Turkey Image Gallery

Turkey

Turkey is a crossroads of East and West where countless civilizations have thrived, fought and faded away all leaving a mark and providing more to explore then one trip can handle. Bordered by Greece, Bulgaria, Georgia, Armenia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, The Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea you can travel overland from most countries although Armenia is a no go due to hostilities between the two nations. Domestic transport is typically by bus which is comfortable and frequent, domestic flights also service most major cities. Officially known as the Republic of Turkey, this amazing country has stunning beaches, ancient ruins, networks of caves to explore, Islamic influences out East to contrast with the Cosmopolitan influences along the coast and in Istanbul. Ensure you check out at least one crusader castle, eat Turkish delight till you feel sick, explore the caves of Cappadocia, soak up some sun on the beach and get lost in Istanbul. If you can only focus on a couple of places fly into Istanbul to see the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia  and go to Cappadocia for some Indiana Jones like adventure. Taking the time to swing out East near the borders with Iran and Iraq are also well worth your time but that might have to wait for round 2 to Turkey.

Alanya and Antalya
Ani and Mars
Cappadocia
Ephesus
Van and Hosap
Ishak Palace
Istanbul
Maidens Castle
Mamure Castle
Mount Nemrut
Olympos
Patara
Sumela
Termessos
 

Image Gallery

Photography by Eric Starling, Footside, Sara and Mike Waters

Uchisar, Cappadocia, Turkey
Uchisar, Cappadocia
Ishak Pasha Palace, Doğubayazıt, Turkey
Ishak Pasha Palace, Doğubayazıt
Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey
Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Istanbul
The Church of the Redeemer, Ani, Turkey
The Church of the Redeemer, Ani
Sümela Monastery, near Black Sea, Turkey
Sümela Monastery, near Black Sea
Mount Nemrut, Turkey
Mount Nemrut
Library of Celsus, Ephesus, Turkey
Library of Celsus, Ephesus
Alanya, Turkey
Alanya
Olympos , Turkey
Olympos
Mamure Castle, Anamur, Turkey
Mamure Castle, Anamur
Maidens Castle, Kizkalesi, Turkey
Maidens Castle, Kizkalesi
Patara, Turkey
Patara
Süleymaniye Camii Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey
Süleymaniye Camii Mosque, Istanbul
Lake Van, Turkey
Lake Van
Near Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey
Near Goreme, Cappadocia
Termessos Backflip, Turkey
Termessos Backflip
Termessos Amphitheatre, a day trip from the coastal city of Antalya, Turkey
Termessos Amphitheatre, a day trip from the coastal city of Antalya
View of Alanya from the Alanya Fortress, Turkey
View of Alanya from the Alanya Fortress
Ishak Pasha Palace, near Doğubayazıt, eastern Turkey
Ishak Pasha Palace, near Doğubayazıt, eastern Turkey
Mamure Castle, southern Mediterranean Turkey
Mamure Castle, southern Mediterranean Turkey
Fethiye Harbour, Turkey
Fethiye Harbour
Ephesus Amphitheatre, seats roughly 44,000, Turkey
Ephesus Amphitheatre, seats roughly 44,000
Maidens Castle and Korykos Castle, southern Mediterranean Turkey
Maidens Castle and Korykos Castle, southern Mediterranean Turkey
Sunset over the Bosphorus, Istanbul, Turkey
Sunset over the Bosphorus
Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque), Turkey
Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque)
Antalya Harbour, Turkey
Antalya Harbour
The Church of Saint Gregory, Ani, Turkey
The Church of Saint Gregory, Ani
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul
Turkish Delight, Istanbul, Turkey
Turkish Delight, Istanbul
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul
Mount Ararat, Doğubayazıt, Turkey
Mount Ararat, Doğubayazıt
Mount Nemrut Sunrise, Turkey
Mount Nemrut Sunrise
Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey
Goreme, Cappadocia
Topkapı Palace, Istanbul, Turkey
Topkapı Palace, Istanbul
Hosap Castle, Hosap, Turkey
Hosap Castle
Sümela Monastery, Turkey
Sümela Monastery
Maidens Castle Backflip, Turkey
Maidens Castle Backflip
Olympos Beach, Turkey
Olympos Beach
Patara Beach, Turkey
Patara Beach
Near Kas, Turkey
Near Kas
Süleymaniye Camii Mosque, Turkey
Süleymaniye Camii Mosque
Patara Backflip, Turkey
Patara Backflip
Ishak Pasha Palace, Turkey
Ishak Pasha Palace
Uchisar, Cappadocia, Turkey
Uchisar, Cappadocia
Ihlara Valley, Cappadocia, Turkey
Ihlara Valley, Cappadocia
Library of Celus, Ephesus, Turkey
Library of Celus, Ephesus
Mount Nemrut, Turkey
Mount Nemrut
Termessos, Turkey
Termessos
Antalya Harbour, Turkey
Antalya Harbour
Mamure Castle, Anamur, Turkey
Mamure Castle, Anamur
Near Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey
Near Goreme, Cappadocia
Modern City of Antakya, used to be ancient city of Antioch, Turkey
Modern City of Antakya, used to be ancient city of Antioch
Ishak Pasha Palace, Turkey
Ishak Pasha Palace
Kars from the Kars Fortress, Turkey
Kars from the Kars Fortress
Sunset from Mount Nemrut, Turkey
Sunset from Mount Nemrut
Ölüdeniz Beach, near Fethiye, Turkey
Ölüdeniz Beach, near Fethiye
Olympos Bay, Turkey
Olympos Bay
Trabzon and the Black Sea, Turkey
Trabzon and the Black Sea
The city of Van from Van Castle, Turkey
The city of Van from Van Castle

Cappadocia

Text by Eric Starling, Photography by Eric Starling, Footside, Sara and Mike Waters

Uchisar, Cappadocia, Turkey
Uchisar
Near Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey
Near Goreme
Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey
Goreme
Ihlara Valley, Cappadocia, Turkey
Ihlara Valley
Ihlara Valley, Cappadocia, Turkey
Ihlara Valley
Near Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey
Near Goreme

