The more you find out about Turkey, the more it will impress. With a booming tourism industry and an ever-growing foreign population, fun pastimes that take advantage of the country’s pleasant weather and incredible natural treasures are increasing every year. Culture buffs can find a seemingly endless amount of historical areas to visit, stock full of millennia-old town regions, architecture, and sights to keep you busy for as long as you can stay. Age-old traditions are also still alive. Cafes offering Turkish coffee and tea along with delightful baklava, pepper every town and shops sells traditional wares and souvenirs.
For those seeking a more natural escape, the Turkish Riviera on the Mediterranean and the coastline along the Black Sea will not disappoint. Mountains of various sizes, offer exciting hiking and mountaineering opportunities, while Turkey’s offerings for those interested in golf, yoga, and surfing have grown in recent years. Pursue whatever your sport is your passion in Turkey, including famous past times, like golfing, yoga, and surfing. If you want a holiday spot nearby for these sports, where should you head to?
Golfing in Turkey – World-Class Courses
Turkey is an expansive country covering over 300,000 square miles of land. Offering plenty of space for green courses, the perfect weather allows golfers months of decent playing weather. Golfing in Turkey mainly centres around the Belek area of Mediterranean Antalya. Five-star golfing resorts like Cornelia Diamond Resort and Spa and Sueno Hotels Belek offer state-of-the-art courses along with incredible resort services such as a golf home in the region.
Antalya is becoming the home of more courses every year. Several other less costly options also dot the landscape in this heavily visited area. Famous designers like Peter Thomson and Perry Dye chose Turkey, and specifically Belek to construct incredible courses which have hosted several national and international competitions.
By far, Belek is the best place to play golf in Turkey but if you are on the Aegean side, head to Kusadasi International Course. It hosts an enchanting 18-hole championship golf course spanning over 6,359 metres. Sitting alongside the Academy and a fabulous Clubhouse, it opened in 2012, after respected architect Jose Canales Galvez designed it.
Kusadasi Golf Course perfectly combines competitive and challenging deep bunkers, well-groomed grass fairways, and rich-row fast greens. Running alongside a naturally grown locust and olive trees, they built it on two plateaus with a beautiful view. Also enjoy the driving range, a broad shooting range and a short playground, to learn golf before stepping on the entire course. For beginners, 2 PGA certified trainers speak Turkish, English, German and Swedish. Another Aegean option is the Bodrum Golf and Tennis club. The nine-hole course sits alongside five ground tennis courts, restaurants, cafeterias, and bars.
The Golfing Boom in Antalya: A look at the rise in international fame of Belek to host world championships, and courses that rank as the world’s best.
Golfing Homes in Belek: Why this resort also attracts golfing enthusiasts looking to tap into the golfing home sector.
Yoga in Turkey – At One with Nature
Yoga in Turkey has caught on over the last couple of decades. Several retreat areas nestled in hillsides and along the coast of the country, offer followers of many schools and any level various options. The below three examples of centres in Turkey are excellent, however, if you browse the internet, many more opened their doors to the public and enjoyed raving success thanks to the rise in popularity of yoga.
In Golkoy, outside of the seaside town of Bodrum, the well-known retreat called Yoga Centre has been teaching visitors the ancient art of yoga for over a decade, providing independent housing in seaside huts to guests. Courses run during the official tourism season of May to October, and instructors keep to small groups to ensure the best from your Turkish experience. Open to beginners and those who live, breathe, and eat yoga, they prepare meals on-site using fresh, organic ingredients. It also caters for vegetarians. Enjoy a morning session, followed by lunch and then free time to swim, sunbathe, or get out to explore the surrounding Bodrum peninsula.
Huzur Vadisi, Turkey’s oldest retreat in the Dalaman Mountains outside of Gocek is an attractive choice. Here, guests sleep in luxury yurts and can study yoga at any levels with experts from around the world. First opening their doors to the public in 1993, the scenic mountain setting surrounded by olive and fog trees, fits in perfectly with the mantra of being at one with nature. Anyone looking to ground themselves and immerse in Mother Nature’s power will feel instantly at home, hence why many enthusiasts return year after year.
The yurt accommodation, where you stare up at the stars at night, cater for up to 30 people, and they offer single bed yurts for solo travellers. Meanwhile shared yoga areas accommodate 28 people maximum. After the morning lessons, enjoy the swimming pool, relax in the treehouse, or browse reading materials in the library. Otherwise, head to nearby Gocek to sample delights of the town, or jump onboard a daily lazy, a boat trip to cruise the Mediterranean.
In the hills of Faralya, in Fethiye, combine lessons with personal development workshops to improve the quality of mind, body with one another. Open since 1998; the Eco Faralya centre also offers wellness, detox, and health retreats. Accommodation style is traditional log cabins houses with twin or double beds, while delicious meals coming out of the kitchen focus on a vegetarian theme using ingredients grown locally in Fethiye. When you are not doing all things yoga, relax in the pine and mulberry tree garden, swim in the sea, walk the 540 kilometres Lycian way, visit Butterfly Valley, the Blue Lagoon in Oludeniz, just 9 kilometres away, or tour the coastline on a lazy day cruise.
Windsurfing in Turkey – Catch the Waves
With so much coastline, it is no wonder that windsurfing in Turkey is also becoming increasingly popular. Although waters may not offer waves meriting an international surfing competition, its waters can provide easy-going surfers with plenty of options. Both the southern and northern coasts offer swells that typically last between seven to twelve seconds long, perfect for beginning to medium-level surfers. On the north coast along the Black Sea, waves are often larger than along the Mediterranean, reaching up to three metres in height. Several surfing schools popped up along the coast, allowing visitors of any level to improve their abilities and rent equipment if necessary.
Reputation dictates that Alacati is Turkey’s surfing haven. Surfing shops, schools, and hotels crowd Alacati’s streets bringing with them, an atmosphere befitting any surfing destination. Whether you are a beginner wanting to learn, or experienced surfer who wants to tap into word-class waves, the shallow sea that eventually edges deeper the further you go out, is the perfect playground. Expect wind speeds between 15 to 25 knots, and to venture into kite surfing, head to the furthest side of the bay. A good school to try for beginners is Ion Club.
One should wear a wet suit since the sea can be cold, but for ideal wind conditions, Alacati trumps all other destinations. Otherwise, further around the bay, look at Akcapinar Beach in the Gokova gulf, that attracts roughly 50,000 windsurfers every year from Turkey and around the world, including Germany, Russia, and the UK. Calling the wind speeds “Mad Mehmet” the conditions attract experienced surfers but local schools also offer lessons for beginners.
Outdoor and Adventure Sports in Turkey: Golfing, yoga and surfing are not the only sports that Turkey excels at. For anyone who loves adrenaline rushes or Mother Nature’s varied landscapes, this article lists fantastic ideas to get active. Including para-gliding, skiing, scuba diving, white-water rafting and more, we list where to go and what to expect.
Uludag in Bursa: If anyone mentions Turkey, what springs to most people’s minds are beaches and scorching summer temperatures. However, what if we said Turkey also has several skiing centres of which Uludag in Bursa is one of the best? Find out reasons to visit, and what to expect when you arrive.
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