Anatolia Bike Tours
Cappadocia is the ancient name of a large region in the center of Anatolia, although when we speak of Cappadocia today we refer specifically to the valleys of Goreme and Urgup, with their natural pinnacles and rock churches.
Ancient Anatolia or Asia Minor, the large peninsula where modern Turkey is located, consists of several regions. One of the most important was Cappadocia.
Fairy chimneys and valleys formed by erosion of the incredible images that surprised everyone, for the sake of people's belief that they built and carved until now been able to preserve the vitality of rock churches, frescoes, gold-meters of the earth in order to save their lives, sometimes eight-fold-carved out of the underground settlements in Cappadocia today makes up the human and hand in hand with one of the wonders of the world has revealed that nature has given, and Strabo, who lived in the Roman Empire, which was written the name of the book Geographika Cappadocia, Malatya in the east, Aksaray at west, south and north of the Taurus Mountains in the Eastern Black Sea region dating back to the limit today is b ir equal to the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia, the rock churches, underground cities of Cappadocia is the present, these formations have the highest density of Avanos, Urgup, Uchisar, Goreme, Ortahisar, Gulsehir, Derinkuyu valley near Aksaray comes to mind with the geological formation of Cappadocia Erciyes, Hasan, Melendiz, Göllüdağ with many small volcanic mountains, the region spanning the upper Miocene epoch started with bursts of lava, lakes, streams on the different hardness of 100-150 meters high plateau of tuff layer constituted more
Pamukkale is a natural site in Denizli Province in southwestern Turkey. Pamukkale is one of Turkey’s top attractions and a precious in the world with its cotton-look terraces.
What is the meaning of Pamukkale: Pamukkale; meaning ”cotton castle” in Turkish.
One of Turkey’s most famous landmarks. Pamukkale is wonderful place. Pamukkale has a surreal natural wonder that is a must-do on your Turkish travels. Rippling out in a series of semi-circular travertines, this pure-white mountain makes for some bizarrely beautiful photographic opportunities set as it is among green farming fields. Up on the summit lie the remains of the Roman spa town of Hierapolis with the renowned hot spring pools where you can do as the Roman’s did and bathe away your aches and pains.
İf you go to Pamukkale you can see Travertines, Hierapolis City Ruins, Hierapolis Theatre, Pamukkale Antique Pool, Hieropolis Museum, Pamukkale Castle, Laodikeia, Aphrodisias, Caravanserais, Çivril, Karahayıt Hot Springs, Kolossai, Sarayköy
Travertines: The dazzling white calcite cliff of Pamukkale formed from calcium deposits left by the area’s hot springs.
HATTUSHA / ÇORUM
Hattusha was the capital of the Hittite Empire in the late Bronze Age. It is situated near modern Boğazkale, within the great loop of the Kızıl River in Çorum. There were several other settlements in the vicinity, such as the rock shrine at Yazılıkaya and the town at Alacahöyük.
The first settling around Hattusha took place in the 6th millennium BC during the Chalcolithic period, when small, widely scattered hamlets appeared, most particularly on mountain slopes and rocky outcroppings. Late in the 3rd millennium BC, towards the end of the Early Bronze Age, a Hattian settlement developed, marking the beginning of continuous occupation at the site. Hattusha exerted dominating influence upon the civilizations of the 2nd and 1st millennia BC in Anatolia and northern Syria. The palaces, temples, trading quarters and necropolis of this political and religious metropolis provide a comprehensive picture of a capital, and bear a unique testimony to the disappeared Hittite civilization.
The site, discovered in 1834, was not comprehensively excavated until 1906, which was the memorable date of the discovery of a copy of a peace treaty between Hattushili III and the Pharaoh Ramses II, which made possible the identification of Hattusha. Since then, joint efforts on the part of German and Turkish archaeologists have made decisive progress in knowledge of the Hittite capital. The exploration of Hattusha should serve as a model of long-term archaeological research planning and has given rise to a host of publications and to a specialized periodical issued by the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut.
