5 Beautiful Places in Turkey You Must Visit at Least Once

5 Beautiful Places in Turkey You Need to Visit

Turkey is a country bestowed with natural beauty in spades.

Straddled between Europe and Asia, Turkey brings the best of both worlds – even when it comes to beautiful places to uncover. From archaeological treasures to natural wonders, Turkey’s unique facets make it a hot destination for international travellers. 

As a country sprawled over two continents, there are certainly many incredible sights to see. We have curated a list of the most beautiful places in Turkey for you to discover the unparalleled beauty of the region. 

And, if you haven’t already heard, Turkey has officially reopened for tourism. So, you might be headed to Turkey any day now for a post-COVID holiday. Remember to bookmark this list of beautiful places for your escapade. Merharba Turkey!  

1. Cappadocia

Image credit: Mar Cerdeira

Cappadocia boasts a whimsical fairytale-like scenery that is truly spellbinding. A few million years ago, a series of volcanic eruptions shuddered the Central Anatolian region. What came about was a multitude of terrains and unique rock formations which resemble ‘fairy chimneys’. The astonishing topography complements the ingenious ways humans have utilised it. Dwellers have long sought shelter underground, transforming it into a remarkable network of underground chambers.

While Cappadocia looks mesmerising on the ground, it is out of this world taking in the view 3200 feet above ground. The mushroom-shaped spires against a surreal landscape, illuminated by the rays of the sun in the sky dotted with balloons moving in a kaleidoscope of colour will leave you in awe. It’s no wonder that Cappadocia is a renowned destination for hot air ballooning. 

Also read: 12 Things to Do in Cappadocia, Turkey

2. Pamukkale

Image credit: Arns Civray

Somewhere in southwestern Turkey, mineral-rich limpid waters cascade down striking white travertine terraces nestled on a hillside. The geological phenomenon dubbed Pamukkale translates to ‘cotton castle’ leaving no doubt as to why it has been named such. From a distance, Pamukkale seems to resemble a frozen waterfall. 

This sublime UNESCO world heritage site forms part of the larger ancient Greek-Roman city of Hierapolis. Interestingly, Hierapolis was founded as a thermal spa. You can enjoy long, soothing baths in the pools of glistening turquoise hot water – just like the Romans did – while surrounded by Greek ruins. The calcium-infused waters host a plethora of health benefits on top of making your skin glow. Even a brief dip in the therapeutic waters will leave you feeling rejuvenated.  

3. Ephesus

Image credit: Mehmet Turgut Kirkgoz

Ephesus is one of the most impressive ancient cities in the world that you can still step foot on. The glorious monuments at Ephesus are evocative of several civilisations that once flourished. A succession of the greatest conquerors, including the Persians and the Greeks, sat on the throne of present-day Selçuk. It prospered as an important port of trade under different reigns due to its strategic location.

Ambling your way around, you can catch sight of what’s left of the Temple of Artemis – one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Amongst other well-preserved ruins that will transport you back in time are the Temple of Hadrian and The Great Theatre of Ephesus. Adding on the allure of the vicinity, it is believed that Mother Mary spent the last years of her life in Ephesus in the House of the Virgin Mary. It has been beautifully restored into an active chapel.

4. Safranbolu

Image credit: ekrem osmanoglu

This off-the-beaten path deserves a spot on your sightseeing list and may well be the crowning moment of your trip. Safranbolu, tucked in a peaceful little valley, boasts an archaic area of settlement that is reminiscent of the Ottoman empire. It is certainly one of the most beautiful and quaint places in all of Turkey.  The well-preserved Ottoman-style houses and structures will give you a glimpse into the way of life of one of the largest empires in history. Named after saffron which is native in the district, the spice was also traded extensively during the burgeoning yesteryear of Safranbolu. 

The cobblestoned alleys of the Old Town district in Safranbolu brims with wares and fares that is sure to delight any bargain hunters. Make sure to savour one of the hallmarks of Turkish delicacy called lokum when you are in Safranbolu. The mineral-rich natural water of Safranbolu adds a distinct taste to the succulent, gel candy often garnished with chopped dates, pistachios, and hazelnuts. 

Also read: Reasons Why Safranbolu Must Be In Your Turkey Itinerary

5. Bosporus Strait

Image credit: Engin Yapici

The Bosporus Strait is a natural waterway separating Istanbul into two continents, namely Asia and Europe. It also connects the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara– playing a major role in the world maritime trade for many centuries. Believe it or not, many Istanbulites make their way from the European shores to the Asian shores on a daily basis, in a matter of twenty minutes, thanks to the efficient ferry rides operating. 

No visit to Turkey is complete without embarking on a scenic cruise ride along the 30km passage of water. The journey varies depending on the routes but, they are all nothing short of incredible. The most impressive sights glorifying Istanbul’s storied past and the ubiquitous flock of seagulls will greet you. Take notice of exquisite Ottoman palaces with neoclassical-baroque facades lining the waterfront – some are even up for sale. You can even spot iconic landmarks of Istanbul such as the Blue Mosque from a distance. 

Also read: A General Guide to Turkey: SGD 1000 in 7 days

There you have it; beautiful places you must visit on your next sojourn in Turkey. There is nowhere quite like Turkey and you’ll see why!

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Ifah Sakinah
Ifah Sakinah

Sakinah has a discerning palate and an innate desire to satisfy her inner curiosity. While she hasn't been everywhere, it's definitely on her list.

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