Turkish Delights: 5 Destinations For Photographers

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Turkey is an immensely popular destination for tourists from around the world. The unique country covers two continents, boasts beautiful weather, and is a photographer’s paradise. 

Whether wanting to capture wildlife, modern culture, or historical architecture, it doesn’t matter. You will find everything you’re looking for in Turkey. It’s one of the reasons why my two-week stay was filled with joy, and your trip will be too. Here’s where you’ll get those incredible photos.


Starting or ending your tour of Turkey in the capital makes a lot of sense, especially if flying into IST. Istanbul is the best destination for anyone wishing to explore history, culture, natural beauty, and modern city life. Of the three main regions of Istanbul: the Asian Side, Sultanahmet, and Beyoĝlu. I preferred shooting in Sultanahmet. From the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia to the Grand Bazaar, there are countless opportunities to capture the history and culture of the area. You’ll find amazing architecture, interesting people, and colorful displays of lights, clothing, spices and more.

turkish delights...nuts and treats at the grand bazaar

Demre and the Sunken City of Kekova

Found in the southwestern region of the country, Demre is a great place to relax and snap some photos. Being a bit farther from the Antalya airport, it is quieter than some of the other coastal cities. Demre provides chances to capture history on both land and under the sea photography. Be sure to visit St. Nicholas Church, built above the the burial place of St. Nicholas, the inspiration for Santa Claus.

For beautiful coastal shots of green hills, aqua waters, and historic castles, take a boat ride to Kekova. Or better yet, test out your waterproof camera, while snorkeling or SCUBA diving among the sunken City of Kekova. The ancient city succumbed to an earthquake and is now beneath the sea. Submerged underwater are portions of houses, part of a church, and even ancient tombs with intricate carvings. Overall, Turkey’s Mediterranean coast won’t disappoint.

sunken city of kekova


Canakkale, a lively college town, is another delight. In my previous guide to Canakkale, I mentioned the Trojan Horse and Clock Tower as places of interest. Additional locations to shoot are the Kabatepe Kumsali Beach, Akbas Sehitligi, and the Naval Museum. From historical buildings to beautiful beaches to cemeteries to battle grounds, Canakkale has it all. It is also the best hub for side trips to Troy and Gallipoli.

trojan horse in canakkale


Have you ever to float over clustered rock formations at sunrise in a hot air balloon? If so, Cappadocia is the place to experience this awe-inspiring activity. Book your tour with Cappadocia Balloon Bookings to travel over the “fairy chimneys” as the sky changes shades of purple, orange, and crimson. In addition to the landscape, enjoy watching the hundreds of other balloons that launch at the same time. A hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia is a must do!

Hiking to amazing viewpoints, exploring underground cities and attending a whirling dervish ceremony are other options for excellent photography opportunities. I stayed in Cappadocia three days and could have spent longer in the geologic paradise!

hot air balloons in cappadocia


Pamukkale is another fascinating place to visit in Turkey. It had been on my list ever since I saw an amazing photo of the limestone pools in a National Geographic Magazine. The funky shaped terraces with white calcium deposits and aqua water filled pools is a site to see! I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it. Historically, these natural thermal formations were a healing center for doctors and their patients. Today visitors flock to the location to soak in man made hot springs and to capture that elusive Instagram shot.

thermal pools in pamukkale

Turkey is huge with many places to visit. These are just five destinations in Turkey that are a photographer’s delight.

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Published by

Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned award winning travel blogger and photographer sharing the earth's beauty one word and image at a time.

10 thoughts on “Turkish Delights: 5 Destinations For Photographers

  1. We’re just leaving Turkey after 2 months and visited all of these sites. Was there water in Pamukkale’s pools when you were there? Almost all of them were dry when we visited. Maggie

      1. Well if I remember correctly they divert the water to the manmade pools so the natural ones aren’t destroyed by visitors, so the closest ones didn’t have water, but ones farther down the hill do. Of course many many years ago the picture in nat geo that I saw had them all filled. I would have liked to see it that way.

      2. Yes that’s what we read. Only a very small section of 7 or 8 pools had water and we only found them by accident. We were spoofed I guess by socol media..it would have been amazing in the day.

      3. Haha. Spoofed for sure! I had only seen it in a magazine over a decade ago, and I think all the pools had water. But I could wrong. Maybe Nat Geo spoofed me too.

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