Located along the division between the Middle East and Europe, Turkey is in the unique position of holding cultural Passovers from both cultures. Moreover, it’s a beautiful region of the world, with lots to do. From the busy streets of Istanbul to the incredible ancient ruins scattered throughout the country, you’ll be amazed by what is on offer.
However, there is more to Turkey than just its famous attractions and great cities. Like every country, Tukey’s hidden gems are just waiting to be uncovered and explored. However, unlike other countries, Tukey’s position as the confluence of ancient cultures and civilizations has made its hidden gems a unique mix of different styles and people.
We’re here to try and convince you why Turkey should be the next place you visit. Because of that, we’ve found a couple of the best of Turkey’s hidden gems and laid them out for you below. A Turkey visa is all you need to start your adventure! Happy Travelling!
Mt Nemrut Bestriding
This remote mountain top is definitely one of Turkey’s hidden gems. Unfortunately, that probably wasn’t the original inhabitant’s intentions. That’s because this place is the final resting place of King Antiochus 1. As an incredibly vain king, he had this place turned into a shrine to him and his legacy. Atop the mountain, you’ll find statues dedicated to the king himself and various gods with whom he believed he was an equal (or at least associated with).
The East Terrance is probably the most famous place and is packed with the most heads on the mountaintop. Despite being relatively well exposed to harsh conditions, they have survived immaculately well. Make sure to spend the whole day here, so you can see everything.
Due to being at a height of 7000 feet, the mountain is best visited between April and October. Visitors usually stay in the nearby town of Adıyaman. There are also tours available from further afield for those who want to get it done quickly, but these aren’t as recommended as staying in the tiny town of Adıyaman itself.
The Sumela Monastery is a Greek Orthodox monastery dedicated to the Virgin Mary. What makes this place so unique and one of Turkey’s hidden gems though, is that it was built into the side of a valley. That’s right, once you head into the Altındere valley, you’ll find the monastery built into a steep cliff along its edge. At an altitude of 1,200 meters, it’s not for those with a fear of heights. However, if you’re able to get over your fear of heights, it’s one of the most unique places in the whole of Turkey to see.
The monastery was actually founded in 386, but has managed to stand the test of time, despite numerous attacks on it by rock falls from above. In fact, a few years ago the place was closed due to those very rocks falls. Luckily though, the problem was resolved and the monastery is completely safe and rock falls free.
Very possibly the best place in Turkey for taking Instagramable pics, Tuz Golu is a lake. That’s right… a lake. But you won’t be taking pictures of any water here (at least, not that much water). No, Tuz Golu is all about what happens when the water goes away. That is, during the summer months, this transforms into an incredible salt flat which quite literally radiates hues of pink into any pictures which are taken. It’s incredible.
Located just northeast of Konya, the lake is easily visited from here, and makes for a great day trip with some friends.
If you’re heading there during the summer months, make sure that you bring plenty of water and something to hide under (like a hat) because the sun can get pretty intense. It’s worth the trip though, just make sure you’re prepared.
Ok, we feel bad. We told you to visit a lake, but then we told you that the lake didn’t have any water. We want to make it up to you but suggesting a lake with actual water. Lake Egirdir is that place. It’s our “we’re sorry for tricking you” lake.
The water here is incredible and perfect for taking a quick dip. Moreover, in the middle of the lake there is an island you can take a boat out to and stay on (if you’re that way inclined). Because the place isn’t as well-known as some of Turkey’s larger and more easily accessible lakes, Lake Egirdir also isn’t very crowded, meaning you’ll have enough space to find a place of your own to enjoy the views from. Also a good Instagram pic location.
Safranbolu is a town located in the black sea region of Turkey. It’s a beautiful place to visit and unique when compared to the massive metropolises such as Istanbul. The best things about this city, though, is the old town. Head here to visit over 25 different mosques, tombs, fountains, Turkish baths and more!
Just outside of the town is the Incekaya Aqueduct. This can be hiked to by talking with people in the town and asking for a guide. Or, you can always try it on your own. The journey to the aqueduct weaves its way through an incredible and beautiful gorge. You’ll be able to make your way down the path whilst looking back over the town.
The best time to visit the region is between late August and early December. This is when the weather tends to be the best and most conducive to hiking. Of course, you can also head to this one of Turkey’s hidden gems during the summer months, but it might get just a little bit too hot.
History, scenery, and a whole lotta salt
We hope we’ve managed to convince you to go visit and see Turkey’s hidden gems. As you can see, there’s so much to this incredible country. History, scenery, and a whole lotta salt. So…