Turkey, a melting pot of the east and the west has a myriad of experiences to appeal to every traveler’s sensibilities. If unique experiences, picturesque sights, illustrious history and mysteries pique your interest, we’ve got you covered. And if that’s not enough, the brilliant palette of hues and textures of the Turquoise Coast – a striking blue sea, rugged mountains and quaint coves hold a promise to bedazzle you. Read on to discover these gems and many more!
Explore The Ancient Ruins Of Ephesus
Located at a small distance from the Mediterranean Sea is the ancient city of Ephesus, dating back two thousand years, which is a surprise for every traveler. Exploring the ruins offers a day brimming with awe-inspiring panoramas and archeological delights. Known for its sacred shrines in the past, you can explore the ruins of the temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. You can literally watch history come alive – touch and embrace the ancient Roman ruins. The ‘must-see’ attractions are the Library of Celsus, the Great Theatre of Ephesus and the main harbor street. Ephesus, doesn’t offer much of space and can be very hot, the reflective white stone surfaces make matters worse – so make sure you wear your sunscreen and carry plenty of H2O with you. Expect a fair amount of walking to explore the site well; so don’t forget to sport your walking shoes.
Istanbul’s Old City and It’s Magical Markets
Embark on a time travel journey to explore the Old City or Sultanahmet. This enchanting part of the city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site showcases traces of the Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires interspersed with contrasting contemporary museums. This is where you will find most of the breathtaking historical points for culture geeks – the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, the Basilica Cistern and the Grand Bazaar. Between visiting different the main monuments, wander in the labyrinth of alleyways to examine everyday life. To get a first hand taste of local culture, head to the Grand Bazaar, the oldest bazaar with over three thousand shops, where you will be treated to all things delightful – be prepared for time to fly by as you explore jewelry, pashminas, trinkets and souvenirs. Recharge as you sip a delicious cup of tea or an aromatic cup of Turkish coffee. A word on bargaining – don’t be shy! Bargaining is acceptable in Turkey and you might even land yourself a neat deal.
Take A Relaxing Boat Trip At Ölüdeniz
Ölüdeniz is the perfect getaway for you if you fancy tranquil boat trips along the Turkish Riviera. There is a reason it has made the list of one of the most beautiful beaches on the planet. Swim in the surreal waters of the Blue Cave and you can even spot starfish! Stroll into the immaculate Butterfly Valley and if you feel adventurous, climb up to see the gorgeous waterfalls. The valley is rich in natural beauty and you might chance upon the rare Tiger Butterfly. After a delicious lunch on the boat and taking a breather to rejuvenate, stop at St. Nicholas, where you can study the ancient Byzantine ruins. If you still have some energy left, you can engage in fun adventure activities such as scuba diving, camping and canoeing in the valley.
The Blue Mosque and The Mysterious Basilica Cistern
The Blue Mosque and Underground Cistern are located almost next to each other in the Sultanahmet, which will help you get the most of your time. Even for the traveller expecting minarets and domes in Istanbul’s skyline, the sheer scale of the Blue Mosque doesn’t fail to leave a lasting impression. The Blue Mosque gets its name from the intricate blue ceramic handmade tiles that cover every surface. Spend hours admiring the different hues, domes, semi domes, minarets and designs of this architectural masterpiece!
The Basilica Cistern is the most captivating water channel running under the city. Stop by to marvel at this impressive site and as a bonus – get a sweet escape from the heat of the day!
Soak in the whole ambience of the place – the lights accentuating the marble columns and the melodious sound of water trickling. You can ponder at the mysteries of the stone-carved Medusa heads, sitting eerily in the still waters. Theories suggest that the Medusa heads were used to shoo away evil spirits. Well, we did say that there’s a fair bit of mystery in Istanbul, didn’t we?
Hike The Ghost Town Of Kayaköy
Located with the charming backdrop of the Kaya Valley, is an abandoned settlement, The Ghost Town of Kayaköy. An outcome of earlier conflict, today UNESCO considers it as a World Friendship and Peace Village. Expect the unexpected, if your usual hike entails only picturesque views and natural beauty. This hike is like no other and will leave you fascinated. Your imagination will take you to a town that once bustled with families, homes, mulberry trees and communities. If you love spotting designs, the interesting carvings and rock mosaic floors present interesting points for observations!
The Dramatic Ruins Of Telmessos
Telmessos, a mountaintop known to be inaccessible even by Alexander the Great, is one of Turkey’s most dramatically well-preserved attractions. Consider spending an afternoon exploring a multitude of tiered-theatre seats against the glorious mountain range. Channel your spirit of adventure as you explore tombs, the main square, a vantage point in the form of a lookout tower and antique avenues. At the lookout tower, your panoramic photography skills are put to test as you get a view of the mountains, valleys, forests and the ruins.
The fleeting clouds and whispering winds make the expedition a magical experience. All you need is a sense of curiosity to explore these ruins to the fullest!
The Travertine Cascades of Pamukkale
Pamukkale, Turkish for ‘cotton castle’ is a geological wonder that is an epitome of serenity. The fluffy, cotton-like mineral bath spas in the province make this name a befitting one! You can take a long, soothing bath and benefit from the therapeutic mineral-laden waters. Don’t miss visiting Pamukkale not only for a unique spa-like experience, but also to view the incredible hardened calcium bicarbonate travertine cascades over the cliffs. While there’s much to experience in Pamukkale, there’s much to be seen as well – the Roman theatre, the Antique Pool, the Archaeological Museum and the spectacular views of the valleys, abundant with travertine cascades.