Turkish hidden gems to visit

Turkish hidden gems to visit

Turkey is one of the most popular touristic destinations these days and tourism make around 4% of GDP. It is one of the rare country that stayed open for tourists during the time of the pandemic. On the mention of Turkey and tourism, we often think of cities like Istanbul, also known as the capital of the world, sites like Cappadocia and its balloon rides, Pamukkale (Cotton Castle) with its thermal waters and photogenic environment, Izmir and Ephesus, which is one of the original seven wonders of the world, Antalya with its beautiful beaches and clear water. Whatever are you preference while travelling, You can find in Turkey: a lot of historic sites, beaches, relaxing spots, delicious food.

But Turkey has much more to offer, the places that are not so known worldwide, but they are certainly worth visiting. In this article we will list some of those places:

1.Gaziantep/Antep

Gaziantep Private Jet Charter | Avione Jet

Gaziantep the Turkish capital of the food. Located in the southeast of the Turkey it best known as a birth place of baklava. In this place You can find: more than 30 varieties of kebabs, more than 40 varieties of meat and meatless aubergine dishes, more than 50 varieties of meat and meatless various vegetable dishes, more than 30 varieties of dishes with yogurt, more than 30 varieties of soup, more than 30 varieties of stuffed vegetables and stuffed grape leaves, more than 30 varieties of salad, appetizers, more than 20 varieties of pastry and lahmacun (turkish pizza), more than 10 varieties of meatballs, more than 30 varieties of desserts.

Gaziantep is among the biggest cities in Turkey and it has been established in 15th century. Off course there are a lot of interesting sites there to see, but to be honest food is the one that makes Gaziantep stand out from all the other cities in Turkey.

2. Harran

Harran Üniversitesi ve evleri: Harran Sit Alani, Harran, Türkiye -  Tripadvisor

Harran is one of the ancient cities in Turkey from Mesopotamian civilization. It is the city mentioned in the holly books as a place where Adam and Eve were settled and later Abraham and his descendants.

“And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Harran, and dwelt there.”

It is located 47 km (29 miles) south of Şanlıurfa in southeastern Turkey.

The most interesting thing in Harran to visit are mud beehive houses.

3. Mount Nemrut

Mount Nemrut: Kingdom of Commagene | WeCityGuide

Mount Nemrut is a 2,134-metre-high (7,001 ft) mountain in southeastern Turkey near Urfa, notable for the summit where a number of large statues are erected around what is assumed to be a royal tomb from the 1st century BC. It is listed as UNESCO heritage sites in 1987.

Nemrut Dağ is the Hierotheseion (temple-tomb and house of the gods) built by the late Hellenistic King Antiochos I of Commagene (69-34 B.C.) as a monument to himself.

4. Mardin

Mardin Otelleri - Mardin Otel Fiyatları | Otelz.com

There is so much hidden beauty in the southeast of Turkey and another one is the city of Mardin. it is known for the  architecture of its old city, and for its strategic location on a rocky hill near the Tigris River that rises steeply over the flat plains. The old town of the city is under the protection of UNESCO, which forbids new constructions to preserve its façade. It is known as a city with a lot of mixture of cultures and nationalities.

5. Eskisehir

Eskişehir'de Ne Yapılır | Yapılacak En Eğlenceli 65 Aktivite | Biletbayi  Blog

Our lovely city is not so famous outside of Turkey and in Turkey in known as a student city. But Eskisehir province has a lot to offer, from old Ottoman district with characteristic houses, unique food like ciborek, amazing parks within You can find a miniature parks (with small versions off all the important building of the world), the version of Disney castle.

In Eskisehir province You should definitely visit Yazılıkaya , an old Phrygian sanctuary; Sivrihisar with his rich carpenter culture and open air sculpture museum, Mihalıcçık and Yunus Emre tomb (which is one of the most respected and famous Turkish poets).

6. Olympos

OLİMPOS AĞAÇ EVLER & GEZİLECEK YERLER - ANTALYA | Biz Evde Yokuz

Located on the southwestern coast in the Antalya province, this place beside beautiful beaches has a valuable historical sites. Olympus or Olympos  was a city in ancient Lycia. It was situated in a river valley near the coast. Its ruins are located south of the modern town Çıralı in the Kumluca  Together with the sites of the ancient cities Phaselis and Idyros it is part of the Olympos Beydaglari National Park. Once You pass the ancient city of Olympos You reach the beach where Loggerhead (Caretta Caretta) Sea Turtles are settled. The place is protected, so there are no hotel there, but You can stay in tree houses or bungalows.

One of the most interesting thing there to visit are the eternal  Flames of Chimera at hill called Yanartaş.

7. Adana

Akdeniz'in sıcak şehri Adana - Pazar Sabah Haberleri

Another city worth visiting for the food, this city is located in the south of the Turkey and it is the known for its dish Adana kebap. The town dates back thousands of years to the ancient Hittites with a handful of historical sites supporting this claim. Situated in the plains of Cilicia, it is Turkey’s fourth largest city and the center of the agricultural region producing cotton, citrus fruits, oats, sesame, and many more.

8.Hattusha

The 5 Best Hattusa (Hattusha) Tours & Tickets 2021 - Ankara | Viator

For the history lovers, this city was one capital of the Hittites Empire in the late Bronze age. The property consists of the Hittite city area, the rock sanctuary of Yazılıkaya on the north, the ruins of Kayalı Boğaz on the east and the İbikçam Forest on the south. The first settling around Hattusha took place in the 6th millennium BC during the Chalcolithic period. Hattusha consists of two sites: the Lower City and the Upper City. Visible at the Lower City are the remains associated with civic life. In the Upper City, the Temple Neighborhood, which encompasses several temples, is noteworthy.

It is located in Boğazkale District of Çorum Province in Northern Central Anatolian Mountain Region

9.Lake Van (Van Gölü)

Ancient Akdamar Church on Lake Van worth a trip to eastern Anatolia | Daily  Sabah

Lake Van is the largest lake in the Eastern Anatolia Region and the Armenian Highlands, lies in the far east of Turkey in the provinces of Van and Bitlis. It is a salinesoda lake, receiving water from many small streams that descend from the surrounding mountains.

Turkish Van Cat | Go Turkey Tourism
Van cat

The city of Van is the goal of most travelers because of its historic sights, hotels, transportation links, beautiful Van cats (A cat that’s pure white, with a fondness for swimming, and one eye blue, the other amber).

10. Sumela Monastery

Sumela Monastery Tour – Haqqi Tours - Haqqi Tours – Travel Agency

This monastery is located in the Trabzon region of Turkey. It is a Greek Orthodox monastery dedicated to the Virgin Mary located at Karadağ within the Pontic Mountains, in the Maçka district. The monastery is carved into the cliffs and incorporated into nature. It is an unique place built in 4th century.