Best attractions in Turkey: Top 32

Turkey welcomes tourists with that special oriental flavor, which reeks of the fairy tales of Scheherazade. Here they will find an atmosphere of antiquity, saturated with mysteries and riddles, the contemplation of the extraordinary masterpieces, created by nature and the hands of talented craftsmen, enjoying the amazing views of the fascinating Bosphorus. This is impossible to convey in words, you just need to feel it by visiting the most famous sights of Turkey. What to see in Turkey, if you come here for the first time? Especially for you, we have compiled this list of the most interesting places in Turkey.

What to see first in Turkey

The prospect of plunging into the atmosphere of antiquity and visit the real Oriental bazaar attracts millions of tourists. Do not fear negative reactions from the locals can those who are accompanied by guides in Turkey, who will instruct in advance how to behave in the streets and temples, and quickly solve any problem that may arise.

1. Hagia Sophia Cathedral in Istanbul (Istanbul)

Hagia Sophia Cathedral in Istanbul

No walk around Istanbul is complete without a visit to this most successful representative of Byzantine-era architecture, the Hagia Sophia - Hagia Sophia. Five years work of 10 000 workers of Constantinople and countless amounts of money spent on its construction, found reflection in a giant construction, which was destined to become a symbol of Byzantine power.

The temple itself is made of brick, but expensive materials such as ivory, gold, silver and precious stones were used in its decoration. The cathedral was consecrated in 537 and symbolized the power and greatness of the empire. After the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks it was renamed the Ayia Sophia.

The temple is located in the Sultanahmet district, in the heart of the old part of Istanbul. It is crowned by an architectural masterpiece represented by a dome system of enormous dimensions. The main value of the interior decoration of the mosque is the mosaics and frescoes of amazing beauty. The light pouring in through the 40 windows creates the illusion of a dome floating in the sky.

Tourists’ imagination is struck not only by the beauty of the temple, but also by the powerful energy that can be felt inside it.

Official website: https://ayasofyamuzesi.gov.tr



2. Topkapi Palace (Istanbul)

Topkapi Palace in Istanbul

Almost all tours in Istanbul include a visit to this place. The main residence of the sultans for 4 centuries, Topkapi Palace served as a haven for 25 sultans of the Ottoman Empire. It was built in the 15th century for Sultan Mehmed II. In the mid 16th century Suleiman I built a harem for women with children at the request of Roksolana. In the mid-19th century the Dolmabahce Palace was built as the Sultan’s residence.

As a museum this attraction of Turkey opened in 1923 on the order of the Turkish and Ottoman politician and reformer Ataturk.

The outer palace is represented by official and public buildings. In the inner palace are the private chambers of the Sultan. In the first courtyard are the Museum of the Ancient Orient, the Archaeological Museum and the Tile Pavilion. From the second courtyard one can enter the Harem and the inner treasury.

Through the Lucky Gate one enters the third courtyard with the Sultan’s private quarters and the Throne Room. Here are also the Library of Ahmed II and the Holy Mantle Pavilion. There are amazing views of the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn from the Fourth Court, where the parks, pavilions, swimming pools and tiled pavilions are located.

Official website: https://topkapisarayi.gov.tr



3. The Blue Mosque (Istanbul)

The Blue Mosque in Istanbul

Who does not know what to see in Turkey, can safely go to the area of Sultanahmet - the mass of sights located here will expand the horizons of even the most sophisticated tourists. One of the most famous is the Blue Mosque, the dome of which attracts attention from afar.

The interior decorations use a large number of blue and white tiles, which is why the mosque got its name. It consists of 6 minarets, two of which are located on the outer corners, and four - on the sides. The unusual addition of two minarets (their classic number is 4) makes it unique. The architecture is a surprising mix of styles: Byzantine and classical Ottoman.

The interior decoration is as magnificent as the facade. The floral ornaments on the tiles and the 260 stained glass windows on the wall to which one turns when praying impresses. There are luxurious handmade carpets on the floor. The mihrab, a prayer niche made from a single piece of marble, deserves special attention.