The landscape in Cappadocia, which is a unique and historical region in central Turkey, is like being on a different planet. The sandstone valleys, hills and strangely shaped formations are riddled with caves. Most caves are just one room, but others are huge complexes cut deep into the hillside that you will need the help of a torch to explore. Cave cities drop eight stories beneath the earth's surface, cone-like formations house hotels with cave rooms, monasteries cut into sheer cliffs, and religious caves have been frescoed by early Christian monks. Although the region known as Cappadocia has expanded and contracted over thousands of years with marauding armies, the areas most explored by Travelling Backflip are the valleys and sites available from the city of Göreme. The most important towns and destinations we have visited in Cappadocia are Göreme, the Ihlara Valley and Uchisar. Available underground cities to explore are Derinkuyu, Kaymakli, Gaziemir, and Ozkanak. However the best experiences can be had by heading off into the surrounding valleys around Göreme for some intense and often dramatic exploration reminiscent of Indiana Jones. This area is a photographer's dream with multi-coloured formations everywhere showing different levels of erosion. The so called 'Fairy Chimneys'  are some of the more interesting formations, all in different shapes and sizes and often distinctly phallic in form. The opportunity to explore multi level cave systems, connected by 30 metre tall vertical shafts with no safety rails, is not for the faint of heart but provides a rush for those who dream of such opportunities. Cappadocia gives a keen traveller the experience of pure uncensored adventure set in a historically rich and visually diverse part of the world.

Goreme National Park, Cappadocia, Turkey
Goreme National Park
Near Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey
Near Goreme
Goreme National Park, Cappadocia, Turkey
Goreme National Park
Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey
Goreme
Kayseri Mosque, Cappadocia, Turkey
Kayseri Mosque
Uchisar, Cappadocia, Turkey
Uchisar
Ihlara Valley, Cappadocia, Turkey
Ihlara Valley
Goreme National Park, Cappadocia, Turkey
Goreme National Park
View from Uchisar, Cappadocia, Turkey
View from Uchisar
Cappadocia Backflip, Cappadocia, Turkey
Cappadocia Backflip
Ihlara Valley Backflip, Cappadocia, Turkey
Ihlara Valley Backflip
Uchisar Backflip, Cappadocia, Turkey
Uchisar Backflip
Mount Aktepe near Goreme and Goreme National Park, Cappadocia, Turkey
Mount Aktepe near Goreme and Goreme National Park
Goreme National Park Crusader Church, Cappadocia, Turkey
Goreme National Park Crusader Church
Goreme National Park, Cappadocia, Turkey
Goreme National Park
Goreme National Park, Cappadocia, Turkey
Goreme National Park
The Monastery, Ihlara Valley, Cappadocia, Turkey
The Monastery, Ihlara Valley
Cappadocia Countryside, Cappadocia, Turkey
Cappadocia Countryside
Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey
Goreme
Goreme from Uchisar, Cappadocia, Turkey
Goreme from Uchisar
Goreme National Park, Cappadocia, Turkey
Goreme National Park
Goreme National Park, Cappadocia, Turkey
Goreme National Park
Goreme National Park, Cappadocia, Turkey
Goreme National Park
Livable caves, Cappadocia, Turkey
Livable caves
Random Formations, Cappadocia, Turkey
Random Formations
Cappadocia Countryside, Cappadocia, Turkey
Cappadocia Countryside
Goreme National Park, Cappadocia, Turkey
Goreme National Park
Ihlara Valley, Cappadocia, Turkey
Ihlara Valley
Near Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey
Near Goreme
Derinkuyu Underground City, Cappadocia, Turkey
Derinkuyu Underground City
Near Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey
Near Goreme
Derinkuyu Underground City, Cappadocia, Turkey
Derinkuyu Underground City
Multi Level Cave System, Cappadocia, Turkey
Multi Level Cave System
View from Uchisar, Cappadocia, Turkey
View from Uchisar
View from Uchisar, Cappadocia, Turkey
View from Uchisar
Near Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey
Near Goreme
Multi Level Cave, Near Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey
Multi Level Cave, Near Goreme
Uchisar, Cappadocia, Turkey
Uchisar
Turkish Military Base, Cappadocia, Turkey
Turkish Military Base
Goreme National Park, Cappadocia, Turkey
Goreme National Park
Goreme National Park, Cappadocia, Turkey
Goreme National Park
Near Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey
Near Goreme
Near Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey
Near Goreme
Ihlara Valley, Cappadocia, Turkey
Ihlara Valley
Ihlara Valley, Cappadocia, Turkey
Ihlara Valley
Ihlara Valley, Cappadocia, Turkey
Ihlara Valley
The Monastery, Ihlara Valley, Cappadocia, Turkey
The Monastery, Ihlara Valley

Istanbul

Text by Eric Starling, Photography by Eric Starling, Footside, Sara and Mike Waters

Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque), Istanbul, Turkey
Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque)
Turkish Delight, Istanbul, Turkey
Turkish Delight
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia Interior, Istanbul, Turkey
Hagia Sophia Interior
Sultan Ahmed Mosque at Sunset, Istanbul, Turkey
Sultan Ahmed Mosque at Sunset
Topkapı Palace, Istanbul, Turkey
Topkapı Palace

Istanbul, formerly known as Constantinople and Byzantium before that, is the largest city in Turkey and extends across both the European and Asian sides of the busy Bosphorus Strait. It is the only metropolis in the world that is situated on two continents, offering a unique and often contrasting mix of eastern and western cultures and values. This contact with both Europe and Asia has made Istanbul a strategically important and wealthy trade-driven city for thousands of years. This importance is reflected by the fact that Istanbul has served as the capital for the Roman Empire (330-395AD), the Byzantine Empire (395-1453AD) and the Ottoman Empire (1453-1922AD). Many armies have fought and conquered this lynchpin of the region, as well as failed in their attempts at conquest on the once mighty walls that surrounded the city. Similar to Rome, weeks could be spent exploring the seemingly unlimited history of this city, but if you only have a few days, check out the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, the Topkapı Palace, Grand Bazaar and cruise the Bosphorus and Golden Horn to get a view of the city from the water. If you have more time, you have many options to fill the days. Whether you're haggling for gold, clothes, or a large sheesha pipe in the sprawling Grand Bazaar, or sipping a small glass of tea overlooking the skyline of giant mosques and minarets, you will be hard pressed to leave Istanbul without a memorable experience or two.

