Let’s… Take a Trip around Turkey’s Hotspots – Part 2!
Last month we covered our top 5 best places in which to visit and enjoy, so given that we promised a list of the ‘Top Ten’ it’s only fair that we now give you those, starting with Number 6, and the Ancient City of Ephesus.
Number 6 – The Ancient City of Ephesus
If you love your history, and you want to feel like you are back in time, then this Ancient City is where you want to be. One of the most frequently visited historical sites in the world, and a place that made it onto the UNESCO World Heritage List back in 2015, it’s located 80km from Izmir, and is visited by a whopping 14 million tourists every year.
Had the Ancient City continued to be highly successful, most Historians say that it would have even Rivalled Rome, and not only was it hugely important as an Aegean Trading Port, but it also played a significant role in Christianity with Saint John, Saint Paul and the Virgin Mary spending time here.
In terms of things to do and see, there’s just so much which include the Library of Celsus which was originally built in 125AD, the Temple of Artemis which was constructed out of Marble & one of the largest temples ever built, The Odeon which was a theatre built in around 150AD, the Temple of Hadrian, The Isa Bey Mosque, and the House of Virgin Mary.
Celsus Library in Ephesus, Turkey
Number 7 – The Turquoise Coast
The Turquoise Coast, a scene of natural beauty, crystal clear turquoise waters, fabulous food, and the historical towns and villages such as Fethiye, Kayakoy, Oludeniz, Ovacik, Hisaronu, Calis & Uzumlu.
Fethiye is a gorgeous harbour town built on the ruins of the ancient city of Telmessos whose theatre can still be seen in the towns centre. Home to some of Turkey’s most beautiful beaches, it’s excellent for shopping, eating, and visiting the old town of Paspatur, plus the Fethiye Musuem and the Lycian Rock Tombs.
Kayakoy is the ghost village that was abandoned with around 500 houses, churches, schools & Greek ruins. Oludeniz is famous for its award winning blue lagoon and white sandy beaches, Ovacik and Hisaronu are perfect holiday resorts for all the family, Calis offers local & traditional markets & places to shop & eat and Uzumlu has views of the stunning valley, and is best known for its local wine production.
Oludeniz Beach Fethiye
Number 8 – Istanbul
One of the World’s most incredible cities, built on two continents with one side on the European & the other on the Asian. A huge mix of diversities and cultures, spread across its 39 different districts and a city that won the 2010 European Capital of Culture.
Istanbul has always held an important role in the history of humanity, starting off with it’s foundations which take it all the way back to the city of Byzantium in the 7th century BC. Due to it’s unique strategic location, everyone wanted to be hear, so it’s been fought over throughout history changing hands several times over. It’s now home to well over 14 million people making it the largest city in Turkey.
It’s a terrific place for shopping and must see places include the Grand Bazaar and Egyptian Spice Market. It’s fabulous for History and sites include the Hagia Sofia Church, The Galata Tower, The Dolmabahce Palace on the Bosphorus, The Archaeological Museums & the Roman, Turkish & Byzantine ruins. It’s amazing for it’s religion and culture including the Suleymaniye Mosque, Sultan Ahmet Mosque, The Hippodrome and the Topkapi Palace Museum.
It’s just got a little bit of everything – for everyone.
Istanbul, Turkey, View on Golden Horn bay from Galata Tower
Number 9 – Mardin City
This ancient city located in the South Eastern part of Turkey is relatively less visited than other parts of Turkey, but it’s well worth a visit given its stunning sandstone landscape and multicultural, historical background.
There are influences from Turkish, Kurdish, Arab, and Assyrian cultures and it’s located in the Mesopotamian plains and an Ancient Castle. A trip to the Museum to further understand its history is advised, as is the Holy Forty Martyrs Church which offers beautiful carvings and inner courtyards.
There’s also the Bazaar, and the Zinciriye Medresesi which dates back to 1385 and is the place where you can enjoy the most stunning landscape views of the local area and mountains.
There’s a couple of good hotels in town too, if you want to spend longer here.
Beautiful Mardin old city landscape from Zinciriye Madrasah
Number 10 – Pamukkale
We have to thank Mother Nature for this one, and it is truly a sight to behold. Located in the Denizli province it offers natural calcium water pools, dotted over the hillside, amongst the rocks and the landscape. Set around 160m above ground, you’ll also be able to look out over the beautiful landscape whilst enjoying the warm waters.
The Pamukkale museum will tell you all about the pools, how they were formed and also give you information on the local people that used to live in the great cities of Hierapolis and Laodicea nearby. You can actually go and visit the old city of Hierapolis, and see the old Gate, Triton Fountain, the old Bath complex, city walls and the ancient theatre.
It’s actually one of Turkey’s top attractions, so you won’t be alone – there were just over 2.58 million visitors in 2019. Just an FYI – there is an entrance fee.
Hot air balloons in travertine pools limestone terraces at sunrise in Pamukkale, Denizli
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