Official website: https://www.sultanahmetcamii.org

4. Basilica Cistern (Istanbul)

The ancient underground water reservoir of Constantinople

In summer, you want to find sights in Turkey that would help you escape the red-hot sun. Just such is located in the area of Sultanahmet - Basilica Cistern, which is an ancient underground reservoir, perfectly preserved since the times of Constantinople. At a depth of 10-12 m you can see a lot of interesting things.

The presence of 336 columns 9 m high in the architecture gives the Cistern a similarity to a palace. Brought from several ancient temples, they have external differences. Once the Greeks took care of the safety of water in the Cistern, so they made the walls 4 meters thick of fireproof bricks and covered them with a special waterproofing mortar.

The faint illumination of the room inside creates an atmosphere of mystery and seclusion.

What to visit in Turkey to be remembered forever? The “Column of Tears” in the Basilica Cistern. According to legend, inserting a finger into one of the curls, which it is decorated with, you need to turn it through 360° and make a cherished wish. This place will be remembered forever, especially if what you wish for comes true!

Official site: https://yerebatansarnici.com

5. Süleymaniye Mosque (Istanbul)

Beautiful Süleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul

All landmarks in Turkey reflect certain stages of national history. This largest mosque in Istanbul is no exception. Once the treasury of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent became very impoverished because of the huge expenditures for its construction.

The size of the building can accommodate about 5 thousand visitors. On its territory, in addition to the mosque, are baths, kitchens, madrasas, observatories, libraries and 4 high minarets. There is also Hamam - Turkish baths for steam visits (a single tourist will not be allowed there). During tours, erudite guides in Istanbul are sure to tell at least one romantic story about the unearthly love of the Sultan and the former harem slave Roksolana.

Inside, the mosque is flooded with light coming in from outside, which helps to see the amazingly beautiful stained glass windows.

Some elements of the mosque are symbolic. For example, the presence of 10 balconies signifies that the sultan was the 10th in the dynasty, and the 4 minarets proclaim that he was the 4th Sultan of Istanbul.

Despite suffering 89 earthquakes, the mosque still retains its majesty and graceful lines conveyed by its talented architects.

Be sure to watch this beautiful video about Turkey!

6. Istanbul Archaeological Museum (Istanbul)

Facade of Istanbul Archaeological Museum

There is something to see in Turkey for people interested in Turkish culture of different times. This, one of the largest museums in the world, has about 1 million exhibits.

Istanbul Museum is housed in three buildings next to the Topkapi Palace and Gulhane Park. It includes the Main Building, the Museum of the Ancient East and the Tile Pavilion with samples of Turkish ceramics.

The opening of the museum was initiated by Osman Hamdi Bey, a Turkish diplomat, artist, archaeologist and cultural figure. In 1891 the first part of the museum building in neoclassical style was opened, the latter was completed in 1908.

Among the exhibits tourists can see the busts of Alexander of Macedon and Zeus, the sarcophagus of a weeping woman discovered in the necropolis of Sidon, Sidon sarcophagus of King Abdalonimos, ancient Greek statues, artifacts from the excavations of Troy, fragments of the Temple of Athens, the obelisk of Adad-Nirari III and other masterpieces of Byzantine and ancient art. Some of them are of universal value.

Official site: https://www.istanbularkeoloji.gov.tr

7. Grand Bazaar (Istanbul)

The Grand Bazaar - large indoor market

Not all sights in Turkey make you solemnly swoon at their contemplation. On the contrary, the sight of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar gets your blood pumping, anticipating the sweetness of Turkey’s famous shopping experience.

The beginning of the construction of Grand Bazaar dates back to 1461. There are several gates through which you can enter the Grand Bazaar. The most beautiful is the Nurosmane Gate in Moorish arch style.

The huge bazaar complex includes 22 gates, 2 covered markets, 24 hotels, market squares, mosques, restaurants, fountains, snack bars and baths. There are more than 4 thousand benches, and the whole territory is divided into more than 60 streets. Jewelry, spices, rugs, ceramics, clothes and Turkish arms are sold here. It seems that you can buy everything here.

