Must see places in Turkey

valeriandalex

There are countless reasons why you should visit this extraordinary country; swimming in the black sea and diving on the Mediterranean coast, trekking in Göreme national park or to admire the colored lavender fields and natural wonders like Pamukkale, are only few of many good excuses. You'll find here the best places to visit in Turkey.

It's a great country for history lovers as many empires ruled there for centuries, including the Lycians, Romans, Greeks, Seljuk Dynasty (Turk-Persian empire) and Ottomans.

The Turkish Republic (it isn’t called Turkey until 1923) is located where the three continents of the old world, Asia, Africa and Europe, are closest to each other and straddle the point where Europe and Asia meet.

Planning a road trip in a such big country can be challenging, so you will find our favorite place we have discovered. It will save you precious time, to enjoy as much as possible your Turkey road trip.

Edirne

This was our very first stop in Turkey, and it was a real positive starting point; Edirne isn't a touristic city and host one of the most well preserved mosque of Turkey, named Selimiye.

The city is close to Turkey's borders with Greece and Bulgaria and historically known as Adrianople.

Canakkale

Canakkale is a relaxing city full of restaurants, and is the nearest major town to the legendary ruins of Troy.

To arrive there we took a ferry from Kilitbahir. There are different companies running every half an hour, it takes 15 minutes for 35TL (5€).
The "wooden horse" from the 2004 movie Troy is exhibited on the seafront.

Pergamon

Pergamon was a rich and powerful ancient Greek city. The acropolis was the capital of the Hellenistic Attalid dynasty, a major center of learning in the ancient world. It shelters a well preserved amphitheater, the temple of Trajan, the temple of Athena, and more...

Entrance fee: 25TL (4,20€),
Gates open at 8AM.
Parking fee: 5TL (0,80c) but you can leave the car 1 kilometer before and have a short walk up.
A car-cable is also available, round-trip costs 20TL and one way is 15TL.


Izmir

Izmir is the 3rd largest city in the country, and it's the second fastest growing metropolis in the world according to Brooking institute.

Izmir is known to be the closest city near the most beautiful beaches in Turkey, so this is one of the reasons why Izmir is very courted and appreciated by tourists. The best time to visit the city is in March, April.

We stopped there to rest and to restock the car for the next weeks. It's a beautiful city to walk around, don't forget to check out Kemaraltı Market and the clock tower.

Ephes

About one hour driving from the center of Izmir, Ephes is one of the most photographed touristic destination of the country. The highlight of this city is the Celsus library who used to be one the most significant library of antiquity. It's one of this must-visit places in Turkey.

We suggest you to enter the site as soon as the gates open as it gets really busy in a few amount of time.
From April to October Ephesus ancient city is opened at 8.30am and closes at 6.30pm.
After October until March the sites open at 8am and closes at 4.30pm.
Ticket costs 60TL (9€).

Furthermore, if you have time, visit the Temple of Artemis, less than 5 kilometers away and free of Charge.

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=0ZCH5w_0YWqFPqn00

Pamukkale

Pamukkale, meaning "cotton castle" in Turkish, is a natural site in Denizli in southwestern Turkey. The area is famous for its carbonate mineral left by the flowing water. It's so authentic that it's one the best places to visit in Turkey.

There are 3 different access to the natural pools, and once again, if you want to appreciate the site not overcrowded, you need to get in early in the morning. Opening time is at 8AM in summer but the travertine seems to be open all day 24/24h.

We personally got inside at 7:30AM, entered from the northern parking (the closest to the pools) and paid the entrance fee of 35TL (5,80€) - we enjoyed the experience with few persons only, most of the buses will arrive after 9AM. Additional parking fee of 5TL (0,80c).


Fethiye

If you visit Fethiye, you can't miss Amyntas tombs - we were simply amazed about the Lycian architecture.

From Fethiye, there are many tours leading to the Butterfly Valley, a natural untouched landscape home to many species of butterflies.
You can reach this beach with a taxi boat from Olu Deniz beach, or by walk - drive until George house (about 20 kilometers from Fethiye old town), it's the closest point where you can leave your car and trek down to the beach.

But honestly, the beach is crowed with dozens of party boats which ruin the relaxing atmosphere of the beach...

TIPS: If you plan to reach the valley by walk, bring hiking shoes! We firstly tried in flip flop but some parts of the trail are challenging - about 45-60 minutes walking. Avoid pick hours or consider to sleep on the beach in one bungalow for less than 10€!

Tlos

The ancient site of Tlos is situated at the modern village of Yaka, 42 km east of Fethiye. It's a great place to visit if you are around here and it was one of the most powerful Lycian cities.

It includes an Acropolis hill, a stadium, an amphitheater, a market hall, baths and the tomb of Bellerophon, at the cost of only 5TL, less than 1€!

Gizlikent Seles

Surely a place "off the beaten path" for travelers, but a popular destination for locals; there is a photographer shooting everyone at the falls, then he prints all the photos and display them on a board to sell them! We really appreciate to see old methods, lost in our countries.

