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Turkey welcomes tourists with that special oriental flavor that emanates from the fairy tales of Scheherazade. Here they will find the atmosphere of antiquity, saturated with secrets and mysteries, contemplation of extraordinary masterpieces created by nature and the hands of talented craftsmen, enjoying amazing views of the enchanting Bosphorus. It is impossible to convey in words, you just need to feel it by visiting the most famous sights of Turkey. What to see in Turkey if you came here for the first time? Especially for you, we have compiled this list of the most interesting places in Turkey.
First things to see in Turkey
The prospect of plunging into the atmosphere of antiquity and visiting a real oriental bazaar attracts millions of tourists. Those who are accompanied by guides in Turkey who will instruct in advance how to behave on the street and in temples, and also quickly solve any problem that arises, can not be afraid of negative reactions from local residents.
1. Cathedral Hagia Sophia in Istanbul (Istanbul)
Hagia Sophia in Istanbul
No walk in Istanbul is complete without a visit to this most successful representative of architecture from the time of the Byzantine Empire – Hagia Sophia – Hagia Sophia. The five years of work of 10,000 workers of Constantinople and the myriad of money spent on its construction were reflected in a gigantic structure, which was destined to become a symbol of the power of Byzantium.
The temple itself was built of brick, but expensive materials were used in the decoration: ivory, gold, silver, precious stones. The cathedral was consecrated in 537 and symbolized the power and greatness of the empire. After the capture of Constantinople by the Turks, it was renamed Hagia Sophia.
The temple is located in the Sultanahmet district, in the heart of the old part of Istanbul. It is crowned with an architectural masterpiece, represented by a huge dome system. The main value of the interior decoration of the mosque is mosaics and frescoes of amazing beauty. The light pouring in through 40 windows creates the illusion of a dome floating in the sky.
Tourists are amazed not only by the beauty of the temple, but also by the powerful energy that is felt inside it.
Official website: http://ayasofyamuzesi.gov.tr/en
2. Topkapi Palace (Istanbul)
Topkapi Palace in Istanbul
Almost all excursions in Istanbul include a visit to this place. The main residence of the sultans for 4 centuries, Topkapi Palace served as a haven for 25 sultans of the Ottoman Empire. It was built in the 15th century for Sultan Mehmed II. In the middle of the XVI, Suleiman I, at the request of Roksolana, built a harem for women with children. In the middle of the 19th century, the built Dolmabahce Palace became the Sultan's residence.
As a museum, this landmark of Turkey opened in 1923 on the orders of the Turkish and Ottoman politician and reformer Atatürk.
The outer palace is represented by official and public buildings. In the interior are the private chambers of the Sultan. The first courtyard houses the Museum of the Ancient East, the Archaeological Museum and the Tiled Pavilion. From the second courtyard you can get to the Harem and the inner treasury.
Through the Gate of Happiness they pass into the third courtyard with the personal chambers of the Sultan and the Throne Room. The Library of Ahmed II and the Pavilion of the Holy Robe are also located here. An amazing view of the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn opens from the Fourth Courtyard, where parks, gazebos, pools and tiled pavilions are located.
Official website: http://topkapisarayi.gov.tr/en
3. Blue Mosque (Istanbul)
Istanbul Blue Mosque
Who does not know what to see in Turkey, can safely go to the Sultanahmet area – a lot of attractions located here will broaden the horizons of even the most sophisticated tourists. One of the most famous is the Blue Mosque, whose dome attracts attention from afar.
A large number of blue and white tiles were used in the interior decorations, which is why the mosque got its name. It consists of 6 minarets, two of which are located on the outer corners, and four on the sides. The unusual addition of two minarets (their classical number is 4) makes it unique. In architecture, the mixture of styles is surprising: Byzantine and classical Ottoman.
The interior decoration is as luxurious as the facade. The floral ornaments on the tiles and 260 stained-glass windows on the wall, to which they turn when praying, are impressive. Luxurious handmade carpets lie on the floor. The mihrab, a prayer niche made from a single piece of marble, deserves special attention.
