.

Many of the region’s luxurious wineries are open for wine tasting tours, as well as gourmet food pairing experiences. Nothing beats spending the day exploring sun-soaked vines and sampling the best of local food and wine.

Sail the coastline


Some might argue that the Aegean cannot be truly appreciated, until it is explored by boat. With a coastline that includes countless lagoons, bays, inlets, and gulfs, the western shore of Türkiye has a lot to offer.

Take a day trip from Bodrum peninsula to one of the neighbouring islands where you can explore, relax, and swim in the crystal-clear water. Or for those who long for the freedom of the open water, the Aegean coast is the ultimate destination for a sailing holiday.

Get your adrenaline pumping


While numerous water sports can be enjoyed in the Aegean, kite and windsurfing are top of the list.

Alaçatı, which is perhaps the most well-known spot in Türkiye for windsurfing, attracts international windsurfers 12 months of the year thanks to its windy climate.

Give paddle boarding a go


For a slightly more relaxing sea activity, why not give stand up paddle boarding (or SUP as it is also known) a go.

Head to Ölüdeniz, where the calm water makes it one of the most idyllic spots in the world for paddleboarding.

Visit two UNESCO world heritage sites


Aphrodisias, Aydın

Aphrodisias, Aydın

Aphrodisias, Aydın

During your time in the Aegean you can visit not one, but two UNESCO world heritage sites.

The ancient city of Ephesus was once the most crucial port city and established trading centre of the Mediterranean. It is now home to some of the best-preserved ancient ruins in modern Türkiye. Allow yourself to be transported back in time as you walk the streets of this ancient city and take in the mighty temples, theatres, libraries, houses, and statues.

Pergamon, a settlement which was one of the most important cultural, scientific and political centres of its time, is a dream for history buffs. Its location on a lofty, isolated hill also makes it a great place to catch a golden Turkish sunset.

Enjoy the local nightlife

Whether you are looking for a romantic, candle-lit meal on the beach, or you want to dance the night away, Aegean nightlife has something for everyone. Here, you can have your dinner table set right by the water and feel the sea breeze on your skin as you wine and dine with your loved ones.

For a night of singing and dancing, head to one of the many clubs or late bars where you can enjoy some delicious cocktails and music. When you get tired of dancing, you can relax on the soft sandy beach and stargaze for the rest of the night.

Treat yourself to a spa day

From natural thermal springs to five-star luxury resorts, there are many places to relax in the Aegean.

The geological phenomenon of Pamukkale, with its mineral-rich water, has been used as a natural spa resort since Roman times. The spring which is rumoured to have been enjoyed by the iconic Egyptian Queen, Cleopatra, remains a popular spot today for locals and visitors to enjoy.

Immerse yourself in photography

Photographers, both budding and professional, won’t be able to put their cameras down in the Aegean. From dramatic cliffs to striking turquoise blue water there is so much to capture along the way.

Soak in the sun


Urla, İzmir

Urla, İzmir

Urla, İzmir

The Aegean coast enjoys a sunny climate for approximately six months of the year, making it a favourable destination for those looking to escape the cold weather. If you visit between April and September, you are almost guaranteed to be greeted by glorious sunshine on arrival.

Lace up your hiking boots

From mountains and bays to waterfalls and forests, there are many hiking trails to be enjoyed across the Aegean. The Carian Trail, a popular walking route that covers much of the Aegean coast, can be hiked over the course of a week and has some beautiful stops along the way.

Some notable hikes along this trail include:

  • Loryma Bay circular walk – For bay views and an ancient city (14 km)
  • Bay of Gökova For forestry and coastal slopes (12 km)
  • Dilek Peninsula national park – For a spectacular mountain reserve (4 - 15 km)

Camp at Butterfly Valley

Located in Fethiye and aptly named, this valley is home to over 80 different types of butterfly species and is a friendly camping destination. Rent a tent when you arrive or bring your own and set up at one of the many campsites in the area.

With towering cliffs on either side of the valley and an electric blue shoreline just waiting for you to jump in, Butterfly Valley is one for every traveller’s bucket list.

Have a cup of Turkish coffee with some Turkish delight

Traditionally prepared in a cezve using finely ground coffee beans, Turkish coffee offers a range of flavours and aromas from sweet to earthy. Coffee fans can enjoy sampling the flavours in the many cafés that are dotted along the Aegean coast.

For those with a sweet tooth, be sure to pair your brew with a silky Turkish delight. There are countless flavours to choose from but the most popular include pistachios, rose, and pomegranate.

Savour some fresh fruit and vegetables


Cherries, sour cherries, apples, oranges, and peaches are just some of the fruits that thrive in the fertile coast of the Aegean. The region is also known for its leafy greens, with spring being the best time to pick and try them.

For a truly immersive experience, why not opt for a farm stay? Many of the local fruit, olive and eco farms offer accommodation, giving you a unique opportunity to delve deeper into country living.

Unravel the mysteries of Ancient Anatolian Philosophers

The Turkaegean is an exciting place to be if you are a history buff. Take your time among the ruins, contemplating the mysterious lives of the ancient Anatolian philosophers, leaders, and poets. Ancient theatres, temples, and buildings are sure to take your breath away in the Turkaegean.

Escape to Alaçatı

This quintessential Turkish village is one of the most popular places to stay in the Aegean. It is easy to understand why, with its beautifully restored stone buildings, cobbled streets, and boutique restaurants. The village also hosts several food festivals each year which draw foodies in from near and far.

Haggle in a local market

Head to one of the many local markets of the Aegean, and you will find an array of goods such as handmade ice cream, clothing, jewellery, and freshly squeezed juices. Soak up the hustle and bustle in Bodrum Bazar or ramble the quaint streets of Urla Sanat Street, where you will be sure to find a keepsake for the art lover in your life.

However you choose to spend your time in the Aegean, one thing is for certain; a holiday spent in the Coast of Happiness is one you won’t want to forget.

Visit goaegeanturkiye.com for more information.