Off The Beaten Path: Unusual Attractions To See In Turkey

Welcome to Turkey, a land of astonishing beauty and diverse culture.

While many tourists flock to popular attractions like the Grand Bazaar and Blue Mosque in Istanbul or the beaches of Antalya, there are a plethora of unique sights waiting for those who venture off the beaten path.

In this article, we will take you on a journey through some of the most unusual and fascinating destinations that Turkey has to offer.

From ancient ruins hidden deep within forests to underground cities carved into rock formations, Turkey is filled with surprises at every turn.

Whether you’re an adventure seeker looking for something out of the ordinary or simply want to escape from the crowds, these lesser-known gems will surely satisfy your curiosity.

So pack your bags, grab your camera, and let’s explore some of the most intriguing attractions that Turkey has to offer!

The Fairy Chimneys Of Cappadocia

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to walk through a landscape that looks like it’s straight out of a fairytale? The Fairy Chimneys of Cappadocia in Turkey will transport you to just such a place.

Uchisar, tuff stone dwellings, cappadocia-the fairy chimneys of cappadocia
Photo by Hans on Pixabay

These unique rock formations are unlike anything you’ve seen before, and they’re sure to leave an impression on even the most jaded traveler. The fairy chimneys were created by volcanic eruptions millions of years ago, but according to local folklore, they were formed when giants once roamed the land.

No matter how they came into existence, one thing is for certain: these towering spires make for incredible photography opportunities. If you’re looking for tips on capturing their magic, try visiting during sunrise or sunset – the warm light will enhance their already otherworldly beauty.

Walking among the fairy chimneys feels like stepping back in time. You’ll wander past homes carved directly into the soft stone, some dating back thousands of years. It’s easy to imagine ancient civilizations thriving here, hidden away from prying eyes.

And while there may be more well-known attractions in Turkey, venturing off the beaten path to experience this wonderland is worth every minute spent exploring.


Sumela Monastery In Trabzon

Located in the picturesque town of Trabzon, Sumela Monastery is a hidden gem that offers visitors an unforgettable experience. The monastery, which dates back to the Byzantine era, boasts a rich history and stunning architecture that will leave you awestruck.

Sumela, monastery, trabzon
Photo by fromsalih on Pixabay

As you make your way through the winding paths leading up to the monastery, you’ll be greeted by breathtaking views of lush greenery and cascading waterfalls.

The religious significance of Sumela Monastery is not lost on its visitors. The site served as a place of worship for Orthodox Christians for centuries before it was abandoned during World War I. It wasn’t until 2010 that restoration work began on the site, allowing tourists from all over the world to witness its cultural importance firsthand.

From intricate frescoes depicting biblical scenes to ornate carvings adorning every surface, there’s no shortage of beauty at this historic site.

As you explore Sumela Monastery, take some time to reflect on its past and appreciate its enduring legacy. Whether you’re interested in history or simply looking for a unique travel destination off the beaten path, Sumela Monastery is sure to impress.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience one of Turkey’s most incredible attractions – visit Sumela Monastery today!

The Sunken City Of Kekova

Is it true that the Sunken City of Kekova is a result of an earthquake during ancient times? While some believe this theory, others suggest that it was due to human activity. Regardless of its origin, exploring Kekova is an adventure like no other.

Kekova, nature, turkey
Photo by Ben_Kerckx on Pixabay

History and mystery surround the sunken city, with remains from numerous civilizations visible underwater. The Lycians, Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans all had their presence in the area at different times.

Visitors can take a boat tour around the sunken city and marvel at the ruins below or go snorkeling for a closer look. Snorkeling in Kekova offers an experience unlike any other, as divers can swim through underwater streets and houses from centuries ago.

As you explore beneath the surface, remnants of amphoras used in trade by ancient civilizations are scattered throughout. It’s truly breathtaking to witness such history hidden right before your eyes.

The Hidden Waterfall Of Manavgat

Long exposure photography of the manavgat waterfall
Photo by Murat Halıcı on Pexels

Nestled in the heart of Turkey, there lies a hidden gem that few have discovered. The Manavgat waterfall is one such attraction that has remained relatively unknown to tourists who flock to the country’s more popular destinations. The waterfall is located just outside the bustling town and can be accessed through hiking trails or local tours.

The natural beauty of this waterfall will leave you breathless as you gaze upon its majesty. Its cascading waters flow down from a height of 30 meters into a clear pool below. As you trek up towards the top, the sound of gushing water echoes all around, immersing you in nature’s symphony.

For those seeking adventure beyond lounging on beaches or visiting historical landmarks, this destination offers something unique. Along with stunning views and peaceful surroundings, the hike towards the falls is not only exhilarating but also provides an opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in Turkish culture by taking part in local tours led by experienced guides.

With so much to explore here, it’s no wonder why Manavgat Waterfall is quickly becoming a must-see destination for those exploring off-the-beaten-path attractions in Turkey.

The Ancient City Of Ani

After the adrenaline rush of discovering the Hidden Waterfall of Manavgat, it’s time to explore another hidden gem in Turkey: The Ancient City of Ani.

A view of the church at the city of ani
Photo by Emrecan Algül on Pexels

Get ready for an adventure like no other as we journey through this ancient city that dates back to the 10th century.

