Crescent moon appears over a mosque in Istanbul, Turkey.
Istanbul brings together elements of both Europe and Asia, while offering the unique opportunity to take a ferry from one to the other
Photo Credit: iStockPhoto.com / muratart

10 Surreal Destinations in Turkey That Will Leave You Constantly Breathless

Experience the Magic of Turkey

You should never judge a country by its name. Take Turkey, for example. While the name might make you think of big ugly birds and Thanksgiving dinner, what you should actually be thinking about is a history of some of the world’s greatest empires, beaches bordering turquoise waters, food that will melt your heart, and natural wonders that scarcely seem real.

Spanning two continents and bordered by two seas, Turkey is one of the most magical destinations in the world today. Take note of the most enchanting Turkey destinations, and put together an itinerary that will leave you constantly breathless and believing in magic.

1. Istanbul

Straddling two continents, Istanbul brings together elements of both Europe and Asia, while offering the unique opportunity to take a ferry from one to the other. Sprawling over gently undulating hills, Istanbul has a cosmopolitan (and slightly hipster) vibe.

Eating and drinking your way through the eclectic bars and eateries of the city is compulsory, as is visiting the fabulous mosques and spice markets. The timeless nature of Istanbul is perhaps best captured in the hazy gold of the evenings, watching the sun set over minarets, accompanied by the melancholic echo of the call to prayer.

Sunrise over Cappadocia, Turkey with many hot air balloons hovering above the land.The valleys and rock formations of Cappadocia will make you feel like you are on Mars. The red and gold clay cliffs and the houses carved into the vaguely phallic-shaped rocks add to the surrealist nature of the landscapes here.Photo Credit: iStockPhoto.com

2. Cappadocia

The valleys and rock formations of Cappadocia will make you feel like you are on Mars. The red and gold clay cliffs and the houses carved into the vaguely phallic-shaped rocks add to the surrealist nature of the landscapes here.

Riding a hot air balloon up into the sky at first light is the most popular way to enjoy the views. It might not feel like it when your alarm goes off, but the many balloons cast against the backdrop of the sunrise and Cappadocia’s beauty is definitely worth getting up at the crack of dawn for.

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Aqua ocean meets the sand in Oludeniz, TurkeyOludeniz is a sought after sweet spot of white-gold sand, blue water, and lush forestPhoto Credit: iStockPhoto.com / rathboa

3. Oludeniz

Also known as the Blue Lagoon, Oludeniz is that sought after sweet spot of white-gold sand, blue water and lush forest. To get the best views of the lagoon, jump on the tourist bandwagon, and off the mountain shadowing the beach — with a paraglide of course.

If you prefer to get a view with your feet still firmly on the ground, there are excellent hiking trails leading onward and upward in both directions from the lagoon, including the beginning of the historic and stunning Lycian Way.

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