Circumnavigation of Turkey: a 10-day car route

After the start of the pandemic, another one was added to the standard associations with Turkey — Istanbul, all inclusive and bloggers against the background of balloons: the country of transfers.

Meanwhile, Turkey itself deserves much more attention than it is customary to pay to it. Hidden in the depths of the country are locations and attractions that can surprise even seasoned travelers. Here is a simple but interesting route for 10 days.

You can start a round-the-world tour of Turkey from Istanbul. The cost of the flight is 10,400 rubles * per person round trip. Car rental will cost a traveler from 2000 rubles * per day.

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It takes about two hours to move from Istanbul to Kerpe. This is one of the smallest resorts on the Black Sea coast of Turkey. It is famous for its picturesque rocky coast, indented by large grottoes and small caves. This relief is the result of thousands of years of efforts by the tides of the Black Sea. The rock complex looks especially photogenic in side lighting — at dawn or sunset. In the summer months, vacationers dive into the clear water directly from the rocks, although it is not very safe. And of course, rock climbers train on the steep walls all year round.

200 km south-east of Kerpe is the city Nallyhan. By itself, it is not particularly interesting, but there is a Saryar reservoir 20 minutes away. From its shores there is an amazing view of rainbow hills, almost like in Peru. Red, brown, yellow and gray are the predominant colors of the surrounding landscape, which was formed due to tectonic activity and the variety of minerals in the bowels of this area. You can drive up to the hills and even try to climb one of them. When viewed from above, the relief resembles a section of smoky agate. This place is still little known to tourists, which is good for curious travelers — there are always a few people here.

But on ace lakethat 250 km from the hills and an hour and a half drive from Ankara, there are much more visitors. This is the second largest freshwater reservoir in Turkey, but unlike the first, Lake Van, it is not deep at all. The salinity of the water of the Ace reaches 340 %, that is, the saturation with sodium chloride is much higher here than in the Dead Sea. A distinctive feature of the lake is that the water is literally teeming with saltwater unicellular, which color the reservoir in shades of red: from saturated fuchsia to a delicate purple color – depending on the time of year and the amount of precipitation. Obviously, in order to finish off visitors with the aesthetics of pink, flamingos sometimes fly to the lake. Travelers share information that most often they can be found in the southern part of the reservoir. But the appearance of sunset children always remains an unpredictable attraction and defies forecasts.

An hour and a half drive from the southern point of the Ace there is another little-known, but very unusual reservoir: crater lake Meke. It was formed in the mouth of the Karapinar volcano. The last lava ejection about eight thousand years ago formed another cone inside the crater, which looks like a fortress surrounded by a moat with salt water.

However, you can only see this “moat” after heavy rains: the groundwater level in the region is critically low and only internal resources are not enough to maintain the lake in its original flooded form. Despite this, such a “probe” of the crater lake will be of interest to those who cannot yet get to the Krenitsyn volcano on the Kuril Islands.

Erciyes Stratovolcanorelated to The Taurus Mountains, only a few hundred meters short of the title of a four-thousandth, but nevertheless is one of the most famous Turkish ski resorts. The most beautiful thing here is the mountains themselves. And to get to know them better, it is best to choose one of the hiking routes Aladaglar Nature Parkrocky slopes, steep ascents and equally steep descents are a real gift for those who love hiking. If they don’t attract you yet, you can limit yourself to getting acquainted with amazing Kapuzbashi waterfallslocated almost in the center of the mountain range. This is a natural complex consisting of seven waterfalls, each of which is unique. And you can just drive through the mountains on a flat toll road and feel like traveling through the Rocky Mountains of the USA.

It will take six hours and about 400 km to move to the north of the country, to the center of the province Amasya — the city of the same name with a population of about 80,000 inhabitants. The settlement itself is located at the bottom of the valley under the slope of Harshena Mountain. It stretches along the banks of the Yeshilyrmak River and is famous only for the abundant harvest of apples. The Turks even call Amasya the apple capital of Turkey. But just north of the city, on the rocky slope of Harshen, you can find carved in stone tombs of the Pontic kings. They differ from similar ones in Lycia and other places in that they have external walls, that is, in fact, they are separate structures cut down inside the rock. An ancient fortress is being restored at the top of Harshen, and at the eastern entrance to the city you can see the remains of an ancient aqueduct.

The next three days will be spent in the north-east of the country, which looks a little like Turkey. Rather, some kind of crazy mix of Norway and Ceylon, Switzerland and Bali — all this is primarily about Rize Province. This region is most famous for its tea plantations: it is here that the Turkish tea is grown.

This is the main source of income for the province and the main tourist “chip”, which in recent years the authorities hope to attract travelers. Surroundings of the main town of Rize — Pontic Ridges – drown in the greenery of mountain forests and flowering meadows, suspiciously reminiscent of alpine – even the houses are the same! Streams and rivers run along the slopes, and snow-capped peaks of three thousand meters can be seen above the tea gardens. 50,000 hectares of the province’s land is occupied by the Kachkar Ecological Protected Park — all these beauties are on its territory. And an hour’s drive from the coastal Rize is Palovit waterfall, which is like two drops of water similar to the Balinese Nung-Nung.

In the next room Trabzon Province the relief of the Pontic Mountains has created one of the most impressive sights of the Black Sea region — Uzungel Lake Valley. It looks, of course, not at all like a Turkish lake, but as part of some Norwegian fjord, there is even a trout farm. On the shore of Uzungel there is a small village full of fish restaurants and offers for tourists: fishing, river rafting, trekking and other popular activities. Basically, people go hiking in the mountains here and it is quite convenient to do it: there is no need to sleep in tents — there are many small chalet hotels in the vicinity. For example, there is a hotel along the Demirkapi River Sekersu Hotel. The room can be booked for 3100 rubles* per person.

Another breathtaking location of the province of Trabzon — Panagia Sumela Monastery. It was built more than 1,500 years ago right inside a chalk cliff, literally on a cliff. There were many sad pages in the history of this place, it is a miracle that the complex has survived to this day.

It stands, although, rather, it hangs today at an altitude of 1300 meters above sea level, sparkling with its red tiled roof and masonry, as if it came here from Prague.

It seems that a trip to non-banal locations in Turkey can replace a visit to almost a dozen other countries and regions. At least for a while, until the world is fully open to travelers again.

Our project “Where to go” will help you with ideas for the upcoming vacation. You choose the month and city of departure, and we offer the most interesting and affordable options – with ticket prices and information about restrictions for tourists.

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*Prices are valid at the time of publication

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