The golden beaches, splendid sunny weather and Oriental charm of Turkey are already well known to tourists worldwide. While Turkey is an accessible destination, at some point one feels like diversifying the usual sun-and-beach holiday. If you want to go beyond the standard touristic spots and discover the true gems of this country, consider the following:
Cappadocia Hot-Air Ballooning
Cappadocia is a rather arid area known for its numerous rocks and cliffs, all in a spectacular and breathtaking display. You can observe the landscape from a different perspective, if you go for a hot-air balloon ride. Floating above the rounded cliffs edges is an enthralling experience not to be missed.
The Mardin Medieval Paradise
Situated on a hilltop overlooking the Mesopotamian plane, Mardin is a well-preserved medieval town, still exhibiting mosques, churches and other historical monuments. It also has many medieval homes. Touristic facilities have spread through it but did not ruin the area. You will rather find the boutique hotel type here.
Nemrut Dag - The Big Ancient Statues
Strangely, Mount Nemrut (Nemrud) is so little known, in spite of its treasured relics. In southeastern Turkey, this mountain hosts huge statues, all supposed to be placed around a royal tomb. These are dated back to the 1st century BC. The structure is believed to be the Mausoleum of Antiochus I. The ancient kingdom's culture was a mix of Greek and Persian inheritance.
Ephesus - A Peaceful Oasis
The historical city of Ephesus is not only the most interesting and best preserved on this side of the Mediterranean Sea, but also a place of calmness. You can arrange your escape and stay in a holiday cottage. There are very old, rustic but well restored stone cottages available. Peaceful villages await right next to Ephesus, and they will treat their visitors with superb beaches and with delicacies made by local farmers.
The Turquoise Coast
While this may be somewhat more famous, it is still rather unusual for the whole of Turkey. This southwestern coast deserves its name. The colour of the sea towards the horizon is so intense. The shore is dominated by a majestic mountainous range. The beaches in the area are amazing, as the inlets and coves (accessible to boats only). It is a rather unspoiled region, a wildlife habitat and a place of historical relics.
Pamukkale, the Cotton Castle
The resort of Pamukkale (translated as "cotton castle") near Denizli, simply, feels surreal for its natural beauty. The white limestone landscape was shaped into numerous pools filled with blue water. You may look up "travertine pools" to see the beauty that words can't describe! It looks like Antarctica, but visitors bathe there happily.
There is much more to Turkey, as the country is home to many unusual attractions. You may start with these and discover a whole new world of wonder and richness.