Official website: http://www.sultanahmetcamii.org/
4. Basilica Cistern (Istanbul)
Ancient Underground Reservoir of Constantinople
In summer, I want to find the sights of Turkey that would help escape from the hot sun. This is exactly what is located in the Sultanahmet area – the Basilica Cistern, which is an ancient underground reservoir, perfectly preserved from the time of Constantinople. At a depth of 10-12 m, you can see a lot of interesting things.
The presence in the architecture of 336 columns 9 m high makes the Cistern look like a palace. Brought from several ancient temples, they have external differences. Once the Greeks took care of the safety of water in the Cistern, so they made 4-meter-thick walls of refractory bricks and covered them with a special waterproofing solution.
Weak illumination of the room inside creates an atmosphere of mystery and solitude.
What to visit in Turkey to remember forever? “Column of Tears” in the Basilica Cistern. According to legend, inserting a finger into one of the curls with which it is decorated, you need to turn it 360 ° and make a cherished wish. This place will be remembered forever, especially if the wish comes true!
Official website: http://yerebatansarnici.com/
5. Suleymaniye Mosque (Istanbul)< /h3>
The beautiful Suleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul
All the sights of Turkey reflect certain stages of national history. This is the largest mosque in Istanbul is no exception. Once upon a time, the treasury of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent became very impoverished due to the huge spending on its construction.
The dimensions of the building can accommodate about 5 thousand visitors. On its territory, in addition to the mosque, there are baths, kitchens, madrasahs, observatories, libraries and 4 high minarets. There is also a hammam here – Turkish baths for couples visiting (a single tourist will not be allowed there). During the excursions, erudite guides in Istanbul will certainly tell at least one romantic story dedicated to the unearthly love of the Sultan and the former harem slave Roksolana.
Inside, the mosque is filled with light penetrating from the outside, which helps to see the amazingly beautiful stained-glass windows.
Some elements of the mosque are symbolic. For example, the presence of 10 balconies means that the Sultan was the 10th in the dynasty, and 4 minarets announce that he was the 4th Sultan of Istanbul.
Despite 89 earthquakes, the mosque has retained its majesty to this day and elegance of lines, rendered by talented architects.
Be sure to watch this beautiful video about Turkey!
6. Istanbul Archaeological Museum (Istanbul)
Façade of Istanbul Archaeological Museum
There is something to see in Turkey for people who are interested in Turkish culture from different times. This, one of the largest museums in the world, features about 1 million exhibits.
The Istanbul Museum is housed in three buildings next to Topkapi Palace and Gülhane Park. It includes the Main Building, the Museum of the Ancient East and the Tiled Pavilion with samples of Turkish ceramics.
The opening of the museum was initiated by Osman Hamdi Bey, a Turkish diplomat, artist, archaeologist, and cultural figure. In 1891, the first part of the neoclassical museum building was opened, the construction of the latter was completed in 1908.
Among the exhibits, tourists can see the busts of Alexander the Great and Zeus, the sarcophagus of the Weeping Woman found in the Sidon necropolis, the Sidon sarcophagus of King Abdalonimos, ancient Greek statues, artifacts from the excavations of Troy, fragments of the temple of Athena, the obelisk of Adad-Nirari III and other masterpieces of Byzantine and ancient art. Some of them are of worldwide value.
Official website: http://www.istanbularkeoloji.gov.tr/main_page
7. Grand Bazaar (Grand -Bazaar) (Istanbul)
A large covered market of the Grand Bazaar
Not all the sights of Turkey make you solemnly freeze while contemplating them. On the contrary, at the sight of the Istanbul Grand Bazaar, the blood starts to play, anticipating the sweetness of the famous Turkish shopping.
The beginning of the construction of the Grand Bazaar dates back to 1461. You can get inside through several gates. The most beautiful are the Nurosmane Gates, made in the Moorish style in the form of an arch.
The huge bazaar complex includes 22 gates, 2 covered markets, 24 hotels, market squares, mosques, restaurants, fountains, snack bars, and a bathhouse. There are more than 4 thousand shops here, and the whole territory is divided into more than 60 streets. Here they sell jewelry, spices, carpets, ceramics, clothes, Turkish weapons. It seems that you can buy everything here.
