From Ankara to Anatolia

Trip description

Ankara, which became the capital in spite of itself under Atatürk, has kept its provincial city side in it: calm, even a little asleep. Unattractive at first sight, it still deserves a weekend before heading for Anatolia, where it is one of the natural gateways.

Day 1: The unmissable Ankara

Day 2: The old face of Ankara

Day 3: Among the dervishes

Day 4: In the shoes of an archaeologist

Day 5: Abundant panoramas

Day 6: Swimming break

Day 7: The eastern borders of Turkey

Day 1 : The unmissable Ankara

Day1 : The unmissable Ankara ©photojournalis

To begin your discovery of the city, head for the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations. You won't have too much of a half day to get to the bottom of all the treasures it contains. In the afternoon, visit the mausoleum of Atatürk, Anit Kabir. A small museum is also dedicated to him, housing in particular his collection of cars. Spend the evening at the Meydani Opera House.

Day 2 : The old face of Ankara

Day2 : The old face of Ankara ©EvrenKalinbacak - Fotolia

Immerse yourself in the old city and visit the citadel with its cobbled streets, old wooden houses and mosques. The War and Independence Museum and the Fine Arts Museum will complete the day by bringing you into contact with Turkey's recent political and artistic history.

Day 3 : Among the dervishes

Head south to Konya, city of dervishes lost in the stifling heat of the desert. Visit the bazaar, the glass mosque and the archaeological museum and then the Mevlana museum. Spend a night on site to taste the religious fervour that animates this very special city.

Day 4 : In the shoes of an archaeologist

Excursion to the Neolithic site of Catal Höyük, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to see how the first nomadic people settled down. Many of the archaeological finds at the site have gone to the museums, but walking around the site gives a better understanding of this premise of urban organization.

Day 5 : Abundant panoramas

Day5 : Abundant panoramas ©MileA - iStockphoto

South-east of Konya, explore Mount Binbirdirek (2,283 m). This ancient volcano houses a whole series of buildings dating back to Byzantine times: churches, monasteries, fortresses, cisterns, military structures, cemeteries and dwellings. You will contemplate sublime landscapes and go from discovery to discovery through small authentic villages.

Day 6 : Swimming break

Day6 : Swimming break ©KIVILCIM PINAR - iStockphoto

Less than 100 km east of Konya you will see, like a blue jewel in the middle of a desert landscape, this lake only 12 m deep. Try to get there early to enjoy the spectacle of migratory birds, including many pink flamingos. Continue the road up to Dogubeyazit.

Day 7 : The eastern borders of Turkey

Day7 : The eastern borders of Turkey ©Alex_Ishchenko - iStockphoto

This city is the last stop on the road from Turkey to Iran. It has no particular charm except for its geographical location, below Mount Ararat, whose summit boasts eternal snow. 8 km away stand the imposing palais d'Ishak Pashaand a Seljuq fortress. From there, you can choose to continue to Iran or return to Konya to follow a circuit in Southeast Anatolia.

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