Aksaray Province is a picturesque region known for its ancient valleys, hot-air ballooning over soaring “fairy chimneys” and shimmering saltwater lake. It's anchored by the city of Aksaray, where you'll find a fascinating museum and a smorgasbord of local restaurants.
Things to do in Aksaray Province
The enormous Aksaray Museum offers an in-depth glimpse at Turkey's ancient past. It's filled with fascinating displays on early Cappadocian ethnography. You can also admire a handful of perfectly preserved mummies found in the Ihlara Valley.
Aksaray is one of four provinces in Turkey's storied Cappadocia region, known for its rock-cut churches, underground caves and "fairy chimney" rock formations. Cappadocia's signature experience is soaring over the landscape in a hot-air balloon. Sunrise flights are particularly enchanting, with most offering champagne toasts.
The Ihlara Valley sits to the south of Aksaray. A scenic hiking trail hugs the Melendiz River and winds past ancient Byzantine rock churches carved into the cliffside by monks. It's especially beautiful in the spring when the valley is carpeted in wildflowers.
The 1,500-square-kilometre Tuz Golu is Turkey's second largest lake. It's topped with a thick layer of salt that makes it sparkle in the sunshine. After rainfall, the reflections off the iridescent surface are incredible. If you're lucky, you might spot pink flamingos grazing on the salt flats.
Getting around Aksaray Province
Aksaray is relatively easy to get around on foot and is also serviced by a network of local "dolmus" minibuses and taxis. Long-distance buses run to nearby towns and cities, such as Goreme, Nevsehir and Ankara.