South of Turkey

South of Turkey – main image

Inland from Troy

Turkey is a country full of contrasts and surprises, it can surprise even the most experienced travelers. It is so attractive that some people only go there, not forgetting its beauty. When we cross the country's borders and obtain a tourist visa (its cost is 15 euro or 20 dollars), virtually unlimited possibilities will open up to us. Many kilometers of picturesque routes, breathtaking wonders of nature, as well as monuments from the ancient times of great civilizations are waiting to be explored.

If we started our trip from the legendary Troy and the Çanakkale regions, after visiting the famous ruins and seeing a wooden horse, we can move south or east. At the beginning, it is worth visiting Balıkesir - motorized tourists will take about 3.5 hours to reach it by inland route. The province is famous for its beautiful, clean beaches and thermal springs. Visitors are also amazed by the rich fauna of the Bird's Paradise, i.e. the Kuş Cenneti National Park. As befits Turkey, there are also great mosques and palaces. It is worth visiting the ruins of the ancient city of Kyzikos and going to the island of Avşa - it is home to the Byzantine monastery of Mary (Meryem Ana).

Denizli and the Cotton Castle

The next stop on the way to the south of the country may be one of the most attractive places that attracts lovers of natural beauty - and original beauty at that. This is Denizli, which we will reach after less than 5 hours of leisurely driving. The resort tempts not only with the ruins of ancient cities, such as Honaz, Laodicea or Hierapolis, but also (or perhaps most of all) with a world-famous natural monument - Pamukkale, approx. 18 km away. Its name means "Cotton Castle" and comes from the limestone terraces on the side of Mount Cökelez. These white terraces house thermal pools with water rich in calcium compounds and carbon dioxide. There is a fee for swimming in them, but due to the attractiveness of the place and the alleged rejuvenating effect of the water, it is usually quite crowded here. In 1988, Pamukkale was inscribed on the UNESCO World Natural Heritage List.

There used to be a few hotels here, but because of them the pools began to dry up (the hotels drained water to their pools), they were closed and demolished, leaving only one, with a large pool, created after flooding part of the ruins of ancient Hierapolis. This is Pamukkale Termal, where you can take a bath and at the same time look at the columns submerged in the water and the remains of ancient portals. On the other hand, in Denizla itself, we can see a statue of a rooster (the local ones are famous for their loud crowing), and in the vicinity of other domestic birds - storks.

Tired of the journey, we can spend the night in one of the local campsites. At Seyir Restaurant-Camping ( Akif Ersoy Bulvari, Pamukkale / Denizli), the cost of accommodation for 2 people who came with a motorhome is approx. 25 EUR / day. It is a year-round campsite with a self-service restaurant.

Side jump - Goreme

The next day, refreshed, we can move on. As we are already close to the southern border, we can drastically change the direction of our journey and head east towards another natural wonder - the Goreme Valley. Before we get there, however, it is worth stopping in Konya, one of the most important religious centers in Turkey. Muslims come here in large numbers once a year, because the box with Muhammad's hair is opened. Konya is also the city of the Order of the Rotating Dervishes, founded in the 13th century by Celaddin Rumi. It is worth visiting the Mevlevi Tekkesi monastery complex, which is also the Museum of Islamic Art - Mevlana Müzesi. Konya is considered by many tourists to be one of the most beautiful cities in all of Turkey. Please note that it is also very conservative, so visitors (especially women) should remember to dress appropriately.

After exploring Konya, it's time to visit Göreme National Park. It is located in a valley in Cappadocia, and within it there are 350 churches and chapels carved into the rock, where the ascetic community lived in the 4th century. The landscape is amazing, there is no one who would not be impressed. The most beautiful monuments include the Church of the Serpent with preserved frescoes, the Church of Saint Barbara and the Monastery of the Maidens, where nuns once lived.

Before covering the last part of our route, we can rest at Kaya Camping (Göreme Yolu, 50650 Ürgüp / Ortahisar). Here, the cost of accommodation for 2 adults oscillates between EUR 16.50-19.50 / day.

On the way to Antalya - the beauty of Kurşunlu waterfalls

In the south of the country, on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, lies Antalya, the capital of the Turkish Riviera. It is a resort crowded with tourists from all over the world. Yes, she is beautiful, but we are interested in something else. A dozen or so minutes from the city center, in the northeast, is the Kursunlu Waterfalls National Park ( Kurşunlu Şelalesi Tabiat Parkı ). This is a fabulous place, it is worth traveling hundreds of kilometers from Europe especially for him. Perhaps this is what the Garden of Eden looked like.

The waterfall is created by the Duden Cayi River, the water flows in two steps on the rocks covered with lush vegetation, breaking into several streams. To make it not too beautiful, admission is paid and the place is crowded with tourists. But it is still worth being here, because no one will ever forget this sight.

And we drove from the North to the South of Turkey. Hundreds of kilometers behind us and lots of beautiful views. And these are just a fraction of the attractions that this wonderful, exotic country has to offer.


A writer by profession, a passion of a cat. One day he will see what is behind the Urals - good to Vladivostok. So far, when he can, he enjoys the sun of the countries of southern Europe. And it's also fun;)

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