Hattusha consists of two sites: the Lower City and the Upper City. Visible at the Lower City are the remains associated with civic life. The Great Temple is the principal cult building of the city. Due to its two cult rooms, this temple is believed to have been devoted to the Storm God and Arinna’s Sun Goddess, which were the greatest gods of the Empire.
In the Upper City, the Temple Neighborhood, which encompasses several temples, is noteworthy. The Upper City is situated on a broad arch and was protected by walls to the south. There are five gates on the walls. The Yenikapı ramparts and the sphinx gate stand at the highest point of the city, which is at the southernmost edge of the city walls. King’s Gate and Lion Gate are situated at either end of the southern walls. The Lion sculptures on the outer face of the Lion Gate are some of the best examples of Hittite stone carving.
Yazılıkaya Temple, which is situated 2 km northwest of Hattusha, is considered to be the most significant open air temple of the city. It consists of two rock cut rooms screened off by a single story building reflecting the architectural style of the Hittites. The rock cut rooms of Yazılıkaya Temple are called the “Greater Gallery” (Room A) and the “Lesser Gallery” (Room B).
The Western end of the rook face of the Greater Gallery (Room A) is decorated with a relief of gods, and the eastern end is decorated with a relief of goddesses. The figures of both ends face the central section, where the eastern and western rock faces meet the northern rock face. This is where the main stage was set. The Lesser Gallery (Room B), which has a separate entrance, is protected by a relief of demons with lion heads, human bodies, and wings. The relief decorating the western rock face of Room B depicts twelve gods lined up to their left, and on the eastern rock face there are reliefs depicting a deity-headed upright sword, which is believed to represent the god Nergal of Underworld, and the God Sharrumma escorting King Tudhaliya IV. In this section, besides the well preserved reliefs, there are three rock cut niches. It is believed that these niches were used for placing gifts, or possibly urns containing the ashes of members of the Hittite royal family.
As of today, Hattusha is an open-air archaeological museum and offers visitors a change to trace the history of the Hittite civilization. The site has been on the World Heritage List since 1986.
Mount Nemrut (2552m) is located in southeastern Turkey, 87 km from Adıyaman, and is part of the Taurus Mountain range, above the Euphrates River valley. It is the site of extensive ruins of the tomb of Antiochos I (69-36 BC) of the Commagene Kingdom (163 BC – 72 AD).
The sanctuary at the top of Mount Nemrut was built by Antiochos I for himself as a funerary monument. It is a conical shaped tumulus with a height of 50m and 150m diameter and made up of 50,000 cubic meters of gravel. There were three terraces in the sanctuary on the East, North and West sides. The remains of the sculptures, which once decorated all three, give some idea of the size and grandeur of Antiochus' magnificent structure. Colossal heads of Apollo, Zeus, Hercules, and Antiochos I and several Greek and Persian gods surround the structure. The complex also includes a cave cistern, some reliefs and ruins of columns. The Commagene have been described as a semi-Iranian people that practiced the Zoroastrian faith and worshiped gods with combined Eastern and Western names like Zeus-Orimasdes and Apollo-Mithras.
ST PAUL ROAD / ANTALYA
St Paul was responsible for the spread of Christianity to Western Europe. Jesus’ message, aimed at amending the Jewish religion, was preached exclusively to the Jews of Judea and Jerusalem. But Paul took this message to both the Jewish diaspora (those living outside Israel) and also to the worshippers of the traditional gods of the Greeks or Roman Empire, or of other cults. In the process he changed the religion of Christianity, partly by adding many instructions about forms of worship, partly by changing the message (especially regarding women). Paul had no standard text; he also had never met Jesus personally. Thus he was able to interpret Jesus’ message quite freely. If St Paul had not preached, Christianity would probably have died out when the Jewish rebellion of 66 AD was crushed and Jerusalem burned.
