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Turkey tourist attractions ideal for nature lovers

by Juan José Herranz | May 15, 2020
Turkey coastline with sea and rocks

The evocative image of the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque or the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul comes to mind when thinking of Turkey. However, there are a lot of natural wonders in this country, untouched or integrated within the modern Turkey cities. You might not think of Turkey's nature, but it is one of the most beautiful countries to enjoy fantastic natural wonders. You should read our Turkey tips to make sure you're prepared to visit Turkey.

If you are a nature lover, these are the best Turkey tourist attractions for you.

Pamukkale: one of the most famous Turkey tourist attractions

Pamukkale Natural Pools, which literally means “cotton castle”, located in Denizli province, are one of the Turkey tourist attractions everyone needs to visit. The area has been declared a World Heritage Site.

These white pools located on the side of a 160-meter-high hill were formed by tectonic movements that gave rise to several mineral-rich hot spring sources. This water has been forming white layers of limestone and travertine as it descends the mountain, creating what now seems, a huge frozen waterfall.

We recommend you to wait until sunset, when the rock begins to turn pink. It is then when Pamukkale looks like a castle made of cotton candy.

Pamukkale is one of the most important Turkey tourist attractions

Hot air balloon in Cappadocia, one of the ultimate Turkey attractions

Located in the centre of the country, this region has been declared a World Heritage Site. Its lunar landscape, with strange rock formations called fairy chimneys formed for thousands of years by erosion, will leave you breathless. This sight is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Turkey, known all over the world.

One of the most famous attractions in Turkey located in Cappadocia is The Göreme Open Air Museum, where you can visit rock-cut churches and chapels with imposing frescoes dating from the 10th, 11th and 12th centuries.

It is also essential to take a hiking route through the Valley of the Doves. Other activities you must do are contemplating the fairy chimneys from the Göreme Lookout, looking for rocks with animal shapes in the Devrent Valley, admiring the Uchisar and Ortahisar Castle, tour the valleys of the Monks and of Love, and entering underground cities like Kaymakli and Derinkuyu

If you want to make your visit to Cappadocia an even more unforgettable experience, you must book a balloon ride at sunrise, and enjoy amazing views of the landscape.

Göynük Canyon in Capadocia in Turkey

Lakes of Turkey, natural wonders in Turkey

One of the best known lakes in Turkey is Lake Koycegiz, a very calm lake with clear waters located in the southeast of Turkey. It has a resort in its surroundings, and it is perfect for swimming, taking boat trips or simply lying down to sunbathe on its banks.

Lake Van is another famous lake. Not only is it a national benchmark for being the largest lake in Turkey, but it is also the largest saline lake in the world. It is located in the Central Anatolia region and covers an area of 3,713 square kilometres. The Inci Kefali fish lives in it, a typical species of the lake. Currently asleep, the Nemrut volcano is located along the west shore of the lake.

Mencuna Waterfalls in Turkey

These spectacular waterfalls are one of the Turkey tourist attractions nobody should miss. The first waterfall is a waterfall that falls from a height of 50 meters to spill into a calm lake of 200 square meters.

The overflow of the lake creates the second waterfall, which also falls from a height of fifty meters and pours into a stream bed. Seen from a distance, it looks like a single waterfall a hundred meters high. 

Between May and June is when the greatest amount of water is reached as a consequence of the melting of the snow. This creates the most beautiful view of all year.

Turkey tourist attractions at its finest: Mount Nemrut

This 2,150-meter-high mountain, famous for the giant heads that remain from the burial mound that King Antiochus I ordered to be built in 62 BC, on the severed peak of the mountain, is another of the essential Turkey tourist attractions for nature lovers.

Antiochus's delusions of grandeur made him self-proclaim himself a god among the living, creating a new religious cult. The heads belonged to huge statues of different gods sitting on their thrones, including his. They were later damaged by iconoclasts.

This stop, another of the Turkey attractions declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, is not found in most of the most famous tourist routes that cross the country, as it is located near Turkish Kurdistan, very far from Istanbul, so you can enjoy it practically alone. The sunrise seen from the top is said to be one of the most beautiful on the planet.

Mount Nemrut in Turkey

Oludeniz, a paradise part of the Turkey tourist attractions

Oludeniz is one of the renowned Turkey attractions in the southeast coast of the country because of its beaches, crystal clear waters and landscapes. There, you must see the impressive Blue Lagoon. It is a sheltered lagoon next to an exuberant national park, with a long tongue of sand and a mountain, the Baba, that casts its shadow on the sea.

Surrounded by forests and mountains, it is the perfect place for paragliding. The view from the Babadag mountain is spectacular.