If these 22 reasons to visit Turkey don’t make you want to jump on a plane immediately, we don’t know what will! Explore the ruins in the ancient cities, see the marvellous landscape from a hot air balloon, relax on the pristine beaches and explore the huge bazaars!
1. Hot Air Ballooning
See the true beauty of the Turkish landscape in all its glory by soaring high into the air in a colourful hot air balloon. Jump in, hold tight and enjoy the ride, as you ascend into the sky, enjoying the view as you go. You’ll be able to see as far as the horizon in every direction and take in the awe-inspiring landscape. The best place to do this is in Cappadocia.
2. Lake Tuz
This unusual yet beautiful salt water lake holds the title of the second largest lake in Turkey and can be found in the central plateau, a short distance from the city of Konya. It sits in a tectonic depression, with two streams keeping it full throughout the year. In the summer evaporation creates impressive salt deposits, which are processed and sold by the locals.
Another amazing natural formation is Pamukkale which means ‘cotton castle’. To the untrained eye it looks a lot like ice but it’s actually formed by carbonate mineral deposits left by the spring water, as it gently flows. You can bath in the nearby pools, which are wonderfully warm and some are even filled with ancient Roman ruins!
The stunning historic region of Cappadocia is a must see for everyone visiting Turkey, as it’s filled with some of the best natural sights in the country. See the tall rock formations known as ‘fairy chimneys’, take a walk through the Ihlara Valley, visit the Selime Monastery and even stay in one of the cave hotels!
On the scenic southern shore of the Bodrum Peninsula, in western Turkey, is where you will find the popular port city of Bodrum. A warm and welcoming place, which has much to see and plenty to do! Visit the huge Bodrum Castle, check out the white windmills, explore the ruins of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus and discover the Museum of Underwater Archaeology.
As Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul is considered to be the historic and cultural centre of the country, as it has a vast and fascinating history. During it’s time under the name ‘Constantinople’ the city served as the capital for a number of empires, including; the Ottoman Empire, the Latin Empire, Byzantine Empire and the Roman Empire. Sights include the Basilica Cistern, Taksim Square and the Sultanahmet aka ‘Blue Mosque’ (pictured).
If you love exploring ancient cities then make sure you visit Pergamon, an ancient settlement, which dates back to the Archaic period. There are many fascinating ruins to see here including the Altar of Zeus, the Acropolis, the foundations of the monumental gates and the famous Theatre of Pergamon, which boasts capacity for ten thousand people and is one of the steepest in the world.
Another ancient site of a once thriving city is that of Ephesus in Izmir Province. It was home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Temple of Artemis, which once stood proudly until its eventual destruction. Once of the most impressive sights is the Library of Celsus (pictured), which was built to honour the Roman Senator Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus.
9. Olu Deniz
The small village of Olu Deniz on the Turkish coast is popular for many reasons but mainly because it’s so naturally beautiful. Behind the resort are pine-covered hills leading down to the turquoise coloured waters. The large beach is perfect for relaxing days in the sun and stretches round to the beautiful Blue Lagoon, which has crystal clear water. Paraglide over the lagoon from the hills to get the best view!
10. Myra Rock Tombs
In the ancient town of Myra is where you will find some of the most impressive rock tombs found anywhere in Turkey. These Lycian tombs have been literally carved out of the rock face and are contained within two necropoli aka cemeteries. These are named the river necropolis and the ocean necropolis, with both containing an impressive selection of tombs
Olympos was once a thriving Lycian city but all that remains today are the ruins of the city’s glorious past. See the ruins, which include the ancient sarcophagi and visit the beach for a beautiful view across the water. You can stay in the treehouses, which are particularly popular with people looking for accommodation with a difference. Also, keep a look out for the mysterious fires on the mountainside!
The modern city of Izmir is the third largest city in Turkey and although a bustling centre for modern life, it has a vast and complex history dating back to around 3000 BC! There are plenty of shops, restaurants and bars to visit and the city even has its very own selection of beaches for when you need to chill out under the sun.