MERSİN / TARSUS
Mersin is one of the most modern provinces of the palm lined avenues, city park and modern hotels and a good base for visiting the nearby historical sites and beaches. Mersin is the largest port on the Turkish Mediterranean region. Although Mersin dates only from the 19th century, it occupies an extremely ancient site. At Mount Yumuktepe the excavations proved that there had been twelve successive settlements beginning from the Neolithic Period.
Tarsus is the birthplace of St. Paul. Situated on the edge of the fertile Cukurova plain in the city is middle of cedar groves. The city is also the meeting place of legendary loves Antony and Cleopatra, and there is the commemorative Cleopatra Gate. To reach St. Paul’s Cistern you pass through narrow streets of the city; the old houses on the sides will prepare for the things you will see . Then you may head for a rest to the Tarsus waterfalls and shady trees. The tombs of Prophet Daniel, Lokman Hekim, a famous legendary medical doctor, are here. There are also many historical places to visit such as Cleopatra’s Gate, the Gozlukule, Justinians Bridge, and the Tarsus Museum
Two hours west of Mersin, Anamur is a lovely town situated in the mountains and surrounded by banana plantations thanks to its climate. There are the ruins of ancient Anemorium, 10 kms to the west of the town on a fine beach. Anamur Castle is well preserved and provides a fascinating views of the landscape. The road between Anamur and Silifke passes through the pine clad mountains which descend to the sea offering splendid views of cliffs, coves and the brilliant turquoise waters of the Mediterranean.
Aydincik is a cute village with pleasant beaches. After Aydincik, to the east, is the most beautiful coastline in Turkey.
Silifke, 90 kms from Mersin, is a little bit inland, on the site of the acropolis of ancient Seleucia and Colycadnos. The old bridge crossing the Göksu River, the theatre and the temple from Roman times are of interest.
The road up to the magnificent ancient site of Olba – Diocaeserela is lined with large tombs. In the ancient city there are the ruins of the Temple of Zeus, Olbius and the Temple of Tychaion, and numerous arches, theater, Byzantine church and tower. Outside Silifke, on the road to Tasucu is the archaeological museum, while further on AyaTekla is the tomb and church of St. Thecla who was the first female martyr.
Tasucu is a pleasant resort town with good accommodations and fine sandy beaches, especially the Aphrodite Beach.
Around Narlikuyu an exciting excursion is to Cennet – Cehennem (Heaven and Hell), and the Astim Dilek Caves which are deep chasms, one of which has a chapel. They are really fascinating and you will understand why they carry these names once you visit.
60 kms from Mersin, to the west, is the ancient city Korykos, which is now the resort town of Kizkalesi, with sandy beaches and camping sites. There are important remains which are symbols of that region like The Castle of Korykos on the beach faces the Kizkalesi (Maiden’s Castle) which stands on an islet 200 m offshore.
HATAY / ANTAKYA
Antakya is the seat of the Hatay Province in southern Turkey, near the border with Syria. In ancient times the city was known as Antioch and has historical significance for Christianity, being the place where the followers of Jesus Christ were called Christians for the very first time. The city and its massive walls also played an important role during the Crusades.
Antakya Archaeological Museum has the second largest collection of Roman mosaics in the world, found when excavating Roman villas on the hillside at Harbiye.
the rock-carved Church of St Peter, with its network of refuges and tunnels carved out of the rock, a site of Christian pilgrimage. There are also tombs cut into the rock face at various places along the Orontes valley.
The seedy Gündüz cinema in the city centre was once used as parliament building of the Republic of Hatay.
the waterfall and restaurants at Harbiye.
The Ottoman Habib-i Neccar Camii is the oldest mosque in Antakya.
The labyrinth of narrow streets in the old market area
The views of the city from the hillsides above
With its rich architectural heritage, Antakya is a member of the Norwich-based European Association of Historic Towns and Regions. Sadly the Roman bridge (thought to date from the era of Diocletian was destroyed in 1972 during the widening and channelling of the Orontes