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Rough Guides Editors
7/9/2020

#01 Hot-air ballooning over Cappadocia

A lighter-than-air float gives an unrivalled perspective on the “fairy chimneys” and other features of the landscape.

© Shutterstock

#02 İshak Pasa Sarayı

Strategically set astride the Silk Route, this architecturally eclectic seventeenth-century palace is one of eastern Turkey’s most emblematic sites.

#03 Monastery of Sumela

Dramatically built into the side of the Pontic mountains, this Byzantine monastery is adorned with beautiful frescoes.

© MehmetO/Shutterstock

#04 Whirling Dervishes

Members of a sect founded by the Konya-based Sufi mystic Celaleddin Rumi conduct “turning” ceremonies to effect union with God.

© Shutterstock

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#05 Ancient Ephesus

This ancient city, addressed by Saint Paul in one of his epistles, is the best preserved of its kind in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Celsus Library in Ephesus, Turkey © muratart/Shutterstock

#06 Nemrut Dağı

Extraordinary mountain-top temple-tomb complex that’s the outlandish legacy of an obscure, ancient kingdom.

Nemrut Dagi in Turkey © Waj/Shutterstock

#07 Shopping in a bazaar

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You may not get a bargain, but you can’t beat the banter, especially at Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar.

Grand Bazaar, Istanbul © Berke/Shutterstock

#08 Roman Theatre at Aspendos

Anatolia’s largest and best preserved Classical theatre hosts an opera and ballet festival in summer.

#09 Mardin

Medieval houses, historic mosques and churches, and boutique hotels mingle in this hilltop eyrie, high above the Mesopotamian plain.

© akimov konstantin/Shutterstock

#10 Haghia Sophia, Istanbul

The seemingly unsupported dome of Haghia Sophia is one of the architectural marvels of the world.

Haghia Sophia interior at Istanbul Turkey © Tatiana Popova/Shutterstock

#11 Hittite capital of Hattusa

The ancient capital of the Hittites still impresses, with its extensive perimeter walls.

© Nejdet Duzen/Shutterstock

#12 Selimiye Camii, Edirne

This sixteenth-century mosque is the masterpiece of the greatest Ottoman architect, Mimar Sinan.

© MDOGAN/Shutterstock

#13 Kaçkar Dağları

Lying just inland from the Black Sea, this glacially sculpted granite mountain range, spangled with dozens of lakes, is Turkey’s premier trekking venue.

© UBC Stock/Shutterstock

#14 Zeugma Mosaic Museum, Gazıantep

A fabulous collection of mosaics from ancient Zeugma, a Hellenistic/Roman frontier city now under the waters of a reservoir on the nearby Euphrates.

#15 Visiting a hamam

One of the traditional sensual comforts of Turkey, hamams (Turkish baths) make a wonderfully relaxing (and cleansing) way to round off a day’s sightseeing.

#16 Patara beach

This unspoiled beach, one of the longest in the Mediterranean, is the perfect coda to a visit of the nearby, eponymous ancient city.

#17 Kariye Museum, Istanbul

The finest collection of Byzantine mosaics and frescoes in Turkey, adorning an attractive church near the city’s land walls.

© Teo Stuivenberg/Shutterstock

#18 Baklava

The favourite dessert of the sweet-toothed Turks, rich, buttery baklava, in which thin layers of filo pastry are stuffed with pistachio or walnuts, is best enjoyed with a strong, black Turkish coffee.

Baklava © korkut kazcin/Shutterstock

#19 Gallipoli cemeteries and memorials

Moving and unexpectedly beautiful legacy of one of the fiercest campaigns of World War I.

© Sadik Gulec/Shutterstock

#20 Cruising the southwest coast

The deeply indented coastline between Bodrum and Finike is the venue for multi-day cruises on a gulet, or traditional wooden motor-schooner.

© nexus 7/Shutterstock

#21 Acropolis of Ancient Pergamon

Pergamon was one of the chief Roman cities of Anatolia, and extensive ruins remain; shown here is the sanctuary of the restored Trajan temple.

#22 Lycian Way

This well-marked path, suited to all abilities, follows some of the most scenic portions of the Turquoise Coast.

© Quinn Martin/Shutterstock

#23 Byzantine frescoes, Cappadocia

Cappadocia's many rock-hewn churches contain superb early Christian frescoes.

© Jan Miko/Shutterstock

#24 Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, Ankara

Home to finds of native cultures from the Stone Age onwards, this superb museum is the capital’s one must-see attraction.

© zebra0209/Shutterstock

#25 Ani ruins

Medieval Armenian capital in a superb setting at the Turkish border, scattered with fine churches.

© Fat Jackey/Shutterstock

#26 Churches of the Georgian valleys

The medieval churches northeast of Erzurum are among northeastern Anatolia’s most striking monuments.

© zaferkizilkaya/Shutterstock

#27 Lake Van

The cobalt-blue expanse of Turkey's largest lake is at its most scenic in late spring or early summer.

Last light at The Armenian Church, Van, Turkey © B Studio/Shutterstock

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