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8 Must Visit Attractions to See in Turkey

8 Must Visit Attractions to See in Turkey

DESTINATIONS, EUROPE, SITES TO SEE, TURKEY

If you’re looking for a unique holiday experience, full of history, adventure and scenic landscapes, Turkey is the perfect destination. Between the stunning cities, mosques, and natural wonders, we had a hard time narrowing down to eight recommendations. But if you’re tempted to fly out and see some truly unique destinations, take a look at this list of our favorites!

 

1. Ephesus

Ephesus is rife with beautiful ruins, including the famous Library of Celsus through the Augustus Gate, the Great Theater which was used for gladiator games as well as theater. Then there’s the Artemision, which is a temple to Artemis and one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Also consider a day trip to nearby Sirince, a hillside town perfect for trying out Turkish food, sampling some fruit wines and exploring a vineyard or two.

 

Library of Celsus by Carmen Edelson
Library of Celsus by Carmen Edelson – Carmen’s Luxury Travel

 

2. Amasya

This unassuming city, located in the mountains of Northern Turkey, revolves around the Green River. Whether preserved Ottoman houses are your thing, or you’re more interested in cliff-side tombs, there’s a lot to learn in this town which prides itself on being off the beaten path.

 

 

Amaya, Turkey photo by Raffaele used under Creative Commons License
Amaya, Turkey photo by Raffaele used under Creative Commons License

 

3. Blue Lagoon, Oludeniz

Another gorgeous natural site, the Blue Lagoon in Oludeniz is an oasis of sand, sun and clear blue waters. The waters are calm, warm and perfect for a family day out at the beach. Paragliding is the most popular water sport in the area and shouldn’t be missed.

 

Blue Lagoon, Oludeniz photo by Graham Currey under the Creative Commons License
Blue Lagoon, Oludeniz photo by Graham Currey used under the Creative Commons License

 

4. Nemrut

One of the most famous sites in Turkey is Nemrut, home to the tomb sanctuary of King Antiochus Theos of Commagene. This artificial “mountain” is littered with giant statues of the gods, including Zeus, Heracles and Apollo! Getting there can be tough, especially if you want to catch the sunrise, so booking a tour in advance is the best way to go.

 

Nemrut photo by Adam Gor under Creative Commons License
Nemrut photo by Adam Gor used under Creative Commons License

 

5. Tortum Falls and Erzurum Area

This is one of the longest waterfalls in the world. Eastern Turkey is slightly less developed and the landscape around both Tortum Falls and the town of Erzurum is gorgeous. If you are driving through, stop at some of the Georgian churches and take in the view of famed Mount Ararat.

 

Tortum Falls, photo by littlebox5 used under the Creative Commons License
Tortum Falls, photo by littlebox5 used under the Creative Commons License

 

6. Hagia Sophia

Take a trip to the city of Istanbul itself and you’ll find Hagia Sophia – one of the most famous mosques in the world – which today serves as a museum. The structure, built in 537 AD, is a feat of engineering, but people are most often drawn to the building because of the amazing mosaic tilework inside. It is also within walking distance of the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and the Basilica Cistern. Other stand-out religious spaces in Turkey include the Sumela Monastery in Trabzon and Selimiye Mosque in Edirne.

 

Hagia Sophia photo by Dennis Jarvis under the Creative Commons License
Hagia Sophia photo by Dennis Jarvis used under the Creative Commons License

 

7. Pamukkale, Denizli

A truly unique attraction, Pamukkale (which literally means “cotton fortress”) is a naturally occurring mineral bath spa. Hot water springs from the earth, forming a myriad of pools out of striking, bright-white calcium. The hardened white calcium gives this location an otherworldly quality that, nonetheless, provides relaxation and fun for visitors.

 

Pamukkale, Denizli photo by Dranreb Lepac used under the Creative Commons License
Pamukkale, Denizli photo by Dranreb Lepac used under the Creative Commons License

 

8. Troy

This city is world famous as a major location in Homer’s epic, the Illiad. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this city is steeped in the legends of Achilles, Paris, Hector, Agamemnon and Priam. Plus, there’s a replica Trojan Horse!

 

Archaeological Site of Troy photo by David Holt used under the Creative Commons License
Archaeological Site of Troy photo by David Holt used under the Creative Commons License

 

We hope this list gives you a glimpse of the inspirational sights you can enjoy if you visit this diverse country. And if you’re already Googling to book flights to Turkey, we don’t blame you!

 

About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder and Senior Editor of Carmen's Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Our travels allows her the opportunity to pursuit her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.

2 Comments

  1. Renata
    January 28, 2016 at 10:39 am
    Reply

    Thank you, Carmen, for the great tips. I agree, Turkey as a historic country has a lot of things to offer. Istanbul is one of my favourite cities. Hagia Sophia or the Blue mosque in Istabul are real architectonical gems. Pity that currently Turkey is not so safe country like still recent time ago. But anyway I hope that I will have opportunity to go there again and see places which I don´t know – e.g. the Tortum waterfalls and Pammukkale which you are suggesting.

    • Carmen
      January 28, 2016 at 12:33 pm

      I agree with you that Turkey offers a wealth of different kinds of destinations for travelers. Hopefully, one day soon it will be safe again to allow people to see what the country has to offer.

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