the natural landscapes
The wide variety of natural landscapes have shaped the culture of Türkiye. From the surreal rock formations of Cappadocia to the dramatic Anatolian mountains to verdant farmlands and natural hot springs, the topography of the country has shaped the people around it. The dramatic natural landscape of the Turquoise Coast contrasts with the travertine pools at Pamukkale or the sharp green mountain ranges that spill up against the Black Sea.
Türkiye also contains over 500 islands dotting the country’s coastline, and each has its own distinct beauty.
Here is the list of the ten beautiful islands of Türkiye:
Located in the Northern Aegean Sea and nearby Çanakkale city, Bozcaada is rimmed by sandy shores and has an interior filled with vine-covered fields.
Situated just west off the Gallipoli Peninsula coast in the Northern Aegean Sea, Gökçeada is one of the best places to visit for island fans interested in nature and quiet beach breaks.
Cunda (Ayvalık, Balıkesir)
Also called Alibey Island, Cunda is located just offshore from the North Aegean Coast town of Ayvalık and is linked to the mainland by a small bridge.
Plenty of the atmospheric cafés and restaurants (mostly clustered around the old town harbor) specialize in Aegean-style eating, blending Turkish fare elements.
Heybeliada, Princes’ Islands (İstanbul)
Heybeliada is the second biggest island of Princes' Islands.
No cars are allowed on the island, so this is an excellent opportunity for exploring on foot or by bike (plenty of bike rental is available). One of the main tourist attractions is to wander the lanes lined with imposing wooden villas, up to lookout points with panoramic views across the sea.
On Türkiye's southern Mediterranean shore, Kızkalesi is a famous beach town. Just offshore from the beach is the little island where the city takes its name.
Kızkalesi Island holds a Byzantine castle's remains, with its well-preserved ramparts and towers still jutting grandly up from the rocky shore.
Gemiler Adası (Fethiye/Muğla)
Also named St. Nicholas Island, Gemiler is a popular stop on boat day-trip excursions from the beach resort of Ölüdeniz and multi-day yacht tours heading along the coast from Fethiye.
Büyükada, Princes’ Islands (İstanbul)
Büyükada is the biggest island in the Princes' Islands group, and the most famous island escape from İstanbul.
There are several beaches along the shore, but the real charm of Büyükada is found by strolling car-free lanes lined with grand 19th-century villas and heading up the hill to the Monastery of St. George for the views across the Marmara Sea back to İstanbul.
Akdamar Island (Van)
The Church of the Holy Cross on Akdamar Island is Lake Van's most famous sight.
Situated three kilometers off the lake's mountainous southern coast, the island was once home to a more significant religious complex, all built in the 10th century by King Gagik Artzruni during his reign over the Armenian Kingdom of Vaspurkan.
Pigeon Island (Kuşadası/Aydın)
Built to guard the port during the Byzantine era, Kuşadası Castle is located on Pigeon Island (Güvercin Adası) just offshore from the resort town of Kuşadası.
Kekova Island (Kaş/Antalya)
The entire surrounding area is charming to explore and one of Türkiye's most astonishingly beautiful coastline sections. Partially sunken tombs speckle the harbor waters of the village of Kaleköy, directly opposite the island. While Kaleköy itself is topped by a fortress and scattered with the ruins of ancient Simena.