Turkey offers geographical diversity to support a wide range of sport activities and opportunities, being a real paradise for sport enthusiasts.
For The Sports Minded Tourist
The Western and Southern coasts, water streams in all four parts of the country and especially the mountainous region in the East – Turkey’s geography offers opportunities for all kinds of alternative sports, and both the Ministry of Youth and Sport exercise constant support for development and making these sports available to everybody. One can take part in these organized sport activities as a passive watcher or go in for sports yourself. For example, if you are interested in water sports, scuba diving, surfing and sports like windsurfing and rowing, you should visit such vacation destinations as Antalya, Bodrum and Çesme. As for the river sports like rafting, canoeing and water skiing can be fully practised in the famous waters of the Çoruh River, Fırtına Creek, Melen Çayı River and Göksu River.
If you are not that good in water sports and are looking for excitement on the ground, you can find a wide range of activities for various mountain sports like mountaineering and trekking. The most ambitious and professional climbers prefer to climb the 5,165-meter high Mount Ararat in eastern Anatolia and for amateur mountaineering one can apply in the Mountaineering Federation of Turkey, Istanbul Mountaineering Club or other clubs and get an opportunity to climbing all over the country. Participation of foreign tourists in the mountaineering tourism in Turkey is subject to the approval of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and travel agencies are need make the required arrangements by submitting respective tourists` applications to the Ministry. If you prefer trekking, you should try the famous trekking paths in Antalya Lycian Way, Şirince in İzmir, Sülüklügöl in Adapazarı and Erilikli Plateau in Yalova. Lots of hiking trails are located particularly in the Marmara Region, Kocaeli and Sakarya. You should try to visit such places as Aytepe, Ballıkayalar, Kungul Mountain, Çene Mountain, Menekşe Plateau, Çınarlıdere, Erikli Plateau, Soğuk Dere Canyon and Yanık Creek.
If mountain sports are not your thing, you can practice air sports to reach the peak of excitement and try your chances at ballooning, paragliding, hang gliding and skydiving. If the existing ballooning tours in such vacation areas as Cappadocia and Pamukkale are not enough for you, and you want to practice ballooning yourself, you can participate in training provided by the Turkish Aeronautical Association. For paragliding we recommend Ölüdeniz-Babadağ in Muğla Fethiye, Denizli Pamukkale, Ankara Gölbaşı, Bolu Abant, Isparta Eğirdir. In the same places you can also do hang gliding by flying a non-motorized vehicle and enjoy unique views or watch others flying. Finally, one of the sports requiring the greatest courage is skydiving. The Turkish Aeronautical Association and private aviation clubs provide skydiving training in Ankara Center of the Turkish Aeronautical Association, İnönü in Eskişehir, and hosts the international paragliding competitions. You can also practice it in the tourist skydiving center in the Efes neighborhoods in Izmir.
If instead of this adrenalin filled sport you want to feel the ground under your feet, you can watch one of the traditional Turkish sports – wrestling competitions. You can follow the leagues organized by the Turkish Wrestling Federation, or get a ticket for international tournaments often held in Turkey. In addition to the normal wrestling match, oil wrestling matches is one of the original Turkish sports and is a must-watch. The Traditional Kırkpınar Oil Wrestling Festival is the most important event visited by lots of local and foreign tourists every year. If you spend your summer vacation in Istanbul, you can see the world famous historical sport organization in Edirne located several hours travel distance from Istanbul.