Here are 5 truly off-beat things to do in Turkey.
Turkey is a curious mix of the East and the West. Its rich culture and heritage are some of the most fascinating in the world. Although it has embraced modern infrastructure and perception, it still holds its history close to its heart and proudly shows it off. The air in Turkey is that of nostalgia and curiosity, and the more you explore it, the more you never want to stop. Known for its dome and minaret-filled architecture, Roman ruins, sunny beaches, historical sites, food, and wine, Turkey has so much to offer. Some of the truly unusual things you can do in Turkey are:·
Go around Cappadocia
At Cappadocia, you can watch history come to life. The astonishing rock formations that make up the region were formed by volcanic eruptions, erosion, and wind and have truly withstood the test of time. Every hillside, spire, and boulder are a home complete with windows, bedrooms, kitchens, and that is what adds to the mind-blowing charm of Cappadocia. You can find an array of cave hotels here where you can become a part of history yourself. And as if the grandeur of the city wasn’t enough already, you can witness its beauty from the sky in a hot-air balloon ride!·
Trace the origin of Christianity in Turkey
You need not be religious or even a history buff. Curiosity will suffice for you to be attracted towards the city of Antakya, which used to be one of the largest cities in the Roman empire and is the oldest center of Christianity in Turkey. It houses the St’ Peter’s Cave Church believed to be one of the oldest. Also, visit the house of the Virgin Mary.·
Hop on a domestic train
The domestic train runs from Ankara to Kars and is quickly gaining popularity among travelers. After you are done exploring Ankara, you can board this train, and it will take you about 23-24 hours to reach Kars. What’s special about this journey is that it gives you sweeping views of the beautiful landscapes and sceneries of Turkey and leaves you with a sense of fulfillment and joy. Plus, you can save money on domestic travel.·
Visit the sunken ruins of Simena at Kekova island
In 2 century CE, Simena was hit by a series of violent earthquakes and sank beneath the waves. Today, its ruins remain at the Kekova island and are visible under the sea thanks to the clear waters of the Mediterranean. The island is uninhabited, but it is possible to explore it by renting a boat. The ruins of the city include a shipyard, houses, and a couple of amphorae. At one location, a winding staircase can be found descending into the calm waters. The ruins of Simena have an almost melancholy feeling attached to them, like a dusty old book of forgotten poetry.·
Go camping in the Kackar mountains
A lesser-explored region of Turkey, the Kackar mountains or simply the Kackars, is a collection of small plateaus and gorgeous, lush green landscape. Located in eastern Turkey, the Kackars attracts visitors with its spectacular scenery and views of the Black Sea from certain points.
With beauty like none other, Turkey will leave a rich taste in your mouth and fill you up with a certain delightful pensiveness that can hardly be experienced anywhere else.