Fishing in the Bosphorus, Istanbul, Turkey
Fishing in the Bosphorus
Topkapı Palace, Istanbul, Turkey
Topkapı Palace
Süleymaniye Camii Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey
Süleymaniye Camii Mosque
Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, Turkey
Grand Bazaar
View from European side, Istanbul, Turkey
View from European side
Yedikule Fortress, Istanbul, Turkey
Yedikule Fortress
Hagia Sophia Backflip, Istanbul, Turkey
Hagia Sophia Backflip
Spices in the Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, Turkey
Spices in the Grand Bazaar
Blue Mosque Backflip, Istanbul, Turkey
Blue Mosque Backflip
Topkapı Palace, Istanbul, Turkey
Topkapı Palace
Galata Area, Istanbul, Turkey
Galata Area
Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, Turkey
Grand Bazaar
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
Hagia Sophia
Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque), Istanbul, Turkey
Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque)
Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque), Istanbul, Turkey
Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque)
Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque), Istanbul, Turkey
Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque)
View from the European side of Istanbul looking East, Istanbul, Turkey
View from the European side of Istanbul looking East
Sunset over the Bosphorus, Istanbul, Turkey
Sunset over the Bosphorus
Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey
Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Blue Mosque
Topkapı Palace, Istanbul, Turkey
Topkapı Palace
Yedikule Fortress, Istanbul, Turkey
Yedikule Fortress
Near Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, Turkey
Near Grand Bazaar
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
Hagia Sophia
Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, Turkey
Grand Bazaar
Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, Turkey
Grand Bazaar
Topkapı Palace, Istanbul, Turkey
Topkapı Palace
Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey
Blue Mosque
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
Hagia Sophia
Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey
Blue Mosque
Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey
Blue Mosque
Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, Turkey
Grand Bazaar
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
Hagia Sophia
Süleymaniye Camii Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey
Süleymaniye Camii Mosque
Topkapı Palace, Istanbul, Turkey
Topkapı Palace
Süleymaniye Camii Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey
Süleymaniye Camii Mosque
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
Hagia Sophia
Topkapı Palace, Istanbul, Turkey
Topkapı Palace
Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey
Blue Mosque
Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey
Blue Mosque
Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey
Blue Mosque
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
Hagia Sophia

Ishak Pasha Palace

Text by Eric Starling, Photography by Eric Starling and Footside

Ishak Pasha Palace
Interior of Palace
Ishak Pasha Palace
View from hillside fortifications
Mount Ararat
View from hillside fortifications

The Ishak Pasha Palace is a palace, mosque, and fortress that looms above the town of Doğubayazıt in eastern Turkey. Built 2100 metres above sea level, it overlooks a giant steppe with the 5100 metre high snow capped peak of Mount Ararat nearby. Built from 1685 to 1784, the palace is a striking structure with strange carvings in a forgotten language expertly cut into the walls and colourful pillars. The surrounding mountains and landscape boast a range of colours from red to orange, brown, and green; and dramatic jagged peaks give the chosen location for this palace even more of an off the beaten path feeling. The Ishak Pasha Palace is one of the most important remaining examples of 18th century Ottoman architecture and is considered to be a rare example of an unaltered Turkish palace. The Palace is so revered, it was included on one of the Turkish bank notes for a number of years. The Iranian border is a mere 40 km away in this remote and predominantly Kurdish area of Turkey.  Due to this, the Turkish army has a visible presence in the area with military checkpoints in and out of the nearby town. Visiting this mountain palace on the eastern edge of Turkey offers an exotic eastern feel not found elsewhere and due to modern conflicts in the region it may become harder to visit, so get in while you can.

Ishak Pasha Palace lording over the modern Turkish town of Doğubayazıt in 2005, Turkey
Ishak Pasha Palace lording over the modern Turkish town of Doğubayazıt in 2005
Mosque near the Palace, Ishak Pasha Palace, Turkey
Mosque near the Palace
Mosque near the Palace, Ishak Pasha Palace, Turkey
Mosque near the Palace
View of tower from interior, Ishak Pasha Palace, Turkey
View of tower from interior
Backflip Below, Ishak Pasha Palace, Turkey
Backflip Below
Backflip from the side, Ishak Pasha Palace, Turkey
Backflip from the side
Backflip from the cliffs above, Ishak Pasha Palace, Turkey
Backflip from the cliffs above
Interior of the Palace, Ishak Pasha Palace, Turkey
Interior of the Palace
Gate, Ishak Pasha Palace, Turkey
Gate
Interior of the Palace, Ishak Pasha Palace, Turkey
Interior of the Palace
Nearby ruined Fortress, Ishak Pasha Palace, Turkey
Nearby ruined Fortress
View of the Palace from Doğubayazıt, Ishak Pasha Palace, Turkey
View of the Palace from Doğubayazıt
View from road to Palace, Ishak Pasha Palace, Turkey
View from road to Palace
Interior of the Palace, Ishak Pasha Palace, Turkey
Interior of the Palace
Interior of the Palace, Ishak Pasha Palace, Turkey
Interior of the Palace
Interior of the Palace, Ishak Pasha Palace, Turkey
Interior of the Palace
Interior of the Palace Backflip, Ishak Pasha Palace, Turkey
Interior of the Palace Backflip
The Palace in 2011, Ishak Pasha Palace, Turkey
The Palace in 2011
Interior of the Palace Backflip, Ishak Pasha Palace, Turkey
Interior of the Palace Backflip
Mount Ararat, Ishak Pasha Palace, Turkey
Mount Ararat
Surrounding Hillside, Ishak Pasha Palace, Turkey
Surrounding Hillside
Side view of Palace, Ishak Pasha Palace, Turkey
Side view of Palace
Ishak Pasha Palace lording over the modern Turkish town of Doğubayazıt in 2011, Turkey
Ishak Pasha Palace lording over the modern Turkish town of Doğubayazıt in 2011
Ishak Pasha Palace and the Steppe of Eastern Turkey in 2005, Turkey
Ishak Pasha Palace and the Steppe of Eastern Turkey in 2005

Mount Nemrut

Text by Eric Starling; Photography by Eric Starling and Footside

King Antiochus I, Mount Nemrut, Turkey
King Antiochus I
Zues and Apollo, Mount Nemrut, Turkey
Zues and Apollo
Goddess of Commagene, Mount Nemrut, Turkey
Goddess of Commagene
West Side of Mount Nemrut, Mount Nemrut, Turkey
West Side of Mount Nemrut
East Side at Sunrise of Mount Nemrut, Mount Nemrut, Turkey
East Side at Sunrise of Mount Nemrut
West Side of Mount Nemrut, Mount Nemrut, Turkey
West Side of Mount Nemrut

