Due to its natural strategic position on a small peninsula into the Mediterranean Sea below the Taurus Mountains, Alanya has been a local stronghold for many Mediterranean based empires. It has a rich cultural and historic heritage. The most impressive sight is the 14-th century citadel located high above Alanya. Within its walls are quaint houses, mosques and a Byzantine church decorated with frescoes. Below the citadel you find sea caves and grottoes. The most famous is Damlatas or "Cape of Dripping Stones" hosting impressive stalactites and stalagmites. Other landmarks include: the Kizil Kule (Red Tower), Tersane (Shipyard), and Alanya Castle. Beautiful sandy Cleopatra beach lies to the west of the resort while the fine sands of Alanya beach stretch to the east, offering a wide choice of outdoor activities to its visitors.
Located on the shores of the Aegean Sea, Altinkum meaning "golden sands" is a popular holiday resort boasting three sandy beaches. In the evening you can stroll along the promenade to Dolphin Square. There is a range of bars and restaurants offering Turkish and British food. On a Saturday morning you can visit the vibrant market or take a boat trip. While in Altinkum, don't miss the Temple of Apollo which is only a short 10 minute journey from the resort centre. From Altinkum you can take day trips to ancient sites including Miletos and Ephesus.
Centrally located in Anatolia, Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the country's second largest city after Istanbul. It is an important commercial and cultural city. Ankara boasts a number of prestigious universities and technical colleges, as well as the largest library in the country. It is also a center for opera, ballet, jazz, and modern dance, and is home of the Presidential Symphony Orchestra, the State Theatre, and the State Opera and Ballet. The most interesting part of the city is Ulus, the old part of town. The main sight is the Kale, the fortress overlooking the city. Around town you will find a few remains of Roman times, like the Augustus temple, which became famous with historians because of the 'Monumentum Ancyranum', the legacy of emperor Augustus. Next to the temple ruin you will find the tomb of Haci Bayram and his mosque.
Located on the beautiful Mediterranean coast of southwestern Turkey, Antalya is considered to be "the capital of Turkish tourism". The diversity of landscape ranging from high mountains to sandy beaches, attracts lots of tourists. Here, you cand go skiing in the morning and in the afternoon you can sunbathe or go swimming. Other sports activities include exploring underwater caves, go rafting through lofty canyons or go hiking on St. Paul trod. The area also has an overwhelming number of archaeological wonders. The Karain Cave, where 50,000-year-old artifacts were discovered, is the oldest human habitation in Anatolia and can be visited here. The ancient mountaintop ruins of Termessos tell the story of Alexander the Great's lone unsuccessful military campaign. From Antalya you can take daytrips to the ancient sites of Aspendos, Perge, Phaselis, Manavgat, Side and Termessos - all are located within a distance of 50 km.
Formerly known as Hallicarnassus, Bodrum is the home of the great Mausoleum, one the seven wonders of antiquity, the famous castle, amphitheatre and to a very unique marine museum. Nowadays, it is Turkey's most popular seaside tourist destination, a party town with a magnificent mountain surrounding, that is full of great markets. The most impressive landmark is the Bodrum Castle, built by the Crusaders in the 15th century, overlooking the harbor and the International Marina. The castle grounds includes a Museum of Underwater Archeology and hosts several cultural festivals throughout the year. From here, you can take daytrips to the nearby islands or you can enjoy the Mavi Yoluculu (the "Blue Cruise"), Cevat's romanticized weeklong journey along the glorious coastlines of the Mediterranean.
Located in the proximity of Bodrum, Gumbet is a a favourite holiday resort for families with children. Although much smaller than Bodrum and less crouded, Gumbert has a unique charm, offering you the posibility of total relaxation. Its coastal waters are warm and clear, ideal for water-sports. The breeze in this bay makes Gumbet particularly attractive for windsurfers and boating enthusiasts. Besides the sandy beach and clear waters, other tourist attractions are: Bodrum Castle, Museum of Underwater Archeology, Greek Island of Kos, Mausoleum, Pamukkale, Ephesus and the House of the Virgin Mary, Milas Carpet Village.
Located only 6 km away from bustling resort of Bodrum, Torba is a tranquil sea-side village nestled between olive groves and piney woods. Torba bay is calm and crystal clear, teaming with fish and haunted by sea turtles and by the rare Mediterranean monk seal. The shoreline is blessed with secluded coves, ideal for picnics or a private swim. There is a wide range of activities available including: sailing on a traditional Turkish gullet along the beautiful coast, diving in calm shallow reefs or in caverns, walls, drop offs and tunnels, waterskiing, windsurfing, parasailing and dingy-hiring. Despite the recent developments, the village still retains a relaxed, rural ambience.
