Konya, 261 km (162 miles) south of Ankara, is Turkey’s city of Whirling Dervishes, and has been for 800 years.
Located right on the ancient Silk Road, Konya has lots to see and do, a number of good hotels, and transport is easy.
Located about three hours’ drive south of Ankara, it’s an extremely old city, its roots going back to the days of the Hittites, who called it Kuwanna. As a Roman city, it was Iconium. Today it is the most religiously conservative city in Turkey—and proud of it.
The reason to visit Konya is to see the Mevlana Museum which shelters the tomb of Jelaleddin Rumî (1207-1273), known to his followers as Mevlana (or Rumî), a Muslim poet and mystic and one of the great spiritual thinkers and teachers of all time.
Konya was the capital of the Seljuk Turkish Sultanate of Rum (“ROOM,” that is, Rome) which flourished in Central Anatolia from 1071 to 1275. The Seljuks built numerous caravansarays along the Silk Road between Cappadocia and Konya, and beyond.
Seljuk architecture is outstanding, and numerous great Seljuk buildings—mosques and theological seminaries mostly—are Konya’s pride and joy.
Konya has a sufficient number of hotels, but if you plan to visit in mid-December, when Şeb-i Aruz, the annual Rumî commemoration ceremonies, pack Konya with pilgrims, you must be sure to reserve your room well in advance; or, better yet, take a guided tour that includes Konya and Cappadocia.
During the holy month of Ramazan, many restaurants may be closed during daylight hours, and may open only for İftar, the break-the-fast dinner just after sundown.
The Mevlevi sema is the Sufi worship ceremony in which the Mevlevi dervishes whirl for a quarter of an hour at a time in their quest for mystical union with the Divine. (Dervishes also whirl in Istanbul.)
In fact, Konya is an interesting place any time of year, with its historic buildings and savory slow-roasted mutton Konya kebap, though it can be difficult to get a beer or a glass of wine with dinner (strictly observant Muslims do not consume alcoholic drinks at all).
About 45 km (28 miles) southeast of Konya lies Çatalhöyük, the famous Neolithic archeological site excavated by James Melaart in the 1950s, and currently under further investigation.
Beyşehir, 92 km (57 miles, 1.5 hours’ drive) west of Konya on the way to the Mediterranean coast, boasts Anatolia’s most beautiful Seljuk Turkish wooden mosque, the Eşrefoğlu Camii (1296-1299), well worth a look in passing, or even a day excursion.
Tourism is travel for pleasure or business; also the theory and practice of touring, the business of attracting, accommodating, and entertaining tourists, and the business of operating tours. Tourism may be international, or within the traveller’s country. The World Tourism Organization defines tourism more generally, in terms which go “beyond the common perception of tourism as being limited to holiday activity only”, as people “traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes”.
Tourism can be domestic or international, and international tourism has both incoming and outgoing implications on a country’s balance of payments. Today, tourism is a major source of income for many countries, and affects the economy of both the source and host countries, in some cases being of vital importance.
Deluxe Hot Air Balloon Ride
Experience the magic of a balloon ride while floating over beautiful landscapes. Our personal touch and professional experience will make your flight a memorable event. We schedule flights once a day, every day, all year round.
With its many national parks and mountains, Turkey has some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the world (some more arduous than others). We chose some of the best hiking trails from around Turkey so you can pack up your gear and book your tickets.
One of Turkey’s most famous hiking trails, the Lycian Trail stretches around 509 km from Fethiye to Antalya with amazing views all around and great stops along the way such as Patara Beach, the natural beaches of Kaş, and the historic ruins of Olympos.
Uludağ is usually known as one of Turkey’s most popular destinations to go skiing, however, in the warmer months the national park is also an excellent spot for hiking. Explore the meadows, rocky area, and glacial lakes, and definitely traverse the best trail that leads from Sarıalan to Çobankaya.
Another fantastic Turkish mountain to climb and explore, Kaçkar is located in Turkey’s beautiful Black Sea region whose natural alpine beauty is often compared to Switzerland. Walk past the wildflowers and sheepherders with their flock, and challenge yourself to reach the peak at around 4000m.
Cappadocia is a hiking paradise because of its unique landscape and an abundance of historic sights. The most popular trails are in the Pigeon and Love Valleys, the Rose and Red Valleys, and the Zemi Valleys where you’ll come across Cappadocia’s famous Fairy Chimneys, rock churches, and stunning rock formations.
