Many people use to believe that Turkey is a beautiful five-star hotels with all-inclusive services and a lazy holiday on the Mediterranean coast. However, outside the hotel it is even more interesting, because Turkey is a large country with a centuries-old history and unique sights. Therefore, going to rest in Turkey, do not be lazy to get to know this country better. Believe me: you will not regret it.
Turkey is an amazing and unique country, a fount of world history and a burial vault of ancient civilizations, a place where biblical and ancient Greek legends originated. Epic Troy, the great city of Halicarnassus, the ancient city of Pergamum and Ephesus, the unique underground cities, the rock monasteries and the enchanting unearthly landscapes of Cappadocia, the capital of the four great empires of Istanbul … And this is only a short list in the kaleidoscope of the fascinating places of this great country, which culture combines ancient Greek, Persian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman traditions. Turkey ranks first in the world in terms of the number of historical and archaeological sites; it is here that 2 of the “7 wonders of the world” are located – the Halicarnassus mausoleum in Bodrum and the ruins of the temple of Artemis in the ancient city of Ephesus. A unique and favorable climate creates a comfortable atmosphere for a diverse, year-round holiday in Turkey.
So, what is worth seeing in Turkey, first of all?
It is one of the oldest cities in Eurasia and the cultural capital of Turkey. Since the 7th century BC, four great empires ruled here: Roman, Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman. Until now, Istanbul has preserved many unique monuments of history and architecture. I advise you to visit the Cathedral of St. Sophia (the largest in the world temple complex of Christianity of Byzantium), the Topkapi Palace (the center of power of the great Ottoman Empire), the underground reservoir Erebatan of the 3rd century AD, the inimitable Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Mosque), Dolmabahce Palace – the palace complex of the Osmanians on the banks of the Bosphorus, the Church of St. Irene – a famous place for pilgrimage of Christians, as well as the most beautiful Suleymaniye Mosque (the tomb of Sultan Suleiman and his beloved wife, Hurrem Sultan). Entrance to all mosques of the city is free. I note that the grandiose cathedral of St. Sophia and the graceful Blue Mosque are located on the main square of Istanbul – Sultanahmet. Here you can see also the ancient Greek columns, the Egyptian obelisk, the magnificent fountain and much more.
Pamukkale (cotton fortress) is a world-famous thermal spa located in the south-west of Turkey. In this accumulation of unique hot springs with a high concentration of calcium oxide many diseases are cured. Pamukkale with its terraces of white limestone is considered a unique creation of nature.
Here you can also see the ruins of the ancient city of Hierapolis, where the best preserved temple of Apollo and Pluto, the Roman theater and the sarcophagus in the necropolis. Another attraction of Pamukkale is the ancient Cleopatra Basin with Roman columns, which were under water as a result of the earthquake. This is an artificial pond with warm mineral water, where all tourists are allowed to swim. According to legend, Cleopatra loved to take baths here and became after them rested and rejuvenated.
Ephesus is the oldest city in the world, in which one of the “7 wonders of the world” is located – the temple of Artemis. Ephesus is the largest archaeological complex of the Roman Empire in the Eastern Mediterranean. It is located 3 km south-west of the town of Selcuk between Izmir and Kusadasi. The ticket price for visiting the archaeological complex is about 8 dollars.
Approximately 9 km from Ephesus there are the remains of a house where, according to legend, the Virgin Mary lived after the death of Jesus Christ. In addition, next to the house there is a source of the Virgin Mary, which, according to the faithful, has healing properties.
The city of Troy has become famous all over the world thanks to the epics of the ancient Greek writer Homer and many legends and myths. It was here that around 1200 BC the Trojan War was going on. According to legend, the Greeks captured Troy, erecting a huge wooden horse in which they hid and which the naive Trojans dragged into their city. Troy was discovered in the north-western part of modern Turkey, at the entrance from the Aegean Sea to the Dardanelles (Hellespont). Today the ancient Troy lies about 30 km south of the town of Canakkale.
Near the entrance to the city there is a wooden copy of the Trojan Horse, inside of which you can go. Next to it there is the Excavation Museum, which exhibits models and photographs telling how the city looked in different periods. Opposite the museum there is the Pithos garden with water tubes and clay pots of those times. But the main attraction of Troy is undoubtedly the ruins. For visitors, the city is open daily from 8:00 to 19:00 from May to September and from 8:00 to 17:00 from October to April.
Cappadocia is a fantastic land, a unique geological formation, famous for its extraordinary landscape, a huge number of cave temples, cells, crypts and monasteries, the history of which stretches from the time of early Christianity, as well as underground cities created in the 1st millennium BC. This rich cultural heritage is located in the Central Anatolia region. The Goreme National Park, located in the central part of Cappadocia, together with the Cappadocian cave settlements, is on the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage List. The most famous underground cities are Kaimakli and Derinkuyu, discovered by archaeologists in 1960.
Turkey night and extreme
Turkey is also famous for its tempestuous nightlife. For example, the city of Bodrum is called “Turkish Ibiza”, because it is here that Europeans like to go clubbing. Here there is the famous club “Halikarnas” – one of the biggest discos of Eurasia. No less interesting there are the discotheques and entertainment complexes of Marmaris, Kemer, Antalya, Izmir and, of course, Istanbul.
Fans of adrenaline, for sure, will want to visit the famous Turkish rafting. You can buy a tour, either in the hotel or in any Turkish travel agency. The cost is about 45 dollars. Tourists mostly raft on two mountain rivers – Kepruchay and Dalaman, one is near to Antalya, the other – next to Marmaris. Such entertainments are allowed to take children from the age of 6, since it is necessary to overcome the thresholds of 2-3 levels of complexity. I note that the terrain on the alloys is very picturesque: there are mountains, rocks, forests around. During the rafting there is a stop so that everyone can jump into the cool mountain river from a small ledge. Real pleasure and thrill are guaranteed to you! At the same time rafting is quite safe entertainment: before the rafting you get detailed instruction, helmets and life jackets.
I hope I’ve discouraged you from spending your entire vacation in Turkey, just lying on the beach and sipping free cocktails. 😉 Turkey is able to surprise you and please not only the chic hotels, a great selection of which you can find here – booking.com
Make your Turkish holidays truly unforgettable!