Mount Nemrut is a 2134 metre high mountain in eastern Turkey. At the pinnacle of Mt. Nemrut, the pre-Roman era King Antiochus I built statues of himself, two lions, two eagles and various Greek, Armenian and Persian gods. These statues were roughly eight or more metres tall when completed and they stand on the Eastern and Western sides of a large pyramid made of fist sized stones. Construction appears to have started around 62 BC. The representations of such a diversity of gods alongside the king indicates he was attempting to build his own religion, incorporating aspects of the many religions within his kingdom. Over the last 2000 years the statues have fallen over, leaving the two metre tall heads standing upright and gazing out over the landscape as if they were looking back into time itself. Although most of the heads have been damaged and their noses smashed off, they are in surprisingly good condition. It is likely they have been preserved due to the remoteness of the mountain top location. Watching the sunrise and sunset on this isolated mountain top, with the ancient weathered statues, is a legendary travelling moment and worth the effort to visit this spot in the mountains of eastern Turkey.

Head of Zeus, Mount Nemrut, Turkey
Head of Zeus
Head of Apollo, Mount Nemrut, Turkey
Head of Apollo
Head of Zeus, Mount Nemrut, Turkey
Head of Zeus
Head of Zeus, Mount Nemrut, Turkey
Head of Zeus
Head of Hercules, Mount Nemrut, Turkey
Head of Hercules
Head of King Antiochus I, Mount Nemrut, Turkey
Head of King Antiochus I
West Side of Mount Nemrut, Mount Nemrut, Turkey
West Side of Mount Nemrut
West Side of Mount Nemrut, Mount Nemrut, Turkey
West Side of Mount Nemrut
Head of King Antiochus I, Mount Nemrut, Turkey
Head of King Antiochus I
Road to Mount Nemrut, Mount Nemrut, Turkey
Road to Mount Nemrut
East Side of Mount Nemrut, Mount Nemrut, Turkey
East Side of Mount Nemrut
South Side view of Mount Nemrut, Mount Nemrut, Turkey
South Side view of Mount Nemrut
East Side of Mount Nemrut, Mount Nemrut, Turkey
East Side of Mount Nemrut
East Side of Mount Nemrut, Mount Nemrut, Turkey
East Side of Mount Nemrut
East Side of Mount Nemrut, Mount Nemrut, Turkey
East Side of Mount Nemrut
West Side of Mount Nemrut, Mount Nemrut, Turkey
West Side of Mount Nemrut
Road to Mount Nemrut, Mount Nemrut, Turkey
Road to Mount Nemrut
East Side of Mount Nemrut, Mount Nemrut, Turkey
East Side of Mount Nemrut
Mount Nemrut Backflip, Mount Nemrut, Turkey
Mount Nemrut Backflip
Mount Nemrut Backflip, Mount Nemrut, Turkey
Mount Nemrut Backflip
Mount Nemrut Backflip, Mount Nemrut, Turkey
Mount Nemrut Backflip
Sunset from the west side of Mount Nemrut, Mount Nemrut, Turkey
Sunset from the west side of Mount Nemrut

Maidens Castle

Text by Eric Starling; Photography by Eric Starling and Footside

Maidens Castle Backflip, Kizkalesi, Turkey
Maidens Castle Backflip
View of Maidens Castle from Korykos Castle, Kizkalesi, Turkey
View of Maidens Castle from Korykos Castle
Maidens Castle, Kizkalesi, Turkey
Maidens Castle

Maidens Castle is a Crusader Castle that hovers 200 meters offshore near the town of Kizkalesi, in the Mediterranean Sea on the far Eastern Turkish coast. The castle was built in the 12th century, during the Byzantine period, and in ancient times was linked to another castle on the shore by a giant causeway built on a large slab of bedrock almost at water level. This town was Corycus and was a powerful player in the region with its own mint situated right on the river. Another nearby site worth your time are the caves of Heaven and Hell or Cennet ve Cehennem in Turkish. The town of Kizkalesi is small and quiet with a beautiful sandy beach to relax on. Swimming out to the floating castle from golden sand beach was one of the most rewarding moments of my life. There is nothing more timeless and authentic than swimming out to a monument built centuries earlier, scaling the walls barefoot, and exploring the ruined interior.

Maidens Castle, Kizkalesi, Turkey
Maidens Castle
Cennet (Heaven) Cave, Kizkalesi, Turkey
Cennet (Heaven) Cave
Korykos Castle, Kizkalesi, Turkey
Korykos Castle
Maidens Castle and Korykos Castle, Kizkalesi, Turkey
Maidens Castle and Korykos Castle
Maidens Castle, Kizkalesi, Turkey
Maidens Castle
Maidens Castle, Kizkalesi, Turkey
Maidens Castle
Maidens Castle, Kizkalesi, Turkey
Maidens Castle
Caves of Heaven and Hell, Kizkalesi, Turkey
Caves of Heaven and Hell
Caves of Heaven and Hell, Kizkalesi, Turkey
Caves of Heaven and Hell
Caves of Heaven and Hell, Kizkalesi, Turkey
Caves of Heaven and Hell
Maidens Castle, Kizkalesi, Turkey
Maidens Castle
Maidens Castle, Kizkalesi, Turkey
Maidens Castle
Maidens Castle from Korykos Castle, Kizkalesi, Turkey
Maidens Castle from Korykos Castle

Termessos

Text by Eric Starling; Photography by Eric Starling and Footside

Termessos Backflip, Termessos, Turkey
Termessos Backflip
Termessos Ruins, Termessos, Turkey
Termessos Ruins
Termessos Theatre, Termessos, Turkey
Termessos Amphitheatre
Termessos Amphitheatre, Turkey
Termessos Amphitheatre

Termessos is a ruined mountain city built over 1000 meters above sea level in the Taurus Mountains on the Turkish Coast. The strategic position and warrior skills of the people of this ancient city enabled victory against Alexander the Great and made Termessos an independent ally of the Roman Empire. There seems to be no concrete date for when the city came to prominence but it was already well established by the time of Alexander the Great. The records of his campaigns are the first recorded accounts of this mysterious ancient city. Exploring the ruined city of these warrior people is an exceptional experience for its surrounding mountain scenery and majestic amphitheatre. Getting to the site is an easy day trip from the coastal city of Antalya, although it is recommended you have a car or be prepared to walk some serious distances uphill if hitch hiking doesn't pan out. Crawling through the rough bushes over fallen blocks of stone, and occasionally breaching the tree line, offers the experience of exploring romantic ruins in a mountainous setting. An opportunity such as that shouldn't be missed.

