Cittaslow, which first appeared in the Italian capital of Rome in 1986, means “slow city” with a broader meaning that includes untouched nature, away from the noise, distant from the metropolitan life, and reminiscent of a resort. Thus, there is no traffic problem, and the crowds and the noise is far away. Cittaslow towns for our country are almost heaven. Currently, there are 17 towns in Turkey that are registered as cittaslow towns:
Sinop – Gerze
In 2017, Gerze earned the Cittaslow title, owing the success to the nature, the handicrafts, and the local dishes. Fishing is the oldest livelihood of the town. The traditional kite festival and oil wrestling festival are organized here. Yakupağa Palace, Sorkun Waterfalls, and Kosk Lighthouse are the main spots for sightseeing.
Muğla – Akyaka
Akyaka Village of Ula district of Muğla is waiting for you with its wonderful natural atmosphere. You can visit Azmak River in Akyaka, which has recently been discovered by holidaymakers, and you can swim in beautiful beaches. Ldyma Ancient City is a place with the ruins of the 3rd century BC at the foothills of the Kıran Mountains.
Çanakkale – Gökçeada
Gökçeada, one of Turkey’s most idyllic holiday destinations, has many beautiful bays and beaches, along with wonderful pieces of nature such as Peynir Cliffs. You can visit the rock tombs in Gökçeada and see the historical ruins in the Greek villages.
Şanlıurfa – Halfeti
Halfeti, which has taken a different appearance after being under the water of the dam, attracts attention with its nature as well as historical sites and ruins. An important historical place is the Rum Kale, where the Apostle of Jesus, St. Johonnes, lived. With its 900 years of history, the Kantarma Cemetery and the Church of St. Nerses await you.
Ordu – Perşembe
Ordu town Perşembe is one of the most tranquil resorts in terms of Cittaslow. It is especially noticeable with its pristine sea and beach. Hoynat Island and Koynat Castle, which are located just next to the tunnel at the entrance of the district, attract the attention of the visitors of the district together with the small fortification ruins today. Kurtuluş Castle, which remained from the Roman period, is a historic building restored during the time of Sultan Mehmet. Yason Church on the Cape Yason is a magnificent historical monument discovered in recent years.
İzmir – Seferihisar
Located south of İzmir with olive groves and orchards with spectacular views, Seferihisar is one of Turkey’s first Cittaslow towns. Teos Antique City is located in Seferihisar, which includes the touristic town Sığacık. The ancient city of Teos is open to visitors with a theater, city walls, and ancient port. Lebedos Antique City is one of the historical ruins.
Artvin – Şavşat
Şavşat, which will welcome you with its green mountains, is one of the places where nature has been generous with the Arsiyan Plateau. In addition, there is the Tibetan Church of Şavşat dating back to the 900s.
Sakarya – Taraklı
Taraklı district of Sakarya, located right next to Istanbul, is an extremely charming town. Historic houses and buildings dating back to the Ottoman period attract attention, and historic ruins that are 1000 and 1500 years old are found on the hill of Hisar. Thus, with its thousands of years of history, Taraklı is still a lucky city that has been flooded by visitors, never losing its naturalness and simplicity.
Bolu – Göynük
Bolu, Göynük is one of the cutest towns. There are many historical mansions and houses belonging to Ottoman times. However, Göynük Open Air Museum is home to important remains of the Phrygian period and is located in the city center.
Bolu – Mudurnu
Mudurnu is an ancient town that has existed since the time of the Bithynians and is the first settlement of various civilizations. After the Phrygians, the Lydians, the Persians, the Romans, the Byzantines, and the Seljuks, they joined the Ottoman lands. Lake Abant and Lake Sülüklü are very close to visit.
Kırklareli – Vize
The historic district of Kırklareli has been the capital of a Roman period kingdom. Later on, it was equipped with many important artworks during the time of the Ottoman Empire. The beautiful Hagia Sophia Church, dating back to the 6th century BC, is used today as a mosque. In addition, the region where the Vize Castle is located is home to the historical remains of the Roman period. The city walls are still intact. Aya Nikola Monastery, located in Kıyıköy, is a very different architectural structure with monk rooms.
Isparta – Eğirdir
Located within Isparta city, Eğirdir has rare Sığla Forests and beautiful Eğirdir Lake. Famous for its local apple-inclusive cuisine, you can see Apollo butterflies only in Eğirdir. You can also visit Kovada Lake National Park, Prostanna Ancient City, Altınkum Beach, and Rüyapark.
Isparta – Yalvaç
Yalvaç is home to many important historic monuments and is a district of Isparta. The ancient city of Pisidia Antiocheia, located 1 km from the city, is situated on a very high hill. The city, which began to be built in the 3rd century BC, was transformed by Hellenistic architecture in Roman times. You must see the Colonnaded Street, the August Temple, the Tiberius Square, and the ancient city with statues. In addition, the sacred area of the Met, which is 5 kilometers away from the ancient city, is an interesting historic ruin. There are temples, churches, and houses built in the name of the mystical God.
Aydın – Yenipazar
Yenipazar, located 41 kilometers away from Aydın, was built in the 7th and 8th centuries BC by the Lydians and Persians, and later under Roman and Byzantine rule. The city has historical baths and fountains.
Erzurum – Uzundere
Uzundere district of Erzurum, which has a history of 3000 years; has hosted many different civilizations like Hittites, Sakas, Persians, and Romans. The Öşvank Church in Uzundere, where Tortum Waterfall is located, is a 10th-century monastery. In addition, many ruins belonging to ancient periods were found in Kirazlı village.
You can also visit new additions to cittaslow towns in Turkey as of 2019, Köyceğiz in Muğla, and Ahlat in Bitlis.