As you enter the gates of Ani, prepare to be transported into a world filled with history and mystery.

This once-thriving metropolis was home to over 100,000 people at its peak and was known as the ‘City of 1,001 Churches.’

Today, only ruins remain but they still hold immense historical significance.

The excavation progress made here is nothing short of remarkable.

With each passing day, more clues about life in Ani are uncovered.

From intricate mosaics to towering cathedrals, every corner holds a story waiting to be discovered.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to step back in time and witness one of Turkey’s most captivating attractions.

The Cotton Castle Of Pamukkale

Grayscale photo of ruins
Photo by Aysegul Alp on Pexels

Visiting Pamukkale: Tips and Recommendations

A visit to Turkey’s Cotton Castle of Pamukkale is a unique experience that should not be missed. The natural wonder, located in the country’s western region, attracts tourists from all over the world. However, with its popularity comes large crowds during peak seasons, so it’s best to arrive early or opt for an off-peak time if possible.

The Geology Behind the Cotton Castle

Pamukkale means ‘cotton castle’ in Turkish, which aptly describes the site’s appearance. But what created this stunning landscape? The hot springs that flow through the area deposit calcium carbonate on top of one another, creating layers of white terraces similar to those found in Yellowstone National Park.

Landscape of pamukkale-cotton castle
Photo by Uğurcan Özmen on Pexels

Visitors can even walk along these formations and take a dip in some of the thermal pools. If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and connect with nature, then Pamukkale is an excellent destination choice. Its breathtaking beauty will leave visitors feeling awestruck and rejuvenated long after their trip has ended.

Don’t forget to bring your camera – you’ll want to capture every moment!

The Mount Nemrut Statues

After marveling at the natural wonder of Pamukkale, it’s time to head towards another awe-inspiring sight in Turkey. Nestled amidst the Taurus Mountains lies Mount Nemrut, a historic site that is sure to leave visitors speechless.

Stars on sky over sculptures of mount nemrut
Photo by Onur Polat on Pexels

At its peak stands an ancient tomb sanctuary built by King Antiochus I Theos of Commagene as a tribute to himself and his divine ancestry. But what makes this place truly remarkable are the massive statues of gods and kings surrounding the burial mound.

These 8-10 meter tall figures stare out into the vast expanse, guarding their creator for eternity.

History and meaning envelop every inch of this place; from how it was constructed over two thousand years ago, to why these specific deities were chosen, each detail has been imbued with significance. And yet, despite being exposed to harsh weather conditions for centuries, these monuments have stood the test of time. It’s thanks to cultural preservation efforts that we can still witness such grandeur today.

Here are five things you need to know before visiting Mount Nemrut:

  • The best time to visit is at sunrise or sunset when the sky turns shades of pink and orange.
  • Visitors will need to hike up steep terrain so comfortable shoes are a must.
  • Entrance fees vary depending on your nationality but expect to pay around 20 Turkish Lira.
  • There are limited facilities available on-site so bring water and snacks.
  • Respectful behavior is expected while exploring this sacred site.

As you stand amongst these magnificent ruins, it’s hard not to feel humbled by their sheer size and presence. This magical place continues to inspire people from all walks of life with its rich history and cultural significance.

Let yourself be transported back in time as you bask in the glory of Mount Nemrut.

The Derinkuyu Underground City

Exploring Derinkuyu: History and Architecture

Derinkuyu underground city
Cappadocia / Derinkuyu” by astique is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

If you want to experience a slice of history that is both fascinating and mysterious, then exploring the Derinkuyu Underground City should be on your itinerary. This ancient city is located beneath the ground in Cappadocia, Turkey, and was carved out of volcanic rock over 2000 years ago.

The architecture of this underground city is astounding as it includes tunnels, rooms, wells, ventilation shafts, and even chapels.

The Mysteries of Derinkuyu: Legends and Folklore

Numerous legends surround this incredible underground city. Some believe that it was used by early Christians who were hiding from Roman persecution while others think that it served as a refuge during times of war. There are also stories about secret passageways leading to other cities or even different parts of the world!

Whatever the truth may be, one thing is for sure – exploring Derinkuyu will leave you with more questions than answers. As you walk through these dark and narrow corridors, it’s impossible not to feel a sense of awe and wonder at what lies before you. You can almost hear whispers from the past telling tales of survival against all odds.

If you’re looking for an adventure that will take you off the beaten path and into the depths of Turkish history, then exploring Derinkuyu should definitely be on your list!


So, there you have it – a list of some unusual and unforgettable attractions to see in Turkey. But why settle for the ordinary when you can experience something truly extraordinary?

Take a detour from the well-trodden path and explore these hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered.

One traveler I met described her visit to The Fairy Chimneys of Cappadocia as feeling like she had been transported to a different world. It’s moments like this that make travel so special – when we step out of our comfort zones and into the unknown, we open ourselves up to new experiences and perspectives.

So go ahead, embrace adventure, and let Turkey surprise you with its off-the-beaten-path wonders.

Pradeep Prabhakaran

Pradeep Prabhakaran

Born and raised in India, Pradeep is an entrepreneur who has always been fascinated by travel. He currently lives in India with his family, but is always traveling whenever possible. Whether it's exploring new places or discovering