One of the best ways to escape the crowd is to travel to eastern part 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 the richness of the country’s history to satisfy your unforgettable trip.
Click here to read about Magnificent Turkey (Part I).
Pamukkale is well known as “Cotton Castle” with a natural site that contains hot springs and travertine stones in Denizli. Its white calcite travertine stones are overrunning with warm and mineral-rich water around 35°C from the mountain above the village. A Roman and Byzantine spa city was built at the top of the hill, but became ruins and a museum.
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 kilometers from each inn that takes around nine hours journey.
During the travelers’ stay here, the doctors, chemists, veterinarians, horseshoe makers, shoemakers and barbers were hired to attend the guests’ needs and care was also given to their animals. Those travelers were provided with free stay for their first three nights.
Come to this inn to get the great taste of tomato soup and Turkish Pita. 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 surroundings of the inn decorated with the old collection of Turkish antiques and decorations.
Mevlana Museum, also known as the Green Dome, is the original lodge of the Mevlevi Whirling Dervishes, a mystical Sufi Muslim group. The lodge was converted into a museum that contains the tomb and shrine of Mevlana and his father It remains an important place of pilgrimage.
His successor built a dome over the grave of his master which was completed in 1274. The cylindrical drum of the dome originally rested on four pillars and is covered with turquoise faience.
The Mawlawi dervishes of Konya is their ritual dance and you can watch the cultural show in this museum.
Cappadocia is one of the best places to enjoy fabulous scenery, especially during the sunrise. Get up early in the morning and don’t miss out riding a hot air balloon. As it goes higher above the ground with several dozens of them in the air, you can watch the stunning view of the snowy mountain while flying above the Cappadocia town and Pigeon Valley.
Kaymakli Underground City
Explore Kaymakli Underground City which is the largest underground settlement in the region. It consists of 8 floors below the 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 narrow and sloping passage, this large underground city leads right into the church, living areas, wineries and kitchen.
Goreme Open Air Museum
The Goreme Open Air Museum resembles a vast monastic complex composed scores of 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 listed as a 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.
4WD Jeep Safari
Hop on the 4WD jeep and let an experienced driver and guide 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.
Pasabag or Monk Valley is located on the road to Zelve and is well 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.
Living in the Cave Hotel
When visiting Cappadocia for a day or two, you would love to consider living in one of the cave hotels, 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, the 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 features Seljuq and Ottoman architectural styles and the compound comprises of the Road of Lions, the Ceremonial Plaza, the Peace Park and the Hall of Honor in the museum.
Missing on Part I
Click here to read Magnificent Turkey (Part I).
Planning A Trip to Turkey
If you are planning to visit other parts of Turkey and get some travel tips during your visit in winter, you can check out some of my posts: