Special Destinations

The Machu Pichu of Turkey Termessos

The only city that Alexander the Great attacked and could not conquer. 40 minutes of steep climbing necessary to see the hidden city in the mountains.

The oldest Temple of the World Göbeklitepe

Stonehenge. Forget it. This is 7000 years older. Several circular formations of mans first temples. The most recent UNESCO entry.

The Nemrut Mountain Kommagene Kingdom

45 min. steep climbing to see the tumulus pyramid, under which the Kommagene King still lies with his 2000 year treasure and guardian figureheads.

Termessos was a Pisidian city 1600 metres high in the Taurus Mountains, 30 kilometres north of Antalya. The mythical founder of the city is Bellerophon, who killed the Chimaera, but in fact, it was founded by the Solims who are mentioned by Homer in the Iliad. Concealed by pine forests and with a peaceful and untouched appearance, the site has a more distinct and impressive atmosphere than many other ancient cities. Because of its natural and historical riches, it is included today in the Termessos National Park.

 

History: Alexander the Great surrounded the city in 333 BC, comparing it to an eagle’s nest. Because of the insurmountable natural barriers around the city, even a small force could easily defend it, thus making it the only city Alexander failed to conquer. Termessos became an important ally of Rome in 71 BC., but was abandoned (year unknown) after an earthquake destroyed the aquaduct system and the water supply.

 

From the main road, a steep road leads up to the city, called “King Street”, until the Hellenistic period fortification walls, behind which the old city lies on a flat area. The agora, other official buildings, the theatre, five cisterns are some of the features here. The gymnasium from the 1st century AD. is overgrown by trees today, whereas monumental tombs are carved into the rock, with a necropolis in the lower city.

“Göbeklitepe changes everything” as the oldest temple of the world, dating back to 10.000 BC. It is an archaeological site in Southeastern Turkey, 12 km from the city of Şanlıurfa, first noted in 1963, excavated since 1996. Though 200 pillars in about 20 circles of massive ‘T’-shaped stone pillars (each 6m high, 10 tons) were detected to be the world’s oldest known megaliths, large parts still remain unexcavated.

 

The details of the structure’s function remain a mystery, but it is believed to have been of a social or ritual nature by site discoverer and excavator Klaus Schmidt. The site was abandoned after it was used for about 1000 years, and was designated 2018 a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

At present Göbeklitepe appears to raise more questions for archaeology and prehistory than it answers. It remains unknown how a population large enough existed to construct, augment, and maintain such a substantial complex. The variety of fauna depicted in reliefs – from lions and boars to birds and insects – makes any single explanation problematic. As there is little or no evidence of habitation, and many of the animals pictured are predators, the stones may have been intended to stave of evils through some form of magic representation. Alternatively, they could have served as totems.

After Alexander the Great, smaller Macedonian kingdoms controlled Nemrut Mountain territory, which hosts the temple-tomb built by the King Antiochos I.of Commagene (69-34 B.C.) for himself. This funerary mound of stone chips is surrounded by terraces with giant limestone statues.

 

Inscriptions and relief sculptures record the genealogical links of the dual cultural origin of the Commagene Kingdom. Antiochos, as a descendant of the persian king Darius by his father Mithridates, and a descendant of Alexander by his mother Laodice, probably sought with his semi-legendary ancestry this syncretism of Greek-Persian pantheon. The assimilation of Zeus with Oromasdes (the Iranian god Ahuramazda), and Heracles with Artagnes (the Iranian god Verathragna) finds its artistic equivalent in an intimate mixture of Greek, Persian and Anatolian aesthetics. In terms of form, materials and design, Mount Nemrut is one of the unique and authentic artistic achievements of the Hellenistic period, with its fascinating monumental sculptures in a spectacular setting.

