vast plateau of Central Anatolia (Asia
Minor), broken by mountains ranges,
is the heartland of modern Turkey (maps).
by Ankara, Konya, Karaman,
Kahramanmaraş, Sivas and Amasya,
the Central Anatolian plateau (altitude
1000 to 2000 meters, 3300 to 6500
feet) holds the incredible "moonscape" terrain
as well as cities founded by the Hittites 3000
years ago, and even older settlements
dating back an incredible 7500
region boasts striking scenery,
fine museums, hundreds of Roman archeological
sites, and—my favorite—medieval Seljuk
Turkish (ie, pre-Ottoman)
mosques and caravanserais.
A major city and crossroads, it lies across the ancient Silk Road with Ankara to the north, Konya to the west and Cappadocia to the east.
of Turkey's most charming towns,
built in a narrow river gorge, with
ancient rock-cut cliff tombs, fine
mosques, old Ottoman houses,
and even mummies!
capital, is a big, busy city.
Visit its ancient hilltop fortress,
its famous Museum of Anatolian
Civilisations, and the
Atatürk. It has lots
of good, inexpensive restaurants as
town on the eastern shore of the
Lake boasts one of the finest
and most unusual
Turkish mosques in Anatolia,
the Eşrefoğlu Camii. If
you're driving from Cappadocia or
Konya to Antalya or Denizli/Pamukkale,
Beyşehir is a great place to stop
for tea or
a lunch of lake
The 3000-year-old capital of
Empire; the ruins are mostly
mere foundation outlines, but the
site is striking and the religious
reliefs of Yazılıkaya connect
you directly with the Hittite's ancient
on everyone's list of must-sees:
an incredible volcanic moonscape filled
with lavishly decorated cave churches,
homes, workshops and even cave
hotels. The main towns are Aksaray, Avanos, Göreme, Kayseri, Niğde, Nevşehir,
Mustafapaşa, Uçhisar and Ürgüp (map).
You can even fly above the moonscape
in a hot-air
the city and tomb of the fabled King
Midas, ruler of Phrygia 2700
Set on the eastern
edge of Cappadocia (map), in the shadow of Mount Aergius (Erciyes Dağı, 3916 meters/ 12,848 feet), this ancient city has outstanding Seljuk
Turkish architecture (1100s
to 1200s), interesting bazaars.
of the Seljuk
Turkish Empire of Rum, it
has marvelous Seljuk
buildings and the tomb of Jelaleddin
Rumi, founder of the whirling
dervishes. Not far away is
the Neolithic settlement of Çatalhöyük.
Along with Kayseri, one of the chief cities of Cappadocia, with its major bus station and Nevşehir Kapadokya Airport.
An ancient city with several notable historic buildings, it is near the striking Byzantine troglodyte
monastery of Eski Gümüşler and on the way to beautiful Aladağ National Park.
One of the best-preserved Ottoman towns in Anatolia, Safranbolu has delightful old-fashioned inns, hotels, historic buildings, and vistas.
The age-old caravan
route between Europe and Asia
is dotted with Seljuk
Turkish caravanserais and
Turkish architecture and
nearby the medieval mosque and
hospital at Divriği, and
spa where your skin is nibbled
Its namesake is the grandest Seljuk Turkish caravansaray in Anatolia, a must-see stop as you travel on the ancient Silk Road between Cappadocia and Konya.
here for maps of Ankara,
Cappadocia & Central Anatolia.