One of the best ways to escape the crowd is to go east of the country. Although the tourist spots can attract many visitors all around the globe, Pamukkale, Konya and Cappadocia are the places that considerable less populated compared to the capital city of Turkey. These towns offer great scenery and adventure, awesome taste of Turkish food and delights and richness of the country’s history to satisfy your unforgettable trip.
Last but not least, visit the famous Antkabir in Ankara before return to Istanbul city.
Pamukkale was well known as “Cotton Castle” is a natural site that contains hot springs and travertines in Denizli. Its white calcite travertines overrunning with warm, mineral-rich waters around 35 Celsius from the mountain above the village. Above lies a Roman and Byzantine spa city, which has considerable ruins and a museum.
Tips: Shoes must be removed before entering the hot springs.
As we were on the way to Konya town, passing through Lake Egirdir on the shiny bright day and took one of the best photo shot of the lake.
Horozlu Han (Inn)
These inns were built during the Anatolian Seljuki period on the trade routes to allow caravans to stay and resupply themselves. They were built within a distance of 30-40 km to each other along its route that takes around nine hours.
During the travelers’ stay here, doctors, chemists, veterinarians, horseshoe makers, shoemakers and barbers were hired to attend their needs and care were also given to their animals. Those travelers were given free stay for their first three nights.
Come to this inn to get the great taste of tomato soup and Turkish Pita which hardly find them elsewhere besides Turkey. The dish is so tasty as it is cooked with different type of Turkish spices. Set back to enjoy the meal while taking a look on this spacious surrounding of the inn decorated with old collection of Turkish antiques and decoration.
Mevlana Museum, also known as the Green Dome, is the original lodge of the Mevlevi Whirling Dervishes, a mystical Sufi Muslim group. The place is located in Konya. Inside this museum contains the tomb and shrine of Mevlana and his father, which remains an important place of pilgrimage.
His successor built a dome over the grave of his master which completed in 1274. The cylindrical drum of the dome originally rested on four pillars and is covered with turquoise faience. Additional section was added until 1854.
The Mawlawi dervishes of Konya is their ritual dance and is to be performed as a cultural show to tourists.
Shoes must be removed and women need to cover with scarf upon entering the museum
Even if you are afraid of height, you would dare to try and wouldn’t want to miss out on getting on the ride of hot air balloon. As it goes higher above the ground with other dozens of them in the air, take a look at the morning sunrise and the stunning view of the snowy mountain while flying above the Cappadocia town and Pigeon Valley.
Visit the Kaymakli Underground City and explore the largest underground settlements in the region. It consists of 8 floors below ground but only 4 of them are open for visitors today. It is believed that can accommodate up to 3,500 people here.
The tunnels are well connected to many areas which were used as cellars, storage places and stables. As you pass through the low, narrow and sloping passage, this large underground city leads right into the church, living areas, wineries and kitchen.
The Goreme Open-Air Museum resemble a vast monastic complex composed scores monasteries placed side-by-side, each church with its own unique feature. Those finest rock-cut churches still retain its original freshness of wall paintings. The museum has been a member of UNESCO World Heritage List since 1984.
Some of the churches are The Nunnery, St. Barbara Church, Elmali Church, Yilanli Church, Karanlik Kilise, Carikli Church and Tokali Church. Visitors will have to pay additional extra upon entering some churches here.
When you think taking hot-air balloon does not fulfill your excitement of the day, hop on the 4WD jeep as an experienced driver take you through the bushes, hilly roads and sand dunes. The ride will drive you crazy as the vehicle goes up and down the slopes like going on a roller coaster ride and you will be screaming out loud throughout the ride.
Be sure that your seat belt is well-fasted as the road will be bumpy when the vehicle are moving very fast and going up the hilly roads and sand dunes. It may hurt your body when got knocked.
Pasabag or Monk Valley is located on the road to Zelve and commonly known for the best collection of fairy chimneys. The early inhabitants of Cappadocia believed that these were the chimneys for the fairies who lived under the ground.
Cappadocia had become a thriving monastic community by the 4th century. Rumors said that St Simeon who was one of the monks that could perform miracles and come here to escape attention. He lived as a hermit in the upper reaches inside one of the three 15-meter chimneys with his disciples. His disciples will occasionally descend from the chimney to get food and drink.
While visiting Cappadocia for a day or two, you would love to consider living in one of cave hotel, Uchisar Kaya Otel or Takaev Cave Hotel, which looks like the underground city (plus the window of course if you choose the room facing the outdoor pool). It is definitely worth the stay with the best view of Cappadocia, friendliness of the staff and cleanliness of the hotel.
Located in Ankara, Anitkabir is the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the leader of the Turkish War of Independence and the country’s first President. The building was constructed with Seljuq and Ottoman architectural features. The compound comprises of the Road of Lions, the Ceremonial Plaza, the Peace Park and the Hall of Honor in the museum.
Click here to read the first part of Magnificent Turkey (Part 1) and also a visit to Istanbul city. Also, see the article “Visit Turkey During Winter Time” and read some tips what to carry during the cold weather.