Termessos Amphitheatre, Termessos, Turkey
Termessos Amphitheatre
Termessos Temple, Termessos, Turkey
Termessos Temple
Termessos Amphitheatre, Termessos, Turkey
Termessos Amphitheatre
Termessos Amphitheatre, Termessos, Turkey
Termessos Amphitheatre
Termessos Amphitheatre, Termessos, Turkey
Termessos Amphitheatre
Termessos Amphitheatre, Termessos, Turkey
Termessos Amphitheatre
Termessos Amphitheatre, Termessos, Turkey
Termessos Amphitheatre
Termessos Amphitheatre, Termessos, Turkey
Termessos Amphitheatre
Termessos Amphitheatre, Termessos, Turkey
Termessos Amphitheatre
View from temple walls in Termessos, Termessos, Turkey
View from temple walls in Termessos
Termessos Amphitheatre, Termessos, Turkey
Termessos Amphitheatre
Termessos Amphitheatre, Termessos, Turkey
Termessos Amphitheatre
Entrance to Ruins, Termessos, Turkey
Entrance to Ruins
Termessos Amphitheatre, Turkey
Termessos Amphitheatre
Termessos Temple, Turkey
Termessos Temple
Termessos Ruins, Turkey
Termessos Ruins

Sumela Monastery and Trabzon

Text by Eric Starling; Photography by Eric Starling and Footside

Sümela Monastery, Sümela Monastery, Turkey
Sümela Monastery
Rock Church, Sümela Monastery, Sümela Monastery, Turkey
Rock Church, Sümela Monastery
Sümela Monastery, Sümela Monastery, Turkey
Sümela Monastery
Sümela Monastery Entrance, Sümela Monastery, Turkey
Sümela Monastery Entrance
Sümela Monastery, Sümela Monastery, Turkey
Sümela Monastery
Interior of Sümela Monastery, Sümela Monastery, Turkey
Interior of Sümela Monastery

The Sümela Monastery is a Greek Orthodox monastery cut into a large sheer cliff of Melá mountain roughly two hours inland from the Black Sea city of Trabzon. Founded in 386 AD by two priests who had been living in a cave around the current site, this monastery is dramatically set 1200 metres above sea level in the Black Mountains. The area is a national park and there are streams, forests and hiking trails around the monastery that draw visitors. From below, the view of the monastery is fasntastic with its distinctive sandstone coloured facade that seems to hang suspended on the sheer cliff. The monastery has fallen into ruin and been restored a number of times over its long history. Its current form comes from roughly the 13th century when it was granted annual funds from the imperial coffers. Even after the region was conquered by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II in 1461, the monastery still received imperial grants and privileges by successive sultans which was pretty rare for a Christian site. In 1923, when Greece and Turkey were going through forced population exchanges, the Sümela Monastery was abandoned and all the monks forced out. It has since become a popular tourist destination and for good reason. The views over the surrounding mountains are spectacular, there are still some impressive frescoes and architecture on view and there really is not many sheer cliff monasteries that are so easily accessible. The monastery has become a cultural and religiously important location again, which is helping to preserve and restore this excellent piece of history. If your in the Black Sea region of Turkey, make sure you head to this monastery in the mountains.

The Black Sea city of Trabzon, Trabzon, Turkey
The Black Sea city of Trabzon
Sümela Monastery inner church, Sümela Monastery, Turkey
Sümela Monastery inner church
Sümela Monastery, Sümela Monastery, Turkey
Sümela Monastery
Sümela Monastery Inner Church, Sümela Monastery, Turkey
Sümela Monastery Inner Church
Sümela Monastery, Sümela Monastery, Turkey
Sümela Monastery
Sümela Monastery Backflip, Sümela Monastery, Turkey
Sümela Monastery Backflip
Sümela Monastery Inner Church, Sümela Monastery, Turkey
Sümela Monastery Inner Church
Black Mountains Backflip, Sümela Monastery, Turkey
Black Mountains Backflip
Trabzon, Turkey
Trabzon
Trabzon back streets, Turkey
Trabzon back streets
Trabzon, Turkey
Trabzon
Sümela Monastery interior, Sümela Monastery, Turkey
Sümela Monastery interior
Black Mountains, Sümela Monastery, Turkey
Black Mountains
Sümela Monastery interior, Sümela Monastery, Turkey
Sümela Monastery interior
Sümela Monastery, Sümela Monastery, Turkey
Sümela Monastery
Sümela Monastery, Sümela Monastery, Turkey
Sümela Monastery
Sümela Monastery, Sümela Monastery, Turkey
Sümela Monastery
Trabzon, Turkey
Trabzon
Sümela Monastery, Sümela Monastery, Turkey
Sümela Monastery
Trabzon Backflip, Turkey
Trabzon Backflip
Black Mountains from the Sümela Monastery, Turkey
Black Mountains from the Sümela Monastery
Trabzon Fortress above the city, Trabzon, Turkey
Trabzon Fortress above the city
Trabzon Skyline, Trabzon, Turkey
Trabzon Skyline
Trabzon city near the centre, Trabzon, Turkey
Trabzon city near the centre

Mamure Castle

Text by Eric Starling; Photography by Eric Starling and Footside

Outside Walls and Moat, Mamure Castle, Turkey
Outside Walls and Moat
Interior Walls, Mamure Castle, Turkey
Interior Walls
View of the Med, Mamure Castle, Turkey
View of the Med
Mamure Castle from inland, Mamure Castle, Turkey
Mamure Castle from inland

Mamure Castle is a stunning old-world Crusader Castle that sits half in the Mediterranean and half surrounded by a moat, on the outskirts of the coastal town of Anamur in Turkey. In the 3rd century, at this site, the Romans had originally built a fort; it was then enlarged during the Byzantine Empire and the Crusades. After having been laid to siege in 1221 by a Seljuk Sultan, the Castle was captured and rebuilt to its current state. The Castle gives you a real taste of an authentic medieval fortification with styles from different conquering armies. There are 3 courtyards with 39 towers and no handrails or safety restrictions. One of the courtyards has an ancient mosque built in 1308 that still heralds the call to prayer 5 times daily. This just adds to the exotic aura of walking the narrow ramparts and exploring a castle that has remained unchanged for over 700 years.