The success of shopping in this place is the ability to bargain. Considering that the initial price can be overestimated by 2 or more times, the desired item can be obtained for a much lower amount.
Official website: http://www.grandbazaaristanbul.org
8. Chora Monastery (Istanbul)
Chora Monastery – an island of Byzantine culture
What to see in Turkey, already having a complete understanding of its Muslim culture and wanting something new? Chora Monastery is a prominent representative of the culture of the Byzantine era. The second word in its name in Greek means “suburb, remote area”.
The history of the Monastery reflects part of the difficult history of Istanbul itself, which had to change its name several times. More than once the building was destroyed, then restored again. The building that has survived to this day dates back to the end of the 11th century. In the middle of the 15th century, during the capture of Constantinople by Turkish troops, the icon of Our Lady Hodegetria, who was considered the heavenly intercessor of the city, was transferred to the Monastery, which then bore the name of the Church of Christ the Savior in Chora. Half a century later, the Turks, neglecting the shrine, plastered its frescoes, turning the building into a Turkish mosque. In the middle of the 20th century, during the restoration, they were cleaned.
The Church of Chora, which remained from the monastery, has an unsightly facade. But inside it fascinates with amazing beauty of mosaics and frescoes. Particular attention is drawn to the dome with a fresco of the face of Christ surrounded by the apostles.
Official website: http://kariye.muze.gov.tr
9. Galata Tower (Istanbul)
Galata Tower – an old monument of Istanbul
There is something to visit in Turkey and in the European part of Istanbul. The Galata Tower, together with the bridge of the same name, is a symbolic part of the city. With a huge height of 61 m and its location on a hill, it can be seen from almost anywhere in the city. With a diameter of 9 m and a wall thickness of about 4 m, it makes a strong impression.
Built in the middle of the 14th century. The building was called the “Tower of Christ”. At the beginning of the XVI century. it was slightly destroyed during the earthquake, but later it was restored. The tower was opened for visitors in 1965.
One of the 2 elevators inside lifts visitors to a 137-meter height, from where a view of the Golden Horn, the whole of Istanbul and the Sea of Marmara opens. The observation deck of the tower has long been chosen by tourists for photographs. They are especially successful in the evening, before sunset: panoramic pictures of Istanbul at night are magnificent. Here, at the top, there is a restaurant and a cafe.
10. Cappadocia (Turkey)
Cappadocia Tourist Center
It is impossible to see all the sights of Turkey. But some of them are definitely worth a visit. Cappadocia – a historical region without clear political boundaries – is located in the center of the country. Walking through a major tourist center evokes the idea of being on another planet. Amazing nature allows you to admire the valleys, mountains, rock masses.
There are real shrines and underground cities in Cappadocia, which, once here, cannot be ignored. Among them are the Goreme open-air museum with 30 cave churches, the Ihlara gorge with many temples on steep walls, the underground cities of Urgup, Nevsehir, Derinkuyu, Kaymakli. The last two are connected by a tunnel 9 km long.
On the territory of Cappadocia there are many small villages, replete with small temples. To explore the landscape, you can rent a scooter, to see the surroundings from above, a hot air balloon tour will be interesting.
It is impossible to travel around Cappadocia in a day, so small hotels where you can spend the night are at the service of tourists.
< h2> Turkey Attractions: What else to visit while in Turkey
The impression of the trip as a whole directly depends on which excursions in Turkey the traveler chooses, so this issue should be taken seriously. Moreover, there are many tourist attractions in every Turkish city. You definitely cannot do without our list – it will become your guide to the world of local attractions!
11. Pamukkale Resort (Pamukkale, Turkey)
Pamukkale geothermal springs
What to visit in Turkey to improve health? The medical resort of Pamukkale, which is 250 km from Antalya, with 17 geothermal springs with water of different temperatures, is at your service! Hydrogen sulfide and calcium oxide, which they are rich in, will make you forget about ailments. Treatment here takes place under the supervision of doctors.
