1 Go white-water rafting on the Coruh river
With high-volume rapids fed by the snow melt from the Black Sea mountains, this river in north-east Turkey is one of the world’s best white-water rivers. Alternatif Outdoor offers five-day guided rafting expeditions which start and finish in Erzurum and take in spectacular canyons, narrow valleys, ruined castles and the class-five rapids of the Ispir gorge. No rafting experience is required, you just need to be reasonably fit and able to swim.
2 Mountain bike through Cappadocia
Explore the deep canyons and mesas of Cappadocia by bike with Kirkit Voyage. With camping accommodation en route, the seven-night trip takes in the Dereyamanli valley, with its multiple “fairy chimneys” (rock formations), the rocky outcrop of Uçhisar – the highest peak in the region – and the ancient ruins of Mount Golgoli.
3 Take the train from Istanbul to the Georgian valleys
Travel the length of the country, from Istanbul to Erzurum, by sleeper train. The 24-hour journey is offered as part of a six-night guided tour of the Georgian valleys of north-east Turkey, launched by travel writer Margaret Scully. Visit the tea gardens of Rize, bake bread with the women of Uzundere, explore cliff-hanging Sümela monastery and visit Tortum waterfall.
4 Cruise from Fethiye to Marmaris by gulet
The best way to explore Turkey’s unspoilt south coast is by traditional wooden gulet. Anatolian Sky offers a seven-night trip, from Fethiye to Marmaris, including visits to Cleopatra’s bay, the ruins of Tersane island and the mud baths of Dalyan.
5 Ramble around Lake Van
Lake Van in eastern Anatolia is a holy grail for walkers. It is surrounded by snow-clad mountains crisscrossed with high passes, where you’re likely to encounter Kurdish herders. Round off your day with a swim in the lake or a boat trip to Akdamar island, home to a 10th-century Armenian church.