From a city break in Istanbul to culture trips at the Roman ruins or even a two-week beach holiday at a stunning Mediterranean beach, Turkey has a vacation to suit every traveller.
Roman Harbour: In the Roman times Antalya was a major Mediterranean port because of its harbour. Today the harbour is still very much the heart of the city, but instead of merchant ships, the harbour is now home to private yachts and tourist excursion trips and on-land cafes and restaurants line the seafront.
Hadrian’s Gate: Given the city’s affluent port, the Romans built massive walls around Antalya with guarded and easily sealable gates to protect it from invasion. The only surviving gate is Hadrian’s Gate. A grand gate constructed in 130 AD it was commissioned to commemorate Emperor Hadrian’s visit to the city and designed to resemble the Roman triumphal arch.
Kesik Minare: Better known as the ‘Broken Minaret’, it was once part of the Korkut Mosque though it was built as a Roman temple. Ravaged by a great fire the mosque no longer exits, leaving the minaret standing alone. It is now one of Antalya’s most recognisable sites.
Antalya Museum: Within the city of Antalya, there is also a fantastic museum that is an essential stop off for anyone wishing to discover more about Turkey’s colourful archaeological history.
Myra: In the Antalya Province is the ancient town of Myra, nearby present day town Kale. Here lies the church of St. Nicholas that was built in the 6th Century. The church we see today was mainly constructed from the 8th Century and onward with the monastery added in the late 11th Century.
Olympos: Southwest of Antalya city is Olympos, an ancient city founded during the Hellenistic period. It is one of Turkey’s most popular tourist attractions, home to artefacts from a whole host of settlers, including the Romans.
Aspendos Theatre: Within Antalya Province is Aspendos Theatre, a fantastically well-preserved theatre built in 155 AD that could seat up to 20,000 people.
Cappadocia: Cappadocia is famous for its very unusual rock formations. Göreme in particular is a great place to see these unusual foundations that have earned the term ‘fairy chimneys’. They have been created naturally over the years as wind and water have resulted in the erosion of the Earth leaving only the thickest layer of earth known as ‘tuff’. Since the Roman times, settlers have been living in the rocky pillars, carving into them to make buildings.
Kaunos: Kaunos was the ancient city of Caria now situated near the town of Dalyan. Once inside the ruins you will find an amphitheatre, roman baths and temples from various different eras, but what makes a trip to Kaunos so memorable is that you can walk around freely with absolutely nothing roped off.
Göbekli Tepe: Göbekli Tepe is the world’s oldest known religious structure. Situated on top of a hill are 20 structures that have long been buried, four of which have been uncovered. Each structure is round and up to 100ft tall, all decorated exquisitely by pillars.
Bodrum is famous with holidaymakers for its beaches, shops, restaurants and nightlife. Many century’s ago the city was known as Halicarnassus where the Mausoleum of Mausolus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World was situated. Sadly, earthquakes destroyed the remains of the monument, but Bodrum Castle is still very popular amongst tourists.
Roman Theatre and baths: Ankara Castle is a castle from either the medieval or ancient era. The remains of a Roman Theatre and baths have been found at the castle site and are still under excavation.
Column of Julian: This impressive column was erected to honour Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate’s visit to Ancyra and can be found in the Ulus district.
Temple of Augustus and Rome: Built between 25 and 20 BC after the Roman Empire seized Anatolia, this temple, though mostly ruins, is still a very inspiring and popular tourist attraction.
Pamukkale and Hierapolis: The ‘cotton castle’ of Turkey is surely one of the most surreal and unique sites in Turkey. Layers of rock deposited by water with an extremely high mineral content have created this bizzare foundation of white terraces and springs. The ruins of the ancient Greek city Hierapolis can be seen at the site to this day.
Hagia Sophia: The Hagia Sophia was originally a basilica commissioned for the Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I in the 6th Century. An awe-inspiring piece of architecture, the dome spans over 100 foot in diameter.
Sumela Monastery: The main attraction of the Trabzon Province is the monastery. Built on the side of a steep mountain overlooking lush forests just south of the city and the Uzungol Lake, it’s no surprise this attraction is popular with those looking to take in not only the history but also the natural beauty of Turkey.
Trabzon Museum: Located in the centre of town is a museum that offers insightful exhibits on the history of the city and its surrounding areas; perfect for those seeking a more in-depth view of Trabzon’s history.
Ephesus: No trip to Turkey would be complete without a visit to Ephesus on the west coast. These famous ruins once boasted the Temple of Artemis that was on of the seven wonders of the ancient world, but was sadly destroyed in 401 AD. Many of the structures can still be seen in the Library of Celsus and a theatre.
House of Virgin Mary: A trip to the house of the Virgin Mary could leave you – or a loved one – for the better if you take a trip to her healing fountain.
The Blue Mosque: Officially known as the Sultan Ahmed, the Blue Mosque in Istanbul is a well-known attraction for those visiting the city of Istanbul. Built in the early 1600s the high ceiling is lined with over 20,000 patterned blue titles (hence the name) and is an object of awe for locals and tourists alike.
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON LOWCOSTHOLIDAYS.COM