Turkey is inundated with quaint villages, gorgeous beaches and crumbling Roman ruins, and exploring these is certainly made easier by car. Kapadokya (Cappadocia) has a compelling, lunar-like landscape where volcanic rock, coupled with erosion, has formed caves, clefts, and phallic chimneys with soft folds. In the area’s Goreme Valley are rock-hewn churches decorated with medieval frescoes.
The Marble Sea, named for the marble quarries on Marmara Island, is where you will find Gallipoli – the scene of violent, tragic battles during WWI. The battlefields are now a national park and a memorial to the thousands of lives lost during the clashes. The Black Sea, though rainy and grey most of the year, is blessed with spectacular green scenery, interesting history and delicious cuisine.
Pammukale has an enchanting landscape; calcium-rich mineral springs have formed dramatic, brilliantly white crusts on the limestone. The Roman city of Hierapolis was built around a hot-water spring that is considered to be scared and is still there today, surrounded by broken marble columns from the ancient city. Nearby Pammukale is the legendary city of Aphrodite, the goddess of love.
The shoreline of the Mediterranean is known as the Turquoise Coast, and offers a saturation of attractive landscapes. Many of the picturesque towns here have fine sand beaches, with the Taurus Mountains providing a spectacular backdrop. Kas is a charming and stylish town, scattered with quaint pensions and graced with cool, clear waters. Olimpos is known for its pristine beach, a pine forest full of marble temples and the Chimera, a remarkable natural flame that has burned constantly on the mountainside for centuries.
Fethiye boasts some of Turkey’s best beaches, including Oludeniz, a long stretch of creamy sand situated on a calm bay. This is a great destination for active travelers, offering a range of water sports. Additionally, you can para glide from the nearby mountains to the beach below.