Mamure Castle Courtyard, Walls and Mosque, Mamure Castle, Turkey
Mamure Castle Courtyard, Walls and Mosque
Interior Walls, Mamure Castle, Turkey
Interior Walls
Mosque within the castle, Mamure Castle, Turkey
Mosque within the castle
Castle Ramparts, Mamure Castle, Turkey
Castle Ramparts
View from the Med, Mamure Castle, Turkey
View from the Med
Interior of Castle, Mamure Castle, Turkey
Interior of Castle
View from the coastal tower, Mamure Castle, Turkey
View from the coastal tower
View from the coastal tower, Mamure Castle, Turkey
View from the coastal tower
Coastal Tower, Mamure Castle, Turkey
Coastal Tower
Interior Walls, Mamure Castle, Turkey
Interior Walls
Interior of Mamure Castle looking inland, Mamure Castle, Turkey
Interior of Mamure Castle looking inland
Interior of Mamure Castle looking towards the Med, Mamure Castle, Turkey
Interior of Mamure Castle looking towards the Med
View from the top coastal tower, Mamure Castle, Turkey
View from the top coastal tower
Castle Walls Med Side, Mamure Castle, Turkey
Castle Walls Med Side
Mediterranean near castle, Mamure Castle, Turkey
Mediterranean near castle
Castle Walls Med Side, Mamure Castle, Turkey
Castle Walls Med Side
Top tower view, Mamure Castle, Turkey
Top tower view
Top tower view, Mamure Castle, Turkey
Top tower view
Outside Walls, Mamure Castle, Turkey
Outside Walls
Interior ramparts, Mamure Castle, Turkey
Interior ramparts
Flag tower, Mamure Castle, Turkey
Flag tower
 

Ani and Kars

Text by Eric Starling; Photography by Eric Starling and Footside

The Church of the Redeemer, Ani, Turkey
The Church of the Redeemer, Ani
The Church of Saint Gregory, Ani, Turkey
The Church of Saint Gregory, Ani
Cathedral of Ani, Turkey
Cathedral of Ani
Kars Fortress, Kars, Turkey
Kars Fortress
The Walls of Ani, Turkey
The Walls of Ani
Kars, Turkey
Kars

Kars is a medium-sized city in northeast Turkey, near the Armenian border. Kars has historical records dating back to the medieval period. The Castle that dominates what was once the original centre of the town is worth a visit, but the main purpose of visiting Kars is to use the city as a base to explore the once mighty capital of the Armenian kingdom, Ani. The ruined and uninhabited medieval city of Ani straddles the border and part of the site is a no-go zone due to the hostile relations between Turkey and Armenia. At the height of its power as the capital of the Armenian kingdom, Ani rivaled Constantinople, Baghdad and Cairo. Ani was a focal point on a number of trade routes from the east and the impressive remains today testify to its regional importance. The city contained a diverse mix of inhabitants and featured a number of religious buildings, palaces and fortifications. The site is vast and is a sobering reminder of what happened when an army sacked and slaughtered an entire city. The first such incident happened in 1064 by the Seljuk Turks, the city then changed hands between regional powers for a couple of hundred years before being sacked and massacred again by the Mongols. From this point onwards it took a steady decline until being abandoned sometime after the middle of the 17th century when the wars between the Ottomans and Iranians were ravaging the region. This is a tough area to get to in Turkey but that means you have an entire ruined city to yourself. Up until 2004 the area was a Turkish military base, so restoration and preservation are just starting again. You can't help but feel chills when standing on the ruined citadel walls overlooking the site and the surrounding terrain, picturing a once powerful city being put to the sword.

View of Ani from the ruined castle, Ani, Turkey
View of Ani from the ruined castle
View from Kars from the city fortress, Kars, Turkey
View from Kars from the city fortress
View of entire Ani site from the ruined castle, Ani Turkey
View of entire Ani site from the ruined castle
Kars Fortress Backflip, Kars, Turkey
Kars Fortress Backflip
Kars Fortress, Kars, Turkey
Kars Fortress
Ani, Turkey
Ani
Ani Backflip, Turkey
Ani Backflip
Ani Gate, Turkey
Ani Gate
View from Mosque of Minuchir, Ani, Turkey
View from Mosque of Minuchir, Ani
Ani Gate, Turkey
Ani Gate
Sheep surrounding the van on the road to Ani, Turkey
Sheep surrounding the van on the road to Ani
Kars Mosque, Kars, Turkey
Kars Mosque
Mosque of Minuchir, Ani, Turkey
Mosque of Minuchir, Ani
The Church of Saint Gregory Backflip, Ani, Turkey
The Church of Saint Gregory Backflip, Ani
Cathedral of Ani, Turkey
Cathedral of Ani
Kars Fortress, Kars, Turkey
Kars Fortress
Walls of Ani, Turkey
Walls of Ani
Cathedral of Ani, Turkey
Cathedral of Ani
Kars Fortress Backflip, Kars, Turkey
Kars Fortress Backflip
The Church of Saint Gregory, Ani, Turkey
The Church of Saint Gregory, Ani
View from Mosque of Minuchir, Ani, Turkey
View from Mosque of Minuchir, Ani
Ani, Turkey
Ani
Ani Carvings, Turkey
Ani Carvings
Ani, Turkey
Ani
The Church of Saint Gregory, Ani, Turkey
The Church of Saint Gregory, Ani
Ani City Fortress, Turkey
Ani City Fortress
Ani City Walls, Turkey
Ani City Walls
History of Ani, Turkey
History of Ani
The Church of Saint Gregory, Ani, Turkey
The Church of Saint Gregory, Ani
Ani City Gate, Turkey
Ani City Gate

