From east to west, north to south, Turkey is famous for its antiquities, natural beauties, and different cultures. Countless civilizations were built on this land and went through the dusty pages of history. With the country delved in history, here are the ten must-visit places in Turkey.
1- Cappadocia (Kapadokya)
Cappadocia is a historical and an ancient region located in east-central Anatolia, Göreme. It has taken millions of years to shape this region by Mother Nature. Ancient volcanic eruptions covered the region with thick ashes. Then, the thick ashes turned into soft volcanic rocks called tuff. In the process of time, wind and water came to this plateau and left only the harder elements of the volcanic rocks. This is how these fairy chimneys got shaped in million and million of years. Ancient people worked on these rocks and turned them into human-created caves. Göreme is one of the best places you can ever see. In Göreme, you can also book a hot air balloon and watch the sunrise from the sky!
Ölüdeniz is a beach resort on the southwest coast of Turkey, Fethiye district of Muğla. It is known as one of the best places to visit in Turkey a must visit place for its views and sea. It is a magical place with natural beauties. You can go on a speed boat tour and see the amazing lagoons, beaches, bays and, maybe you can even see a Caretta Caretta (loggerhead sea turtle) in their breeding season. If you are an extreme sports fan, you can also go for paragliding.
3- Göbekli Tepe
Göbekli Tepe is the place where the civilization of mankind started. The discovery of Göbekli Tepe in 1995 changed human history as the place dates back to 12,000 years. Göbekli Tepe locates in the southeastern side of Turkey, Şanlıurfa. Şanlıurfa is also known as the city of prophets, and there is a lot to see. Göbekli Tepe has carved massive stones and is home to the most ancient temple ever discovered, which is 7,000 years older than Stonehenge. You may also visit Balıklıgöl, beehive houses of Harran in this ancient city.
4- Mount Nemrut
Mount Nemrut is one of the highest tops in Turkey and located in southeastern Anatolia, province of Adıyaman. In 1987, the Mount has inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage list. There are too many mountains in Turkey, but this one is famous for its giant head statues, up to ten meters and the monumental tomb of King Antiochus I from the Kingdom of Commagene. The Mount is known as “the Mount of Gods”; King Antiochus wanted to combine different cultures, therefore you can see different statues of different ancient gods on Mount Nemrut. Moreover, epigraphs found in the excavations include details about which statue belongs to which god as if it was known then that they will be discovered in the future. There are still a lot of mysteries that are waiting to come to light in Mount Nemrut. If you watch the sunrise from the top of the mountain, you will feel how close you are to the ancient gods.
5- The Ancient City of Ephesus
Ephesus is an ancient site located on the Aegean side of Turkey, Izmir. The site had been inherited from the Roman Empire, and its history dates back to 10th century BC. The site has inscribed into the UNESCO world heritage list. Approximately one million people are visiting the ancient site in a year. The site contains the remains of Temple of Artemis that is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Library of Celsus, the Great Theatre, and the House of Virgin Mary. According to a legend, this ancient city was founded by Amazon tribe, female warriors, and the city took its name from their Queen Ephesia.
6- Pamukkale (Hierapolis)
Pamukkale is a town in the province of Denizli, southwestern side of Turkey, standing over the ruins of ancient and sacred city Hierapolis. Nature itself played the architecture’s role, and this marvellous work of art comes to this day with the white travertines and mineral-rich thermal springs. Today, Pamukkale is one of the best places to visit in Turkey. It offers its visitors a restful swimming experience in its thermal springs. Moreover, you can visit the ancient city of Hierapolis, Cleopatra’s pool, St. Philip Martyrium and Gravesite, Natural Park, Kaklik Cave, Laodikeia Ancient City, Temple of Apollo, Necropolis, and stunning waterfalls. There is no doubt this natural beauty will enchant you at first sight.
7- Sumela Monastery
Sumela Monastery is an extensive building constructed amid the rocks above the green forests and established by the Greeks in the 4th century. It locates in the Maçka district of Trabzon province. Sumela Monastery is one of the must-see places in the Black Sea region. Because of the on-going restoration, visitors will not be able to go inside of the Monastery until 2023. But there are a lot of viewpoints which allow you to watch these amazing ruins and nature. If you ever go there, do not forget to eat “Hamsiköy Sütlacı.”
8- Lycian Walking Path
If you are a nature lover, a person who loves walking among the ancient cities and evergreen forests, then Path of Lycia is just for you! The Lycian walking path starts from Fethiye and ends in Antalya. The length of the Lycian way is 549 km. Don’t worry! This route is not in the wilderness. It is easy to access public transports and accommodation places, so the modern world is not far away! Ancient cities like Myra, Letoon, Xanthos, Olympus, Simena, Antiphellos, Phaselis will be waiting for you to visit on your path. Averagely, the path can be completed in 21 days but you can give up walking whenever you want to.
9- Saklıkent Canyon
This breathtaking canyon is located in Saklıkent National Park, Fethiye district, province of Muğla. As one of the deepest canyons (the second-largest canyon in Europe), Saklıkent has 18 km length and 300 m depth. Gorge above the canyon becomes available to walk after April as snow from the Taurus Mountains melts. The water in depths is always cold because sunlight mostly cannot reach there. The National Park was established in 1996 and attracts tourists since then. Do not forget to take waterproof shoes and clothes before visiting this natural miracle!
10- Lake Salda
Salda Lake is located in the district Yeşilova, province of Burdur which is reputed as Turkey’s Maldives. The lake is famous for its clear water, white sands, and bio-diversity. This is a new attraction for tourists all around the world and one of the best places to visit in Turkey. Salda offers to sunbathe on the white beach and joyful swimming in clear, turquoise blue water, and observing bird kinds to its visitors. If you are a camp-lover, there are a lot of places available for camping around the lake. You can also find proper accommodations. Do not forget to spare some time to see Burdur as the city is home to a rich history and many ancient cities like Sagalassos.
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