What to see in Turkey if you are not traveling for the first time …
All inclusive hotels are truly a brilliant invention of mankind. But they also have one significant drawback – here the very next day you turn into a lazy seal that can only move along the route “restaurant-beach-number” and vice versa. Perhaps that is why many people think that in Turkey there is nothing interesting outside the gates of the hotel. Sure? We will try to prove that there is a completely different Turkey that you do not know.
Ancient monuments left after the parade of conquerors, postcard landscapes, amazing facts of the penetration of Europe into Asia, the Byzantine and Ottoman history of Istanbul, the ruins of Ephesus and the surreal panoramas of Pamukkale and Cappadocia are all also Turkey. And she deserves to briefly break away from the usual atmosphere of the hotel and see something truly majestic and eternal.
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul
Many authoritative publications call the Byzantine Cathedral Hagia Sophia a place that everyone must visit at least once in their life. Known as one of the most beautiful buildings in the world, it is not only the main attraction of Istanbul, but also Turkey. The giant building, surrounded by subtle minarets that appeared after the Ottoman conquest, recalls the power and strength of Constantinople. The ancient history and masses of legends are associated with the name of Hagia Sophia, and here, according to legend, the most secret desires come true – you just need to touch the Weeping Column.
Ephesus is located near Kusadasi and Izmir, 4 km west of Selcuk. This ancient antique city is one of the best preserved in the Mediterranean region and gives an idea of the golden age of the Roman Empire. His most famous artifact is the ancient temple of Artemis, which was one of the seven wonders of the world. True, only one column remained from the temple, but the Celsus library, the stadium where the sports and gladiator fights, the temple and the gates of Hadrian, the marble road paved in the 1st century AD, the fountain of the emperor Trajan were well preserved.
An amazing place that other attractions cannot match. No wonder it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can get here on a sightseeing bus from almost all tourist destinations – Istanbul, Kusadasi, Marmaris, Bodrum or Antalya. Surrealistic, like the hovering valleys of Cappadocia, are every photographer’s dream. Cave settlements of the early Christian era, the Valley of Love with its bizarre cliffs, a salt lake with pink flamingos are just a short list of what you can see here. And, of course, ballooning – the only way to get a complete picture of Cappadocia.
One of Turkey’s most famous natural wonders is the clean white travertine terraces of Pamukkale (“Cotton Castle”), cascading down the slope. They create an absolutely fantastic and irrational landscape – like a snow field in the midst of a green landscape. You will take your best photographs here at the time of sunset, when the travertines glow, slowly plunging into twilight. Although everyone comes to Pamukkale precisely for these mineral springs, pay attention also to the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Hierapolis on a hilltop. Excursions are brought here from all tourist places in Turkey.
Monastery Panagia Sumela, Trabzon
One of the oldest Orthodox monasteries in the world was built at the beginning of the 5th century. This is the main Christian attraction of Turkey and a place of pilgrimage for both Orthodox and Catholics. Located high in the mountains, Sumel Monastery is somewhat reminiscent of the Greek Meteors. Here was kept the miraculous icon of the Virgin Panagia Sumela, painted by the apostle Luke himself. The monastery was first opened in the Byzantine era and was closed only in 1923. Today, wandering through his deserted cells, it is easy to imagine the isolated life of the monks who once prayed here.
Mount Nemrut, Adyyaman
The main attraction of Eastern Turkey is the funerary hill on the top of Mount Nemrut, strewn with the remains of the once gigantic statues that guarded it. This strange place is one of the most peculiar archaeological sites in Turkey. And, possibly, the world. The giant stone heads of the long-forgotten gods look from the top, creating an eerie atmosphere over a barren mountain peak. It is best to be here at the time of sunrise, when the statues seem to come out of the dark.
To the south of Antalya is the beautifully preserved part of the Roman theater Aspendos, dating back to the reign of Marcus Aurelius. The place is considered the best example of the ancient classical theater and one of the main attractions of antiquity.
Turkey has many ruins of the ancient era, but not one of them looks so romantic. This is an incredibly atmospheric place that sends us many millennia ago, namely, in the XII century BC, when the city of Pergamum was founded