Best Experiences in Turkey
Wandering Cappadocia’s Unreal Landscape
The region of Cappadocia, and particularly Goreme National Park, is quite simply the highlight for countless explorers to Anatolia. We were left amazed at the blend of nature and human workmanship. Deep underground cities are found, some once holding up to 20,000 people at nearly 300 feet deep. Amazingly-well preserved frescoes lie hidden in rock-hewn chapels throughout the landscape. Pillars of dense tuff stand high and mazes of rocks invite you to just wander off and explore. Sunrises paint the region in gold, slowly revealing the beauty in this region, yet still hiding many secrets. Check out the article below for more inspiration, or better yet, venture to the region and make your own story.
Explore the Cappadocia region
A Turquoise Coast Road Trip
The Turquoise Coast - nearly 600 miles of rugged coastline along a peninsula in southeastern Turkey with innumerable coves and islands filled with remains of lost civilizations. Pristine beaches, long treks, ancient Lycian ruins and local legends all play part here. The best way to fully grasp the extent and historical significance of this region is with your own wheels. We took a couple weeks to explore this region by rental car, and it seems we couldn't even travel 15 minutes before pulling over to gaze at something amazing. The Turquoise Coast is truly one of the unique treasures of the world. Check the link below to read our story exploring the coast.
Slowing Down at Safranbolu
Safranbolu, situated not far from the Black Sea, is one of the best preserved Ottoman towns with over a thousand historic buildings and monuments spread throughout the relatively small town. Here is one of the few towns left truly living in the past, a town stood still in time. Ancient traditions and crafts still prevail here where locals still engage in smithery, glass blowing, saffron and spice selling and Turkish delight creations. Sipping a cup of Turkish coffee or apple tea in the quiet main square lets you relax and embrace the tranquil pace of this old Silk Road gem. A few days is well spent here - slowing down life, reflecting on the simple things and taking a step back to observe life that is mostly forgotten in the modern world.
Sunset in the Fertile Crescent
From the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, the land of Abraham in Urfa, to perhaps the oldest structure in the world at Gobekli Tepe, the Kurdish lands in southeast Turkey are filled with more stories than could fill a book. At the dawn of civilization the area was known as the Fertile Crescent, where cultures were created and clashed. Mardin might be our favorite place in the region, where a sunset overlooking the endless plains is seared in our minds as one of the most memorable ever. We watched the sun wane over the horizon, darkening the ancient lands to the south. How many stories unfolded in these very lands? How many civilizations have come and gone? A visit is crucial to understanding a unique landscape and culture.
Retracing Empires, Starting in Istanbul
A journey through Turkey is a walk back through the rise and fall of empires that shaped world history, whether Roman, Byzantine or Ottoman. Exploring the numerous Roman remains dotted around the west, such as Ephesus or Hierapolis, one can imagine and visualize the height of the empire. However it is in the streets of Istanbul, formerly known as Constantinople, where it comes in grandest view. The incredible architecture of the Hagia Sophia displays the Byzantine power through Christianity. The soaring domes and minarets of the Blue Mosque showcase the Ottoman Empire’s architectural splendor. Wandering through the Grand Bazaar, unchanged for centuries, you can envision the countless stories that have passed through the stalls. We are already anticipated a visit to Istanbul, a city straddling two continents, built on the foundations of three empies.