Lying at the outermost promontory of the Bodrum peninsula, Turgutreis has transformed itself from a fishing village to a bustling holiday resort. A new modern marina has been built to complement its long sandy beach. Together with neighboring Kadikalesi, Turgutreis is a 'Windsurfers' Paradise'. The entire Bodrum peninsula offers wonderful opportunities for water sports such as: water skiing, parasailing, dinghy sailing, windsurfing or canoeing. From Turgutreis you can also take day trips to Bodrum to visit the Castle of St Peter with its amazing maritime museum, or you can experience a day out to Ephesus - one of the best-preserved archaeological sites in the world. Also worth a visit is Pamukkale, one of nature's phenomena where hot mineral waters flow down the mountain and have solidified to form snowy white pools.
Located only 40 minutes away from Bodrum center by minibus (dolmus), Yaliciftlik is probably one of the best preserved places around the Bodrum peninsula. It has a beautiful sandy beach where you can swim and sunbathe in solitude and is surrounded by crystal clear sea, secluded small bays and beautiful pine forests. Four kilometers from Yaliciftlik ('Beach Farm') you can visit the farming village of Ciftlikkoy. The stone farmhouses are scattered around the hillside, and the main crops are pine honey collected from the beehives in the forests and figs grown in the surrounding orchards. Untouched by tourism, the village offers an interesting insight into local farming life on the Bodrum peninsula.
A 25 minutes trip from Bodrum to Yalikavak provides the visitor with some of the most spectacular scenery on the peninsula. As you approach Yalikavak, slowly climbing through fertile valleys, the road then tops at the mountain range running down the peninsula center offering breathtaking views over the bays of Tilkicik, Pasa and Agacbasi - and the lower deep green bay of Yalikavak itself. Don't miss a visit to the former water cistern that has been converted into a small art gallery which exhibits the works of both local and well known artists. Take a walk on the promenade along the sea and admire the gleaming yachts and painted fishing boats in the harbor or watch the beautiful sunset.
The first capital of Ottoman Empire, Bursa still remains a very important historic city. It has a rich historic heritage including: religious monuments, mosques, and tombs (turbes), baths. The main tourist attraction is the Yesil Mosque (Green Mosque), with its carved marble doorway which is one of the best in Anatolia. It is an elaborate and significant building in the new Turkish style. Just opposite, is the Yesil Tomb "Green Tomb", set in a green garden with an enchanting exterior decorated with turquoise tiles. Near the tomb, the Medresse complements the others and makes this the "green" trio, now it houses the Ethnographical Museum which certainly deserves visiting. Bursa is also known because of the mountain Uludag which towers behind the city core and which is also a famous ski resort. The surrounding fertile plain, and its thermal baths constitue also important tourist attractions.
The small port of Canakkale at its narrowest point, it guards the entire straits of the Dardanelles and therefore it has a major strategic importance. The Dardanelle straight is the stretch of water that separates Europe from Asia and links the Aegean Sea to the south with the Sea of Marmara to the north. Nowadays, many tourists come to Canakkale to visit the World War-I Gallipoli Battlefields but also the site of ancient Troy located nearby. The "wooden horse" from the 2004 movie Troy is exhibited on the seafront. Also the ancient city of Assos - discovered in 1879 is located on the hill, 235 m above the sea level and only 15 km away from Lesbos (Mytilene), Greek, Island. Aristotle lived and taught in the city for 3 years. You can also see the Bay of Edremit at the top of the hill from the Athena temple. Besides the temple ruins of the theater, agora, churches and Ottoman mosque are at the site.
Cesme is one of the most important tourism centers in Turkey, famous for its clubs, beaches and fish restaurants. The name of the town meaning fountain in Turkish, derives from the many sources of water found in the area. It is one of Turkey's most beautiful stretches, surrounded by clear blue seas, with landscapes of cultivated fields of aniseed, sesame and artichokes dotted with fig and gum trees. Alacati, near Cesme, is a windy area in all seasons and so it is a famous windsurfs' paradise. Cesme's small fortress, now nicely restored as the local museum, looms over the square and provides a nice big dose of history and architectural character. From Cesme you can take daytrips to Greek island Chios (Sakiz) with regular ferries.
