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With a diverse landscape that stretches from the sea to the mountains, not to mention a slew of historic ruins all around, Turkey is a great place to explore by car. We’ve selected some of the best car trips you can take.
Probably one of the most beautiful road trips in Turkey, the Aegean coastline is beautiful in every season, but in the summer you can always make a stop at the many coves and take a dip in the pleasantly cold sea. Explore the small villages, historic ruins, and beaches that dot the entirety of the Turkish coast. You can start in Izmir and continue south to visit all the former Greek islands including Cunda, Bozcaada, and Gökçeada. You can also decide to drive north along the coast and visit Kuşadası, Bodrum (as well as Ephesus) Datça, Marmaris, and Fethiye. It’s recommended to break these trips into a few days, stopping at every island or town for a day or two to really enjoy each destination.
The road from Antalya to Fethiye is also a big favorite because of the stunning turquoise-colored coast. You can either do this trip on its own, or make it part of a larger Aegean coast road trip. However, definitely make sure to stop by the Butterfly Valley, one of the area’s most beautiful beaches stuck between two mountains with white sands and clear blue waters. Another great beach is located in Çıralı, where you can also visit the ruins of the Lycian town of Olympos.
Cappadocia is a very important sight in Turkey and driving there is especially amazing because of dramatic landscape of fairy chimneys that seem to suddenly unveil themselves as you continue on your way. Having a car in Cappadocia is also quite beneficial since a lot of the sights, such as the underground cities, are well outside the city center (Göreme). From Antalya to Cappadocia, watch the landscape change from dark blue beach to mysterious fairy chimneys, an experience you probably won’t forget.
Seeing Istanbul is a pretty essential experience when it comes to visiting Turkey, so starting your road trip after spending a few days in the endearingly chaotic Turkish metropolis is a great way to start your vacation. The road from Istanbul to Ephesus lasts around seven hours and you’ll love how the landscape changes from bustling urban to calm and natural. Make sure to make a stop in Şirince before you begin exploring the historical beauties of Selçuk and Ephesus.