How happy is the one who says, “I am a Turk”? Very happy indeed.
Turkiye is a beautiful country that offers a captivating blend of natural wonder and cultural treasures — including the land border where Europe becomes Asia and vice versa.
This top destination is perfect for travellers seeking natural beauty and a stunning array of landscapes that cater to nearly every taste. Whether you wish to take in ancient ruins, relax by the sea, fly in a hot air balloon, or take in the intermingling of religions, Turkiye is the place for you.
Cappadocia is home to surreal rock formations and old cave dwellings. Its otherworldly landscapes are home to hot air balloons, underground cities, and fantastic views. Or visit Ephesus, an open-air museum that shows you in real-time how ancient civilizations thrived with marble streets, libraries, and theatres. Istanbul—where east meets west just across the Bosphorus Strait—is another can’t-miss due to its internationally charged hustle and bustle, great food, and sightseeing.
Discover all that Turkiye has to offer with this list of breath-taking places that showcase the country’s rich diversity, beautiful views, delicious cuisine, and ancient customs. You might even find a few sites that accept Paysafecard deposits!
This region of central Turkiye is especially known for its unique moon-like landscape of fairy chimneys and cave dwellings. Soft layers of lava and ash from nearby Mount Erciyes, Mount Hasan, and Mount Güllü combined with wind, rain, and other natural forces to form these incredible geological formations millions of years ago.
Cappadocia has served many purposes for those living there. The area houses all kinds of interesting living developments, from rock-face churches made by early Christians to underground homes crafted in medieval times.
Nowadays, Cappadocia is a popular hot-air balloon destination that offers a once-in-a-lifetime sightseeing experience. Whether you want to explore underground tunnels or take to the sky at dawn, this is the place to go.
Pamukkale’s white and blue cascading pools welcome visitors to southwestern Turkiye. These stunning white terraces are formed by calcium-rich mineral water that flows down the area’s mountainside. Explore the therapeutic and crystal-clear thermal pools with a relaxing soak.
Meanwhile, the neighbouring ancient city Hierapolis is home to well-preserved ruins and historical sites dating back to 2nd century BC, including a Roman theatre. Explore travertine terraces, take a dip in these dreamy pools, and revel in the rich history of this ancient area.
The Bosphorus Strait
Glide between Europe and Asia as you cruise the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul. This is a delightful way to immerse yourself in this international city—all from the water. You’ll witness stunning scenery and rich cultural history with views of historic mosques, palaces, and posh waterfront neighbourhoods.
The peaceful water and calming views are a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the big city.
Book a daytime or evening cruise to take in different but equally unforgettable perspectives of Istanbul. It’s a relaxing and culturally enriching activity that spans two continents!
This pristine natural haven is a reward for the adventurous among us. There are only two ways to access Butterfly Valley—by boat or a challenging hiking trail—but once you reach this secluded paradise, you’ll be greeted with stunning turquoise waters and dramatic cliff faces.
The lush, forested canyon just up from the beach is home to diverse plant and animal life—including butterflies, of course!
A wide range of vibrant butterflies can be found here from June through September. Discover waterfalls, streams, pools, and untouched natural beauty with a jaunt about this paradise.
Visit Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia for a journey into Turkiye’s culture and architecture. This space holds massive importance as a former Byzantine cathedral turned Ottoman Mosque. Until recently, it was a well-curated museum that captures a rich history of spirituality and ancient innovation. In 2020, this sacred space reverted to becoming a mosque for Muslims, but it is open to other visitors too.
The Hagia Sophia’s vast dome and glittering mosaics are awe inspiring, with Byzantine and Islamic elements intertwined throughout. Light, shadow, texture, shape, and colour combine within the stunning interiors to create a massive and ethereal space unlike any other. Admire mosaics, explore ancient passageways, and even pet resident cats that keep pests at bay.
The Hagia Sophia is an iconic destination with visual and cultural points of interest. Just remember to dress in accordance with the Hagia Sophia’s guidelines when you visit. It’s wise to wear long pants or a long skirt and to also ensure your upper torso, including arms, are covered. Do also pack a light scarf or head covering for when inside the mosque.
Ephesus is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Long ago, this archaeological marvel near modern-day Selçuk was a commercial hub for the Mediterranean world.
Ephesus was founded in the 10th century and is thought to have been abandoned around the 15th century. There is a rich history in its excavated remains.
See the Library of Celsius, the Grand Theatre, marble streets, and monuments that witnessed the rise and fall of religions and empires alike. History buffs and curious explorers will love what Ephesus has to offer.
Main image, top, of colourful hot air balloons flying over Cappadocia, Turkiye, 2019. Photo © tawatchaiprakobkit / iStock
Article by Amelia Green.