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Even though big cities such as Istanbul or Ankara don’t allow visitors to go completely off the grid, there are many places in Turkey where you can turn off your cell phone and just bask in nature and peace. From beautiful hikes and walks to remote villages, here are some great places to get away from urban life.
Make sure to plan your hiking trip to the glorious Kaçkar Mountains in May so that you’ll only come across villagers and not many other people. The beautiful scenery of green pastures, wildflowers, and the mountain peaks looming in the distance will allow you to feel the beauty of solitude.
Another fantastic experience in Turkey completely removed from tourists and major cities is the Lycian Way, a 540-kilometer (335.5-mile) walkway that goes from Fethiye to Antalya. Lying between the coast and the mountains, you’ll witness some of the most beautiful views that the country has to offer, as well as many important historic ruins.
The yayla (mountain/alpine pasture villages) of the Black Sea Coast are far removed from the big cities, and it’s where village life continues to be simple and reliant on nature. Some of the most remote places include the villages of Macahel, Pokut, Gorgit, and İkizdere, where you’ll find wooden houses, deep green valleys, villagers going about their day, and absolute seclusion-induced mirth.
Once a thriving Greek village, Şirince was abandoned after the population exchange between Greece and Turkey in 1923. Nowadays, a lot of the historic stone houses have undergone renovations, while a few small pensions are set entirely in the natural landscape where serenity is intrinsic.
If you’ve always wanted to escape to an island, then Gökçeada, Turkey’s biggest island, is a perfect place to get away from the mainland. Get lost among the many historic villages, go swimming at the many remote coves, and enjoy the peace and quiet of being far away.
Close to the beautiful Butterfly Valley (one of Turkey’s best places to camp), the village of Faralya faces the deep blue sea and the evergreen forest with not much else to do but get lost in nature. Let’s not forget to mention the many species of butterflies that live here peacefully. Sounds like heaven, doesn’t it?
The historic city of Mardin is completely empty in the off-season (anytime outside of June–August), which means you’ll only be around locals who go about their day while you explore freely. Make sure to take your camera along to shoot photos of the stunning Artuqid architecture, as well as the many winding streets where you’ll feel completely lost (in a good way). If you want to go just a little bit more off the grid, take the bus to Hasankeyf with the locals and explore an area that will soon no longer exist.