 

Today, seasonal and daily temperature variations, freezing and thawing cycles, wind, snow accumulation and sun exposure are the greatest threat for Mount Nemrut. The height of the tumulus is now reduced from its estimated original 60 m due to weathering, previous uncontrolled research investigations and climbing by visitors. Within a first degree earthquake zone on the seismically active East Anatolian Fault, the tumulus, statues and stelae are very vulnerable.

Antalya: Ancient Pamphylian Cities Perge-Aspendos-Side

Best preserved ancient theatre of the world, Aspendos still shows summer opera performances. One of the best excavated cities of Turkey is Perge. Relax at Kurşunlu Waterfall after the visits to the three ancient cities.

Antalya & Adventure Rafting / Canyoning /ATV/Off Road Safari

Enjoy an adventurous rafting/canyoning route with your friends and family. A Quad-Bike ATV to drive through special tracks or find your way in an Off-Road Taurus Mountain Safari on four wheels.

Antalya: Ancient Lykian Cities Demre-Myra-Kekova

In Demre, see the Church of Saint Nicholas, referred to as Santa Claus and Myra ornate cave-tombs of the ancient Lykian culture. An amazing boat tour sailing alongside the banks of Kekova Island will show you the Sunken City.

Perge ancient city enchants by walking easily through its remnants. After Lydians, Persians and Alexander the Great, the city had its brightest era during the Romans. Passing the theatre and walking through the hippodrome (second largest after Aphrodisias), the agora, the colonnaded street with a water supply system adjoining the Nymphaeum fountain, one can see several social and cultural buildings. Besides monumental hellenistic and Roman Gates, especially the Roman Bath in the gymnasium gives a good idea what it was like, the heating system still visible. Perge is important for Christians because Saint Paul preached his first sermon here.

 

Almost 2000 years old, Aspendos Ancient Theatre is the best preserved in the world, where 15,000 people are still hosted in festivals, operas and concerts. Together with the theatre, the aquaducts remind us of legendary architecture.

 

Side ancient city is a touristic hotspot today, though in history it was a major city, with the biggest slave market. Walk through the streets and enjoy the new and old city with the typical ancient theatre, the Temple of Apollo & Artemis.

 

The Kurşunlu Waterfall in a Natural Reserve is an oasis to relax after the exhausting historical visits.

At the skirts of the Taurus Mountain range, several outdoor activities are possible. Choose one of them or have a day combining two or three of these. Each of them have their special rules and age restrictions, where you also have to sign a form of accepting all risks. Children may participate at certain age, only when accompanied by their parents.

 

Rafting: Paddling down Koprucay River, this course leads through a scenic landscape of untouched nature, winding through the mountain slopes. The stage chosen is one of the safest to maneuver the exciting flows and streams, perfectly to match a funs day with friends and family.

 

Quad-Bike: This outdoor adventure off the beaten track allows you to balance the bike on dusty roads that are less traveled by. Leading through fabulous pine forests and muddy streams, the destination is ideal for both, first timers and the experienced. With a little practice the Quad-Bikes are easy to use.

 

Off-Road Tour: Safaris into the gorgeous Taurus mountains are great for groups and families to explore the countryside. The mountain routes guide through wildlife and authentic villages with various shades of green. A refreshing swim at a waterfall hidden within the forest gives a wonderful feeling of serenity.

 

 

Alongside the Lykian Way a panoramic scenery leads to Demre, passing Phaselis and Olympos.

 

Ancient Myra, once the capital city of Lycia, hosts the best examples of amazingly ornamented Lycian tombs, cut into the cliff of a rocky hill. On the same slope, a largely restored amphitheatre features genuine relief figures on it’s scene, nearby those with animals and grotesque masks laying scattered around.

 
St Nicholas Church is located in Demre and served as a resting place to the Saint, often referred to as Santa Claus. Since he is considered the protecting patron of christian families, the museum is frequented by millions of pilgrims in our day.

 

 

Kekova Island will be reached by a wonderful boat trip, passing by Simena ancient city. Due to tectonic movements that cause earthquakes, the Sunken City is partially visible under the water, sailing along its banks.