The success of shopping in this place is the ability to bargain. Given that the original price can be inflated by 2 or more times, you can get the desired item for much less.

The old streets of the Grand Bazaar evoke a special oriental atmosphere, so you should come here even without the intention to buy something.

Official site: https://www.grandbazaaristanbul.org

8. Chora Monastery (Istanbul)

The Chora Monastery is an island of Byzantine culture

What to see in Turkey if you already know all about its Muslim culture and want something new? The Chora Monastery is a true representation of Byzantine era culture. The second word of its name in Greek means ‘suburb, far away place’.

The history of the monastery reflects part of the complicated history of Istanbul itself, which had to change its name several times. More than once the building was destroyed, then restored again. The building that survived to this day dates back to the end of XI century. In the middle of the 15th century, during the conquest of Constantinople by Turkish troops, the icon of Our Lady of Hodegetria, who was considered the heavenly protector of the city, was moved into the monastery, which then bore the name of the Church of Christ the Savior in Chora. Half a century later, the Turks, neglecting the shrine, plastered over its frescoes, turning the building into a Turkish mosque. In the mid-20th century, during the restoration, they were cleaned.

The church of Chora, which remains of the monastery, has an unsightly facade. But inside it fascinates with the amazing beauty of mosaics and frescos. Of particular interest is the dome with a fresco of the face of Christ surrounded by apostles.

Official website: https://kariye.muze.gov.tr

9. Galata Tower (Istanbul)

The Galata Tower is an old monument of Istanbul

There is something to visit in Turkey and in the European part of Istanbul. The Galata Tower, along with the bridge of the same name, is a symbolic part of the city. With its huge height of 61 meters and its location on a hill it is visible from almost anywhere in the city. With a diameter of 9 m and the walls about 4 m thick, it makes a strong impression.

It was built in the middle of the 14th century and was called the Tower of Christ. At the beginning of the XVI century. it was slightly destroyed in an earthquake, but later it was rebuilt. For visitors the tower was opened in 1965.

One of the 2 elevators inside takes visitors up to a height of 137 meters overlooking Golden Horn Bay, all of Istanbul and the Sea of Marmara. The observation deck of the tower is a popular place for tourists to take pictures. Especially good photos are taken in the evening before sunset: the panoramic shots of night Istanbul are great. There is also a restaurant and cafe upstairs.

10. Cappadocia in Turkey

Cappadocia Tourist Center

It is impossible to see all the sights of Turkey. But some of them are definitely worth a visit. Cappadocia, a historical area without clear political boundaries, stretches in the center of the country. Walking around the large tourist center makes you think of being on another planet. The wonderful nature allows you to admire the valleys, mountains, rock massifs.

In Cappadocia there are real sanctuaries and underground cities that are impossible to ignore once you get here. Among them is the open-air museum of Goreme with 30 cave churches, the Ihlara Gorge with many churches on the steep walls, the underground cities of Urgup, Nevşehir, Derinkuyu, Kaymakli. The last two are connected by a 9 km long tunnel.

On the territory of Cappadocia there are many small villages, replete with small temples. To explore the landscape you can rent a scooter, for a better view of the surrounding area from height will be interesting excursion in a hot-air balloon.

Cappadocia is impossible to travel around in a day, so tourists are at the service of small hotels, where you can stay overnight.

Attractions in Turkey: what else to visit while in Turkey

On the fact what tours in Turkey the traveler will choose, directly depends on the impression of the trip as a whole, so take this issue seriously. Especially because there are many tourist attractions in every Turkish city. Our list is a must - you cannot do without it as it is your guide to the world of local attractions!

11. Pamukkale Resort (Pamukkale, Turkey)

Pamukkale Resort Geothermal Springs

What to visit in Turkey to improve your health? The Pamukkale health resort is about 250 km from Antalya, and has 17 geothermal springs with water of different temperatures. The hydrogen sulfide and calcium oxide they are rich in will make you forget all your ailments. Treatment is carried out under the supervision of doctors.