The Via Egnatia once served as the road that connected the western and eastern parts of the mighty Roman Empire and was used for both trade and military purposes. Nowadays, passionate hikers can traverse the trail that starts in Durres, Albania and goes through Macedonia, Northern Greece and Turkey, with the final stop in Istanbul.
Another very important mountain range in Turkey, the Taurus Mountains are flanked by sheer rock walls, deep valleys and canyons, and beautiful alpine pastures and lakes. The western Taurus (with the ancient city of Termessos) and central Taurus (with the beautiful Karagöl Lake and the bridge in Adana) are the most popular.
We wouldn’t recommend that you climb Mount Nemut in the winter because of the thick layers of snow, however, in the warmer months, the climb to the 2150m peak is thoroughly rewarding. It is here that the famous temple tomb of the late Hellenistic King Antiochos I of Commagene Kingdom continues to stun hikers.
St. Paul Trail
This special trail also has a lot of historic significance because it was used by Saint Paul during his first journey through Asia Minor. The 500km St. Paul Trail (which can take up to 27 days) also goes through the Taurus Mountains but passes through the ancient sites of Perge and Aspendos in Antalya as well as rural villages and breathtaking natural landscapes.
It’s hard to overlook magnificent Mount Olympos, which towers above the beautiful beach at Çıralı. Known as Tahtalı Dağ in Turkish, the well marked trail is more reachable after being dropped off at the village of Beycik, and you can only imagine what the view is like from up there, Mediterranean coast and sea and all.
Yenice Forest Trail
One of the lesser-known hiking trails in Turkey, this particular path leads through the natural beauty that calls itself the Yenice Forest. A true discovery for nature lovers, the trails goes past forests and canyons and can also be traversed on bike or horseback. Safranbolu, which is famous for its well-preserved Ottoman era houses, is also nearby and definitely worth a day trip.
An educational trail (or sometimes educational path), nature trail or nature walk is a specially developed hiking trail or footpath that runs through the countryside, along which there are marked stations or stops next to points of natural, technological or cultural interest. These may convey information about, for example, flora and fauna, soil science, geology, mining, ecology or cultural history. Longer trails, that link more widely spaced natural phenomena or structures together, may be referred to as themed trails or paths.
In order to give a clearer explanation of the objects located at each station, display boards or other exhibits are usually erected, in keeping with the purpose of the trail. These may include: information boards, photographs and pictures, maps or plans, display cases and models, slides, sound or multimedia devices, facilities to enable experimentation and so on. The routes are regularly maintained.
Educational trails with a strong thematic content may also be called “theme paths”, “theme trails” or “theme routes”, or may be specially named after their subject matter, for example the Welsh Mountain Zoo Trail, Anglezarke Woodland Trail, Cheshire Lines Railway Path, Great Harwood Nature Trail, Irwell Sculpture Trail, Salthill Quarry Geology Trail and Wildlife Conservation Trail.
Road cycling is the most widespread form of cycling. It includes recreational, racing, and utility cycling. Road cyclists are generally expected to obey the same rules and laws as other vehicle drivers or riders and may also be vehicular cyclists.
Dedicated road bicycles have drop handlebars and multiple gears, although there are single and fixed gear varieties. Road bikes also use narrow, high-pressure tires to decrease rolling resistance, and tend to be somewhat lighter than other types of bicycle. The drop handlebars are often positioned lower than the saddle in order to put the rider in a more aerodynamic position. In an effort to become more aerodynamic, some riders have begun using aerobars. Who and when aerobars where invented is unclear but they seem to date back to the early 1980s. The light weight and aerodynamics of a road bike allows this type of bicycle to be the second most efficient self-powered means of transportation, behind only recumbent bicycles due to the latter’s higher aerodynamic efficiency.
Standard Hot Air Balloon Ride
Get carried away in a Hot Air Balloon adventure, unlike anything you’ve ever seen. During your flight you will get a spectacular bird’s eye view of the gorgeous Red Rock Mountains and the famous Las Vegas Strip. You will drift silently over the city and countryside where you will watch for wildlife and talk with envious onlookers down below. After drifting serenely for approximately an hour, we prepare for landing.
