Bursa Province of Turkey
To truly immerse yourself in Turkish heritage, visit the Bursa province of Turkey. Fronted by the sea of Marmara, and bursting with museums, UNESCO World Heritage sites, old mosques, monuments and spectacular natural beauty landscapes, this region was the first ruling centre for the Ottoman sultans before they invaded Constantinople in 1453.
The Ottoman-empire ruled supreme from here and constructed many landmark buildings that still stand today and draw in tourists from all around the world. Locals and house buyers also have the bonus of sitting on the doorstep of Uludag, one of Turkey’s most popular skiing centres. With many places to see, this popular destination for Turks and foreigners stands tall and proud.
Bursa Province of Turkey
1: UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Ask any tourist if the UNESCO sites are worth visiting and without a doubt, they will say yes. Open year-round, their inscription put the province on the map for international visitors. Sightseeing is probably the best insight into how the Ottoman empire operated. The list of places includes eight city centre buildings and nearby Cumalikizik village. One famous building is the 15th century Grand Mosque featuring Ottoman and Seljuk architecture. Other sites include kulliyes. This was a mosque with other functions to help needy people like schooling, food, and public baths. Last, Orhan Gazi’s tomb in Tophane Park and Hudavendigar Turkish bath complete the impressive collection. (All about UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Bursa.)
2: Skiing in Uludag–Bursa
Bursa is not just about touring the sights. At any time of the year, head for a day-trip to Uludag. Myths say, this mountain is where the gods watched the Trojan wars, but these days, it is all about peace, quiet and appreciating Mother Nature’s beauty. Visit during Spring, Summer, or Autumn to go off-the-beaten-track with biking, camping or trekking trails, but it is Winter when most people ascend the cable car. Skiing and snowboarding are big business, attracting people from all over Turkey and the world. Guaranteed snowfall promises at least 3 metres typically for both beginners and experienced skiers to enjoy the thrill. (Skiing in Uludag.)
3: Food Delights of the Province
Food lovers get ready for a culinary tour, starting with the famous Iskender kebab. Yes, that is right. Turks eat it all over the country, but it was invented in Bursa. If you have not tasted one, you are missing out. The delights of pitta bread, slices of donor meat, with lashings of tomato and garlic sauce topped with melted butter and yoghurt, is a foodie’s idea of heaven. This is not a newfound trend either, but a time-honoured favourite existing since the 19th century. Otherwise, for a foodie souvenir to take home, try their famous sweet chestnuts, a delectable culinary delight and treat.
4: Iznik Pottery
Many antique lovers will have heard of Iznik pottery because these items are prize collection pieces. The Iznik region of the province produced excellent pottery pieces during the 16th to 17th century. Unfortunately, the trade died out in favour of agriculture, but this makes the pottery even rarer. Distinguishable by its white, black ground with blue patterns, some pieces fetch for thousands of pounds. Such was their importance, in Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, from where the Sultans ruled, original Iznik tiles line the walls of the imperial council room.
5: Green Bursa
The province isn’t nicknamed green Bursa for nothing. As well as the plateaus of Mount Uludag outside of winter months, other landscapes of natural beauty attract people from near and far. Exceptional interest destinations include Saitabat waterfall, just 12 kilometres from the city centre. Locals love this popular spot for a family picnic. Iznik and Ulubat lakes also provide the perfect scenic backdrop. Otherwise, it gained its nickname because of vested interest by the local council in parks and green spaces, so expect green wherever you go.
6: Beach Districts
The province is rarely associated with beaches, yet delivers quite a few options. Head to Karcabey or the Gemlik neighbourhoods, but Mudanya is by far the most popular place. Many foreigners and Turks buying holiday homes here choose this place because the old Ottoman houses also provide a unique ambience. If arriving from Istanbul by ferry, this is where you will land.
7: Breakfast in Cumalikizik Village
Across Turkey, a time-honoured tradition at weekends is to head out for a traditional Turkish village, and some locals head to Cumalikizik, that is also a UNESCO site because of old Ottoman houses and their unique architectural styles. It is a must-visit because village breakfasts always include homemade and organic ingredients like jams, honey, butter, cheese, bread and much more.
8: Thermal Spas Galore
As a country, Turkey is renowned for its hot thermal springs, which elevate symptoms of skin diseases and other ailments. Bursa counts itself as a top hot spring destination, and people flock to Ceikerge, Gemlik, Mustafa Kemal Pasa, Inegol, and Orhangazi. Eski Kaplica is the oldest, and some Turkish baths also run filter systems from the hot springs.
9: Foreign House Sales
Roughly ten years ago, foreigners buying houses in Turkey rarely ventured here but that has changed now and it mostly attracts Middle-Eastern nationalities who find many similarities in culture, traditions, and cuisine. New developments and luxury villas in places like Mudanya are putting Bursa on the international map for real estate sales. Get in touch with us to find out more about investing in Turkish real estate here.
Marmara Region: The Bursa province of Turkey belongs to the Marmara region covering the northwest. In this article, we look at significant places to visit, claims to fame and how it influences the other regions. Head over to our blog to find out more about living, investing, and buying a home here.