The southern coast of Turkey was once part of the great Greek and Roman empires, and shares the same history and spectacular sea. Antalya is a very pleasant city with a great museum, beautiful beaches, extensive parks and an ancient city that has been well preserved. The old buildings have been turned into shops and pleasant hostels, and the seaside restaurants are excellent. This zone is almost free of cars, and provides a great environment for walking and admiring the ancient architecture and beautiful coast. Many great mountains rise directly from the sea and provide a stunning vista that is often covered with snow.
Rock Climbing on Limestone Cliffs
Limestone is the main component of many of the surrounding mountains, and sport climbing is rapidly gaining popularity. Antalya is becoming a center for rock climbing and the small community of Olympos provides a variety of bolted routes on good quality rock. It is also the home of some very interesting hostels including a classic group of very funky tree houses. The water is very pleasant for swimming and diving, and the ancient Roman ruins provide great hiking in a non-crowded environment. It is also the home of a natural eternal flame which was probably used to light the original Olympic torches. The flames provide a warm, natural campfire, and it’s fun to show up at sunset with hotdogs and marsh mellows.
The Giant Greek Ruins of Mount Nemrud
The ancient Greeks chose this lofty mountain to build a great monument, and the remnants are often considered the eighth wonder of the ancient world. The huge statues of the ancient Gods are truly stunning, and the region is filled with many other wonders. The culture of eastern Turkey varies greatly from that of Antalya, and is a thrilling part of this Turkish adventure. The locals are very friendly and traveling by bus is
easy. The oil boom town of Kahta offers comfortable accommodations and is the best place to find a tour bus or taxi. The road is steep and often icy so winter travel is not advised.
The Fairy Tale Village of Gorume, Capadocia
This stunning land of volcanic towers and cave houses is a highlight of any Turkish vacation. Great trails wonder through pristine valleys with incredible vistas, and a truly magical environment. The towers have been formed by a soft volcanic ash which is very easy to excavate, so ancient cultures turned many of them into homes. The pleasant village of Gorume is filled with tourist amenities and provides a great base camp for hiking in this region. There are some very grand cave homes and cathedrals, and many of the hostels have rooms that have been carved out of the spires.
Wandering the Ancient Streets of Istanbul
The old Constantinople is one of the most remarkable cities in the world and provides dozens of premier sight-seeing activities. Hagia Sophia is one of the greatest ancient churches, and has a history that spans almost two thousand years. The Blue Mosque is also stunning, and there is a famous monument on almost every corner of the old walled city. A trip to the Black Sea along the Bhosporus is a thrilling way to see the many great monuments of this ancient trade route, and the old city is filled with restaurants and comfortable hotels.
The Republic of Turkey provides a diverse and thrilling landscape for adventure travelers of all types, and the prices are very reasonable.
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