Travelling through Turkey can be daunting, given its size of 783,562 square kilometers. With so much to see it warrants much more than a quick stop in Istanbul – the portion of the country that is physically in the European continent. There are many ways to stretch your Lira in order to appreciate such a diverse country.
Something that differs from most other countries is the amazing bus service in Turkey. Overnight buses seem a disheartening, uncomfortable task, and when faced with large distances to travel, people often opt for a flight. In Turkey, overnight buses come complete with white glove service including free snacks, tea and water and comfortable reclining seats. With air conditioned buses running almost every half hour to and from popular destinations, it’s a simple way to hoard your Liras.
Food in Turkey can differ from place to place, but almost always includes tomatoes, cucumber, olives, boiled eggs and beyaz peynir (a chees not un-like feta) for breakfast. If you fill up on your provided breakfast at your guesthouse, along with endless fluffy white bread, you can spoil yourself on street food such as Kebab’s, or the delicious Pide. Pide is a Turkish version of thin crust pizza, which is a long oblong shape, and usually involves minced meat. Not only is Pide tasty, it’s also filling and cheap.
“There are many ways to stretch your Lira in order to appreciate such a diverse country.”
Accommodations and Destinations
The Turkish Mediterranean is a gorgeous 1600 km stretch that understandably draws a huge amount of tourists each year. Because of the sheer size of the area, it is a good opportunity to dodge the most popular expat spots where you will be hard pressed to find a local in the sea of burnt British bodies. Quickly skip by cities like Ölüdeniz where many Western expats spend their winters, and instead end up in a town like Patara, where there are kilometers of uncrowded beach, and Roman ruins you can explore completely alone.
A popular backpacker practice is inquiring into spending the night on the roof of a guesthouse. Sleeping under the stars comes at a much more affordable rate, allowing you to save your lira for other stops on your itinerary.
Turkey has many natural wonders that are free to explore. Cappadocia is comprised of some of the most geographically interesting landscape in the world. Here the most interesting activities are simple day hikes that will awe you as you wander through post volcanic bizarre moon-like rock, referred to as “fairy chimneys.” Here you can spend days roaming around valley and hills for no money at all.
For avid hikers, the Lycian way is a 509 kilometer waymarked trail that connects the Mediterranean towns of Fethyie and Antalya. This trail does not collect any fees for hiking or camping, and is an affordable way to experience the famed coast. For those that would prefer more comforts there are family owned guesthouses along the way.
Don’t get too carried away with budget though, make sure to stop and enjoy an apple tea and expertly crafted Baklava.