Travelling from South to Anatolia – Part 2

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Written by Sila Kiss

“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” Gustave Flaubert

In my last article we travelled from Fethiye to Antalya. In this article we will start from Antalya, the south of the Turkey to the North. Of course, it would be amazing to continue but we will stop in the middle which is called, Anatolia.

Imagine a lake cutting the sea into two pieces, from one side you can walk to Phaselis, which was an ancient Greek and Roman city in Lycia, and on the other side you can watch the sunset on a home-made swing. Tekirova, Sundance, is the last stop at seaside. This wonderful camping place has bungalows and tent areas. Every year at the end of the September there is a juggling festival held here. This year 15th Juggling Fest will be between 21st-27th of September. The other dates you may find some workshops and gong baths from the owner of this cute place. Except for the festival times, Sundance is quite calm.

Get ready to 9 hours of driving, we are going to see the fairy chimneys!

Cappadocia

These fairy chimneys are created by volcanic eruptions, rains and wind 60 million years ago. The people who were living here carved under the chimneys and live there many years. It was also an important site for Christians, before the Turks came. It became a unique refuge centre for Christians fleeing from the persecution of the Roman Empire to Anatolia, this situation continued until Emperor Constantine I put aside his intimidation policy against Christians as his predecessor Diocletianus and accepted Christianity in 312. When you start to enter the area, you will see a magical view.  One of the most important places to visit is the underground cities, the biggest one is from Hittites, Kaymakli Underground City.

You can choose one place to spend the night and travel the other beauties of the nature in the day time, because this area consists of 4 different regions. I suggest Charming Cave Hotel, which is located in Nevsehir, here you can experience what it’s like to live in a cave like many of the hotels in the region with a friendly team. This hotel is the closest to the sunset point. If you want to stay with your car, you can find lots of free camping places in the valleys. The most famous one is named the Red Valley; you can watch the sunset here when the sun paints the valley to the red. Here you cannot make a fire to protect the natural site. The valley is 1.5 km long and has a beautiful view.

You can find `testi kebabi` as a traditional food by walking 5 minutes into any city centre. Do not forget to book your place in the day time. The food needs to cook very long, therefore owners of the restaurants want to know in advance how many customers will eat their food. Also, the place is famous for it’s wines, many tourists  come by tours for the wine tasting in various factories. Shiraz is one of the types that you can find. The region is also famous by its pottery, you can find workshops and join them in Avanos.

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This area is quite touristic, which means there are a lot of activities to do. You can take a tour with the air balloons to the skies at 5 am in the morning or you can just wake up and watch the balloons painting the sky while the sun is welcoming the day. Göreme Open-Air Museum is also one of the attractions you should see. You can take quad tours here and walk the inspiringly beautiful Ihlara Valley.  The name of Cappadocia comes from horses, which means you can choose a more natural way to visit the beautiful chimneys.

There are lots of festivals during the year in Cappadocia. From music festivals to mountain bike races; handcrafts, cycling, art camp and more.

Ihlara Valley

There are lots of things to do in Cappadocia, but eventually every trip has a return. Our last stop is Ihlara Valley, which I mentioned above. This beautiful canyon valley is 18 kms long, so before starting to walk you should keep in mind your way back. You can find food and restrooms in the valley as well.  From 105 churches only 9 are open to public. Since 4th century many religious people lived and shaped their beliefs here.

In this trip we started from the south of the Turkey and finished at Anatolia. We have seen the most beautiful beaches, met with the locals, camped in different regions, swam in various seas, climbed to unique scenic beauties, saw ancient cities and walked the longest historical ways. Like we said every vacation has an end, use the nearest air field, Cappadocia Airport, it is 40 kms away from the sunset point. Do not forget to take your passport and be there 2 hours before. I hope you meet with wonderful people on your trip!

Here is the map of the Lycian Way if you would like to see other attractions on the road (all 555kms);

Featured image: © Blake Wisz

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