On the way there are many bars and restaurants where you can stop to relax next to the river, they are really affordable, cute and colored.

Kas

Kas is a very cute little town that shouldn’t be skipped on your road trip along Turkey’s coastline. It offers beautiful beaches, great food, lots of shopping and a much more.

A visit to Kaputas beach, 30 minutes drive from Kas, is definitely a must.

You can also go for a day-trip to Meis Island, which actually is part the Greeks island, to visit the famous blue cave and its unbelievable white sand and turquoise water. It only take 20 minutes by boat, at the cost of 10€ per person - don't forget your passport as you are entering another country!

Myra Ruins

Apart from the well known areas like Cappadocia and Pamukkale, Turkey has a lot more to offer, and the ancient city of Myra is one of these sights.

It was an ancient Greek town in Lycia, which became the small Turkish town of Kale, renamed Demre in 2005.
At Myra there is a large amphitheater which used to sit 13000 people, and the necropolis Lycian rock tombs.
Entry fee is 15TL (2€).

Also, 20 minutes walking from Myra ruins you can visit the home of Santa Claus, known as St Nicholas Church, for the small price of 15TL‌ (2€). Gates opens at 9AM.

Antalya

From huge shopping malls to kilometers of white beaches, Antalya is the perfect city to rest on your road trip. It's the largest Turkish city on the Mediterranean coast with 2,2M habitants, and over 10 times that number of tourists each year.

We stayed 3 days in Antalya for the only reason that we had to fix our camera who fell down because of a very windy day. The old town is a really cute quarter of the city, and we even spent a night in a fun park.

About 30 minutes north driving, you will find the stunning Kurşunlu şelalesi waterfall. It opens at 8AM and costs 10TL only!

Kuyucak Köyü

If you are in Turkey between June and August then head to Kuyucak. It'Thiss a tourist attraction, but perfect for photography and landscape lovers. It's famous for its large fields of lavender.

Where you will have again the possibility to swing in front of lavender field?


◦ Tuz lake

The majority of salt consuming of the country is extracted here. It's an amazing landscape destination, especially for sunset lovers - wait for the sun going down and you'll see the reflection on the shallow water.

Also it is the main breeding place in Turkey to a colony of greater flamingo.

Cappadocia

Cappadocia spans across 3 Central Anatolia regions which include Nevşehir, Kayseri and Niğde. It covers an area of around 5,000 km2 and the landscape was formed by volcanic erosion.

It's a vast area to explore, indeed we suggest to spend no less than three days here - you can trek through many valleys, ride horses at sunset and to sleep in cave hotels! You can check out our article devoted only to Cappadocia here.

It doesn't matter if you are not an early bird person, trust us, you will easily wake up early. Experiencing sunrise in front of hundreds hot air balloons in the sky is magical.
Please note that if the wind is too strong, the balloons will not fly.

So far, it was the highlight of our road trip in Turkey!

Ankara

Ankara is the Turkish capital but isn't a touristic city, even tho there are lots of stuff to visit.

You can walk in the old center, visit the mausoleum of Kemal Ataturk, Kocatepe mosque, the Roman baths, the Temple of Augustus and Rome and Ankara Castle.

We were not sure to stop in Ankara as we are not a big-cities lovers, but decided to give it a try and it turned to be a good idea.

Amasra

From Ankara we decided to head to the black sea, and after some research we choose Amasra as first destination. A cute small Black Sea port town in the Bartın Province, famous for its beaches and natural setting.
From here, we followed the coast until Istanbul, stopping along the way to enjoy our last swimmings in the end of September. The water temperature was still enjoyable.

Istanbul

The biggest city in Turkey! Istanbul is mostly extended in Europe, and you can really feel the mix of different cultures, due to high tourism levels.

The city is rich in art and places to visit, that's why the tourist activity is high. We loved the old Balat district and the Blue mosque, but some places like the Gran Bazar, are inauthentic in our opinion, especially when arriving from other Turkish regions. They all sell the same, mostly product from China and even make people pay to take pictures.

Driving in Istanbul has been a suffering experience, and we don't suggest to do it! The traffic is horrific, and they absolutely don't drive safely. Just to give you an idea, we think it's safer to drive in places like Bali and Hanoi.

TIPS

  • Renting a car in Turkey is extremely cheap.
  • Make sure to have a proper insurance and respect speed limit - on highway there are many cardboard police cars to keep speeding drivers in check.
  • Consider the long distances, and take appropriate rest stops.
  • It is a safe country for tourists, but be aware about thieves - they tried to open our car twice!
  • Enjoy the tasty local food and drink liters of tea (çay).

Lots of Love, Valerie & Alex

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We are Valerie & Alex, a couple with a passion for photography lifestyle, and traveling. Here, we are going to share our adventures, and hopefully inspire you to make your dream come true. You'll also find some tips and tricks about places we have explored, our travel gear, good deals and much more! instagram.com/valeriandalex

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