Despite my tragic Turkey itinerary, I discovered new gems in the lovely country and my bucket list kept growing even before I returned from the trip. Here are a few highlights that I hope to visit the next time I find myself in Turkey again:
Also known as “cotton castle”, this UNESCO World Heritage Site consists of travertine terraces formed by calcium carbonate from 17 hot springs. Along with Cappadocia, Pamukkale’s unique geological wonder truly kills it in terms of surreal beauty.
The locals call this “blue lagoon”—and one look at its postcard-perfect coastline explain why. As one of the most photographed beaches in the Mediterranean area, Oludeniz is a top paragliding destination due to its panoramic beauty. Tourists often package Oludeniz with the nearby (and equally gorgeous) Butterfly Valley.
3. Mount Nemrut
With huge statues scattered at approx. 2,150 meter above sea level, Nemrut is a terrific spot to photograph sunrise/sunset. The monuments of this UNESCO World Heritage Site are ruins of Commagene imperial cult. Nemrut can be accessed from a nearby town called Adiyaman.
4. Lake Tuz
This is Turkey’s answer to Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni. Lake Tuz is Turkey’s second largest lake and one of world’s largest hypersaline lakes. The lake is very shallow and possess mirror-like effect, which makes it a scenic photostop among travelers.
Relatively unspoiled, this UNESCO-approved medieval village still preserves most of its traditional style, with colorful houses made of wood, adobe and rubblestones. 265 centuries-old houses can be found among the narrow streets, fig trees and a tiny river.
6. Sumela Monastery
Nestled in a steep cliff of Mela Mountain, this Greek Orthodox Monastery is a jaw-dropping architectural wonder that interacts with the nature. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the monastery consists of several chapels, kitchens, guest rooms, library and a sacred spring.
The Kayakoy ghost town is the most visible aftermath of the devastating Greco-Turkish War. While many of the abandoned buildings were damaged in 1957 Fethiye earthquake, around 500 houses and 2 Greek Orthodox churches remain. Today, Kayakoy is commemorated by UNESCO as the World Friendship and Peace Village.
Have you visited any of the above? What are the places in Turkey that you haven’t been, but would like to visit one day?