The quaint city of Amasya is famed for its beautiful white washed Ottoman style houses, which sit beneath awe-inspiring Pontic rock tombs that are carved out of the rock face. The river that runs in front of the buildings is perfect for an afternoon stroll in the sun and if you want to visit the tombs, they are accessible by staircase. There is also a lovely castle, which is free to enter!
14. Fethiye, Turkey’s Turquoise Coast
The popular tourist town of Fethiye is located on Turkey’s famous Turquoise Coast, which gets its name from the stunning turquoise coloured waters. There is much to see here including the ancient Lycian rock tombs carved out of the cliffs above the town and ancient sarcophagi plus there are beautiful beaches, hiking trails, boat trips and sports including paragliding.
15. Grand Bazaar, Istanbul
The beautiful Grand Bazaar in Istanbul holds the title of Turkeys biggest market and boasts some of the best shopping in the city! There is a huge number of shops within offering a staggering range of items. These include traditional products such as pottery, Turkish carpets, leather, clothing, jewellery and much more! It is said that there are four thousand shops here – impressive!
16. City of Troy
The well-known city of Troy has been heard in many stories and was once believed to be completely fictional. It wasn’t until Heinrich Schliemann studied the clues of its location in Homer’s poem the Iliad and actually discovered it in 1870. Its vast history of conflict saw the city destroyed numerous times and rebuilt nine times in total. Many ruins can still be seen here including the legendary walls of Troy.
If you love spending time in historic cities, which are still thriving and bustling with modern life then Konya is for you! It’s famed for its amazing Seljuk architecture, which was developed by the Seljuks of Rum who emerged from the Seljuk Empire. Sights here include the remains of Seljuk Palace, the Iplikci Mosque and the Mevlana Museum, which houses the famous Persian poet Rumi.
18. Eskişehir tower
This beautiful tower is part of a fairytale-style castle found in the city of Eskisehir’s science, arts and culture park. The castle was built using ideas and inspiration from existing towers in the country, with added colour and charm. Enjoy amazing views of it as you explore the park, which also features a galleon and a train that takes you on a tour around the edges of the park.
The beautiful beach resort of Alanya is the perfect place to visit if you want to relax. It’s only a couple of hours a way from the nearest international airport, so you won’t need to spend ages on the road! Try the scuba diving, book a jeep safari, go on a boat trip around the bay and see the Red Tower, the citadel, the old ship yard and explore the caves!
Next to the beautiful natural formations of Pamukkale is the ancient city of Hierapolis, which means ‘sacred city’. It was said to have been created by Apollo himself, with many believing that he created the hot springs. Some of the ruins here include the Gate of Domitian and the Necropolis of Hierapolis, both of which are in remarkable condition considering their age.
21. Gobekli Tepe
One of the most mysterious historic sites in Turkey is the Gobekli Tepe, which houses a collection of ancient pillars. These pillars stand at around 6 metres and are slotted into grooves caved out of the rock beneath. Geological surveys have estimated that there are around two hundred pillars, which form around twenty circles in total. The purpose of these are very much unknown.
22. Nemrut Mountain temples
To the south of the city of Malatya is Nemrut Mountain, where you will find two ancient temples. They can be found just beneath the artificial mountaintop and in front of them, you will see numerous statues covering the slopes. The temples or ‘Open-air shrines’ are known as hierothesiums and were built to honour the gods. The limestone statues include the goddess Fortuna, the deity Apollo, Heracles the son of Zeus and Zeus himself.
There’s so much to do in Turkey, these photos especially are making us want to grab our passports and escape to a Turkish horizon. Have you been lucky enough to experience any of the above, let us know over on our Facebook page…
If you would like to book to go to any of these enticing travel temptations, just give us a call on 01274 422341 and one of our travel experts will find the perfect package for you.