In addition to healing springs, Pamukkale has historical monuments that attract the attention of tourists. Among them are the ruins of Hierapolis, an ancient city with an age of about 3 thousand years. This attraction of Turkey has a pool in which, according to legend, Cleopatra herself bathed. This place never lacks tourists.
Another valuable reminder is the well-preserved amphitheater of amazing dimensions, capable of accommodating 12 thousand spectators.
The exotic natural landscape of Pamukkale is due to the action of hot springs, which contribute to the formation of lime deposits on travertine terraces. Falling from a height, for centuries the water has created petrified white cascades, shimmering in the rays of the sun. This bewitching sight and the possibility of treatment attract millions of tourists here. Pamukkale can be safely included in the top most beautiful places on our planet.
Official website: http://www.pamukkale.net/
12. Aspendos Amphitheater (Turkey)
Aspendos Amphitheater today
Almost all the sights of Turkey draw tourists' eyes back to ancient times. The ancient city of Aspendos, built on two hills, is no exception.
Founded in the 5th c. BC, the city became one of the 3 major cities of Pamphylia. After its transfer to the power of Byzantium, it lost its power and ceased to exist.
Today, tourists are shown many buildings, the remains of which have survived to this day. The most popular is the huge amphitheater, built around the 2nd century BC. The orchestra pit was designed for 500 musicians, and 9 rows of steps 96 meters long could accommodate 17 thousand spectators, who were always covered from the scorching sun by an arched gallery of extraordinary beauty.
The Aspendos Amphitheater still hosts opera performances, ballet performances, and musical concerts. Amazing acoustics give artists the opportunity to perform without microphones. Thanks to the durable limestone and special layout, this building has been perfectly preserved to this day.
13. The ancient city of Demre-Mira (Demre)
Demre Ancient City Mira
Famous sights of Turkey are always ready to offer their tourists a maximum of services that make their leisure time more comfortable. Demre, a Turkish town with a rich history, has all the infrastructure necessary for a quality holiday: hotels, restaurants, car rental shops, travel agencies. This place is called a tomato paradise: the number of greenhouses where tomatoes are grown is impressive!
The architecture of the city is unremarkable: only faceless boxes of buildings. But the city is famous for something else – historical monuments.
Telling what to see in Turkey, guides often advise you to come to Demra and take a walk through the ruins of the ancient city of Myra, which is located here. The most important city of Lycia, it was once a religious center. Even when it lost its power after a flood in the 7th century, pilgrims did not stop flocking to it. They were attracted by the Church of St. Nicholas, located here.
Today only ruins remain of Mira. The attention of tourists is offered a functioning open-air museum with the remains of the acropolis, Lycian tombs, sarcophagi. The rock tombs, some of them carved in the shape of a house, make an impression.
This striking example from the Lycian past is truly worth a visit.
14. Maiden's Tower (Istanbul)
High Maiden Tower
Some of Turkey's sights have inspired artists and writers to create famous works of art. Such objects include the Maiden Tower, which served as the center of the plot for one of his paintings by the Russian artist Aivazovsky.
The stories that guides tell about the tower are sometimes like fairy tales. Her image can be found on magnets, mugs, postcards, and other souvenirs for tourists.
The Maiden's Tower is located in a narrow place in the Bosporus, which makes it logical to tell different stories about its original purpose. According to one version, the tower was built to control Persian ships by the Greeks, according to another, to monitor the strait by the Byzantines.
The history of the tower is rich: it happened to be a customs house, a lighthouse, and a prison. In 1999 the object was renovated. A restaurant, an observation deck, souvenir shops, cafes were opened here. A beautiful panorama of the city opens up from the observation deck.
15. Emirgan Park (Istanbul)
Multi-colored tulips in Emirgan Park
Let the main attractions of Turkey impress tourists with the luxurious decoration of the Sultan's chambers and rich facade decoration, but in amazing Istanbul there are places that deserve special attention. These include the picturesque Emirgan – a park that stretches on the banks of the Bosphorus along the European side.
Today, looking at this well-groomed splendor, it is hard to believe that wild forests once grew here. In the 17th century the Ottoman sultan donated this piece of land to the Iranian Khan Emirkhan (the park is named after him), after which he changed owners several times.
