- OLUDENIZ (FETHIYE)
Oludeniz is a village in the city of Muğla. It is a mesmerizing lagoon surrounded by hills covered with pine trees. Even though a small fee is required to enter, it is one of the most frequently visited beaches in Turkey as non-motorized water sports are also allowed.
The area where Cappadocia is situated used to be an active volcanic area. There were three mountains that were volcanoes and the volcanic explosions were extremely strong in the area. The volcanic eruptions combined with harsh weather conditions shaped the land into what we know as Cappadocia today. These newly formed structures are referred to as fairy chimneys by the Turks as they look like they are part of a fairytale.
- LYCIAN WAY
Lycia was an ancient place that was home to 77 cities, one of which was Olympos, back in the 13th century. What we now call the Lycian Way is one of the best hiking routes in the world. The path came to its current shape after the Romans combined the independent paths which formed the Lycian Way that is located between Fethiye and Antalya and it is 540 kilometers long.
Istanbul is the most well-known city in Turkey. Dating back to the ancient world, Istanbul was the capital of the Roman Empire as well as the Byzantine Empire. Even though it was also the capital of the Ottoman Empire, after the Republic of Turkey was established, Ankara became the capital of Turkey, however, Istanbul lost nothing of its importance. Istanbul is a unique city known for being home to many historic landscapes and being located in both Europe and Asia.
In Istanbul, you can visit some of the most breathtaking historical places such as Hagia Sophia that dates back to the 6th century, Maiden's Tower that has a fairytale-like story that brings tears to one’s eyes, Bosphorus Bridge that connects the two continents, Galata Tower that sees the entire city panoramically, Grand Bazaar that reflects the old soul of the city and its traditions.
- PAMUKKALE (DENIZLI)
Pamukkale, literally means “cotton castle”, is one of the most beautiful landscapes you can see in Turkey. The pure white look of the travertines seems so magical to be real. This whiteness is due to the carbonate mineral water in the flowing water. The benefits of these minerals to the human body and overall health is a strong cause of attraction each year. It should also be noted that the ancient city Hierapolis was exactly here and the ancient Greeks were also fond of the natural healing properties of the land.
- LAKE VAN (VAN)
Lake Van is the largest among all the body of waters in Turkey that you may think it sea. The lake water is salty which is why there are not so many different species of fish live underwater. Since the lake is formed through rainfalls, melted ice and other rivers, the level changes from season to season. The water level is low during the winter months, however, it rises once the snow and ice melt in the summer. The lake even includes four small islands towards its southern section which are also archeological sites.
- KAPUTAS BEACH (ANTALYA)
Kaputas Beach is in the southwest part of Turkey, only 20 km away from the popular vacation site Kas. Kaputas Beach is frequently visited due to its natural beauty that brings out the purest blue color you have ever seen. There are not many things other than a few stalls you can see here and there but it is the perfect place for those who just want to rest and have some time for themselves.
- MOUNT ARARAT (AGRI)
Mount Ararat is found in the city of Agri which is right beside Armenia and Iran. Mount Ararat is a volcanic massif and has two peaks. The highest peak, Great Ararat, is 16,945 feet or 5,165 meters above sea level which makes it the highest in entire Turkey. Mount Ararat is thought to be the mountain where Noah’s Ark reached after the flood.
- MOUNT ERCIYES (KAYSERI)
Mount Erciyes is 3,916 meters in height, being one of the highest mountains in Turkey. Mount Erciyes is the very volcanic mountain that caused the fairy chimney formation found in Cappadocia. It is a frequently visited place by the mountain climbers who are trying to reach to its peak and has great winter sports resorts for visitors.
- MOUNT NIMROD (ADIYAMAN)
Mount Nimrod or Nemrut has the most peculiar summit of all that is home to the tomb of an ancient king named King Antiochus I from the Kingdom of Commagene. There are a number of statues of gods from Apollo to Zeus found in the site to glorify the ancient King who claimed himself as equal to the gods. The huge heads of the statues have fallen and they are sitting on the ground right beside the bodies.
- SUMELA MONASTERY
Sumela Monastery dates back to 368 AD and was built by two Athenian priests. It is a Greek Orthodox monastery dedicated to the Virgin Mary with the famous fresco depictions of the Virgin Mary and the Last Judgement found within. Sumela Monastery is known to be one of the oldest Christian monasteries in the world. Nowadays the monastery is mainly functioning as a site of tourist attraction.
- KING ROCK TOMBS (AMASYA)
On the skirt of Mount Harsena, King Rock Tombs, that are formed out of limestone found on the grounds, are located. This ancient site dates back to the Kingdom of Pontus between 333 and 25 BC. The burial of the kings in a special place was an important issue in the Kingdom of Pontus. Thus, they buried their kings into the holes that they carved on these rocks. Also during the era of the Byzantine Empire, the site was used as a prison for the criminals.
