Where are you going for vacation this summer?

Jul 1, 2018

If you are planning a vacation other than sea, sand and sun tourism this summer, here are some different destinations. Located in various regions of Turkey, these are sustainable community-based tourism venues supported under “Future is in Tourism” implemented jointly by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Anadolu Efes. Work undertaken in these destinations of culture, nature, history, gastronomy, local experience contributes also to local economic development.

1- Misi village, Bursa

Misi village of Nilüfer district of Bursa has the Ottoman prints architecturally while it is an old Greek village. With a history of 2000 years, the major means subsistence for local people was sericulture until 15 years ago. The project “Let’s Be a Misian” supported by Future is in Tourism aimed to rejuvenate the declining historical craft and make it a part of the tourism sector.

Forty-four women received training on tourism to work at workshops, stores and enterprises in line with the objective of utilising women’s local products in the context of the project. Toda, best local dishes are served to guests at the Cocoon House, a registered Misi home. Further, products manufactured by women are sold at the Cocoon House.


Misi village, or Gümüştepe neighbourhood as it is named today, is located in Nilüfer district of Bursa. It is 160 km from Istanbul, and merely 12 km from Bursa.

When to visit?

You can visit in any month of the year.

Things you can do:

You can

  • Take a hike in the historical streets of Misi village, declared an Urban Protected Site in 1989, and see Misi homes reflecting the Ottoman architecture.
  • Have your tea sitting by the creek enjoying the scenery.
  • Taste local dishes at the Cocoon House supported by Future is in Tourism.
  • Buy silk textiles, jewellery etc. at display at the Cocoon House supported by Future is in Tourism.
  • Spend time with your children at the children’s library of Misi village.
  • Taste wines and molasses made of muscatel grapes specific to Misi.
  • See garments, household goods, weaving looms and handicraft specific to the village at Misi Ethnography House; and watch Karagöz Shadow Show if you are lucky.
  • Have a picnic at Dağyenice, a picnic site by the pond.


2- Seferihisar, İzmir

Seferihisar, the first “Citta Slow” in Turkey, is remarkable as one of the 12 ancient Ionian cities. The project “Traditional Seferihisar Cuisine” supported by Future is in Tourism aimed to organize the nationwide branding and promotion of the vast variety of regional flavours unique to Seferihisar, İzmir, and to facilitate the contributions of the culinary culture in regional tourism. An atelier of dishes was established to share the culinary culture and experiences of local women the visitors, the branded flavours were also successfully brought to the broader masses through the online shopping site www.seferipazar.com.


It is 50 km from Izmir.

When to visit?

You can visit any season. However, the best time to visit Seferihisar is the period from April to October.

Things you can do:

  • Start by visiting the antique city Theos to learn the region’s history, where the Dionysus Temple is located as the prominent feature.
  • Stop by Sığacık Castle right by the port, and take a tour in the streets.
  • Enjoy sea at Akkum and Ekmeksiz beaches.
  • Visit Sığacık Bazaar held every Sunday.
  • Find, at Sığacık Bazaar, many delicious local dishes from Traditional Seferihisar Cuisine supported by Future is in Tourism.

3- Foça, İzmir

Foça, or Phokaia of the antiquity, named after the Mediterranean seals living on one of the islands surrounding the city, is a significant tourism centre of Izmir.

The project “Four Seasons Foça” supported by Future is in Tourism aimed to spread tourism activities over four seasons, and embed in tourism activities the nature-friendly production and operation models for sustainable tourism in Foça and environs where traditional viticulture, fruit-vegetable farming, olive farming and coastal fishing.

A comprehensive sustainable tourism plan was prepared which laid down activities that could be carried out over four seasons in Foça. To diversify souvenir products, marketable handicraft and industrial products specific to Foça were identified. Branding work started under the name Four Seasons Foça. A tour plan of Foça was created under the sustainable tourism approach. Day tours, biking, hiking, diving, fishing tours, activity tours of nature sports, and experiential tourism tours were identified. Training on sustainable tourism was delivered to tourism enterprise owners (hotels, restaurants, boats).


It is 65 km from the provincial centre of Izmir.

When to visit?

You can visit all seasons.

Things you can do:

