Cotton castles, fairy chimneys and burning, volcanic hillsides… Turkey has some unique geographical locations. Where else would you find a cave-dwelling civilization, towering mineral deposits, and tumbling waterfalls carved from stone? Most visitors rarely take such astonishing detours, but they should. Here are seven natural attractions in Turkey that many overlook on their Turkey holidays, which they can go on with companies like First Choice.
Seven natural attractions in Turkey well worth visiting:
Pamukkale, Denizli Province
The pure white landscape of calcite forests and frozen waterfalls may resemble tundra chiseled by the hands of giants, but Pamukkale’s enchanting mineral waters are quite cozy.
Cappadocia, Central Anatolia
This rocky region consists of formations referred to as “fairy chimneys.” Gradually, these towering rock pillars have eroded into tall stacks.
These tall, natural stacks dot so much of the region that many of the indigenous people built villages within these hospitable geological formations.
Mount Ararat, Eastern Anatolia
Turkey’s highest mountain is also a dormant volcano that last erupted in 1840; it has been inactive since.
Known as the Biblical mountain Noah’s Ark came to rest upon, the mountain attracts hikers, explorers and sunrise-seeking tourists to its slopes.
Kaymakli Underground City, Central Anatolia
Several underground cities channel their way through the rocks of Anatolia. The largest of these is Kaymakli, which is an impressive eight storeys deep–however, only four are open to the public. There are stables, a church, wineries and storage rooms pocketed away in these natural chambers.
Lake Van, Van
Turkey’s largest and most elevated body of water, Lake Van is bereft of all life due to its immense salt content. That’s except for the tiny darekh fish that are hardy enough to endure its saline concentration.
Oh, and the Turkish have a Loch Ness monster of their own–the Lake Van Monster–which is believed to inhabit its depths. Incidentally, the area is also home to a rare breed of feline: the Van cat.
Chimera, Southern Anatolia
A mythological, fire-breathing beast believed to have a lion’s head, goat’s body and dragon’s tail, the Chimera derives its name from a Turkish mountain that has been on fire for thousands of years.
Saklikent Gorge, Muğla province
A 300 meter deep crack in the earth, this dizzying canyon in southern Turkey is known for its icy waters and challenging hiking opportunities.
These are just some of Turkey’s most mesmerizing destinations. Take a break from the norm to see them. To embrace them is to truly embrace the country’s beauty and its natural riches.
Have you visited any of these seven natural attractions in Turkey? What intrigues you most about Turkey?
Photo credit to my friend Zerrin Eren for cover photo of Gerze, Turkey. Images by Ana Raquel S. Hernandes, Mr Hicks46, Martijn.Munneke, Vince Smith, Adam Jones, Borya and heydrienne used under creative commons license.