The vibrant and fascinating country of Turkey offers an array of different types of destinations and experiences enjoyable to every traveller. From historic and exciting Istanbul to the Roman ruins along the western and southern coasts, from the beaches of Antalya to the misty mountains of the eastern Black Sea. There are simply so many things to see and do in this country that you may find it difficult trying to whittle it down. To make it easier, the experts at Property Turkey have listed their top 10 tourist attractions to visit in the country.
1 The Grand Bazaar Of Istanbul
The Grand Bazaar of Istanbul topped the list in 2014 as one of the most visited places in the world, coming before the Eiffel Tower in Paris. A haven for travellers looking for a truly Turkish shopping experience, the narrow streets and small shops make up the network of establishments that have been trading there since 1455 when it first opened with just a few stalls. It is a well-known place to buy souvenirs and carpets, and walking through the busy maze gives you a real Middle-Eastern experience.
2 The Ancient City Ruins Of Ephesus
The Ancient City Ruins of Ephesus is a popular tourist destination in Turkey due to the fact that so much restoration work has been done on the ruins. Many travellers have said that, using some imagination, they really do feel like they are walking around the 2nd most prominent ancient Roman city, rather than just a tourist site. Other must see landmarks include the Roman terrace houses, Celsius Library and the 25,000 seat grand theatre.
3 The Old City Part Of Istanbul
The old city part of Istanbul should be on every traveller’s to-do list when they visit this historic country. As the former ruling capital of the Ottoman and Byzantine empires, Sultan Ahmet, the old city part of Istanbul, is an exquisite collection of ancient landmarks that many travel critics have said to be the best in the world. If you have a bit more time on your hands, why not visit the 17th century Blue Mosque in Sultan Ahmet and Topkapi Palace, the first home of the Ottoman Sultans? These are noted as the best places for a city break destination in Turkey.
4 The Cotton Castle Of Pamukkale
Earning its nickname from the white, solidified calcium pools situated on a hillside, Pamukkale really is one of Mother Nature’s beautiful landscapes. As well as paddling in the spring pools, tourists can visit the museum and the ancient ruins of Hierapolis city, used by Roman soldiers as a healing centre. Most, however, say the highlight is swimming in Cleopatra’s pool, over sunken old columns.
5 The 14th Century Sumela Monastery
This 14th century architectural wonder sits within the Macka national park and is a popular day trip for travellers from the city of Trabzon. The breathtaking sight of Sumela Monastery, situated on the side of the cliff face, makes it one of the most visited and photographed destination in Turkey. Rooms to tour include the kitchens, sleeping quarters and the church with intricate frescoes covering the walls and ceilings.
6 The Forested Landscape Of Uzungol
Once Turkey’s biggest secret because of its remote destination in the Kackar mountains, Uzungol has now opened to tourism and is especially popular with Middle Eastern visitors. As well as the lake and domineering green mountain range, part of the lure is staying in the traditional hand-built wooden hotels. During summer, the landscape is a dramatic blanket of green thanks to the cool and humid weather climate, but in winter it becomes a fairy-tale wonderland as snow settles in for the season.
7 Patara Beach
Patara is famous for being one of the longest stretches of sandy beach found anywhere in the Mediterranean – 14 kilometres long. Just off from the nearby ancient Lycian and Roman ruins and fantastic dunes with no buildings in sight, this place is a haven for travellers. Patara beach is also famous for being the breeding ground of the loggerheaded sea turtle, an endangered species.
8 Bodrum Castle
Bodrum Castle is at the top of most travellers’ bucket list when they visit Turkey. Located in the city of Bodrum in the southwest, the castle was built way back in the 15th century by the crusaders as the castle of St Peter. It is one of the world’s best preserved monuments, dating back to medieval times. The castle is now open as a museum, with the main focus being on underwater archaeology. The castle overlooks the marina of Bodrum which is packed full of fabulous looking yachts and sailing crafts, offering a fantastic sight to many tourists.
9 The Blue Lagoon And Oludeniz Beach
One of the most photographed destinations in Turkey is the Blue Lagoon Oludeniz Beach, sitting in the Oludeniz region. This stunning beach is enjoyed all year long by flocks of tourists. One of the oddly enjoyed aspects of Oludeniz beach is laying down on the beach whilst paragliders from Babadag Mountain soar in the air before coming in to land on the designated beach platform.
10 Mount Nemrut
Mount Nemrut is a domineering mountain located in southeastern part of Turkey, notable for its summit where a number of large statues are situated around what is historically assumed to be a royal tomb from the 1st century. Holding the title of 8th wonder of the world and bearing the most valuable monuments on the Kingdom of Commagene, the mountain is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Turkey. The Mount Nemrut national park is located near the Kahta village, with the mountain domineering the entire landscape.