One look at Gizem Toker’s Instagram feed and you’ll be booking the next flight to Turkey. We asked her to share some of the most photogenic spots around the country, and she didn’t disappoint!

GALATA

Located in: Istanbul
Also known as: The “city center” of Istanbul
Main attractions: Galata Tower, The Galata Convent of Whirling Dervishes, Istiklal Street, Church of St. Anthony of Padua
Gizem says: “If you ask me about my favorite location in this city, I will always say Galata. I can watch this place for hours.”

BOZCAADA

Located in: The northeastern part of the Aegean Sea
Also known as: Tenedos
Gizem says:In Bozcaada, time passes slowly and nostalgically. There are no loud noises, no distractions. You can’t drive anywhere, save for a few roads.”

IZMIR

Located on: Turkey’s western coast
Also known as: The third most populous city in Turkey
Main attractions: Konak Square, The Asansör (Elevator), Kadifekale Castle
Best time to visit: June to August

KALKAN

Located on: The southwestern coast of Turkey
Best beaches: Kaputaş Beach, Patara Beach
Gizem says: “The view and the color of the water make this city a destination … you won’t want to leave if you go to Kalkan.”

AMASRA

Located in: The Black Sea region of Turkey
The two islands: Büyük ada (“Great Island”) and Tavşan adası (“Rabbit Island”)
Don’t miss: Handcrafted woodwork in the historic Cekiciler Market
Gizem says: “Imagine a colorful, cozy town that you can explore in a single day. Amasra is that place.”

Alaçatı

Located on: The western coast
Known for: Its well-preserved Greek architecture and ancient windmills
Main activities: Windsurfing, sailing, swimming from Babylon Alaçatı Beach
Best time to visit: End of April to May; September to October

KILISTRA

Located in: Gökyurt, Konya
What is it?: An ancient settlement carved into the rocks that dates to Hellenistic and Roman Times
Gizem says: “Kilistra has it all: a dreamy ambiance, beautiful views, and plenty of nature.”

TRABZON

Located in: The northeastern part of Turkey
Also known as: A historic stopping point along the Silk Road
Gizem says: “Trabzon is the heart of nature. I don’t know if can I explain this kind of beauty at all. It’s not just amazing; you leave your whole heart in Trabzon when you visit.”

IGNEADA

Located in: Kırklareli province (on the Turkish/Bulgarian border in the northwest)
Where to go: Longoz Forest, Iğneada Floodplain Forests National Park
Characterized by: Oak forests, mountains, a variety of bird species

CAPPADOCIA

Located in: Central Turkey
Known for: Otherworldly landscape, cave houses, churches, hot air balloons
Don’t miss: The underground cities in Kaymaklı, Derinkuyu, Gaziemir, Özkonak, and Mazıköy
Main activities: Ballooning, hiking, Cross Golf
Gizem says:I think the most impressive place in Turkey is the region of Cappadocia. In the early morning light, you’re met with hot air balloons and a colorful sky. It’s really romantic.”

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