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8 Things to do in Turkey

Author: David Pettitt

A land of great diversity influenced by a range of different cultures and with a fascinating history, Turkey combines dramatic scenery with some of the most important historical sites of the eastern Mediterranean. Explore the highlights of Istanbul and the extraordinary classical remains at Ephesus, Didyma, Miletus and Priene, discover the remarkable subterranean towns of Cappadocia, be charmed by the Ottoman-era town of Safranbolu or immerse yourself in the hot springs of Pamukkale. With so much on offer, here is a list of our favourite things to do in Turkey.

1 Explore the magnificent ancient city of Ephesus


Ephesus
Ephesus

Considered the finest archaeological site in Turkey, the ancient Greco-Roman city of Ephesus was one of Asia Minor’s most important cities and was later to become a key centre for both commerce and culture in the Roman Empire. Highlights include the exquisite Library of Celsus, Temple of Artemis which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Great Theatre and Harbour Street.

Featured in Classical Turkey



2 Discover the extraordinary cave-towns of Cappadocia


Cappadocia
Cappadocia

Located almost in the centre of Turkey, Cappadocia is an intriguing region of ethereal weather-beaten rock formations, ancient rock-cut churches and cavernous underground cities. This unique landscape has been for shelter and security since the Bronze Age. See the chapels and frescoes of Göreme, explore the rock-cut citadel at Uchisar and the underground cities of Kaymakli and Derinkuyu.

Featured in Central Turkey and the Caves of Cappadocia



3 Unearth the treasures of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar


Grand Bazaar, Istanbul
Grand Bazaar, Istanbul

For most visitors to Turkey a visit to a traditional market is high on the list. Although found in most towns throughout the country, it is Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar which is the most famous example. Located in the heart of the historic Sultanahmet district, this cavernous, covered marketplace dates to the medieval period and is a maze of twisting alleyways lined with over 4,000 inviting shops.

Featured in Istanbul City Break


Speak to a travel expert

Speaking to one of our experienced sales consultants is the best way to begin your Turkey holiday enquiry.

It allows us to answer any questions you may have as well as make suggestions and recommendations for your planned trip.

We are available on evenings and weekends by prior appointment so please do not hesitate to book a call in with us at a time convenient to you.


Book An Appointment


4 Soak up the Ottoman atmosphere of Safranbolu


Safranbolu
Safranbolu

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, charming Safranbolu is a small provincial town close to Turkey’s Black Sea coast. One of the best preserved Ottoman towns in Turkey, Safranbolu’s position on influential trading routes was to bring great wealth and, with it, merchants, academics and craftsmen. Today the wonderful old town with its mansion and timbered homes is testament to this prosperity.

Featured in The Hidden Heritage of Turkey’s Ottoman Empire



5 Bathe in the famous hot springs of Pamukkale


Pamukkale
Pamukkale

For centuries people have been drawn to, and also lived in and around, the hot springs of Pamukkale. The famous mineral-rich thermal waters have been used for centuries and the high levels of calcium have created a magical landscape of terraced basins and petrified waterfalls. The nearby Roman spa city of Hierapolis boasts an extensive bath complex, grand temples and a well-preserved theatre.

Featured in Classical Turkey



6 Relax beside the sea in the charming coastal town of Kas


Kas
Kas

The pretty Mediterranean town of Kas, with its cobbled streets and picturesque harbour, has changed little over the centuries. Overlooking the Greek island of Kastellorizo, Kas is an ideal base from which to explore the many fascinating archaeological and scenic sites of the surrounding region. Highlights include Kekova and the sunken city of Simena, ancient Xanthos and Saklikent gorge.

Featured in Turkey: An Olympian Odyssey



7 Admire a myriad of historical sites in Istanbul


Istanbul
Istanbul

One of the world’s great cities, famously straddling the continents of Europe and Asia, Istanbul is blessed with a cornucopia of historic sites. Most are centred on the ancient district of Sultanahmet with highlights being the stunning Byzantine-era Hagia Sofia, the vast Roman subterranean Basilica Cistern, the Blue Mosque and the one-time epicentre of the Ottoman Empire – Topkapi Palace.

Featured in Istanbul City Break


Speak to a travel expert

Speaking to one of our experienced sales consultants is the best way to begin your Turkey holiday enquiry.

It allows us to answer any questions you may have as well as make suggestions and recommendations for your planned trip.

We are available on evenings and weekends by prior appointment so please do not hesitate to book a call in with us at a time convenient to you.


Book An Appointment


8 Visit the ancient sites of Didyma, Miletus and Priene


Didyma
Didyma

Less-well known than many of Turkey’s other classical-era remains, the ancient Greek cities of Didyma, Miletus and Priene are located south of Ephesus and were once important trading and religious centres. All three ancient sites have plenty to see including the Apollo Temple in Didyma, the Temple of Athena in Priene and the theatre in Miletus which is said to have accommodated 15,000 people.

Featured in Classical Turkey

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