Fabulous Turkey … the land at the middle between East and West cultures. With its stunning, lonely setting, built into a cliff face, Sumela Monastery (Monastery of the Virgin Mary) is the star attraction for visitors along the Black Sea Coast. Wandering around this abandoned religious complex, with its church interiors crammed with dazzling and vibrant frescoes, is a must for anyone who makes the long journey to Turkey’s northeast region. The monastery first opened during the Byzantine era and was only closed in 1923. Today, wandering its empty cells, it’s easy to imagine the isolated lives of the monks who once lived here.
The ruins of Ephesus are a popular tourist attraction on the west coast. The city of Ephesus was once famed for the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, which was destroyed by a mob led by the archbishop of Constantinople in 401 AD. Some of the structures can still be seen however including the Great Theater and the Library of Celsus. The library was built around 125 AD to store 12,000 scrolls and to serve as a monumental tomb for Celsus, the governor of Asia. The fa?ade was carefully reconstructed in the 1970s to its present splendid state from the original pieces. Read more on Turkey travel packages
A hidden gem which is often overlooked, in our minds, the Basilica Cistern rightly ranks among Turkey’s top tourist attractions. An ancient an underground wonder and one of Istanbul’s best Byzantine sites, this former water storage chamber is composed of imposing columns, vaulted ceilings and even ornate carvings of the ancient gods. Today, visitors can mount its raised platforms to view its eerie waters – this is truly one of the most astonishing ancient places on the planet and has to be seen to be believed.
Luxurious, plush and beautiful are just some of the adjectives used to describe the Dolmabahce Palace, which has been compared to the Palace of Versailles. Built in the 19th century using 14 tons of gold leaf, Turkey’s most glamorous palace blends traditional Ottoman architecture with the European styles of Neoclassical, Baroque and Rococo. Home to six sultans from 1856 to 1924, it also is home to the world’s largest Bohemian crystal chandelier, a gift from Queen Victoria. The Dolmabahce Palace’s setting is stunning: It was built along the Bosphorus coastline.
Tourist Attraction of the day in Cappadocia : For many visitors, going for an early morning hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia is one of Turkey’s highlights. In high season, over 100 hot air balloons take to the skies just after sunrise and give you bird’s-eye views of the valleys and their rock formations. Hot air balloon rides take around one hour (with deluxe packages lasting around 90 minutes) and are available year-round, weather permitting. All tours include pickup and drop-off from your hotel. Cappadocia’s underground cities first began to be chiseled out of the ground in the Bronze Age Hittite era, but they are most famous for their early Byzantine history (6th and 7th centuries), when the region’s Christians took to living underground for long periods to escape from Arab and Persian invaders. Kaymakli Underground City is Cappadocia’s largest example, with a labyrinth of rooms connected by tunnels that extends for eight levels. Four of these levels can be explored by visitors.
Heading underground into the mazy network of tunnels is a fascinating experience, but those with claustrophobia should be aware that some of the tunnels are exceedingly narrow.
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