Top 10 Secret Attractions of Turkey

Turkish History. The history of Turkey dates back to the settling on the Anatolian Peninsula, which most of the country is comprised of.  Early Neolithic settlements were evidenced by shards of pottery that has been excavated throughout the region.  The settlement of Troy began during this period and continued well into the Iron Age.  The Seljuk Empire was established during the 10th and 11th centuries and continued until the mid 1200’s when the Ottoman Empire was established.  The Ottoman Empire would continue ruling the country until the 1920’s when the country became the Republic of Turkey.


Turkey – Besides full of mysteries, Turkey has many amazing places to visit (image: Druid)

Top 10 Lesser Known Attractions of Turkey

It is not uncommon to find a number of great deals on lodging whenever you are vacationing in Turkey.  This is a country that is rich in culture and history which explains why so many destinations in this Mediterranean region of the world that attracts tourists from so many other areas of the world.  However, what many international travelers have not realized is the fact that there are some lesser known and advertised destinations that are well worth exploring.

Additionally, many of these are cheap Turkish holidays that all individuals are bound to enjoy and there is a number of Ankara and Istanbul hotel deals that you can take advantage of year round.  Here are 10 of the lesser known attractions in the country that many tourists overlook:


The oldest piece of information about the function of the Temple of Apollo in Claros (Image: Nejdet)

  • Antalya – plenty of ancient ruins and historic buildings in the Old Quarter
  • Istanbul – ATV safaris outside the city and exploring the countryside
  • Cappadocia – Agzikarahan Caravanserai (13th century monument) and Selime Monastery
  • Ankara – the Old Town Quarter with its ramshackle houses and street markets
  • Turkish Riviera – the remote beaches of the Turquoise Coast
  • Ephesus – one of the largest archaeological sites in Turkey
  • Edime – the Ikinci Beyazit Külliyesi (built in the 14th century)
  • Hattusa – the Sphinx Gate and the structures below it
  • Diyarbakir – city walls that are still intact and built by Constantine
  • Mardin – ancient stone houses and a pilgrimage destination

So as you can see, even the largest cities and more popular tourist destinations in Turkey all have some lesser known attractions that need to be considered whenever you are vacationing in the country.

Turkey’s underground cities


Cappadocia in Turkey, near Avanos and Goreme (image: Bertocchi)

One of the top secret attractions to be aware of in Turkey is the underground cities.  Here are some must-see underground cities that you don’t want to miss:

Boyabat – located in the Black Sea region, the border between the Byzantine and Seljuk Empires was once situated here.

Cappadocia – the city is literally filled with underground settlements no matter where you explore.  Estimates have stated that there are over 100 of these settlements, many of which cannot be visited.

Derinkuyu – a major underground settlement constructed in 11 levels, some of which are yet to be excavated.  At one time Derinkuyu had a population between 35,000 and 50,000.  The construction of the city is estimated to have occurred during the 8th and 7th centuries BC.

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