Ephesus

Text by Eric Starling; Photography by Eric Starling and Footside

Selcuk Fortress, Selçuk Fortress, Selçuk, Turkey
Selcuk Fortress
Library of Celsus, Ephesus, Efes, Turkey
Library of Celsus
The Large Theatre, Ephesus, Efes, Turkey
The Large Theatre
Library of Celsus, Ephesus, Efes, Turkey
Library of Celsus
Library of Celsus Backflip, Ephesus, Efes, Turkey
Library of Celsus Backflip
Library of Celsus, Ephesus, Efes, Turkey
Library of Celsus

Ephesus is now an extensive ruin site of the once powerful Roman and, before that, Greek city of the same name. Ephesus, or Efes in Turkish, was an important port and trading centre for well over 1000 years before the harbour started to silt up and an earthquake in 614 AD partially destroyed the city, hastening its decline. The importance of this area not only lies in the remains of the city itself, but also the fact that this was the site of the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Later, it became dominated by the Seljuk Turks who left a fortress on the hill overlooking Selçuk, the city that is used as a base to explore Ephesus roughly 3 km away. Ephesus was a grand city in its day. The main sites you can view are the Library of Celsus and the large Theatre that seated 44,000, attesting to the wealth this ancient city once had. Only an estimated 15% of Ephesus has been excavated but considering the extravagance of the limited sites you can see, it's intriguing to think of what could be unearthed in the future. Ephesus is one of Turkey's most popular tourist destinations and, due to this, the busloads that show up to drop off daytrippers can seem endless. Showing up in the early morning when the site opens, or squeezing some time in the late afternoon allows you the ability to absorb this amazing record of history a little more peacefully.

The Odeon, the small Theatre at Ephesus, could seat 1500 people, Ephesus, Efes, Turkey
The Odeon, the small Theatre at Ephesus, could seat 1500 people
Library of Celsus, Ephesus, Efes, Turkey
Library of Celsus
Library of Celsus, Ephesus, Efes, Turkey
Library of Celsus
Library of Celsus, Ephesus, Efes, Turkey
Library of Celsus
Gate of Augustus, Ephesus, Efes, Turkey
Gate of Augustus
Basilica of St. John, Selçuk, Turkey
Basilica of St. John
The Odeon, Ephesus, Efes, Turkey
The Odeon
Selcuk Fortress, Selçuk, Turkey
Selcuk Fortress
Library of Celsus, Ephesus, Efes, Turkey
Library of Celsus
The Large Theatre, Ephesus, Efes, Turkey
The Large Theatre
Library of Celsus, Ephesus, Efes, Turkey
Library of Celsus
Sunset in Selcuk, Selçuk, Turkey
Sunset in Selcuk
Library of Celsus, Ephesus, Efes, Turkey
Library of Celsus
Library of Celsus, Ephesus, Efes, Turkey
Library of Celsus
Library of Celsus, Ephesus, Efes, Turkey
Library of Celsus
Library of Celsus, Ephesus, Efes, Turkey
Library of Celsus
The large Theatre at Ephesus, view from Harbor street, could seat 44,000 people, Ephesus, Efes, Turkey
The large Theatre at Ephesus, view from Harbor street, could seat 44,000 people
Sunset over the fields near the town of Selçuk, Turkey
Sunset over the fields near the town of Selçuk

Alanya and Antalya

Text by Eric Starling; Photography by Eric Starling and Footside

Alanya Bay, Turkey
Alanya Bay
Antalya Harbour, Turkey
Antalya Harbour
Alanya Castle, Turkey
Alanya Castle
Alanya Castle looming above the city of Alanya, Turkey
Alanya Castle looming above the city of Alanya

The southern coast of Mediterranean Turkey is a popular tourist destination due to its reasonable costs and consistent amounts of daily sunshine. Two of the most popular locations are Alanya and Antalya. Both cities are rich in history and have a number of great archeological sites that can be visited on day trips nearby. Both cities are also currently set up to handle a large influx of tourists ready to relax and/or party. Alanya is the more developed city for pure package tourists. With around 160,000 beds, this place draws large numbers of northern Europeans and offers some great outdoor activities such as wind surfing and parasailing. Make sure you climb the peninsula for the breathtaking views over the bay and coastline. Antalya offers a few more options in regards to nearby sites and history although it is also one of the biggest sea resorts in Turkey. The old town of Antalya has been restored and is a great spot to explore before heading down to the compact little harbour that boasts a number of impressive vessels. Both Alanya and Antalya are jewels in the crown of Mediterranean Turkey. They both offer a range of accomodation, fantastic day trips and are transport hubs to the rest of the coast or inland cities.

Antalya Harbour, Antalya, Turkey
Antalya Harbour
Alanya Bay, Alanya, Turkey
Alanya Bay
Antalya Harbour, Antalya, Turkey
Antalya Harbour
Alanya Castle, Alanya, Turkey
Alanya Castle
Antalya Harbour, Antalya, Turkey
Antalya Harbour
Alanya Castle, Alanya, Turkey
Alanya Castle
Antalya Waterfront, Turkey
Antalya Waterfront
Alanya Bay, Turkey
Alanya Bay
Antalya Old Town, Turkey
Antalya Old Town
Alanya Bay, Turkey
Alanya Bay
Antalya Harbour, Turkey
Antalya Harbour

Van and Hosap

Text by Eric Starling; Photography by Eric Starling and Footside

Van Castle Backflip, Van, Turkey
Van Castle Backflip
Hosap Castle, Hosap, Turkey
Hosap Castle
Lake Van Backflip, Turkey
Lake Van Backflip

The city of Van is located in the predominately Kurdish populated area of southeastern Turkey. The city is located on the eastern shore of Lake Van, a massive saline lake that does not freeze in winter even though its 1640 metres above sea level and subject to punishing winter temperatures. The lake is not recommended for swimming due to the high salinity but you can take a day trip out to Akdamar Island. The island gives some fantastic views of the surrounding lake and hills and there is a tenth century Armenian church, known as the Cathedral Church of the Holy Cross, that has been restored. Another interesting day trip from the city of Van involves heading out to the desolate village of Hosap where you can view the ruins of HoÅŸap Castle. This small village is on the road to the border with Iran and military checkpoints are frequent. You cannot actually get inside the HoÅŸap Castle so be aware of that in advance. Built during medieval times on top of a previous fortification, the ruins look formidable and the surviving structure was built by a Kurdish lord in 1643. The town of HoÅŸap really has nothing special to provide for the effort it takes to get out there, other than the fact you will feel extremely removed from normal western society in this dirt-road village that time seems to have forgotten. Travelling to Van and its surrounding sites is time consuming and difficult because of the numerous military checkpoints in and out of each city and substandard infrastructure. That being said, it gives you a unique taste of Kurdish Turkey, and don't be surprised to have random people come up and inquire all about you, your life and why you are visiting this remote part of the country.

