Turkey, Places to visit
Turkey is a vast and varied nation filled with plenty to explore – from the striking beaches of the Aegean and Mediterranean coastlines to the mountainous regions around Mt Ararat in the far east of the country. Scanning the highlights of the country, we’ve selected our opinion of five of the best travel-wonders in Turkey.
The volcanic rock formations at Cappadocia are located within the Goreme National Park and are a popular tourist attraction in the region. Around 4, 000 years ago, people started carving cave dwellings into the bizarrely shaped mounds of volcanic rock that were deposited by now extinct volcanoes. What remains is a remarkable and unique network of caves and tunnels, such as those at Derinkuyu, that stretch over 11 floors to a depth of around 85 metres.
Today you can still explore part of the Derinkuyu cave complex for a fascinating and truly unique glimpse into history. It’s also possible to take a hot air balloon ride above the Cappadocia area to view the rock formations from an alternative angle.
Hierapolis and Pamukkale
Around a 3 hours drive east from the popular holiday resort of Kusadisi Kuşadasi or 4 hours drive north of Antalya, you will find the ancient city of Hierapolis. Founded in the 2nd century B.C. Hierapolis is a UNESCO World Heritage Site whose name translates as “Sacred City” and is a beautiful and unreal landscape. A trip to Hierapolis rewards tourists with a selection of historic remains of the city, including the amphitheatre (top photo), the tombs of the Necropolis and the remains at the Temple of Apollo (the Greek God of the Sun).
The area is also famous for the Pamukkale hot springs, which appear white, due to the calcium deposited by the waters. Visitors to the springs can bathe in the warm waters which were once believed to have healing properties. Entrance to the springs and Hierapolis costs 20 Turkish Lira (approximately £9)*.
Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey, and the only city in the world that sits on two continents, Asia and Europe. Istanbul has a rich history that can be seen all over the city. Sightseeing opportunities are everywhere – from the majestic Blue Mosque and the Topkapi Palace (centre of the Ottoman Empire for more than 4 centuries) in Istanbul’s old city, to the thousands of shops and stalls at the Grand Bazaar, the worlds largest covered market.