Now the park is an amazing place for recreation for citizens and tourists. Over 120 species of shrubs, flowers and trees can be observed on a vast territory (about 450 sq. m.). In addition to plants typical for Turkey, specimens imported from exotic latitudes also grow here.
The rich nature of the park is complemented by numerous pavilions with restaurants, shops, and cafes. Picnic areas, playgrounds, a small pond with ducks and swans are equipped for visitors. Every year in April, the Tulip Festival is held here in the spring.
Heading towards the strait, you can see the summer residences of Turkish nobles. Perhaps, for outdoor recreation, this is the best place in Istanbul.
16. Bosphorus Strait (Istanbul)
The largest Turkish city of Istanbul on both sides of the Bosphorus
Istanbul is not only the largest Turkish city, it is unique in its own way due to its location in two parts of the world at once, in Europe and Asia. And the border between them passes precisely along the Bosphorus Strait – the water artery in which the Black and Marmara Seas converged. It is believed that the strait was formed about 8 thousand years ago, in the process of mass melting of oceanic glaciers. Today, a trip to Istanbul is not complete without visiting the Bosphorus, exploring local monuments and beauties. For example, in the surrounding areas you can see ancient marble palaces, stone fortresses, old Turkish mansions and ultra-modern hotels. In order to fully experience the charm of this place, it is worth taking a trip on a tourist steamer or yacht through the waters of the strait. The main attractions of the bay are the Bosphorus Bridge and the Golden Horn Bay, on the coast of which ancient Byzantium once existed.
17. Dolmabahce Palace (Istanbul)
Main Gate Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul public domain
View of the Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul from the Bosphorus Strait DavidConFran
Ceremonial hall with a chandelier donated by Queen Victoria at Dolmabahce Gryffindor Palace
For those wishing to see the original architectural sights of Turkey, Istanbul will demonstrate in all its glory the majestic building in the baroque and rococo styles, so unusual for this place. Dolmabahce is the palace of the Ottoman sultans, located on the European side of the Bosphorus. Once this creation was a symbol of the prosperity of the Ottoman Empire, and its history began in the 19th century, when Sultan Abdul Mejid ordered the creation of a European-style complex. In the 20-30s of the last century, the palace was the residence of the first president of the republic, Ataturk, who stayed here until his death. Since then, the palace complex has turned into a museum; up to 3,000 people visit it daily. The palace includes almost 3 hundred rooms, 46 reception halls, 6 baths, as well as a mosque, a library, a harem and other premises. The entrance to the territory of the palace is decorated with magnificent Treasure Gates, decorated with textured molding.
Official website: http://www.millisaraylar
18. The ancient city of Ephesus (Selçuk)
The ruins of the Temple of Artemis in the ancient city of Ephesus Adam Carr
The ancient city of Ephesus, which stores artifacts from the Neolithic era, evidence of Byzantine rule and fragments of the history of the Ottoman Empire, today has the status of an open-air museum and is listed as a world heritage site. It was founded in the 10th century. BC. Greek-Ionians as a port city, it was during that period that the temples of the gods – Athena and Apollo were built. Over the following centuries, power over the city passed from hand to hand, and in the 5th-6th centuries Ephesus was one of the most important cities of the Byzantine Empire. The most interesting sights of the archaeological complex today are the library of Celsus, the Bolshoi Theater, the theatrical gymnasium, the gates of Hercules, the basilica, the marble road, the temple of Domitian and a number of other valuable ancient ruins. From the legendary Temple of Artemis, which was set on fire as early as the 4th century. BC, only one dilapidated column and a couple of stone blocks remained, the rest of the ruins slowly disappeared over the centuries, plunging into the local swamp.
