Since July 15, Turkey, beloved by all, has again opened its doors (i.e. borders) for tourists, including from Russia. We tell you what in this hot country can amaze even the most sophisticated traveler.
What do you think about when you hear the word “Turkey”? Surely, numerous resort towns, hotels and beaches crowded with tourists, tables bursting with food on the all inclusive system come to mind. But this is only one side of such a rich state in many ways.
In this article, we will tell you about 10 unusual places (as we have already told about interesting things worth seeing in Dagestan) that every self-respecting traveler wants to visit. Ancient underground cities, lunar landscapes, azure lakes and mysterious caves – you have never seen such Turkey!
1. Cappadocia (Göreme)
The land of antiquities and wonders.
Let's start our top 10 with the most famous “non-resort” region. It is in Cappadocia that you can immediately find many sights and locations that definitely deserve attention: the Devrent and Ihlara valleys, the ancient cities of Derinkuyu and Kaymakli (read about them below). Many tourists who come to Turkey spend their entire vacation in this part of the country.
Of course, you should start from the center of the – the city of Goreme and the open-air national park of the same name. It is here that you can see a unique landscape, churches in caves built over a thousand years ago, and fly over the valleys of Cappadocia – we're sure you've seen these fantastic balloon photos countless times.
- Where and when: Travelers come to Cappadocia all year round. Goreme, although not the administrative center of the region, is definitely a tourist center. Distance from Antalya – 540 km, from Ankara – 280 km. Most often, Cappadocia is reached by buses that travel from major cities in the country.
2. Devrent Valley
The most unusual rocks in the country.
Here, in Cappadocia, a 10-minute drive from Goreme, there is the Devrent Valley (sometimes called Derwent), which the Turks themselves called the Pink Valley and Valley of Imagination. Such names are given to this area for a reason. You will not find castles or caves here – there is nothing here but rocks, but this is the value of Devrent.
If you have a rich imagination, then here you will definitely like – desert winds and sand for hundreds of years carved the most bizarre shapes from the rocks: today you can see lions, bulls, camels, doves and even Napoleon with the Virgin Mary here. The ten-kilometer valley will give you a great walk and a warm-up for the imagination.
- Where and when: You can come to the valley at any time of the year. Buses do not go here, so we recommend taking a taxi or renting a car. Distance from Goreme – 10 km;
- Tip:combine Goreme City/National Park and Devrent Valley tour in 1-2 days.
3. Underground cities of Derinkuyu and Kaimakli
Secret shelters of ancient Christians.
As you continue your tour of Cappadocia, don't miss out on a few more unique – these are ancient underground cities built in volcanic rocks. The first Christians, who fled from persecution in the 7th-8th centuries, hid in these parts and arranged such settlements underground so that no one would find them.
The long network includes about 40 cities and towns, the largest of which are &ndash ; Derinkuyu and Kaymakli – could accommodate up to 30,000 inhabitants. And at a depth of 80-90 meters there were even stables, wineries and schools. Today, these unique places are open to the public, be sure to visit there.
- Where and when:the ancient cities are open to visitors all year round, you need to buy a ticket (20-25 Turkish lira – 200-250 rubles). Distance from Goreme to Kaymakli – 25 km, to Derinkuyu – 35 km.
4. Ihlara Valley
Unique architecture in the canyon.
Very close to the underground city of Derinkuyu is a 15-kilometer canyon in which Byzantine monks settled 17 centuries ago. Thanks to this, hundreds of houses and churches carved directly into the rocks appeared in the valley, called Ihlara.
Today, more than 100 unique temples have been discovered here, about 20 of which are available for visiting. In addition to the “cave” The architecture of the churches is also interesting for the well-preserved frescoes on their walls, made in ancient Syrian, Greek and Armenian techniques.
- Where and when:the valley is best visited in autumn and spring, when it is not too hot. To see all the churches, you need to buy a ticket (35-40 Turkish liras & ndash; 350-400 rubles). Distance from Goreme – 80 km from Derinkuyu – 50 km;
- Tip: Combine your visit to the underground cities of Derinkuyu and Kaymakli and the Ihlara Valley in 1-2 days.
5. Lakes Beysehir and Egirdir
Clean reservoirs surrounded by antiquities.
In the western part of the country there are favorite vacation spots among the residents of Turkey and not very famous among visitors – Beysehir and Egirdir lakes, which are among the largest in the country. The area around Beysehir is recognized as a national reserve.
Here you can admire not only a crystal clear lake surrounded by mountains, but also the most interesting Eşrefoglu Cami Mosque, which was built almost 800 years ago and still performs its main function.
