Whether you are a traveller or house hunter, when looking at Marmara region destinations, expect to be wowed. We are talking about prominent and popular places not only in the north-west but throughout the country. Nothing compares to the Marmara area. It stands in a league of its own, and its importance is not a newfound trend either because, throughout history, strong empires have fought for, and lost rule over these lands.
Its most important claim to fame is that it covers the gateway between Asia and Europe and includes strategic straits of water like the Bosphorus Strait and Golden Horn. Uniquely surrounded by three seas; the Marmara, Black and Aegean, the best way to get to know it, is by exploring the sites, attractions, towns, and villages. These are plentiful from historical landmark buildings to places of natural beauty to take your breath away. So, which are the most prominent and for what reasons?
Prominent Marmara Region Destinations
1: Istanbul: The Ottomans Ruling Capital
Even though it isn’t Turkey’s capital, Istanbul reigns supreme as the leader of business, economy, tourism, education, and industry. Everything and anything happens in Istanbul. Every day, deals are made and broken, and people flock to be part of the unique art, culture, food, and socialising circles. Although, most tourists visit to see the Sultanahmet district that is home to UNESCO World Heritage site buildings like the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia. You may be forgiven for thinking that is all there is to the city, but there is much more including the Bosphorus shores, Princes Islands and the Taksim and Beyoglu districts (the new part) and Turkey’s busiest shopping and nightlife scenes. 39 districts make up this central province and you can read more about them, and the Asian and European sides in our Istanbul area guide here.
2: Canakkale: Gallipoli Battle and Troy
The Canakkale province on the Marmara’s region’s western side has two major claims to fame that bring people in from all around the world. Firstly, it was here the Gallipoli battle took place, and that altered Turkish history forever. In 1915, the British Empire and France wanted to capture then called Constantinople and decided to do it from here. It was a disaster. One lesser-known fact is one leader of the Dardanelles Campaign, Winston Churchill nearly ended his career here because of strategic mistakes he made. Every year, Australians and New Zealanders visit to commemorate what is known as Anzac Day. The second claim to fame is as home to the ancient city of Troy. Mentioned in the Iliad by Homer, many believed it was a mythical city until archaeologists discovered it in the 19th century. Inhabited for 4000 years since around 3000 BC, they uncovered many different layers and treasures hence its inclusion into the UNESCO World Heritage site.
3: Green Bursa Region
The Bursa province is Turkey’s latest golden child, not only for tourism but also real estate as foreigners, especially Middle Eastern nationalities flock to buy properties in the area. Once you look at the reasons, its popularity is easy to understand. Bursa is an all rounder offering a diversity of landscapes and lifestyles from the historical city centre to Uludag, the skiing centre to rural villages and finally, beachside destinations. Much fame came from the inclusion of its Ottoman landmarks into the UNESCO World heritage site however as the Ottoman empire’s first ruling centre, Turks have always held it in high regard. While skiing in Uludag is the winter focus, during summer, the green plateaus turn into an outdoor hub making Bursa the perfect all-year-round destination.
4: Bolu: Garden of Marmara
Sitting on the Marmara region’s far eastern side, Bolu’s climate is different from other areas, and it adopts a typical Black sea weather pattern. This has lent weight to stunning places of natural beauty, hence why people flock there. You will not find sandy beaches, or sunbeds and umbrellas to rent, but instead many chances to reconnect with the power of Mother Nature. As an outdoor destination, with Lake Abant leading the way, it is a social hub at weekends. Flora and Fauna thrive in this area, and although there are few hotels, many locals visit the day instead. The Yedigoller National park, likewise, promotes everything natural. Its name means seven lakes, and they sit near several streams and waterfalls. While there, do not forget to pay a visit to the hot springs, known for the soothing qualities for the mind, body and soul. Read more about the Bolu province of Marmara.
5: Yalova Destination
Yalova is another place of natural beauty growing in popularity as increasingly more Turks and foreigners seek to discover life outside of Turkey’s leading metropolis. One reason for its real estate popularity is low house prices and some people who want to be near nature purchase holiday homes in the area. Additionally, although its beaches never appear on top ten lists as Turkey’s beaches, should locals want to mix it up with a sea view, they do not have far to travel. Once belonging to Istanbul, it has grown significantly to become a destination worth admiring. Do not think purely about nature either, because spa hotels and thermal springs bring in people from all around the world looking to benefit from their healing qualities. For Turks and foreigners looking to relocate permanently, Yalova delivers because it is far away from the hustle and bustle, yet near to major highways for easy access to the larger cities.
6: Eskisehir: Where People Flock to Learn
With foreign tourism, Eskisehir hardly features, yet speak to any Turk from around the country and they will all speak highly of it. Sitting on the Porsuk River banks, it receives much praise and admiration for its university, which sees high enrolment figures from around Turkey because of its reputation for excellence. Its name means the old city, but it perfectly adapts with time and modern trends to present one of Turkey’s forward-thinking towns and provinces. Eskisehir also does an excellent job of keeping tourists entertained with many museums, old mosques, and an abundance of hot sulphur springs. While there, be sure to visit Odunpazari, the old part, and a great insight into Ottoman architecture and culture.
Also of Interest
Regions of Turkey: Although you can spend many months exploring the popular Marmara region destinations, it is only one official area of Turkey. Seven geographical regions, each with a unique culture, historical timeline, and weather climate, make up this country. From the hot Mediterranean summers to dry plains of central Anatolia, find out more in this article.
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