Travel to Turkey: 6 Must-See Historic Highlights in Eastern Turkey
Since eastern Turkey is a bit off the beaten path and unknown to many, a traveler will more likely find authentic experiences along the way, meeting locals as they work, farm, wash clothes, cook, and go about their daily lives in their towns and villages. These are 6 must-see sights for a memorable journey through Turkey’s earliest history.
- Tip: Buy Mardin’s famous pistachio-oil soap in the town’s lively bazaar.
- Tip: Perhaps obvious, but great gifts to take home are bright-green Gaziantep pistachios as well as the city’s world-famous pistachio Antep baklava. It stays fresh for 2-3 days and freezes well for months.
(click on photo to see larger version)
- Tip: Even in summertime it can get very chilly on Nemrut Dağ. Bring a hat and heavy coat, or wear lots of layers.
- Tip: Be on the lookout for rare Van cats, known for the distinctive pure white fur on their bodies, different-colored eyes, and love of water.
- Tip: Take a taste of local honey and butter; they’re considered the best in Turkey. As well, eastern Turkey is a perfect place to experience an authentic Turkish bath.
- Handcrafted Private Journeys in Eastern Turkey: MIR can handcraft a custom, private journey focused on your personal interests, destinations, and timeline in Turkey’s “cradle of civilization.” Working with MIR allows you to fully focus on enjoying your travel experience while MIR handles all the logistics and details. A handcrafted itinerary for eastern Turkey might include:
- Black Sea towns of Trabzon – once a Silk Road city – and Samsun, a tobacco town where Turkey’s Atatürk began his 1919 War of Independence.
- Sümela Monastery, a 4th century Greek Orthodox monastery embedded in a steep cliff nearly 4,000 feet up Mela Mountain.
- Erzurum, a multi-day base for exploring churches in the Kaçkar Mountains, or hiking the Tortum Valley.
- Travel to Turkey: Explore Istanbul and the Rest of Turkey: An overview of this crossroads country, straddling East and West in terms of politics, religions, and geography.
- Travel to Turkey: 6 Favorite Highlights in Istanbul: Istanbul is an easy introduction to Turkey. Its minaret-studded skyline glistens with mosques, palaces, and water views that demonstrate the country’s living history, diverse cultures, and international cuisine.
- Travel to Turkey: 6 Scenic Reasons to Visit Captivating Cappadocia: This moonscape of strangely shaped rock formations – dubbed “fairy chimneys” – is also one of the best places on the planet for hot-air balloon rides.
- Travel to Turkey: 5 Highlights in Southern Turkey, From Ankara to the Mediterranean Coast: It’s all about variety: Ankara’s mammoth Atatürk Mausoleum, Konya’s “whirling dervishes,” and laid-back fishing villages along the Mediterranean Coast.
- Travel to Turkey: 5 Favorite Western Turkey Highlights, From Ancient Ruins to the Aegean Coast: This is Turkey’s old soul, steeped in wars, history, and legends. All three are abundant, with civilizations traced back 4,000 years, and with more ancient ruins here than anywhere else in Turkey.
Whatever Turkish delights capture your imagination, MIR’s handcrafted, private itineraries can transform your dream trip into an unforgettable travel adventure.
(Top photo: Although located more than a mile high, Lake Van doesn’t freeze because of its high salinity. Photo credit: Mike Belton)
PUBLISHED: February 16, 2015