In Pamukkale besides the healing springs there are also historical monuments, which attract the attention of tourists. Among them are the ruins of Hierapolis, an ancient city about 3 thousand years old. This Turkish attraction has a swimming pool, in which, according to legend, Cleopatra herself bathed. This place never lacks tourists.

Another valuable monument is a well-preserved amphitheater of astounding size, which can accommodate 12 thousand spectators.

Pamukkale owes its exotic natural landscape to the action of hot springs, which contribute to the formation of lime deposits on travertine terraces. Falling from a height, the water for centuries created petrified white cascades, shimmering in the sunlight. This mesmerizing spectacle and the possibility of treatment attract millions of tourists here. Pamukkale can safely be included in the top of the most beautiful places on our planet.

Official website: https://www.pamukkale.net

12. Aspendos Amphitheater (Turkey)

Aspendos Amphitheatre these days

Almost all sights in Turkey turn tourists’ eyes back to a distant time. The ancient city of Aspendos, founded on two hills, is no exception.

Founded in the 5th century BC, the city became one of the 3 major cities of Pamphylia. After it came under Byzantine rule it lost its power and ceased to exist.

Today tourists are shown many buildings, the remains of which have survived to this day. The orchestra pit was designed for about 500 musicians and 9 rows of steps length of 96 m could accommodate 17 thousand spectators, who were always covered from the scorching sun by the arched gallery of extraordinary beauty.

Even today the Aspendos amphitheater hosts opera productions, ballets and musical concerts. The amazing acoustics gives artists the opportunity to perform without microphones. Thanks to the rugged limestone and the special layout of the building it has been wonderfully preserved to this day.

13. The Ancient City of Demre Mira (Demre)

Ancient City of Demre-Mira

Famous attractions in Turkey are always ready to offer their tourists a maximum of services, making their leisure time more comfortable. Demre - a Turkish town with a rich history - has all the necessary infrastructure for a quality holiday: hotels, restaurants, car rental stores, travel agencies. This place is called the tomato paradise: the number of greenhouses where tomatoes are grown is impressive!

The architecture of the city is unremarkable with only faceless boxes of buildings. But the city is famous for something else - its historical monuments.

Telling what to see in Turkey, guides often advise to come to Demru and walk through the ruins of the ancient city of Mira, which is located here. The most important city of Lycia, it was once a religious center. Even when it lost its power after the 7th century flood, pilgrims never ceased to flock to it. They were attracted by the church of St. Nicholas located there.

Now there are only ruins of Mira. You can visit the acting open-air museum with the remains of acropolis, Lycian tombs and sarcophagi. The rock tombs impress, some of them are carved in the shape of houses.

This striking example from the Lycian past is truly worth a visit.

14. Maiden’s Tower (Istanbul)

High Maiden Tower

Some landmarks in Turkey have inspired artists and writers to create famous works of art. Such objects include the Maiden’s Tower, which served Russian painter Aivazovsky as the subject for one of his paintings.

The stories that guides tell about the tower are sometimes like fairy tales. Its image can be found on magnets, mugs, postcards and other souvenirs for tourists.

The Maiden’s Tower is located in a narrow spot on the Bosporus Strait, which makes different stories about its original purpose logical. According to one version, the tower was built to control the Greeks over the Persian ships, according to another - to carry out surveillance of the Strait by the Byzantines.

The tower has a rich history: it used to be a customs office, a lighthouse, and a prison. In 1999 the object was repaired. Here opened a restaurant, a viewing platform, souvenir stores and cafes. From the observation deck there is a beautiful panorama of the city.

15. Emirgan Park (Istanbul)

Tulip blossoms in Emirgan Park

Let the main attractions of Turkey impress tourists with the luxurious decoration of sultan’s chambers and rich facade decoration, but in amazing Istanbul there are places that deserve separate attention. Among them is the picturesque Emirgan, a park that stretches along the European side of the Bosphorus.

