Inspiration Destinations Europe Turkey 7 Turkiye Treasures to Tick Off on Tour

7 Turkiye Treasures to Tick Off on Tour

Deep beneath the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia and high atop the Hagia Sophia’s grand dome, Turkiye’s finest treasures are best reached on tour.

With an abundance of ancient architecture, natural splendour and cultural charm, Turkiye is a premier destination for travellers of all kinds. Your challenge? Fit them into an undoubtedly jam-packed itinerary. Joining a tour not only ensures a well-planned approach, but also helps travellers reach some of the country’s most beloved spots.

Here’s our pick of top treasures for your Turkiye tour.

1. Visit the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul

Once among the Christian world’s largest basilicas, the gargantuan Hagia Sophia stands now as a spectacular Ottoman mosque – one of the most astounding architectural triumphs in history. While the current structure dates back to the 6th-century Byzantine Empire, the many storied lives of this beautiful building are worth discovering in person. History buffs and architecture-lovers will want to carve out time to step inside for a look at the soaring gold dome. A guided tour is your ticket to in-depth historic insights, so you can make the most of this spectacular site.

2. Uncover the secrets of Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

Long ago regarded as the most important Greek settlement in the region, the ruins of Ephesus are a glimpse of ancient grandeur. Numerous historic sites tell the story of a powerful Roman Empire. Gape at the remarkably well-preserved Temple of Hadrian and its elegant arch, dedicate to Tyche, the goddess of victory, then learn about the fateful survival of the Library of Celsus’ impressive facade. Some five-and-a-half hours from the hubbub of Istanbul, Ephesus is most easily reached on a guided tour, with the promise of seeing the region’s numerous historic delights.

3. Soak up the mineral springs of Pamukkale

Near to Ephesus, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed hot springs of Pamukkale bring Turkiye’s natural magic to life. Owing to its calcium-rich composition, said to alleviate cardiovascular and skin ailments, these white terraced hot pools have become a highly sought-after wellness hub. With a millennia-old history dating back to the founding of Hierapolis thermal spa – the ruins of which demand visiting while you’re in the neighbourhood – these ancient limestone formations are the perfect place to unwind during a whirlwind Turkiye itinerary, and their ageless story is best heard with expert guidance.

4. Delve into Ozkonak underground city

North of the Taurus Mountains, a mysterious settlement left its mark with an elaborate complex of churches and houses carved straight into the rock. Connected by an extensive network of tunnels, Ozkonak Underground City is one of numerous cavernous creations around Cappadocia, though notably less crowded than its contemporaries, such as Kaymakli and Derinkuyu. Joining a tour allows plenty of time to admire the sliding stone doors, innovative pipe system used for communication and even a wine reservoir.

5. Fall in love with the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia

Sculpted through countless years of erosion, the volcanic rock towers of Cappadocia are nothing short of a natural miracle. Alongside the region’s numerous underground settlements, the enduring magic of the time-worn ‘fairy chimneys’ make Cappadocia one of the great marvels of the world. Standing resolute against the bare lands, these conspicuous capped columns are a mind-bending testament to the forces of nature and their long-enduring power. For an elevated experience, a sunrise balloon ride is a truly breathtaking vantage point to admire this unique topography, all easily arranged by knowledgeable guides.

6. Step inside the rock churches of Goreme

Another of Cappadocia’s geological gems is the Goreme Valley, famed for its unique rock churches. Owing to the soft volcanic rock, Goreme is a site of creative architectural masterworks, once home to Christian sanctuaries in the 4th century BCE. Chief among these is the awe-inspiring Dark Church, boasting meticulously painted walls and ceilings that stand among the very best of Byzantine art. With a plethora of activities in the area, letting a tour guide lead the way means more opportunity to unearth the fascinating history of Goreme.

7. Lose yourself in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar

Amid the colourful chaos of more than 4,000 shopfronts, the Grand Bazaar offers travellers a look at the busy day-to-day of Istanbul’s locals. Vibrant clothes, intricate rugs, elegant antiques and fragrant spices add to the buzzing atmosphere that permeates one of the largest covered markets in the world – and one of the oldest too. Taking a tour with time in Istanbul, the logistics are already taken care of, leaving you abundant time to dive in and follow the flow of this jaw-dropping bazaar.

Looking for more travel inspiration? Find 5 Europe Tours with Bucket-List Itineraries.

About Finn
With an insatiable appetite for fine food, live music and the world's very best craft chocolate, Finn loves stumbling on the unexpected by taking the path less travelled (after meticulously planning the route, of course).

Copyright © 2017-2024 Luxury Escapes. All rights reserved.
phone-handset linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram