From Mountains To Ancient Ruins: Turkey's Top Outdoor Attractions

From the breathtaking landscapes of Cappadocia to the historic ruins of Ephesus, Turkey captivates adventurers and history buffs alike
Representational image
Representational imageUnsplash

Turkey, at the crossroads of the East and West, boasts breathtaking landscapes, a rich cultural legacy and a diverse range of outdoor attractions that capture the hearts of visitors. Whether you're searching for the tranquillity of pristine beaches, the thrill of hot air ballooning over spectacular landscapes, or the adventure of hiking amid ancient ruins, the diverse topography offers a wide selection of activities. With the ideal blend of history, nature, and adventure, Turkey is a sanctuary for travellers searching for memorable outdoor experiences.

Hot Air Balloon Ride In Cappadocia


A hot air balloon ride in the Cappadocia region is an unparalleled experience, offering spectacular aerial views of the unique landscapes, surreal rock formations, and historic sites. Cappadocia, with its hills, river valleys, and “fairy chimney” formations, makes an appearance on our list of Turkey's most Instagrammable places.

There are three varieties of hot air balloon tours offered in Cappadocia: deluxe (longer flights), standard (shorter flights), and even private. Most tours begin around 5:00 or 5:30 am or just before daybreak. Sunrise tours are most popular for the mesmerising experience of witnessing the rising sun. Most balloons have a capacity of 10-12 passengers, but you can book personalised experiences for fewer people. Do remember to book your ride in advance. 

Price: INR 11,500 to INR 26,000

Stroll Along Ephesus’s Ancient Ruins


One of the best-preserved ruins of the ancient Greek and Roman temples, Ephesus is a must-visit for tourists in the region. The ruins offer an immersive experience into one of the greatest civilisations of the world. 

Witness the ongoing archaeological excavations that continually reveal discoveries. A Roman bath, a massive open-air theatre, a colossal fountain, and gates are among the major site's highlights. The Library of Celsus, which was once the third-largest library in the world, is known for its intricately carved exterior. Wander through the pathways of this ancient city to marvel at its impressive infrastructure and sophisticated urban planning.

Timings: 8 am to 6:30 pm

Entry fee: INR 5,000

Thermal Bath In Pamukkale


Natural hot springs and terraced mineral pools are just some of the unique experiences at the Thermal Bath in Pamukkale. Translating to “Cotton Castle”, Pamukkale is a UNESCO World Heritage site home to the breathtaking travertines of Pamukkale, with their formations resembling clouds, which are among the most remarkable sights in Turkey.

It is widely known that these mineral-rich waters have therapeutic qualities, and Cleopatra is believed to have bathed here. Enjoy the tranquil waters of Cleopatra's pool by wading among historic ruins in the afternoon. To experience peak relaxation, indulge in a Turkish thermal bath.

Timings: 6:30 am to 8:30 pm in summer and 6:30 am to 6 pm in winter.

Entry fee: INR 1950

Back To Byzantium At the Basilica Cistern

Basilica Cistern
Basilica CisternUnsplash

Built in the 6th century by Emperor Justinian I, the Basilica Cistern, also known as Yerebatan Sarnıcı in Turkish, is one of Istanbul's most fascinating sites. It is an ancient underground water reservoir located in Istanbul and served as a water storage facility for the city of Constantinople.  

With a storage capacity of 80,000 cubic metres, the Basilica Cistern is the largest in Istanbul. Discover the cistern, a remnant of the Byzantine Empire's water system that offers tourists a first-hand look at hundreds of historic Ionic and Corinthian columns.

Timings: 9 am to 10 pm

Entry fee: INR 1671

Jeep safari To The Taurus Mountains

Taurus Mountains
Taurus MountainsUnsplash

The Taurus Mountains provide an ideal backdrop for a jeep safari adventure with their dramatic peaks, lush valleys, and picturesque landscape. The routes wind through diverse terrain, offering panoramic views of forests, canyons, rivers, and traditional villages nestled in the mountains.

A jeep safari journey to the Taurus Mountains can provide you with an exciting full-day adventure. You can easily climb to the top and explore the mountain peaks without getting tired. Expert guides lead the safaris, providing insights into the region’s history, geography, and natural attractions. Furthermore, there's also a charming restaurant with delectable regional cuisine.

Price: Starts from INR 2800

Shop In Vibrant Bazaars

Grand Bazaar
Grand BazaarUnsplash

Despite the abundance of supermarkets and retail centres, Turkey's traditional bazaar culture remains. There's bound to be at least one çarşı in most historical centres, a sort of marketplace district or shopping arcade where sellers offer a variety of goods from inexpensive souvenirs to artisanal leather or metal crafts.

 The most well-known example is Istanbul's Grand Bazaar, often referred to as the Kapalı Çarşı, or "covered marketplace" in Turkish. One of the world’s oldest and largest covered markets, the Grand Bazaar dates back to the Ottoman era. Covering an expansive area of 60 streets and more than 400 shops, the bazaar is filled with an astonishing array of items, from ceramics and spices to carpets and antiques.

Equally vibrant and important to the local way of life is the pazar, an open-air marketplace offering fresh seasonal produce, various food items, apparel, and home goods. These markets serve as important gathering places for locals to shop, interact with one another, and enjoy a vibrant atmosphere.

Timings: 8 30 am to 6 30 pm (Grand Bazaar)

Unwind At Kabak Beach

Kabak Beach
Kabak BeachUnsplash

Turkey's Mediterranean coast is swiftly overtaking other picturesque heavyweights like Greece and Malta in terms of popularity. Make sure to spend some time in paradise at Kabak Beach during your visit to Turkey. This hidden gem is tucked away amid lush mountains and the turquoise Mediterranean near the village of Kabak. Relax in rustic bungalows on this secluded and tranquil beach while savouring the peace of nature. Enjoy gorgeous sands, crystal-clear waters, and stunning sunsets. With several lovely beachfront restaurants to choose from, Kabak Beach promises to be an enchanting experience for all travellers.

Getting There

The quickest and most convenient way to get to Turkey from India is to take a flight, which would cost you somewhere between INR 18,000 and INR 60,000 and take about 9 hours and 15 minutes to reach. 

You can book your flight tickets from here.

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