Today, looking at this well-groomed splendor, it’s hard to believe that it once grew wild forests. In the XVII century the Ottoman sultan presented this piece of land to the Iranian khan Emirkhan (after him the park is named), after that it changed owners a few times.

Nowadays the park is a wonderful place for citizens and tourists. Over 120 species of bushes, flowers and trees can be seen on a huge area (about 450 square meters). In addition to typical Turkish plants, there are exotic plants from other parts of the world.

The rich nature of the park is complemented by numerous pavilions with restaurants, stores and cafes. Picnic sites, playgrounds, a small pond with ducks and swans are equipped for visitors. Every year in April in spring there is held the Tulip Festival.

Heading towards the Strait, you can see the summer residences of the Turkish nobles. This is probably the best place in Istanbul for a vacation in nature.

16. Bosphorus (Istanbul)

The largest Turkish city Istanbul is on both sides of the Bosphorus Strait

Istanbul is not only Turkey’s largest city, it is unique in its own way because of its location in two parts of the world, Europe and Asia at once. And the border between them lies exactly on the Bosphorus Strait, the waterway where the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara meet. It is believed that the strait was formed about 8 thousand years ago, during the massive melting of oceanic glaciers. Today, a trip to Istanbul does not do without visiting the Bosphorus, the study of local monuments and beauties. For example, in the surrounding areas you can see ancient marble palaces, stone fortresses, old Turkish mansions and ultra-modern hotels. In order to fully experience the charm of this place, it is worth a trip on a tourist steamer or yacht on the waters of the strait. The main attractions of the bay are the Bosphorus Bridge and the Golden Horn Bay, on the coast of which once existed the ancient Byzantium.

17. Dolmabahçe Palace (Istanbul)

The main gate of Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul public domain
View from the Bosphorus Strait to Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul DavidConFran
The ceremonial hall with a chandelier given by Queen Victoria at Dolmabahçe Palace Gryffindor

For those wishing to see the original architectural landmarks of Turkey, Istanbul will show in all its glory the majestic structure in the Baroque and Rococo styles, so unusual for this place. Dolmabahce is the palace of the Ottoman sultans on the European side of the Bosphorus. This creation was once a symbol of the prosperity of the Ottoman Empire, and its history began in the 19th century, when Sultan Abdul-Medjid ordered the creation of a complex in the European style. In 20-30th of the last century the palace was the residence of Ataturk, the first president of the Republic, who stayed here until his death. Since then, the palace complex turned into a museum, it is visited by up to 3,000 people every day. It contains almost three hundred rooms, 46 reception halls, 6 baths, as well as a mosque, library, harem and other premises. The entrance to the palace grounds is adorned with a magnificent Treasure Gate decorated with textured molding.

Official website: https://www.millisaraylar.gov.tr

18. The Ancient City of Ephesus (Selcuk)

Ruins of the Temple of Artemis in the Ancient City of Ephesus Adam Carr

The ancient city of Ephesus, with artifacts from the Neolithic Age, evidence of Byzantine domination and fragments of Ottoman history, today has the status of an open-air museum and is listed as a world heritage site. It was founded in the 10th century BC by the Ionian Greeks as a port city and the temples of the gods Athena and Apollo were built during this period. In the following centuries, power over the city changed hands, and in the 5-6 centuries Ephesus was one of the most important cities of the Byzantine Empire. The most interesting sights of the archaeological complex today are the Celsus Library, the Great Theater, the theater gymnasium, the Hercules Gate, the basilica, the marble road, the Domitian temple and a number of other valuable ancient ruins. From the legendary temple of Artemis, which suffered arson back in the 4th century B.C., only one half-destroyed column and a pair of stone blocks remain, the remaining ruins have slowly receded over the centuries, sinking into the local swamp.