70 km west of Beysehir is the second famous lake, Egirdir, where you can also enjoy the local nature, walk along the pebble beach and explore the city of the same name, which also has many ancient and valuable examples of architecture.
6. Pamukkale and Hierapolis
Magic springs in the middle of antiquity.
We recommend you spend one day in a truly magical place – Pamukkale. Here you will find unique geothermal springs that are not found anywhere else in the world. From the Turkish word “Pamukkale” translates as “Cotton Castle” – and this is understandable.
The complex of 17 springs with natural pools, bordered by limestone sides, really resembles a snow-white fortress. This place is also called “Cleopatra's Pool” – allegedly it was here that the legendary queen of Egypt maintained her beauty and youth.
The resort of Pamukkale is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Also on its territory is the city of Hierapolis built by the Romans in the 2nd century, excavations are still underway here, but an impressive territory is available for tourists. Ancient Hierapolis is sometimes called “Turkish Pompeii”. In general, this area – one of the most impressive sights in Turkey.
- Where and when:complete information about tickets to the Pamukkale complex and opening hours – here. Distance from Denizli (nearest major city) – 15 km from Antalya – 175 km, from both these cities the complex can be reached by bus. Distance from Pamukkale to Hierapolis – 3-4 km.
7. Salda Lake
Thanks to social networks, this place can no longer be called unpopular – now it is visited by more than a million travelers a year. The reason for this demand is simple – perfect azure expanse of water, snow-white coastline and an atmosphere of peace – why not the Maldives?
There is even healing clay off the shores of Lake Salda, and the beaches themselves are formed not from sand, but from a special mineral – hydromagnesite. Want to visit the perfect beach and take the perfect Instagram photos? This is the place for you.
- Where and when:Lake Salda is visited all year round, but in summer, of course, there are most tourists. Distance from Denizli (nearest major city) – 80 km from Antalya – 150 km. Usually the lake is reached by car;
- Tip: We recommend that you combine your visit to Pamukkale, Hierapolis and Salda Lake in 2 days, as these places are quite close to each other.
8. Saklikent Canyon
An ancient natural wonder.
In the south of Turkey you will find a real wonder of nature – the ancient gorge Saklikent, which is the largest in the country and the second largest in Europe (after the canyon of the Tara River in Montenegro). The history of this gorge dates back several thousand years, and during this time the water was able to carve it 18 km long and 300 meters deep.
Here you will see bizarre rocks, beautiful caves, picturesque waterfalls. Today, the Saklikent canyon is part of the national park, the entrance to which costs just a couple of dollars. By the way, there is another ancient city very close by that you can explore – Tlos.
- Where and when:Saklikent Canyon – one of the most visited attractions in Turkey, so get ready for a lot of tourists, especially during the season. Distance from Fethiye (the nearest major city from which there are buses to the canyon) – 40 km from Antalya – 190 km.
9. Mount Babadag
Peak for bird flights.
On the southwestern coast of Turkey is the “Father Mountain” – this is how the name Babadag is translated. A mountain almost 2 kilometers high rises above the Mediterranean Sea and has been sung in local legends for more than one hundred years. From the top of the mountain there is a stunning view of the sea, the mainland of Turkey and even the Greek island of Rhodes (it is very close, literally 50 km away).
It is because of the breathtaking landscapes and the proximity of the sea that paragliding flights are so popular here, which can be booked in all nearby settlements. By the way, you can climb the mountain on foot – it is quite convenient for climbing.
- Where and when: Mount Babadag is available for visiting at any time of the year. Distance from Fethiye (nearest major city) – 40 km from Antalya – 210 km.
The most beautiful resort in Turkey.
Not far from the Saklikent canyon and Mount Babadag, a small village is lost, which many Turks call the most beautiful resort in Turkey. Oludeniz is famous for its snow-white beach, the azure sea (by the way, the city is located in a bay where two seas converge – Aegean and Mediterranean) and mountains covered with greenery – all this is very reminiscent of Caribbean landscapes.
And there are also few tourists here, since few foreigners know about this paradise place (there is even a blue lagoon here).
- Where and when: According to the locals, the best time to visit Oludeniz – September October. By the way, the resort is located only 50 km from the major international airport Dalaman. Distance from Fethiye – 12 km, from Antalya – 200 km;
- Tip: We recommend that you combine Saklikent Canyon, Babadag Mountain and Oludeniz Resort in one trip (2-3 days), although you can obviously linger in the latter.
So, we have told you only about 10 beautiful places in Turkey that will change your idea of a vacation in this country.
How you see, here you can find a variety of landscapes and entertainment, so do not discount this resort state, Turkey is able to surprise you and is already waiting for you!
Turkey Ihlara Valley Beysehir Egirdir Excursion tour