- UCHISAR CASTLE (CAPPADOCIA)
Uchisar is located at the highest peak in Cappadocia where you can see Mount Erciyes from. What makes this castle so enchanting is the fact that many of the rooms are carved into the rocks. While some of them are connected by stairs, some of them are connected through tunnels. There are also churches carved into the rocks both outside and inside the castle itself. There are graves from the Byzantine era on top of the castle, however, they have been eroded in time.
- ULUDAG MOUNTAIN (BURSA)
Uludag Mountain is also known as the Olympos Mountain in the Greek mythology where the Greek gods lived and it is 2,543 meters in height. Many monasteries and churches were built around the mountain during the Byzantine Empire era. Similarly, during the Ottoman Empire period, dervishes lived around the mountain. You can enjoy the beauty of Uludag Mountain by taking cable cars. It is the first and the longest cable car found in Turkey.
- GALLIPOLI (CANAKKALE)
Gallipoli is a town by the sea, located on the western side of Turkey. It was the first place to be conquered in Europe by the Ottoman Empire in order to defend Istanbul. Gallipoli was an important place where Turkish resistance took place during World War I. The allied forces were driven out in 1915 by the Turks who were led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
- MOUNT IDA (BALIKESIR)
Mount Ida, also known as Kazdagı by the Turks, is located near Canakkale. It is 1700 meters high. Mount Ida was a dedicated site for worshipping Cybele in the ancient times. It was also mentioned in Homer’s Illiad as a setting for many myths.
Ephesus was founded in the 10th century BCE by the Greeks who were colonizers at the time. The city flourished during the era of the Roman Empire. Ephesus is famous for being the home of the Temple of Artemis. The Temple of Artemis is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World chosen by UNESCO. The theatre found in Ephesus is also what draws attraction to the site.
- GOBEKLITEPE (SANLIURFA)
Gobeklitepe is believed to be the oldest religious structure found in the world as it was built around 10,000 BC. The structure is strongly believed to be a worshipping place even though there are some who think that the site might have been a burial ground. There are around 20 temples in the area and the pillars have carvings of animals on them. It is a fascinating site to see as nobody is able to understand quite how those pillars that weighed between 20 to 60 tons were even moved in the first place. The structure was built to last for centuries and visitors are mesmerized by its mystery.
- PRINCES’ ISLANDS (MARMARA SEA/ISTANBUL)
Princes’ Islands are actually 9 small islands that are connected to Istanbul. You can easily reach them by taking the ferry from Eminonu in Istanbul. The name of the islands comes from the Byzantine Empire era as the princes were exiled to these islands. During the Ottoman Empire era, the function of the islands changed and they were mostly inhabited by the rich people who built their houses on the islands. Nowadays, there are no motorized vehicles are allowed on the islands. Visitors either take the horse carriages for a nostalgic ride around, or they go on a bike tour of the entire island.
- ANI (KARS)
Ani was located in the city of Kars, and even though it was a rival of Constantinople, it had its share from the invaders. The place was destroyed and ransacked as a result of the invasions and war. Today, Ani is known to be an ancient ghost city full of churches that are in ruins yet still beautiful. There is also a 1000 years old mosque as a reminder of the history of the place along with the churches.
- ALADAGLAR NATIONAL PARK
Aladaglar National Park is home to some of the highest mountains in the area. The name comes from the color of the hills as it means “Crimson Mountains”. The area is a favorite among the hikers and the mountain climbers. Other than climbing, Kapuzbası Waterfalls are another source of attraction to this national park. Many wild animals such as wolves, boar and coyotes are found in the park as well as more than fifty species of endangered plants.
- ANITKABIR (ANKARA)
Anıtkabir is located in Ankara and it is the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founding father of the Republic of Turkey and the leader of the War of Independence who passed away on the 10th of November in 1938. Anıtkabir also includes Atatürk Museum which has Atatürk’s personal items, clothes as well as his medals on display. Many Turks visit Anıtkabir to pay their respect to the great leader on the 10th of November each year.
- ZEUGMA MOSAIC MUSEUM (GAZIANTEP)
Zeugma Mosaic Museum is the second largest mosaic museum in the entire world and it is the largest mosaic museum in Turkey. Even though there are many mosaic pieces in the museum from different time spans in history, the mosaic of Maenad, also known as the Gypsy Girl, dating back to the 2nd century AD is the most important piece in the museum.
- THE CLEOPATRA POOL (PAMUKKALE)
In the Pamukkale complex, there is The Cleopatra Pool. The name comes from the story of Marc Antony, the passionate lover of Cleopatra, giving this sculpted pool to Cleopatra as one of his many gifts. Even though it is not factual information, such a place would be fit for only someone like the Queen of Egypt. Today, the visitor can swim in the pool and enjoy what may have been once the pool of Cleopatra while also befitting from the minerals in the water.