19. The Ancient City of Side (Antalya)

The ruins of an ancient theater in the ancient city of Side Autumn Mist

Dozens of sites with ancient ruins testifying to the world’s earliest civilizations are priceless historical and archaeological sites in Turkey. Side is an ancient city that has been called an open-air museum. Today it is a resort with secluded beaches and beautiful nature, but still there is a lot of evidence of ancient civilizations. For example, here you can see the amphitheater, which could accommodate up to 20 thousand spectators, the ruins of the ancient temple of Apollo, of which only five marble columns are left, the ruins of the market Agora, which traded slaves. On the way to the Old City you can meet other objects of antiquity - the fountain Nympheum, the arch gate, which was erected in honor of the Roman Emperor Vespasian, and in the well-preserved basement of the ancient Roman baths there is a museum of ancient art.

20. The ancient city of Phaselis (Antalya)

The extant structures of the ancient city of Fazelis evatutin

In search of an archaeological site in Turkey, Antalya will reveal to everyone the secrets of another ancient city, Fazelis. This is a great place for an informative tour and recreation - there is a shady pine forest, a quiet harbor, scenic views, and clean beaches. But undoubtedly, the main advantage are the ancient ruins of the city, founded in the 7th century BC and had a rich history. Phaselis was once a major settlement, it had three harbors, was famous for its roses and lily oil and became a member of the Lycian League, minting coins on the model of this commonwealth. However, the ruins of the city belong to other periods - the Roman and Byzantine period from the 7th century AD. Among the surviving buildings are the aqueduct, the ruins of the temple of Athena, the amphitheater, the baths, and the main avenue about 20 meters wide, laid out with stone slabs.

21. The ancient city of Troy (the village of Teufikia)

A sanctuary with wells in the southwest of the ancient city of Troy
Odeon for musical performances in the ancient city of Troy

Numerous open-air museums are a real treasure of the historic land on which modern-day Turkey spreads. The ruins of the city of Troy are priceless evidence of the legendary Trojan War, the events of which were reflected in ancient Greek literature, including the famous poems “The Odyssey” and “The Iliad” by Homer. According to historians, the history of Troy began with a small settlement, and only then there grew large buildings and fortifications made of brick and stone, eventually occupying an area of 270 thousand square meters. In turn, archaeologists count nine layers of the ancient city, starting from about 30 c. BC One of the iconic monuments is the famous Trojan horse, or rather a wooden copy of that very horse. Visitors may enjoy visiting the Temple of Athena, the Odeon Concert Hall, the Excavation Museum, and the preserved homes of the Trojan rich and famous.

22. The Castle (Alanya)

A medieval fortress of the 13th century in the city of Alanya

The real symbol of Alanya, the city in the city, the most important place of interest is the ancient castle, built on a 250-meter elevation of the peninsula above the sea. Today, it is still visible from any point of the city and at the same time is an excellent observation point. Most of its buildings were built in the 13th century - for example, in 12 years there were built 7 kilometers of walls, about 150 towers, a mass of other structures and, of course, the citadel at the top of the mountain. Many of these monuments have retained their appearance, close to the original. You can start the tour with a fortress Ekhmedek, built to defend the fortress, and after climbing to the top to complete the tour of the main object - Ich-Kale Fortress. Along the way you can see the still active Suleimaniye Mosque, the Church of St. George and the “balcony of death” Adam Atadjak - a natural ledge that serves as an observation deck.

Official website: https://www.alanya.bel.tr

23. Kizil Kule Tower (Red Tower) (Alanya)

View of the Red Tower and the port from the observation deck of the fortress in Alanya

Kızıl Kule means “Red Tower” in Turkish. It is located in the port of the city and is the symbol of Alanya. The octagonal red brick tower with 5 floors was built in 1226 by order of Alladin Keikubat. Currently, the first floor of Kızıl-Kule is occupied by the Alanya Ethnographic Museum.

