Looking for things to do in Turkey? After spending some quality time browsing the bazaars and admiring the architecture of Istanbul, consider leaving the city to discover some of these hidden gems, and learn the true meaning of Turkish hospitality. An awesomely unique East meets West destination, from the sea to the city, Turkey will impress you at every turn.

Photo Credit: Stijn Nieuwendijk

Butterfly Valley, Faralya, Turkey

A true Mediterranean paradise complete with magnificent waterfall, soft beach with turquoise water, and a view that you will never forget, Butterfly Valley has remained pristine despite its remarkable accessibility. An oasis for both adventurers and relaxation-seekers alike, a trip to Butterfly Valley should factor high on your bucket list.

Photo Credit: Moonstar909Safranbolu, Turkey

Curious to see modern day example of Ottoman culture? Travel to Safranbolu, a UNESCO world heritage site in the Black Sea region of Turkey best known for its astoundingly well-preserved Ottoman architecture. Stay in one of the several charming house-turned-inns, walk through craft markets and cobblestoned streets, and sample Ottoman cuisine. Despite its beauty and historical appeal, the town has managed to retained its authenticity and not become a tourist trap. Rumor has it that the local saffron is some of the best in the world, so be sure to try some during your visit.

Photo Credit: Colin

Yuvacali, Turkey

Escape the crowds of Western Turkey by traveling to Yuvacali, a Kurdish village in Southeastern Turkey. Stay with a Kurdish family arranged through Nomad Tours Turkey, a group that strives to keep Kurdish tribal life intact. Try your hand at milking a sheep, or help your host family make homemade bread before you head off to see the nearby ancient cities of Diyarbakir, Sanliurfa, or Harran -- best known for its distinct beehive style architecture. This off the beaten path destination will surely fulfill your craving for culture.

Photo Credit: Seyfi Şeren

Amasya, Turkey

Like Safranbolu, Amasya is located in the Black Sea region of Anatolian. It too is known for its old Ottoman houses and antiquities, but perhaps even more breathtaking than the architecture is the location. Sitting on the banks of the Yesilirmak river, the city is flanked by imposing rock cliffs. Ancient tombs of the Pontus kings have been carved into the rock, and are beautifully illuminated at night. Amasya also boasts fine examples of Seljuk Turkish architecture and an archeological museum containing local mummies. Do not pass up the opportunity to explore this serene and hospitable gem during your travels in Turkey.