The largely modern town of ISPARTA is set on a flat plain that’s dominated by 2635m Mount Davraz to the south. Its only hint of romantic appeal lies in its chief industries: rosewater and oil, distilled here for over a century, and carpets, manufactured in industrial quantities. While the lakeside town of Eğirdir, 12km east, makes a more appealing base from which to explore the region, Isparta’s surrounds blossom with colour come the annual rose harvest.

Until the 1923 exchange of populations many Greeks lived in Isparta, and their old residential quarter is a fifteen-minute walk southwest from the town centre, near the Devlet Hastanesi (State Hospital). The once handsome lath-and-plaster houses are now crumbling, but there are a couple of restored nineteenth-century churches to admire.

Isparta’s Archeological Museum (Arkeoloji Müzesi) holds a reasonable collection of local finds, including some fine Roman grave stelae, plus assorted items from a nearby Bronze Age burial site. The ethnography section includes a wonderful felt-and-reed yurt, which, along with some fine old carpets and kilims, attests to the region’s bygone nomadic culture.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Turkey features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The best aerial views in the world

The best aerial views in the world

Got a head for heights? If you're craving a new perspective on your travels, the best thing to do is get up high. From mountain-top panoramas to cityscapes, her…

17 Oct 2017 • Olivia Rawes camera_alt Gallery
Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

That ever-growing travel wish list might be putting some pressure on your pocket – but there are plenty of destinations where you'll get more bang for your b…

11 Oct 2017 • Emma Gibbs camera_alt Gallery
19 places to get utterly lost

19 places to get utterly lost

One of the great joys of travelling is stumbling across unexpected places, wandering without a single destination in mind and embracing the journey. These place…

12 Sep 2017 • Keith Drew camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook