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Turkey’s romantic appeal lies in its lesser-known islands, villages, and towns where couples can bask in the country’s natural and architectural beauty without much disturbance. We chose some of the best places to spend some quality time with your partner.
A former Greek island that’s quite far removed from the touristic beaches, Cunda is one of Turkey’s most charming little seaside towns where people live in a very laid-back demeanor. Wander the cobblestoned streets with historic stone houses that feature colorful shutters covered in flowers, and don’t be surprised to see sheep roaming around freely in the shadow of olive trees. Spend the evening eating fresh fish at one of the many restaurants by the water. We suggest that you buy a lot of olive oil from the eco-friendly family company Kürşat and dine at their lovely restaurant Cunda, where the island’s best ingredients are used to make excellent dishes.
The Black Sea region is a perfect place for couples who are a bit more active and want to wander around the mountains and spend time at one of the many yayla (mountain villages). No matter the season, the Artvin province’s natural habitat is always beautiful, from the snow-covered peaks in the winter to the wild flower-covered pastures in the spring and summer. Some of the best places to explore are the remote and beautiful Macahel Valley and village as well as a breathtaking hike through the Kaçkar Mountains.
Even though Gökçeada is Turkey’s largest island, it has still somehow remained quite unknown, which means it’s perfect for a romantic getaway far away from the crowds. Enjoy the many beautiful remote beaches where the turquoise water of the Aegean glitters in the sun, explore all the historic villages, and do some windsurfing or kitesurfing at one of the country’s best locations for the sport.
A true marvel of history and architecture, the old city of Mardin is an exceptional remnant of the Artuqid dynasty that has successfully retained its original state. Stay in one of the many stone mansions that are now beautiful pensions, enjoy the local food (especially the spiced Mardin wine), and wander around the many winding streets to discover something new every time. History enthusiast couples can also arrange to do some important sightseeing outside of Mardin, including Hasankeyf, the Mor Gabrieş Monastery, and Midyat.
Another fantastic remote beach town that’s far away from the crowds in Antalya is Çıralı, still a favorite among locals, which means it’s a great place for couples to enjoy some alone time. Stay at one of the many family-run pensions, enjoy a day at the beach that’s surrounded by beautiful mountains, and explore the ruins of the ancient Lycian town of Olympos. For those couples who love hiking along scenic trails, the famous Lycian Trail also goes through Çıralı, which means you can turn a lazy beach holiday into an active sightseeing trek at any time.
Known for its wine and beautiful remote beaches, Bozcaada is a former Greek fishing village that still retains its historic stone houses and cobblestoned streets. Apart from the many meyhane restaurants that serve excellent meze and fresh seafood, Bozcaada’s beaches, such as Ayazma, Habbele, Beylik, and Akvaryum, have retained their natural beauty. One of the most romantic activities is watching the beautiful sunset at Batı Burnu (west point) by the windmills.