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Finding your own pace in Turkey

It may not be for everyone, but travelling alone can be an exhilarating and liberating experience. Untying yourself from life’s daily timetable and striking out on your own, keeping your own pace, is one of the best feelings in the world – one that everybody should experience at least once, if not all the time!

Turkey is one of the year’s hottest spots for European travellers, so the travel infrastructure is better than ever, from the wild back country to the all-inclusive beach resorts. A holiday in Turkey in 2013 can be whatever you make of it, too, as it’s a hugely diverse destination; whether you’re after a sophisticated city break, a Mediterranean beach holiday, an adventure trek or a bit of each, the beauty of travelling alone in Turkey is that you can tailor the trip to fit your tastes.

Beach? Check. Ancient Ruins? Check.

Sun-and-sand worshippers should take a boat trip from Olu Deniz or Fethiye to Butterfly Valley beach, which is located between two towering cliffs. This beauty spot has been described as an enchanted forest, and you can camp out right on the beach if you wish.

If you visit in the winter, you can still enjoy the beaches at the Turquoise Coast – then hit the ski slopes at Mount Uludag in the afternoon.

Culture vultures should set aside a few days to experience lovely Turkish villages such as Alacati, and become acquainted with the friendly locals over a homemade lunch of menemen or cilbir at the village square cafes. Then step back into the past by exploring the ancient Roman buildings in Ephesus, or take a trip to the top of Mount Nemrut to witness the spectacular sunrise.

Safety and local culture

While enjoying all that Turkey has to offer it is important to remember a few safety tips when travelling alone. Turkey is safe for visitors, but respecting foreign culture, such as keeping beachwear for the beach, will help to avoid any unnecessary trouble.

English is widely spoken at the resorts, but a few Turkish phrases will come in handy in the rural areas. Getting the most from a solo trip will be easier if you learn about the country you are going to and keep an open mind to the experiences that await once there.