Things to See in Turkey

One of the most visited regions in the country, this is also one of the most fascinating locations you will ever visit. From the underground cities of Derinkuyu and Kaymakli to the Valley of the Fairy Chimneys or Peribacalar Vadisi, Cappadocia is regarded by many as a virtual geological playground. Indeed, it is this particular feature which makes it so unique as most its attractions have been created entirely by natural forces. Furthermore, there is so much which has yet to be uncovered in the region as experts suspect that there are at least twenty more cities and villages buried underground. The best time to visit is May or September when temperatures are not too hot and if you can make it, this is certainly something you really don’t want to miss.

Particularly significant for visitors from Australia and New Zealand, this peninsula has seen its fair share of battle over the centuries but it was those which took place almost a century ago during World War I that were to become the most significant. With over two hundred thousand casualties which included nationals from Britain, France, India, Australia and New Zealand, the carnage was phenomenal. Today over thirty cemeteries containing twenty two thousand graves can be found on the peninsula as well as several important monuments and thousands from all over the world make the pilgrimage to honour their war heroes. Most of the battlefields and the peninsula itself is now covered by national park lands but the memories live on and a visit to Galipoli is both a moving and fascinating experience.

No trip to Turkey would be complete without paying a visit to the only city in the world that’s built on two continents. Home to a whole host of activities and attractions, you really should allow yourself quite a few days to get around this amazing city. Among the most visited sites in Istanbul are the Blue Mosque, the Church of Saint Sophia or Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace. But, as well as the wealth of churches and temples, you also have the option of a shopping trip like no other in the Grand Bazaar, the largest market in the world or you could take a trip on the Bosphorous, a journey well worth making. Finally, to relax after all this sightseeing and shopping head to a traditional Turkish bath or hamam where all your stress will be washed away.

A name known the world over thanks to the poetry of Homer and the legendary story of the Wooden Horse of Troy, the region is now home to a host of ancient cities which were not discovered until the late nineteenth century by Californian archaeologist, Heinrich Schliemann. Excavations have been taking place ever since and have uncovered nine ancient cities which have been built on top of each other. Troy I dates from as far back as about 3000BC while Troy IX dates from about 500AD. On a visit to the region you get to see step back in time and witness over five thousand years of history. This is something which can never be captured in books or on film, it’s the real thing and makes for a rather memorable visit.

And now for something completely different. A town with no particular sights and just two small beaches might sound pretty far removed from so many locations in Turkey and from the ones which we have already mentioned. But, it is these very same features which make it so special. This is traditional Turkey, virtually free from outside tourism. A beautiful marina town with more than enough to occupy you during your stay but a place where you can relax and enjoy the true Turkish culture, Datca should feature on everyone’s itinerary while you are in the country.

This village’s main claim to fame is as the birthplace of the fourth century bishop St. Nicholas who was later immortalised as Santa Claus. As well as this, however, Patara is home to one of the most impressive beaches in Turkey some twenty kilometres long and fifty kilometres wide. And the beach in turn is home to the endangered Loggerhead turtles who come ashore to lay their eggs at night from May to September. While you can use the beach during the day throughout this period, nighttime visits are prohibited. Finally, as well as the beach you can visit the ruins of the ancient port of Patara, check out the Roman baths and Lycian tombs and visit the natural wetlands and dune areas to see some of the native flora and fauna.