Official website: https://www.alanya.bel.tr

24. Lycian tombs (Demre)

The rock-cut Lycian tombs in Demre in Antalya Province, Turkey

Ancient Myra, founded in the 5th century B.C., was once a powerful religious center and an object of mass pilgrimage because, according to writings, it was here that Apostle Paul, a disciple of Christ, preached in 60 A.D. It is on the territory of ancient Myra where the Lycian tombs are located - one of the oldest funerary structures in the world. The Lycians believed that after death the soul reincarnates into a winged being, and believed that the higher the body was buried, the faster the soul would go to heaven. That’s why the ancient necropolis was built on a cliff, carved directly into the rock. Every tomb had two rooms with a sarcophagus in one of them, and the exterior of the building resembled a house or temple, with columns, pylons, relief images, etc., carved into the rock.

25. Green Canyon (Green Canyon) (Taurus Mountains)

A stunning landscape of Green Canyon in the Taura Mountains Alexander Annenkov
The Green Canyon is the largest canyon water reservoir in Turkey Alexander Annenkov

The Asia Minor Peninsula, where part of modern Turkey is located, is not only the traces of great history and popular resorts, but also interesting nature. Near the southern coast of the peninsula is Green Canyon - contrary to the name, it is not a canyon in its usual sense, but a huge reservoir, which has become a joint creation of nature and man. Man-made reservoir and territories in the Taurus Mountains, which surround it, have some time ago acquired the status of a national park. And if the mountains originated here back in the Paleozoic era, the reservoir appeared quite recently - in 1983, when the opening of the constructed dam took place. In fact, it is a valley artificially filled with water, which is delivered here by 27 mountain springs. Today the canyon is especially loved by tourists - people come here to admire the views of the mountains, take a boat ride, swim in the emerald waters and relax in one of the local restaurants.

26. Panagia Sumela Monastery (Trabzon)

The Panagia Sumela Monastery on the Trabzon chalk cliffs on the Black Sea coast

One of the oldest monasteries and Orthodox churches in the world, located 50 km from the city of Trabzon. Panagia Sumela Monastery, founded in the 4th century AD, is unique not only because of its antiquity - it is also interesting because it is carved right in the rock. The monastery is located at an altitude of about 300 meters above sea level on the slopes of Mount Mela, in the territory, which belongs to the national park of Altyndere. The main value of the monastery was once the first miraculous image of the Mother of God “Panagia Sumela”, which means “All-Holy from Mount Mela”. This image was painted by the Apostle and Evangelist Luke himself, the first iconographer in history. The temple, which had been repeatedly plundered by the Turks, managed to keep the most precious icon. Monks saved the icon during another raid by burying it in the ground. And in 1923, a courageous monk retrieved the icon and transported it to Athens - it is still kept in Greece, in the city of Naoussa.

27. Damlatas Cave (Alanya)

Stalactites and stalagmites in Damlatas Cave in downtown Alanya BillBl
Tourists inside the beautiful Damlatas Salt Cave Kostya Wiki

Not many people know that Alanya, in addition to resort recreation opportunities, conceals very interesting places, a visit to which will dilute a passive vacation on the coast. The most interesting thing is that one of these places is located in the center of the city, and to get here is quite easy. This is a cave Dalmatash, which was discovered in the middle of last century by chance, on the site of the quarry worked here: the next explosion of rock workers discovered a surprisingly beautiful views of the underground. Colorful stalactites and stalagmites, which are already about 15 thousand years old, create an incredible spectacle, like some fantastic scenery. It is noteworthy that the air in the cave is strongly saturated with carbon dioxide - medics say that this property helps in the fight against lung disease. Territorial accessibility and fabulous atmosphere of the cave are ideal conditions for visiting the site with children.

28. Cleopatra’s Pool (Pamukkale)

Antique marble columns at the bottom of Cleopatra Pool in Pamukkale

Pamukkale, a popular tourist attraction, is called one of the wonders of the world. On the way to Pamukkale there is another natural attraction, Cleopatra Thermal Pool which is based on nearby warm thermal springs. The rich mineral composition of thermal waters has beneficial effects on health, healing and rejuvenating the body. The depth of the bathtub is 10 meters, the water is crystal clear and transparent, and at the bottom it is easy to see the stone fragments of Roman buildings - at one time the pool was surrounded by an ancient portico, but an earthquake in the 7th century caused the surrounding columns to collapse to the bottom - they’re still there today. Going to explore the sights of Turkey on your own, it is definitely worth visiting this place to take a healing bath in a quiet atmosphere, devoid of the noise and excursion bustle.

