Ancient Wonders in Turkey
Turkey offers an almost endless choice of ancient wonders and exciting must-see attractions for adventurous couples celebrating a honeymoon holiday or romantic getaway, including:
One of the world’s truly magical cities and the only city in the world to straddle two continents, Istanbul is an exciting place to explore. Visit palaces, shop for bargains in the immense bazaar and admire distinctive Islamic architecture.
Discover the Topkapi Palace overlooking the Bosporus and the Sea of Marmara, once the sumptuous home of the Ottoman sultans.
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A spectacular landscape of rock and cones, capped pinnacles, fretted ravines, pretty valleys and magnificent scenery. Here, homes have been hewn from the soft, volcanic rock since 400 BC and an elaborate network of caves and tunnels have sheltered generations of persecuted settlers.
At Gorême, explore more than 30 elaborately frescoed Byzantine rock churches.
Within the region are more than 400 underground cities; don’t miss two of the most exciting at Kaymakli and Derinkuyu, with up to eight floors and complex systems of apartments, store rooms and streets that may have been home to literally hundreds of people.
This is the largest and one of the best-preserved ancient cities in the Mediterranean. Visit the Grand Theatre, where St Paul preached to the Ephesians; the elegant facades of the Temple of Hadrian; and the Library of Celsus.
Nearby lies the site of Meryemana, reputed to be the house of the Virgin Mary. A world famous shrine, Meryemana attracts thousands of pilgrims each year.
Be sure to visit Selcuk, home to the Ephesus Museum and Basilica of St John, said to be the last home of John the Baptist.
Wash the dust off with a swim in the Mediterranean at nearby Kusadasi, a beautiful spot surrounded by fine sandy bays.
For anyone who has ever read Homer’s Iliad or who has heard the tales of the Trojan wars, this is a site not to be missed.
Excavations have revealed nine ancient cities on the site, dating back to 3000 BC, with Troy VI (1800-1275 BC) the city of Priam, believed to be the setting for the Iliad and the one that engaged in the Trojan War. The site is located southeast of the Dardanelles and beside Mount Ida.
Turkey’s Mediterranean Coast
Steeped in history and legends, dotted with important archaeological sites and great medieval castles, the southern coast is a destination to be discovered. Discover the cliff-top town of Antalya, which boasts a picturesque walled old town and the monumental Hadrian’s Gate.
Explore the nearby Roman cities of Termessos and Perge, where streets still bear the marks of chariot wheels. Also visit Aspendos, home to probably the best preserved 2nd-century AD amphitheatre in Asia Minor, still used for live performances during the annual summer festival.
The scenic road between Alanya and Anamur is famous for its collection of striking Crusader fortresses, and in Antakya, the biblical city of Antioch where St Peter founded the first Christian community, you can see the grotto where he once preached.