19. The ancient city of Side (Antalya)
The ruins of the ancient theater in the ancient city of Side Autumn haze
Dozens of objects with ancient ruins that testify to the existence of the earliest civilizations in the world are priceless historical and archaeological sites of Turkey. Side is an ancient city that is called an open-air museum. Today it is a resort with secluded beaches and beautiful nature, but these territories still contain a lot of evidence of ancient civilizations. For example, here you can see the amphitheater, which accommodated up to 20 thousand spectators, the ruins of the ancient temple of Apollo, from which only five marble columns remained, the ruins of the Agora market, where slaves were traded. On the way to the Old City, you can see other objects of antiquity – the Nymphaeum Fountain, the arched gates that were erected in honor of the Roman emperor Vespasian, and the museum of ancient art operates in the well-preserved cellars of the ancient Roman baths.
20. The ancient city of Phaselis (Antalya)
The structures of the ancient city of Phaselis that have survived to this day evatutin
In search of an archaeological site in Turkey, Antalya will reveal to everyone the secrets of another ancient city – Phaselis. This is a great place for an educational excursion and relaxation – there is a shady coniferous forest, a quiet harbor, picturesque views, and the cleanest beaches. But undoubtedly, the main advantage is the ancient ruins of the city, founded in the 7th century. BC. and having a rich history. Phaselis was once a large settlement, it had three harbors, was famous for roses and purple oil, and after becoming a member of the Lycian League, it minted coins following the model of this commonwealth. However, the ruins of urban structures still belong to other periods – Roman and Byzantine, starting from the 7th century. AD Among the surviving structures, one can distinguish an aqueduct, the ruins of the temple of Athena, an amphitheater, baths, as well as the main avenue, about 20 meters wide, lined with stone slabs.
21. The ancient city of Troy (Tevfikiye village)
Sanctuary with wells in the southwest of the ancient city of Troy
Odeon for musical performances in the ancient city of Troy
Numerous open-air museums are a real treasure of the historical land on which modern Turkey is spread. The ruins of the city of Troy are invaluable evidence of the legendary Trojan War, the events of which were reflected in ancient Greek literature, including the famous poems “Odyssey” and “Iliad” by Homer. According to historians, the history of Troy began with a small settlement, and only then large buildings and fortifications made of brick and stone grew there, eventually occupying an area of 270 thousand square meters. In turn, archaeologists count nine layers of the ancient city, starting from about the 30th century. BC. One of the cult monuments is the famous Trojan horse, or rather a wooden copy of the same horse. Visitors may enjoy visiting the Temple of Athena, the Odeon Concert Hall, the Museum of Excavations, as well as the preserved houses of the Trojan rich and famous.
22. Fortress (Alanya)
Medieval fortress of the XIII century in the city of Alanya
A real symbol of Alanya, a city within a city, the most important attraction – all this is an ancient fortress built on a 250-meter high peninsula above the sea. Today, it is still overlooked from anywhere in the city and at the same time is an excellent observation deck. Most of its buildings were erected in the 13th century – for example, in 12 years 7 kilometers of walls, about 150 towers, a lot of other structures and, of course, a citadel on the very top of the mountain were erected here. Many of these monuments have retained a view close to the original. You can start the tour from the Ehmedek fortress, built to defend the fortress, and climbing to the top, complete the tour with the main object – the fortress of Ich-Kale. On the way, you can see the Suleymaniye Mosque, the Church of St. George and the “balcony of death” Adam Atajak, a natural ledge that serves as an observation deck.
Official website: https://www.alanya.bel
23. Kyzyl Kule (Red Tower) Tower (Alanya)
View of the Red Tower and the port from the observation deck of the fortress in Alanya
Translated from Turkish, Kyzyl-Kul means “Red Tower”. The building is located in the port of the city and is a symbol of Alanya. An octagonal red brick tower with 5 floors was built in 1226 by order of Aladdin Keykubat. Currently, the first floor of Kyzyl-Kule is occupied by the Alanya Ethnographic Museum.
