fter you’ve been to Istanbul and Ankara, what’s next? With a landscape that spans two continents, and a history of having been the centre of several thriving civilisations dating as far back as the Bronze Age, it’s no wonder even visitors who have been on numerous Turkey tours are always discovering new sights to see and exciting things to do.
Fairy chimneys, underground cities and over 600 rock-cut cave churches in a stunning setting vaguely reminiscent of your very own lunar landing makes Cappadocia an essential stop in Turkey. One activity popular with many visitors on Turkey tours is a hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia for a birds-eye view of the magnificent (and almost surreal) landscape (or moonscape!) created by the eruption of volcanoes about 60 million years ago, and refined by the erosion caused by wind and water. You’ll certainly also want to take a walking tour through the different natural and man-made wonders the area has to offer.
- Goreme– referred to as Korama in the oldest documents, this town is a favourite stop on Turkey tours for its proximity to the Goreme Open Air Museum, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site with a large number of rock-cut churches, cave dwellings and monasteries.
- Derinkuyu– the site of another popular stop on the Cappadocian leg of most Turkey tours. It is one of the deepest and most elaborate underground cities, extending seven and eight levels deep into the earth, and is carved from volcanic stone.
- Ortahisar – often bypassed on many Turkey tours, this quaintly charming town is a good stop to enjoy authentic Turkish small-town life.
Turkey’s third largest city, formerly known as Smyrna, is the capital of the province, where many must-see sights on definitive Turkey tours abound. This important port on the Turkish Aegean coast is not only the financial and trade centre, but has a history of being one of the Ottoman Empire’s most prosperous cities. Top sights include:
- Izmir – see the ancient Agora, the largest evidence of Izmir’s long history as a regional trade centre, Kemeralti Bazaar, St. Polycarp Church, Konak Square where you’ll also see Konak Mosque and the landmark Clock Tower, and more.
- Ephesus – also known as Efes, and the second-largest city of the Roman Empire lies 3 kilometres southwest of Selçuk, It is a favourite of bible scholars and historians on Turkey tours. The Temple of Artemis, the Great Theatre, the Odeon, and the house of the Virgin Mary
- Pamukkale – also known as Hierapolis, this favourite stop on Turkey tours is famous for its dazzling white mineral terraces and sacred hot springs where you can swim amidst ruins of Roman columns. Other must-see sights are the Temple of Apollo, the Gate of Domitian, and the Plutonium, which the ancients believed was the entrance to the underworld.
Always More To Discover On Turkey Tours
With the richness of its landscape, culture and history, visitors are never short on choices of what to see and do, so you may want expert help to make the most of your visit to Turkey. Tours specially designed according to your specific interests and needs can be planned to make sure each and every minute of your stay is enjoyable and, ultimately, unforgettable!
About the Author
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gordon Trevennan works for Peter Sommer Travels, a company specialising in cultural, educational, and historical Turkey tours as well as gulet cruises and charters in Turkey, Greece, and Italy. Our experienced guides bring the past to life on all of the Turkey tours that we offer.
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