- TEMPLE OF ARTEMIS
the King of Lydia, Croesus. The size of the structure was twice bigger than the other ancient Greek temples. The temple became an important landmark of the ancient world. The structure was torn down and rebuilt many times throughout history until the last of them started in 550 BCE and took 120 years until it was finished.
- OYLAT CAVE (BURSA)
Oylat Cave is 665 meters long and is mainly made up of two sections one of which is a narrow entrance and the other is the part that begins after the entrance and end where the cave collapses. The Oylat Cave contains large boilers as well as dripstone pools. The second section of the cave includes large dripstone forms such as stalactites and stalagmites that are colorful. The cave is also home to butterflies, bats, guanobites and worms. Oylat Cave is known to have a curing effect on asthma and bronchitis.
- TORTUM WATERFALL (ERZURUM)
Tortum Waterfall is the largest one in Turkey which is a nominee for becoming a member of the World Heritage list of UNESCO. The waterfall is 48 meters high and 21 meters wide. It was formed in the 18th century after a landslide and the flow of the waterfall increases due to the melting snow each year, creating a beautiful view for its visitors.
- UZUNGOL (TRABZON)
Uzungol, means “long lake” in Turkish, is a lake that was formed after a landslide and it is located in Trabzon. The lake and the village, as well as the mountain forests surrounding the lake, creates a beautiful view and it is known for resembling Switzerland due to its calm look and natural beauty for many tourists who have visited the site. Many hotels, shops and restaurants have been opened as the area became a popular tourist attraction.
Aspendos is an ancient city located in Turkey which was founded by the Greeks in the past. The best-preserved ancient theatre is found in Aspendos which is believed to be built in 155. Since 1994, there are many concerts and show performed on this ancient theatre in the hopes of keeping it alive by the Turkish state under the annual Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival. You can both experience the beauty of this ancient cite and the beauty of arts at the same time in Aspendos.
- HARRAN BEEHIVE HOUSES
Beehive Houses in Harran was built 3000 years ago. They were built only using brick and mud and their special feature is being cold in summer and hot in winter on the inside. These houses were completely designed according to the geography and weather conditions of the area. The beehive, or rather, round shape of the houses caused strong winds as well as heavy rain to deflect. Today, these beehive houses are only used as tourist attractions.
- HATTUSHA (CORUM)
Hattusha is located in today’s Turkey, in the city of Corum and it was once the capital of the Hittite Empire. The area is thought to be first inhibited in the 6th century BC however, inhabitants started a permanent settlement in the 3rd century BC. There are many temples and palaces found in the site such as the Yazılıkaya Temple, an open-air temple which is seen as the most important one among all. Lion heads at one of the entrances of this temple are seem to be the protectors from the demons. There are also many depictions of gods found inside the temple as well as niches used for gifts and urns. Hattusha was added to the World Heritage list of UNESCO back in 1986. Today, it functions as an open-air museum for visitors to learn about the history of the Hittite Empire.
Safranbolu is an ancient city that has been home to different civilizations throughout history, such as the Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman Empires. The name of the city comes from saffron that is native to it. It is mostly used as a spice which gives a distinct color and is very expensive. Safranbolu is famous for its houses which are the traditional Turkish houses in terms of their architecture during the 18th and 19th centuries. In fact, Safranbolu was added to the World Heritage list of UNESCO in 2012.
- KACKAR MOUNTAINS
Kackar Mountains are a mountain range located along the Black Sea coast. The highest peak of Kackar Mountains is 3,937 meters in height. The area became a national park back in 1994 and has numerous lakes as well. Kackar Mountains are suitable for activities such as camping, hiking, heli-skiing as well as mountaineering. Kackar Mountains are also one of the best in Turkey when it comes to trekking however since they have glaciers and are cold, crampons and ice axes are recommended.
- PIGEON VALLEY
Pigeon Valley is located in Cappadocia and it gets its name from the pigeon houses carved on the soft rocks back in the ancient days as pigeons had been a source of food and fertilizer for the area as well as being the message carriers. They were specifically found in great numbers in this place, therefore the valley was named after them. Nowadays, they are mainly used as pets by the locals and only a few of them remain in the valley itself.
Catalhoyuk is believed to be the first village in the entire world which was established around 7,500 BC. Catalhoyuk was thought to be home to between 5000 and 7000 people and it was made up only of domestic structures. The houses were clustered together in a honeycomb pattern. There were no paths however, the tops of the houses were basically the street as the entrance to the homes were through holes in the ceilings. There were many female deity figures found in Catalhoyuk. However, it was not a matriarchal society but men and women were equal.