A Turkish bath or hammam is a steambath, sauna, distinguished by a focus on water, as distinct from ambient steam. In Western Europe, the “Turkish bath” as a method of cleansing and relaxation became popular during the Victorian era. The process involved in taking a Turkish bath is similar to that of a sauna but is more closely related to ancient Greek and ancient Roman bathing practices.
We provide you a free shuttle service from your hotel to the hammam.
Enjoy a 1,000-year old Turkish tradition
Relax your body with a foam and oil massage
Experience an original Anatolian ritual
Get an invigorating body peel
Take time out in the sauna and Jacuzzi
Receive a face mask and facial massage
The Turkish bath starts with relaxation in a room (known as the warm room) that is heated by a continuous flow of hot, dry air, allowing the bather to perspire freely. Bathers may then move to an even hotter room (known as the hot room) before they wash in cold water. After performing a full body wash and receiving a massage, bathers finally retire to the cooling-room for a period of relaxation. The difference between the Islamic hammam and the Victorian Turkish bath is the air. The hot air in the Victorian Turkish bath is dry; in the Islamic hammam the air is often steamy. The bather in a Victorian Turkish bath will often take a plunge in a cold pool after the hot rooms; the Islamic hammam usually does not have a pool unless the water is flowing from a spring. In the Islamic hammams, the bathers splash themselves with cold water.
Turkish Night Show is organized not only to let you experience Turkish culture and traditions but also to have a real entertainment and show after a relaxing Cappadocia day. We pick you up from your hotel in Goreme or other towns of Cappadocia at 20:00 in winter and 20:30 in summer and drive you to one of the cave restaurants of Cappadocia where the show will be performed.
The dancers, including the bride and groom, come on the dance floor and perform the traditional way, which a girl gets married in Turkey. The bride dressed in a beautiful red dress dances in the middle and the groom comes up and put on different shows for her. He first shows how handsome he is, and than how strong he is and finally how rich he is. After rejecting all these shows one by one, the bride accepts to get married with him when the groom tells that his heart beats for her. While they are starting to their wedding dance, all the guests are invited to dance with them, as well.
After a couple of other folk dances from different parts of Turkey, the highlight of the night comes: Belly Dancer! She makes her breath-taking dance and then goes around all the tables to take one man from each table. The men have a great time while they are learning the secrets of belly-dancing with some basic figures. Their wives Well, it was made sure there were no sharp objects around, before the belly dancer!
After some other dances and shows like fire dance, Caucasian dance with knives and drum show, the night ends around 23:30 and we drive you back to your hotel for a deep sleep.
During the night the waiters will serve unlimited soft and alcoholic drinks with appetizers. The main course will be lamb with rice, the traditional wedding meal of Turkey.
Whirling Dervishes Sufi Show
See the stunning Mevlevi Sema ceremony in Istanbul. Known for its whirling dervishes and dances, enjoy a complex musical repertoire called ayin and go on a mystical journey representing man’s spiritual ascent through mind and love to perfection. Watch a magnificent 1-hour show of the Mevlevi Sema ceremony at the HodjaPasha Culture Center in central Istanbul and witness the miracle of the whirling dances and dervishes.
Dating back 800 years, the show represents in thrilling fashion the idea that everything in the universe, from atoms to the solar system, to the blood that circulates in the body, revolves. Sema is a spiritual journey that the soul makes to God as it becomes mature and attains unity. After the journey, it returns to its life and to serve humankind again. This thrilling program begins with a classical Turkish music concert, followed by the Sema ceremony, comprised of 7 parts. Watch in wonder as the whirling dervishes and sheikh take their place and praise the Prophet Mohammed. Following the chant, a drum voice is heard and all 7 parts unfold, – the ceremony climaxes when the extraordinary whirling dervishes revolve to represent the birth of humanity. The Sema ends with a Fâtiha for the souls of all prophets, martyrs, and believers, and a prayer for the salvation of the country. Chosen as the best authentic local event in 2010 by the Federation of Tourist Guides in Turkey, this fantastic show takes place in the fantastic HodjaPasha Culture Center, which is a restored 550-year-old Ottoman Turkish bath in Sultanahmet-Sirkeci.
See an extraordinary dance show that dates back 800 years
Enter the HodjaPasha Culture Center, set in a restored 550-year-old Ottoman Turkish bath
Learn about the Mevlevi Sema spiritual journey
Enjoy a fantastic musical repertoire
Watch the miraculous whirling dervishes