Lake Van, Turkey
Lake Van
Hosap Castle, Hosap, Turkey
Hosap Castle
View from Van Castle, Van, Turkey
View from Van Castle
View from Van Castle, Van, Turkey
View from Van Castle
Akdamar Island, Lake Van, Turkey
Akdamar Island, Lake Van
Van Cat, Turkey
Van Cat
View of the city of Van from Can Castle, Turkey
View of the city of Van from Can Castle
View of town of Hosap from Hosap Castle, Turkey
View of town of Hosap from Hosap Castle
Hosap Castle, Hosap, Turkey
Hosap Castle
Van Castle, Van, Turkey
Van Castle
View from Van Castle, Turkey
View from Van Castle
Hosap Castle, Hosap, Turkey
Hosap Castle
Hosap Castle, Hosap, Turkey
Hosap Castle
Hosap Castle, Hosap, Turkey
Hosap Castle
Van Cat, Turkey
Van Cat
Lake Van, Turkey
Lake Van
Van Castle, Turkey
Van Castle
View from Van Castle, Turkey
View from Van Castle
Van Castle, Turkey
Van Castle
Kids in Hosap, Turkey
Kids in Hosap
Hosap, Turkey
Hosap
Male Turkey, Turkey
Male Turkey
Hosap Castle, Turkey
Hosap Castle
Hosap Castle, Turkey
Hosap Castle
Hosap, Turkey
Hosap
Lake Van, Turkey
Lake Van
Akdamar Island, Lake Van, Turkey
Akdamar Island, Lake Van
Akdamar Island, Lake Van, Turkey
Akdamar Island, Lake Van
Akdamar Island, Lake Van, Turkey
Akdamar Island, Lake Van

Patara

Text by Eric Starling; Photography by Eric Starling and Footside

Patara Amphitheatre, Turkey
Patara Amphitheatre
Patara Beach, Turkey
Patara Beach
Patara Ruins, Turkey
Patara Ruins

The ancient city of Patara was a powerful Lycian seaport on the southern coast of Mediterranean Turkey. The city was extremely important in the days of ancient Greece for having an impressive temple and oracle of Apollo that was second only to the oracle of Delphi in the ancient world. After that, it is famous as the birthplace of St. Nicholas and is mentioned in the bible. Today, it is a sleepy village off the main coastal highway, with access to one of the finest and largest beaches in Turkey. The beach of Patara is 18 km of soft sand and is now a protected area for sea turtles that use it as a nesting place for their eggs. These turtles can reach the size of a kitchen table and have become more endangered in the Mediterranean Sea. Due to this, the beach is roped off in some areas and closed from dusk till dawn. The ruins of the ancient city of Patara are back aways behind the beach and it is clear to see that this was once a powerful city state and a port of importance in antiquity. The remains of the massive amphitheatre built into the hillside attests to the wealth of the city. The views from the top overlooking the site give you an idea of how extensive Patara once was. Remnants of buildings, temples, theatres and port infrastructure are visible, peaking out of the grass fields and swampy area that was once the harbour. Patara is just now being excavated for a couple months of the year and each season more of the grandeur of this once important city is revealed.

Patara Amphitheatre, Turkey
Patara Amphitheatre
Patara Beach, Turkey
Patara Beach
Patara Ruins, Turkey
Patara Ruins
Patara Ruins, Turkey
Patara Ruins
Patara Amphitheatre, Turkey
Patara Amphitheatre
Small Patara Theatre, Turkey
Small Patara Theatre
The Ruins of Patara, Turkey
The Ruins of Patara
Patara Amphitheatre, Turkey
Patara Amphitheatre
Patara Backflip, Turkey
Patara Backflip
Patara Beach, 12 km long it is an annual nesting place for Mediterranean Sea Turtles, Patara, Turkey
Patara Beach, 12 km long it is an annual nesting place for Mediterranean Sea Turtles

Olympos

Text by Eric Starling; Photography by Eric Starling and Footside

Near Olympos, Turkey
Near Olympos
Olympos Beach, Olympos, Turkey
Olympos Beach
Olympos Bay, Turkey
Olympos Bay

Olympos was an ancient city on the southern Mediterranean coast of Turkey, founded in the Hellenistic period. Now, it is a backpacking hotspot famous for the "tree house" hostels and accommodation available in the Olympos Coastal National Park. There are a few ruins left from the ancient city that thrived in this valley thousands of years ago but the main draw is the huge beach and backpacking party scene on offer. There are a number of hostels/camping sites along with all other ranges of accommodation in the valley. You can hike the coastal trails, rock climb, kayak, relax on the beach, do some sailing or just party; whatever you want to do, Olympos can probably offer. A popular day trip, although done at night, is going to the nearby Chimaera or the eternal flame. There, flames shoot out of the ground, caused by natural gas which ignites when seeping out of the Earth. In ancient times it could be viewed from out at sea but they are not as powerful now. Olympos is mainly a place to relax, party and enjoy some beach time. However, if your up for some adventure hiking, the coastal trail from the beach follows an old path that hugs the coast and can give you some good views looking back on the bay and surrounding mountains.

Olympos Beach and Bay, Olympos, Turkey
Olympos Beach and Bay
Near the ancient city of Olympos, Turkey
Near the ancient city of Olympos
Olympos Beach, Turkey
Olympos Beach
Olympos Beach, Turkey
Olympos Beach
Sailboats on the Med, Turkey
Sailboats on the Med
Trail to Olympos Beach, Turkey
Trail to Olympos Beach
Olympos Beach, Turkey
Olympos Beach
Olympos Bay, Turkey
Olympos Bay
Olympos Beach and Bay, Turkey
Olympos Beach and Bay
Trail to Olympos Beach, Turkey
Trail to Olympos Beach