Ankara, Turkey Excursions


Beypazari is particularly known for its numerous well-renovated Ottoman houses, its caravanserai from the time of the old Silk Road and a cave city. The city’s museums are also worth seeing. Friends of good food will find numerous great restaurants, numerous food markets and an old caravanserai here.
However, the cave city in the Inozu Valley north of Beypazari can only be viewed from the outside.
The city with a little less than 50,000 residents is located around 85 km northwest of Ankara


The city was the capital of the Phrygian Empire, which flourished around 2,700 BC. B.C. had ended with their destruction. Gordion is also the city in which Alexander the Great is said to have cut the Gordian knot with his sword. Gordion is located about 80 km west-southwest of Ankara on the bank of the Sakarya River. The ancient city was rediscovered in 1895 by the brothers Gustav (1852-1917) and Alfred Körte (1866-1946), who carried out the first excavations here in 1900.

The highlight of the excavation site is the 300 m wide, 55 m high and 2,700 year old Midas burial mound. The burial mound was still untouched when it was opened 50 years ago, it contained a burial chamber with rich finds made of gold and other precious metals. They are exhibited in the adjacent Gordion Museum and the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara.
A tunnel leads to the burial chamber inside the monumental grave structure. A total of 124 burial mounds can be found here on the level of the Sakarya River.
The first professional and large-scale excavations have been carried out in Gordion since 1950 by the archaeologists of the University of Pennsylvania.

Gordion Museum
The museum shows archaeological finds from the ruins, grave goods from Midas Hill and other burial mounds in Gordion.


Ḫattuša, which – together with the neighboring Hittite sanctuary Yazılıkaya – has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986, is located about 150 km east of Ankara. Ḫattuša is one of the largest ancient city complexes in the world. The ruined city can be easily reached by bus, taxi or rental car.


Kalecik is a town in Ankara County and has been inhabited since the times of the Hittites. It extends around a conical mountain on which there is an old fortress ruin from the time of the Romans. The local vineyards are also worth seeing. Viticulture in Kalecik has a history of around 3,500 years. The city with less than 15,000 residents is located about 50 km northeast of Ankara.


In Kizilcahamam you will find a number of thermal hotels and a Byzantine bath that is around 600 years old. In addition, with the Soğuksu National Park, one of the largest nature parks in Turkey, as well as cave structures. The city with about 26,000 residents is located around 60 km north-northwest of Ankara on the Bulak Çayı river, which is dammed 10 km north-northwest of the Akyar dam.


The city of Konya, with a population of around 2.2 million, is the home of the “dancing Mevlana dervishes” and the former capital of the Rum Seljuks. A special attraction is the UNESCO World Heritage Site Catalhöyük, which is located outside of the city, with some 9,000-year-old ruins from the Neolithic period. It is worth mentioning that during the Third Crusade, Frederick I Barbarossa (1122-1190) emerged victorious from the Battle of Iconium (Konya) on May 18, 1190. Konya is about 230 km south of Ankara


Polatli is around 75 km southwest of Ankara and has a little less than 100,000 residents. The city played an important role in the establishment of the Turkish Republic. This is how the front in the Turkish-Greek war ran between August 23 and September 13, 1921 on the banks of the Sakarya River near the city. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk held the supreme command of the Turkish associations. A museum in Polatli and a memorial on one of the hills on which there was a Turkish position commemorate the battle.

Tuz Gölü

Tuz Gölü is a salt lake of around 1,500 km² with a maximum depth of around 2 m and a salt content of around 33%. The local salt mining covers around 70% of the salt consumed in Turkey. The lake has no drain. It should be mentioned that most of the Turkish greater flamingos nest here. It is the second largest lake in Turkey after the approximately 3,520 km² large Lake Van (an outflow-free soda lake). The lake is located around 100 km south of Ankara.


This train (Doğu Ekspresi) connects the capital Ankara with the provincial capital and garrison town of Kars every day. Kars is located at an altitude of around 1,770 m in northeast Anatolia, around 45 km west of the border with Armenia and 65 km south of the border with Georgia. The train takes around 24.5 hours to cover the 1,365 km route. The express train leaves Ankara every evening at 6 p.m., following long stretches of the Euphrates. It crosses the Anatolian highlands and it drives past fields, villages and forests, but it also drives through high snow-covered mountains and deep gorges. It also often traverses long tunnels. He travels via Kayseri, Sivas, Erzincan and Erzurum, among others. On the evening of the following day around 6:30 p.m. the train arrives in Kars.

It is only 45 km from the provincial capital to the ruins of the former Armenian capital Ani. The return journey starts at 7.45 a.m. and the next morning the train arrives at Ankara at 8:05 a.m. On the one hand poorer workers from Anatolia travel on the train, but the train has increasingly developed into a party and event train for the financially better off. The Ost-Express has seating and couchette cars as well as sleeping cars with toilets and minibars. Unfortunately, tickets are difficult to get as the train is becoming more and more popular with western tourists. As a result, Kars has adapted to the tourist boom with new hotels and restaurants.

Ankara, Turkey Excursions