Dalyan is a unique destination full of culture, charm, history and contrasting beauty, excellent cuisine and unforgettable hospitality. This is one of the few surviving areas of natural beauty and historical interest. The ancient city of Caunos, dating back to the 3rd century, lies here. Dalyan is also the beach where the endangered Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta Caretta) and the green turtle (Chelonia Mydas) return to lay their eggs every year. The nesting time is from May till October. With its mixture of fresh and salt water, these wetlands are now home to a vast number of fish and other water life, as well as the birds of many species which feed on them, species such as the Sparrow hawk, Crane, Kingfisher and Jay. The nearby natural treasure of Iztuzu Beach attracts lots of sunbathers and water lovers.
Located at the hillsides of the Mount Mendos, the part of the Tourus Mountain chains, Fethiye is one of the most beautiful Turkey's tourist centres. Rocky cliffs, pine-clad mountain ranges, and offshore islets that speak of ancient civilizations, all constitute a breathtaking natural environment. Scuba diving, paragliding off a mountain peak, hiking ancient mountain paths, or wading slowly through an ice-cold gorge, these are just a few of the activities possible in and around Fethiye. The area is also famous for carved tombs in the mountain. Fethiye Museum displays ancient and more recent artifacts testifing to the successive chain of civilizations which existed in the area, starting with ancient Lycia. Nearby you can admire the Blue Lagoon of Oludeniz, one of the most astonishing natural beauties in all of Turkey.
Located in the proximity of some of the most scenic valleys in Turkey, Goreme is a charming village with a wide selection of natural and cultural wonders. The main tourist attraction is the Goreme Open Air Museum featuring a great collection of caves and fairy chimneys. Early churches dot the landscape between the town and the Open Air Museum, popping up unexpectedly at the edge of a lonely corner of a valley. The most popular activity among tourist is balloon riding. Typically lifting off at sunrise, these rides last around 45 minutes and literally go wherever the wind may blow in the Cappadocia Valley. The sights not to miss include also the Ihlara Valley and Zelve. Allow some time to see the underground city of Derinkuyu as well. Goreme is also famous of its great wine.
Istanbul is one of the truly great romantic cities. Istanbul is home to a layering of civilization on civilization, of empire built on empire. A stroll through this historic city will reveal ancient Roman hippodromes, peristyles, and aqueducts, the greatest excesses of the Byzantine Empire and the mystique and power of the Ottoman Empire. In this sprawling, continent-spanning city you can tramp the streets where crusaders and janissaries once marched; admire mosques that are the most sublime architectural expressions of Islamic piety; peer into the sultan's harem; and hunt for bargains in the Kapali Çarsi.
Surnamed the "Pearl of the Aegean", Izmir is Turkey's third largest city and second most important port. It is a superb city of palm-lined promenades, avenues and green parks set along a circular bay. The magnificent coastline abounds in vast and pristine beaches surrounded by olive groves, rocky crags and pine woods. Konak Square and Konak Street are the best points to start your visit to Izmir. One of the most impressive landmarks of Izmir harbor is the Clock Tower, a beautiful marble tower 25 meters height. Other sights are the nine synagogues, concentrated either in the traditional Jewish quarter of Karatas or in Havra Sokak (Synagogue street) in Kemeralti. The Izmir Birds Paradise in Cigli, a bird sanctuary near Karsiyaka, containing 205 species of birds, is not to be missed. Izmir is also a good starting point to explore the many sights in the region.
One of Turkey?s oldest continuously inhabited sites, Konya is known as the ?Home of the Whirling Dervishes?. During Roman times, the city was visited by St. Paul and because of its location on ancient trade routes; it continued to thrive during the Byzantine era. Konyas golden age was in the 12th and 13th centuries when it was the capital of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum. It is here that the Sufi Mystic, Rumi founded this sect. The city's renown derives from the nearby ruins of Catal Huyuk and, more so, from the shrine of Rumi, the great Sufi poet (1207-1273). Fifty kilometers southeast of Konya, the Neolithic settlement of Catal Huyuk has been dated to 7500 BC, making it one of the oldest known human communities. Though only partially excavated and restored, the hilltop settlement covers 15 acres and reveals sophisticated town planning, religious art and ceremonial buildings. Remains of numerous other ancient settlements have been discovered on the Konya plain, giving evidence that humans have long favored this region. The most famous building here is the Green Mausoleum of Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi, the former dervish seminary, attached to the mausoleum, is now a museum, devoted to Rumi?s works. Also worth a visit are the Aladdin Mosque and Palace, Karatay Medrese and the Anthropological Museum.