  • Plan your Foça tour by reviewing Foça tour plan prepared under the project “Four Seasons Foça” supported by Future is in Tourism.
  • Select one or more options of day tours, biking, hiking, diving, fishing tours, activity tours of nature sports, and experiential tourism tours to engage in an activity of four seasons in Foça.
  • Take a hiking or biking journey on any of the four historical trails (Kybele Trail, Herodotus Trail, Theodoros Trail and Megaron Trail) identified for Foça. Following these trails, you can explore Ionian, Greek, Seljuk and Ottoman prints in Foça.
  • Take a biking tour between Bostanlı and Foça to sight-see the colours of nature changing by season at fields, Gediz river delta and Foça hills.
  • Engage in diving at Foça in all months if you wish to explore the deep and clear underwater world of the Aegean and are interested  in diving.
  • Join tours to go fishing in the touring boats for sports fishing in winter months which have authorisation for tourism and sports fishing trips.
  • Join day tours of touring boats in summer months in Foça visiting Sirene rocks, Foça isles and bays.
  • Visit Fadime-Kaplan Zülfikargil TaTuTa Farm (Agriculture Tourism Exchange) at Ilıpınar village of Foça if you are seeking to produce as much as consumed and enjoy touching the soil. You can experience here many types of production such as planting vegetable seedlings, dib roman, grape juice, soap making and everything related to olives. The farm admits groups of at least ten by appointment because it is also the living space of ranch owners.
  • Buy season’s herbs, fruits and vegetables of the Aegean Region at the neighbourhood bazaar every Tuesday and from the Earth Bazaar at Itfaiye square every Sunday 08.30 to 18.30.
  • Visit the “Four Seasons Foça” stand and product spots at tourism enterprises to buy various handicraft products specific to Foça as souvenirs for your beloved ones and memorabilia of Foça when leaving the town.

4- Edremit - Balıkesir

By the Aegean coast, Edremit province of Balıkesir is renowned for Kaz Mountain Range and olive farming. The project “Local Flavours of Edremit with Nar Kadın” supported by Future is in Tourism aimed to highlight and brand the local olive oil dishes of Edremit, Balıkesir and support gourmet tourism. The goal is to set an example for sustainability in tourism by helping local women transform into touristic products the local products they make by means of providing them with personal and occupational development training. These products were offered at a house that reflects Edremit’s traditional culture under the project, which also supported the economic empowerment of women. The local olive oil dishes cooked by women are offered to visitors at Nar Kadın Gourmet House.



It is 135 km from Balıkesir, 150 km from Çanakkale, 220 km from Izmir.

When to visit?

You can visit Edremit all seasons, located on the Mediterranean climate belt.

Things you can do:

  • Take time with nature and camp in the National Park of Kaz Mountain Range.
  • Visit the antique city Antandros by the skirts of Kaz Mountain Range.
  • Visit Kurşunlu Mosque of Seljuk Architecture.
  • Visit Edremit Ayşe Sıdıka Erke Ethnography Museum where many important works of Edremit’s history and culture.
  • Visit Güre Hot Springs, a significant thermal zone only 12 km from the district, to rest yourself in the healing waters of Edremit.
  • Enjoy Zeytinli Rock Festival, a major music event in our country, held by Akçay coast every August.
  • Participate in the Festival of Infinite Possibilities held at Kaz Mountain Range every May to refresh your health and fitness.
  • Taste local flavours of Edremit while doing above. You can visit Nar Kadın Gourmet House supported by Future is in Tourism to enjoy local olive oil dishes, particularly the olive oil baklava of Edremit.

5- Kuyucak village - Isparta

You do not need to go to Provence, France to see the lavender fields of attractive purple landscape. Kuyucak village of Isparta produces 93% of all lavender in Turkey. The project “Lavender Scented Village” supported by Future is in Tourism aimed to revive rural tourism in Isparta, ensure that local people earn income, and mobilize the employment and entrepreneurship potential in the region. As a first step in that direction, a study visit was organised to Provence, France as an example of rural tourism to serve as a model. The Lavender Scented Village Women Entrepreneurs Cooperative was established. Training was delivered to women on area promotion, cooperativism, rural tourism, souvenir making etc. Before the project, there were no visitors to the area, where after the project 20,000 visited in 2016 and 140,000 in summer 2017.



It is 135 km from Isparta, 200 km from Antalya.

When to visit?

Time to sight-see lavender fields is restrict. Lavenders start to become purple about end June, and remain purple through July. Harvest starts about August. You can visit the area both to witness harvest and sight-see the fascinating colours of the fields. The best time is the first or second week of July to see the lavenders in their most beautiful form.

Things you can do:

  • Stop by the Women Entrepreneurs Cooperative through the project “Lavender Scented Village” supported by Future is in Tourism and get information on what to do in the village.
  • Take a hike in the streets of the lavender scented village with stone roads and mudbrick houses, and a small tour in the village riding bicycles rented from the cooperative building.
  • Take a hike in the fields in the company of lavender scent, shoot marvellous photographs.
  • Visit the cooperative building to taste lavender honey, lavender tea and coffee, and lavender ice-cream.
  • Buy such lavender products as lavender oil, lavender soap, lavender bath glove and lavender bundles from the cooperative.
  • Stay at boarding houses at the village established under the project “Lavender Scented Village” if you like to experience lavender longer.

6- Saimbeyli, Adana

Saimbeyli district of Adana is renowned for hosting approximately 160 of the 412 butterfly species. The project “Discover Your Own Butterfly” supported by Future is in Tourism highlighted the endemic Saimbeyli Blue of the district included among the top 10 butterfly areas in Turkey, and transformed the district into an important niche tourism spot. The project aimed to develop ecotourism through butterfly watching, boost the low levels of income in the district, preserve and enhance the nature and biological diversity, and secure natural park status for the area in the region. The work under the project enabled Obruk Waterfall to secure the status of natural park. Thereby, the future of 161 butterfly species in the region were secured.



