Many Western tourists make the mistake of overlooking Turkey when thinking about idylic places to visit. This is a big mistake. If you travel to Turkey, you will find a climate similar to that of Southern California, friendly people who love family, beautiful beaches, and some of the most interesting natural features to be found anywhere in the world.
Turkey was the seat of the Ottoman and Byzantine empires, making it essentially the center of the world for many centuries. In fact, if you make it to Istanbul (which you should), you can find an old pillar that literally marks the center of the ancient world. Here are a few other must-see attractions that every Turkey travel aficionado should visit.
Visiting Cappadocia is like stepping into a fantasy world. The landscape is marked by towering spires that seem to burst out of the grounds. These spires, or “fairy chimneys,” are made of a soft rock that can be easily tunneled into. As a result, you can stay in a hotel room literally carved into a rock.
The landscape is littered with caves and tunnels, some of which house ancient Christian churches and murals. There are also cities dug as deep as eight stories into the ground that you can crawl down into. When visiting Cappadocia, make sure to spoil yourself with a hot air balloon trip — you’ll have an unparalleled view of the fairy chimneys, as well as hundreds of other hot air balloons.
Ephesus is an ancient city that was one of the largest in the Roman Empire during the first century BC. It is an amazing archaeological site that absolutely must be visited by any history buff. Here you can see the remains of one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Temple of Artemis. You can also take in the amazing ruins of the Library of Ephesus, which still stands two stories tall and at one time housed over 12,000 scrolls. Ephesus provides an amazing glimpse into what the world’s most advanced cities were like 2,000 years ago.
- Pamukkale / Hierapolis
Pamukkale is one of the most fascinating natural sites that you’ll ever see. Natural springs filled with calcium have shaped this landscape over millions of years. This towering summit is made of pure white calcium that ripples down the hillside in wide, flat pools of sapphire water. Starting at the bottom, you can enjoy a short hike up the hillside along the clear pools, stopping every now and then to sink your feet into the soft clay at the bottom of each pool.
Once you make it to the top, there’s another great surprise. On this wide plateau, you’ll find the ruins of Hierapolis, which spread for miles. The ruins here are not nearly as impressive as the ones at Ephesus, but they are certainly fascinating. Plus, for a reasonable fee, you can swim in an ancient mineral pool that is literally filled with fallen Roman columns and other ancient ruins. It’s an experience like none other.
When you travel to Turkey, remember that you will need a visa. Fortunately, obtaining a visa to Turkey is quite simple. You can purchase an e-visa online through Turkey’s official visa website. If you have trouble with the site or need help for any reason, we can help you obtain your e-visa for a small service fee, simply contact our team to get started.