29. Yanartas Fiery Mountain (Kemer)

"Fire-breathing Chimera" on top of Yanartas Mountain Carole Raddato
The Yanartas Fire Mountain is the most visited place among tourists Elena Pleskevich

Yanartas Fire Mountain in Turkey Fire Mountain Yanartas at night Andrew Fysh

Those wishing to see the most mysterious natural attractions of Turkey, Kemer will demonstrate an amazing geological phenomenon that occurs on a fiery mountain Yanartas. The mountain has got its name not by accident - large accumulations of gas that seep through the rocks, when it comes out in the air spontaneously ignite. No wonder that around this unique place was born many legends, one of which tells of a fire-breathing Chimera, who lived on the mountain. When battling the ancient Greek hero Bellefronte, the terrible Chimera was defeated and thrown into the nearest abyss - since then the mountain has become “fire-breathing”. Yanartash is the only mountain of its kind where fire has not died out for thousands of years. The peak is especially beautiful at night when the area is lit by many natural torches. And in the daytime, the mountain offers stunning views of the bay of Cirali.

30. Manavgat Falls (Side)

A small picturesque Manavgat waterfall on the Manavgat River in Antalya province user:pufacz

Antalya is rich in architectural, entertainment, historical and cultural attractions in Turkey. The presentation of this province, however, will not do without the natural beauties of the area. Manavgat Waterfall is a charming place, which is located near the resort town of Side. In fact, it is not a waterfall in the full sense of the word, and a wide picturesque rapids on the river of the same name, the height to 2 meters, and a width of about 40 meters. The river itself begins in the mountain canyons, where the underground springs, and therefore the water in it is crystal clear and cold, no higher than +12 degrees. Around the waterfall there is a park with several viewing platforms, from which you can observe the beautiful natural phenomenon. Also in the park there is a network of walking paths, along which are located stores, souvenir stalls and cafes.

31. Mount Nemrut-Dag (Adiyaman)

Panorama of the Nemrut-Dag mountain range in southeastern Turkey Florian Koch
Great stone heads on Mount Nemrut-Dag Florian Koch

Nemrut Dağ Mountain, 2150 meters tall, is located in the southeast of Turkey in the area of the eastern Taurus Range. The peculiarity of this natural object lies in the ancient constructions and statues of the Hellenistic era preserved at the top. The fact is that on this mountain a huge history, which can be measured in thousands of years, took place. For example, in the 2nd century BC the mountain belonged to the territory of the state of Commagene, which, although small, but its rulers were distinguished by power and ambition. For example, King Antiochus created his own religion here, granted himself the status of God, and ordered the construction of a large religious complex on Mount Nemrut in his honor. After his death, however, work ceased, and construction was not completed. Today we can see a huge burial ground and sanctuary dedicated to the proud Antiochus, as well as a number of stone heads that once “belonged” to the statues of the gods.

32. Mount Ararat (eastern Turkey)

Mount Ararat is a popular tourist attraction in eastern Turkey

In search of Turkey’s most impressive natural attraction, the guide will take you to the east of the country - where the regal Mount Ararat, covered in a snowy cap, rises. It is the highest peak in Turkey and is a volcano with two volcanic peaks - one peak is over 5100 m high and the other is about 4000 m high. This volcano has erupted five times in its history, and the last eruption shook the surrounding area in 1840, destroying the local monastery and village. Although Ararat is not the highest mountain in the world, it is famous not for that, but for its involvement in biblical history. Every Christian knows this place as Noah’s ark, which was rescued from the flood. Today the volcano is asleep, and on his heights can be accessed from the north, where you can open up fascinating views, but to climb the glacier can only be experienced climbers.

Near Turkey is a country of myths and ancient legends - Greece. Staying in Turkey, think about visiting this country. Read about sights of Greece and get inspired for your future journey to Asia!