Istanbul, the capital of Turkey—also known as the “land of four seasons”—is the only city in the world that straddles both the European and Asian continents.
The natural beauty and hidden history make this place a priceless gem. What you may think you know about Turkey may perhaps be scratching the surface, since there is much more to the country than the tourist traps of Istanbul.
Read on for a voyage through a land full of historic and modern surprises, including some of the world’s largest mountain ranges, glacial lakes, and national parks, as well as dozens of UNESCO world heritage sites.
A Coastline that is the Longest in the World
When it comes to the shoreline, no other city in Turkey can compare to that Antalya, which has earned the nickname “blue city” for its unique color.
The city makes an effort to leave an impression with its gorgeous and serene views despite being situated on the Turkish Riviera, commonly known as the Turquoise Coast for its blue and emerald beaches and an abundance of high-end hotels.
Antalya is the largest international sea resort in Turkey, attracting millions of visitors every year thanks in large part to the government’s increasing investment and efforts to promote tourism in the city.
A Heaven from Above
Cappadocia is one of the historic districts of Asia Minor, and it is home to a variety of underground cities and national parks that are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Cappadocia, a region rich in historical sites, is home to numerous underground cities with strategically placed traps.
Natural treasures include the ‘fairy chimneys,’ which are cone-shaped rock formations distributed far and wide around a valley, and old remains dating back to the Roman era, when the city was founded. Taking a hot air balloon trip at sunset, when the sun casts a gorgeous orange glow over the valley, is a great way to get these vistas.
Karagol, which literally translates to “black lake” in Turkish, is undoubtedly more attractive than its moniker suggests. The lake’s location in Turkey’s black sea region makes it look the deepest shade of blue from above, earning it the moniker “black lake.”
Karagol Lake is one of the crater lakes in the Kargol Mountains, which are home to many glacial lakes. Karagol is a popular destination for visitors to Turkey’s Giresun Province, located on the Black Sea.
Into the Blue Lagoon
Oludeniz, which literally means “blue lagoon” in Turkish, is a popular vacation town on the Turkish Riviera. The beautiful gradient from dark blue to pale turquoise has made this beach world-famous.
It is always peaceful there, so much so that it has been given the alternative name “sea of silence.” Numerous paragliding options provide access to the area’s breathtaking scenery, where the sky is the deepest blue and the vegetation is the greenest it can be. Here you can check out some more places for paragliding in Turkey.
For its suitable location, Oludeniz is also renowned as one of the top paragliding locations in Europe. It is easy to get a Turkey visa for US citizens and that can be applied by submitting an online application.
Mount Cilo, the third-highest mountain in Turkey at over 4,000 meters, is becoming increasingly popular with hikers, campers, and photographers as a scenic destination. The Cilo Mountains were not accessible to visitors until the previous decade when the area was designated as a national park.
There are many lovely waterfalls and valleys in this region, which includes the second-highest mountain in the country. If you have questions about Turkey visas, then you must check out this Turkey visa FAQ link.
Butterfly Valley- Just As It Sounds
There is a valley full of butterflies in a popular tourist area of the Turkish Riviera, right by the Mediterranean. This line did not appear out of thin air in a book. As a result of the area’s abundant flora and fauna, September and October are great months to go butterfly-watching.
This place, with its pristine waterfalls and beaches, could be mistaken for a miniature paradise straight out of a fairy tale. The area around Butterfly Valley is protected as a nature preserve, thus no commercial development is allowed.
Sophia has done Masters’s in Mass Communication from Delhi University, India. She is a qualified new reporter and a columnist as well. She worked sometimes for BenjaNews as well.