24. Lycian Tombs (Demre)
Rock-cut Lycian tombs at Demre in Antalya Province, Turkey < p>Ancient Myra, founded in the 5th c. BC, was once a powerful religious center and an object of mass pilgrimage – after all, according to the scriptures, here in 60 AD. preached by the disciple of Christ, the apostle Paul. It is on the territory of ancient Myra that the Lycian tombs are located – one of the oldest burial structures in the world. The Lycians believed that after death the soul reincarnates into a winged creature, and they believed that the higher the body is buried, the faster the soul will go to heaven. That is why the ancient necropolis was erected on a cliff, carved directly into the rock. The work on the creation of tombs required enormous effort, therefore only the most noble persons were buried here – each tomb had two rooms inside with a sarcophagus located in one of them, and outwardly the structure was made similar to the facade of a house or temple, carving in the firmament the likeness of columns, pylons, relief images, etc.
25. Green Canyon (Green Canyon) (Taurus Mountains)
Stunning landscape of the Green Canyon in the Taurus Mountains Alexander Annenkov
Green Canyon – the largest canyon reservoir in Turkey Alexander Annenkov
The peninsula of Asia Minor, on which part of modern Turkey is located, is not only traces of a great history and popular resorts, but also interesting nature. Near the southern coast of the peninsula is Green Canyon – contrary to the name, this is not a canyon in its usual sense, but a huge reservoir that has become a joint creation of nature and man. The man-made reservoir and the territories in the Taurus Mountains that surround it have for some time now acquired the status of a national park. And if the mountains originated here back in the Paleozoic era, then the reservoir appeared quite recently – in 1983, when the dam was opened. In fact, this is a valley artificially flooded with water, which is delivered here by 27 mountain springs. Today, the canyon is especially loved by tourists – people come here to admire the views of the mountains, take a boat trip, swim in the emerald waters and relax in one of the local restaurants.
26. Panagia Sumela Monastery (Trabzon)
Panagia Sumela Monastery on the chalk rock of Trabzon on the Black Sea coast
One of the oldest monasteries and Orthodox churches in the world is located 50 kilometers from the city of Trabzon. The monastery of Panagia Sumela, founded in the 4th century AD, is unique not only for its antiquity – it is also interesting because it is carved right into the rock. The monastery is located at an altitude of about 300 meters above sea level on the slope of Mount Mela, in the territory that belongs to the Altyndere National Park. The main value of the monastery was once the first miraculous image of the Mother of God “Panagia Sumela”, which means “All-holy from Mount Mela”. This image was painted by the apostle and evangelist Luke himself, the first icon painter in history. The temple, which was repeatedly plundered by the Turks, managed to preserve the most valuable shrine. The monks saved the icon during another raid by burying it in the ground. And in 1923, one brave monk took out the icon and moved it to Athens – to this day it is kept in Greece, in the city of Naousa.
27. Damlatash Cave (Alanya)
Stalactites and stalagmites in the Damlatas cave in the center of Alanya BillBl
Tourists inside the beautiful Damlatash salt cave Kostya Wiki
Few people know that Alanya, in addition to the possibilities of a resort holiday, is fraught with very interesting places, a visit to which will dilute a passive holiday on the coast. The most interesting thing is that one of these places is located in the very center of the city, and getting here is quite simple. This is the Dalmatash cave, discovered in the middle of the last century quite by accident, on the site of a quarry that worked here: during the next explosion of the rock, amazingly beautiful views of the dungeon opened up to the workers. Colored stalactites and stalagmites, which are already about 15 thousand years old, create an incredible sight, similar to some fantastic scenery. It is noteworthy that the air of the cave is highly saturated with carbon dioxide – doctors say that this property helps in the fight against lung diseases. The territorial accessibility and the fabulous atmosphere of the cave are ideal conditions for visiting attractions with children.
28. Cleopatra's Pool (Pamukkale)
Antique marble columns at the bottom of Cleopatra's pool in Pamukkale
One of the wonders of the world is the popular tourist site of Pamukkale, striking in its beauty. On the way to Pamukkale, there is another natural attraction – the Cleopatra thermal pool, based on the nearby warm thermal springs. The rich mineral composition of thermal waters has a beneficial effect on health, healing and rejuvenating the body. The depth of the bath reaches 10 meters, the water is crystal clear and transparent, and at the bottom it is easy to see stone fragments of ancient Roman buildings – once the pool was surrounded by an antique portico, but as a result of an earthquake in the 7th century, the surrounding columns collapsed to the bottom – they lie there today. Going to explore the sights of Turkey on your own, you should definitely visit this place to take a healing bath in a calm atmosphere, devoid of noise and bustle of sightseeing.
