Riotous color in Artvin
About 60 kilometers from the Black Sea, Artvin offers valleys, crater lakes, fresh air and magnificent nature. It’s popular in the summer but, in the autumn months, Artvin is calmer, quieter and even more colorful.
Artvin’s picturesque plateaus have their own cultural and musical traditions. Among the most beautiful of these plateaus are Kafkasör, Kaçkar, Borcka Karagöl, Macahel and Arsiyan. Immerse yourself in the nature of these plateaus – healing waters, beneficial herbs and delicious food. Enjoy leisurely walks shaded by chestnut, hornbeam and beech trees. Head to Cehennem Deresi Canyon, explore the Mençuna and Ciro waterfalls and find accommodation in quaint wooden houses. Tekkale and İşhan villages are particularly charming.
In addition to various natural features, Artvin is also close to historical Christian sites such as the Porta, Doliskana and Handzta Monasteries, as well as the Rabat, Tibeti and Dolishane Churches.
The sea is different in Datça
Unique Datça attracts great attention for its bays and unspoiled nature. In autumn, it’s even better: with fewer visitors, you can get the full Datça experience, exploring numerous coves – including Hayıtbükü, Ovabükü, Palamutbükü, Kargı, Kızılbük and Mesudiye and Domuz Bükü – without the crowds. You can stroll around Old Datça, with a history dating from the 11th century BC, or visit the ancient city of Knidos, founded in the 3rd century BC and prominent for its science, art and architecture.
Datça is also renowned for its almond groves, so you must sample almond-based specialities such as the Groom’s Dessert and, of course, the famous almond cookies.
Autumn in Datça offers a different flavor. While the water is still relatively warm, it’s a quieter season, one that encourages relaxation and leisurely conversations. The air is gentler, the scent of resin and thyme permeates the breeze and, somehow, even food becomes more delicious.
Can Yücel, a poet who lived many years in Datça, said of the area: What I want is something different. It is neither like a tree, nor a cloud… Not like this, the country I will go to; its sea is a different sea, its air is a different air.”
Mardin – without getting caught in the heat!
Autumn is the ideal time to explore Mardin with all its mysteries and surprises. The weather is mild and the water is still on the warm side. And, as Mardin prepares for winter, visitors can see a rainbow of fruits and vegetables being dried, pickled or otherwise preserved for the cold months.
There are dozens of other reasons to come to Mardin. The city offers a rich cultural heritage – a centuries-old accumulation of Mesopotamian cultures that have blended into the colorful Mardin of today.
Among the many historical sites in and around Mardin are the 5th-century Deyrulzafaran Monastery, named after the saffron flower and the residence for the Assyrian Orthodox Patriarchs. The complex includes the Mor Hananyo Church, with ancient frescoes. There’s Mardin Castle, with a history of 1,600 years, and Kasimiye, completed in the 15th century. Savur Kapı is believed to have been constructed between the 13th and 14th centuries and the Zinciriye Madrasah was erected in 1385. As well, the Dara Mesopotamia Ruins, built between 530-570 BC, the Mor Gabriel Monastery, which has existed since 397, the Kırklar Church, built in 569, and the Şehidiye Mosque, built in 1214, are all worth seeing.
Touch the sun in Cappadocia!
Another wonderful place to experience autumn is Cappadocia. The harsh summer sun has softened, remaining warm and bright during the day, while the evenings are chilly and redolent of wood fires and barbecues. Cappadocia’s autumn colors are vivid, with leaves turning yellow and red, and the area’s spectacular tufa rock formations taking on new hues.
Cappadocia, on the UNESCO World Natural and Cultural Heritage List, is always described as ‘otherworldly’, due to its fairy chimneys and fantastic scenery, but its history and culture are equally spectacular.
Carved into the stone, the underground cities of Derinkuyu, Kaymaklı, Acıgöl, Mazı, Özlüce and Gaziemir are fascinating views into another era. The Open Air Museum, in Göreme, features stone-cut churches with frescoes dating from the 4th century, while Ürgüp, Ortahisar and Uçhisar have imposing stone fortresses and stunning views. Surrounding the towns and villages of Cappadocia are walking paths along ancient, rock-cut churches and pigeon houses, as well as vineyards, orchards and fields, as well as beautiful valleys such as Güllüdere, Paşabağ, Güvercinlik, Kızılçukur, Ihlara, Devrent or Aşk, with fairy chimneys and rock formations that look as if they were carved by aliens. And the village Avanos is renowned for its pottery – you can even take a workshop and create your own masterpiece.
To view Cappadocia from the skies is a unique experience. Take a hot air balloon tour at sunrise or sunset for a fuller perspective on this magnificent region. Or book a morning or afternoon horseback ride and watch the colorful balloons fill the horizon.
Even staying in Cappadocia is a one-of-a-kind proposition. While there are plenty of regular hotels, many of the region’s ancient cave and stone dwellings have been converted into accommodation. Ranging from simple to luxurious, these cave-and-stone hotels offer yet another unique perspective on history.
Yedigöller, the capital of camping
When autumn arrives in Turkey, Yedigöller comes into its full bloom. As one of Turkey’s most popular camping areas, Yedigöller National Park is a destination for thousands of visitors every fall.
Set amid the provincial borders of Bolu in the Western Black Sea, Yedigöller takes its name from the seven lakes in the park, which are connected by hiking trails. Pitch a tent near the lake of your choice; go for a trek or gather your fishing gear – Büyükgöl and Deringöl are famous for their rainbow trout.
Yedigöller is also delightful in the spring. But October and November are the best months to enjoy the riot of colors among a variety of trees – which include fir, beech, hazelnut, hornbeam, linden, oak, alder, maple, elm, yellow and larch, poplar and ash. The woodlands offer incredible photo opportunities.
And, if you are a new camper, it’s time to meet nature! For more information on camping equipment, see our blog at: “Go forth into nature! What camping essentials will you bring with you?“.
Enjoy your holiday!