Western Anatolia

Durable, diverse and down to earth, western Anatolia combines everything from ancient sites and spectacular mountain terrain to some of Turkey's heartiest food and friendliest people.

The region's diversity of ancient civilisations can be experienced directly: hike the rock-carved Phrygian Valley; pound marbled pavements in the ancient cities of Sagalassos and Afrodisias; or take a woodland pilgrimage on the St Paul Trail. Original Ottoman capital Bursa, meanwhile, is a cornerstone of Turkish identity, with mosques, imperial mausoleums and the İskender kebap. The shimmering travertine pools of Pamukkale, on the other hand, are just great for splashing in.

The region's lesser-known attractions constitute its secret weapon: escapist Eğirdir, set on a tranquil lake, is perfect for hiking, taking a jaunt in a local fisher's boat or for doing nothing at all; while vibrant Eskişehir, a student city with an atmospheric old town, offers river gondola rides and happening bars and restaurants.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Western Anatolia.