29. Fiery mountain Yanartash (Kemer)
“Fire-breathing Chimera” on the top of Mount Yanartash Carole Raddato
Fiery mountain Yanartas – the most visited place among tourists Elena Pleskevich
Fiery Mount Yanartas at night Andrew Fysh
For those wishing to see the most mysterious natural sights of Turkey, Kemer will demonstrate an amazing geological phenomenon that occurs on the fiery mountain Yanartas. The mountain got its name not by chance – large accumulations of gas that seep through the rock, spontaneously ignite when released into the air. It is not surprising that many legends were born around this unique place, one of which tells of a fire-breathing Chimera who lived on the mountain. During the battle with the ancient Greek hero named Bellefront, the terrible Chimera was defeated and thrown into the nearest abyss – since then the mountain has become “fire-breathing”. Yanartash is the only mountain of its kind where the fire has not been extinguished for thousands of years. It is especially beautiful at the top at night, when the area is illuminated by many natural torches. And during the day, stunning views of Cirali Bay open up from the mountain.
30. Manavgat Waterfall (Side)
A small picturesque Manavgat waterfall on the Manavgat River in the province of Antalya user:pufacz
Antalya is rich in architectural, entertainment, historical and cultural sights of Turkey. The presentation of this province, however, will not do without the natural beauties of the area. Manavgat Waterfall is a charming corner, which is located in the resort town of Side. In fact, it is not a waterfall in the full sense of the word, but a wide picturesque threshold on the river of the same name, up to 2 meters high and about 40 meters wide. The river itself originates in mountain canyons, where underground springs flow, and therefore the water in it is crystal clear and cold, not higher than +12 degrees. Around the waterfall there is a park with several viewing platforms from which you can observe a beautiful natural phenomenon. Also on the territory of the park there is a network of walking paths along which there are shops, souvenir stalls and cafes.
31. Mount Nemrut-Dag (Adiyaman)
Panorama of the Nemrut Dag mountain range in southeastern Turkey Florian Koch
Huge stone heads on Mount Nemrut-Dag Florian Koch
In the south-east of Turkey, in the area of u200bu200bthe eastern ridge of the Taurus, there is a peak – Mount Nemrut-Dag with a height of 2150 meters. The peculiarity of this natural object lies in the ancient buildings and sculptures of the Hellenistic era, preserved at the top. The fact is that a huge history was made on this mountain, which has been measured for thousands of years. So, in the 2nd century BC. the mountain belonged to the territory of the state of Commagen, which, although it was small, but its rulers were distinguished by authority and ambition. For example, King Antioch created his own religion here, assigned the status of God to himself, and ordered the construction of a large religious complex in his honor on Mount Nemrut. However, after his death, the work stopped, and the construction was not completed. Today you can see a huge burial ground and a sanctuary dedicated to the proud Antiochus, as well as a number of stone heads that once “belonged” to the statues of the gods.
32. Mount Ararat (eastern Turkey)
Mount Ararat is a popular tourist attraction in Eastern Turkey
In search of the most impressive natural landmark in Turkey, the guide will take you to the east of the country – to where the royal Mount Ararat, covered with a snow cap, rises. This is the highest peak in Turkey, it is a volcano with two volcanic peaks – one peak has a height of more than 5100 m, the second is about 4000 m. This volcano erupted five times in its history, and the last eruption shook the area in 1840, in as a result of which the local monastery and village were destroyed. Although Ararat is not the highest mountain in the world, it is not famous for this, but for its involvement in biblical history. Every Christian knows this place as a haven for Noah's ark when it was saved from the global flood. Nowadays, the volcano is dormant, and you can climb its height from the north, where bewitching views will open, but only experienced climbers can climb the glacier.
Next to Turkey is the country of myths and ancient legends – Greece. While in Turkey, think about visiting this country as well. Read about the sights of Greece and get inspired for your further journey through Asian countries!