It is 160 km from Adana, 103 km from Kayseri.

When to visit?

The best time is the period from April to September. The best time is late July to early August to watch Saimbeyli Blue.

Things you can do:

  • Participate in Saimbeyli Culture, Arts and Cherry Festival every June.
  • Watch 160 butterfly species including the endemic Saimbeyli Blue in Obruk Waterfall declared as a national park owing to the project “Discover Your Own Butterfly” supported by Future is in Tourism.
  • Take a nature hike around Obruk Waterfall.
  • Have picnic at Çatak Plateau, set tent and camp to listen to birds singing merged with water sounds. You can explore mills, old mosques, plateau homes; experience the life of Turkomans in plateau traditions.
  • Take a tour in the ruins of Saimbeyli Castle.
  • Have a nature hike and observation at Saksağan Pass rich in plants and butterflies, and black pine forests of Cöbük.

7- Demre, Antalya

Demre, or Myra of the antiquity, is a nice town of 25,000 population in Antalya. The Lycian Way is Turkey’s first-ever long distance route and among the top 10 long distance hiking route preferred by many tourists every year; and partially passes through Demre.

The project “A Historical Break at Lycian Way” supported by Future is in Tourism was designed on the basis of tourism potential in the region and considering tourists’ basic needs as resting, accommodation. The project aimed to create awareness on sustainable tourism in the region, and merge the three different hiking routes Lycian Way at Hoyran and Kapaklı villages of Demre.

The training programmes created awareness on sustainable tourism in the region as well as ensured continuity of local production through women in the villages. In addition, resting and accommodation facilities became available for visitors and hikers. Historical areas in the area became more attractive, accessible and publicised, and a women’s association was established. Women started to operate as cafes the buildings at Kapaklı and Hoyran villages opened under the project. Thereby, women started to earn income through producing handicraft and local dishes at two different premises. Through the project, Kapaklı and Hoyran villages became a centre where visitors could rest and select as an alternative route.


It is 140 km from Antalya.

When to visit?

The best time is the period from April to November.

Things you can do:

  • Visit the antique city of Myra dating back to B.C. 500, and Museum of Lycian Civilisations.
  • See St. Nicholas Church where the tomb of Saint Nicholas, known across the world as Santa Claus, is located.
  • Take a historical break at Kapaklı and Hoyran villages where the three different hiking routes Lycian Way meet, and taste local flavours at cafes supported under Future is in Tourism.
  • Buy souvenirs produced by women at Kapaklı and Hoyran villages.
  • Reach sea by a 20-minute hike on the path from Kapaklı village.
  • Watch cormorants, coots and wild ducks in the Bird Sanctuary hosting 149 species of birds in the wetlands between Çayağzı Port Road and Museum of Lycian Civilisations.
  • Go to Kekova island with boats departing from Andriake, immerse yourself in the unique natural and historical beauties of the Mediterranean.

8- Buldan, Denizli

The project “Birds Are Calling You” was designed to explore the tourism potential of the natural wonder Yayla lake at 1,150 m from sea level at Buldan district of Denizli. Under the project supported by Future is in Tourism, work was undertaken to highlight bird species, rich biodiversity and ecotourism at Buldan’s Yayla lake and promote the lake. An inventory of birds was taken at Yayla lake and environs to reveal that Yayla lake hosted 163 bird species. An alternative hiking route was created from Buldan to Yayla lake to serve nature lovers. Through training delivered to local women, the birds of Yayla lake were engrossed in Buldan fabrics of 8,000 years of tradition. Efforts were made to raise awareness of regional people and visitors on Yayla lake, preserve biodiversity and activate the region’s ecotourism potential. The project both rejuvenated sustainable tourism and contributed to local economy in the region.


It is 47 km from Denizli, 200 km from Izmir.

When to visit?

The best time is summer to visit Buldan where continental climate prevails. However, you may visit Yayla lake in January and July as well to see water birds.

Things you can do:

  • Visit Süleymanlı Yayla lake hosting 163 bird species, watch birds and set camp.
  • Take a hike from Buldan to Yayla lake through the forest.
  • Visit Evliyazadeler Mansion and BELKÜM where you can see Buldan weaving tradition and handicrafts, buy products made of local Buldan fabrics.
  • Take a trip in the streets of Buldan to see historical Buldan houses.

Future is in Tourism

Our story started in 2007 as a partnership between the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Anadolu Efes, as Eastern Anatolia Tourism Development Project (DATUR) with a view to developing a tourism-oriented local development model in Çoruh Valley. Based on our regional experience of five years, we decided in 2013 to go national; and launched the Tourism is the Future Sustainable Tourism Support Fund with a view to establishing tourism as an alternative developmental tool in Turkey.

Every year, we provide three projects with implementation support in training, planning, technical, communication and consultancy as well as funding to ensure their feasibility and sustainability. Under Future is in Tourism, we granted support to 15 projects to date. 

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