Situated in a superb gulf in the Aegean region of Turkey, Kusadasi, or the "bird island", is known for its turquoise sparkling water of the Sea, broad sandy beaches, bright sun and large marina. Besides the great beaches there are some interesting historic landmarks not to be missed such as: the ancient ruins of the fortress and its gates, which remind to this day of the impact the Ottomans had on the city at the beginning of the 15th century. Guvercin Ada - the peninsula at the end of the bay, has a castle and swimming beaches, including a private beach and cafe with a view back across the bay to the harbor of Kusadasi. Kusadasi is also an excellent starting point to explore some impressive historical sights including Miletos and Ephesus and the rock formations at Pamukkale.
Located on a tectonic hole, between Izmit Bay and Adapazari Meadow Lake Sapanca is one of the few lakes in Turkey, which provides drinking water. The region around Sapanca, surrounded by mountains in the south and small hills in the north, has become very important for day trips and weekend vacations with its charming natural beauty. Unfortunately, due to its proximity to the metropolitan area of Istanbul the Lake is exposed to pollution and to heavy urbanization. The forest area near to the coast of Lake Sapanca's south slopes has been heavily damaged and has left space for new kinds of small trees like maquis. Nowadays there are no more significant forest areas surrounding Lake Sapanca.
Set against a backdrop of pine clad hills with a pretty harbor, crowned by a castle and lined by wood-hulled yachts and the vessels, Marmaris is a resort that combines natural beauty with an incredible nightlife, which is unending, with numerous clubs and bars stretching along the coast from the elegant marina to the curve of Icmeler, the smaller resort close by. On the other hand, the surrounding countryside offers the best in culture, due to the succession of scenic roads and sympathetic villages, which lead to ancient ruins and unspoiled beaches.
Located in the historical Capadocia valley, Nevshehir is small but charming town. This is the site of a number of ancient Fresco's devoted to early Christianity. The main tourist attraction of the town is its archaeological and ethnographical museum with Byzantine, Hittite, Roman and Ottoman artifacts. Also not to be missed is the the Kursunlu Mosque. Nevshehir is a great starting point for the exploration of the nearby underground shelters, of the fairy chimneys, monasteries, caravanserais and of the famous rock-hewn churches of Goreme.
Pamukkale, meaning "cotton castle" in Turkish, is a natural wonder famous not only for the entrancing beauty of its unique geological formations but also for its historical remains. The calcium oxide-rich waters flowing down the southern slope of Caldag located north of the ruins have, over the millennia, built up deposits of white travertine on the plateau thus the name of this place. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site's ancient name was Hierapolis (Holy City) and it has been a luxury resort town richly adorned with magnificent sculptures. The well preserved theater of Hierapolis offers magnificent view of the plain below. The ancient city of Hierapolis was built on top of the white "castle" which is in total about 2700 meters long and 160m high and can be seen from a great distance.
Located on a flat peninsula, 300 meters wide and 800 meters long, Side is packed with archaeological wonders and surrounded on both sides by the blue water of the Mediterranean. Old Side was surrounded on all four sides by high walls to protect the city from both land and sea. The main gate of the city was built during the Hellenistic period to the east and it was protected by two towers. There were two main streets in the city, with columned porticos and shops behind them. The most impressive sites are: the Amphitheatre dating back to Hellenistic period and is one of the largest (after Aspendos) in Turkey seating approximately 15,000 people and the Roman Temples of Apollo and Artemis; the City Gates; Aqua ducts and Museum. Take an unforgettable walk through these ruins at night when all are beautiful illuminated.
Just 7 km away from Nevsehir, you will find Uchisar a little village where time seems to stand still. Uchisar is famous for its fortress - the highest peak in the region - which offers from its summit breathtaking panoramic views with Mount Erciyes in the distance. Many rooms of the citadel hollowed out into the rock are connected to each other with stairs, tunnels and passages. The fairy chimneys to the west, east and north of Uchisar were hollowed out and used as graves during the Roman period. Inside these rock cut tombs, the entrances of which generally face west, are clines or stone slabs on which the bodies were laid. Many rock cut churches have been discovered not only on the skirts of the castle but also inside it. The reason for this may be the fact that Goreme, having numerous churches and monasteries, is located nearby.
Founded on the outskirts of the hill named "Hill of Wishes", about 20km away from Nevshehir, Urgup is one of the first settlements in the Cappadocia region. Nowadays, it is the most important tourism center of the Cappadocia Region and the perfect starting place to explore the rest of the area. The town has interesting hotels carved in tuffs where the temperature always stays same, 22C degrees in cold winters or hot summers. The Uzumlu Church, Cambazli Church and Sarica Church in the township of Ortahisar are the oldest rock churches from the region. Furthermore the Tavsanli Church and Church of Basil of Caesarea are also spectacular. The town is also famous for its wines and for its hand made carpets.
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