The Marvels of Turkey
Bestowed with natural beauty, spectacular sights, breath-taking architecture
By Team Vacations Exotica
Bestowed with natural beauty, spectacular sights, breath-taking architecture, Turkey is a destination to not miss in a lifetime. With interesting museums, poised mosques, vibrant nightlife and several rich experiences, this marvellous pace offers you more than what you could wish for.
Straddled between the cross-roads of Europe and Asia, Turkey enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate. Despite its large size, the country is well-connected by public transport and it is easy to get around even on your own. The railway network is extensive, there are several bus routes and internal air travel is not expensive.
If you are looking to travel with a bunch of friends, Turkey makes for a convenient travel destination. Home to the kebabs, Evil Eye souvenirs, the legend of Troy and aromatic signature coffee, it hard to say goodbye to this place. Below is an in-depth selection of must-visit places in Turkey.
Keep your camera phones charged as Cappadocia is completely Instagram-worthy. The unique rocky landscape set against cone-shaped rock formations, with hot-air balloons suspended mid-air is a sight to behold.
A city tour of Cappadocia covers key places including the Pigeon Valley near Uchisar, the Open-Air Museum in Goreme, Christian churches, Kaymakli Underground City and Valley of the Monks. Cappadocia inherits a rich history and interesting archaeological sites that have revealed 36 underground cities; some with churches, bedrooms, storage places, kitchens and even wineries. The Göreme Open Air Museum – a UNESCO World Heritage Site is the best way to get a grip of detailed frescoes and designs carved into medieval cave churches dating back to the 10th century. End your trip in Cappadocia with a shopping spree at Avanos – a tented market that has everything from home decor, clothing, fruits and vegetables to some popular handicraft items.
Known as the Cotton Castle, Pamukkale offers a surreal landscape of 17 hot springs made of hard calcium deposits resemble a snow mountain from a distance. This ancient spa is said to have healing properties because of high calcium, magnesium sulphate and bicarbonate content. You can dunk yourselves in the warm sacred waters and feel the therapy work its wonders, just as the Roman Kings once did.
The ruins of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the city of Hierapolis including the Theatre, Apollo Temple and magnificent Necropolis, the graveyard, are incredibly well preserved. About 50 minutes’ drive away from Pamukkale is Aphrodisias; an ancient city dedicated to the goddess of Love, Aphrodite - famous for its sculpture school and museum.
On the way to Pamukkale is the striking city of Konya; the 7th largest city in Turkey, once known as Iconium in Roman times. The 13th century Sultanhani Caravanserai built on the famous silk route, the Mausoleum of Mevlana, and Karatay Theological School (Museum of Tile Works) are highlights of Konya.
Kusadasi is a beach resort town on Turkey’s western Aegean coast. The dreamy seafront promenade, marina and harbour are lined with exquisite hotels, pubs and restaurants. The star attraction here is Ephesu. Exploring Ephesu requires a full day of sightseeing including the region's most important historic sites namely, the ruins of Odeon, Hercules Gate, the temple of Hadrian, the magnificent library, Agora and the fantastic Greco-Roman theatre. The House of Virgin Mary is where locals say she spent her last days. The Selcuk Ephesus Museum and St. John Church shouldn’t be missed either.
Istanbul is the city of Islamic grace with spires and domes of mosques. It envelopes a European experience with its medieval architecture, amazing food, art galleries and museums. The beautiful Bosphorus, the remnants of Ottoman empires and different cultures at every turn draw tourists to Turkey every year. Walking through St. Sophia, Byzantine Hippodrome and Blue Mosque is like a journey back in time when Istanbul was all of powerful sultans and their harems.
The street food, local produce from villages, Turkish delights, endless varieties of cheeses and olives entice enthusiastic foodies to Istanbul’s culinary bazaars. Take a break from the streets and spend a memorable evening cruising along the Bosphorus strait. A diverse programme of shows including Belly Dancing and other traditional entertainment keeps your spirits high
There is something for everyone’s taste in Turkey. It is all about sand-and-sea holidays, amazing castles, harbour views and boats ready to whisk you down the coast, and many easy day-tripping distance destinations. The Haman experience in Turkish baths is top notch and leaves you rejuvenated. One cannot leave Turkey without a bag full of Turkish delights, the ice cream experience and some hazelnuts.
Always wanted to visit Turkey? Check out the comfortable schedule and itinerary on the Vacations Exotica website as it inspires you to include Turkey on your bucket list.