Konya - Beyşehir
Konya is a mystical city of dervishes located on a wide territory at the center of Anatolia. It is a city with a lot to discover and a lot to taste.
You can reach Konya on a high-speed train from İstanbul and Ankara. A great place to start discovering Konya is the Mevlâna Museum and Mausoleum of Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi. Mevlana, also known as Rumi, was a philosopher and Islamic scholar who lived in Konya in the 13th century. He is an important scholar who has influenced thousands of people in Anatolia and across the world, and whose popularity has never wavered.
After a tour of the mausoleum and the museum, you must choose from the many places to taste the famous etli ekmek. Etli ekmek is like pide but it is longer and features finely minced beef on a thin, crispy dough.
Next, you can visit Karatay Madrasa. The madrasa was built during the Seljuk period in the mid-13th century, and was used as a religious school during the Ottoman period.
There are many options for dinner in Konya. Yet, we can name a soup, a main dish, and a dessert that can be considered a “typical Konya meal.” Çiçek bamya soup is prepared by boiling tiny dried okra (which are preserved strung like beads) with meat. It is served with lemon and in an ideal appetizer. For a main course we recommend çebiç – well-roasted, tender lamb placed on bulgur pilaf. It is a delicious, healthy, and filling option. Sacarası is the perfect dessert. It is prepared with thin, crispy sheets of phyllo dough, pistachios, and syrup, and cooked between two iron plates. Pair it with a hot cup of fresh tea, and you’ll never forget the experience!
On your second day in Konya, start off by visiting the prehistoric settlement of Çatalhöyük about 40 km southeast of the city center. The oldest findings in this Neolithic city date back to 8th century BC.
Konya is famous for its böreks and they are a great choice for lunch: sac böreği and Mevlana böreği. You’ll have difficulty deciding which one you prefer!
Alaeddin Mosque and Alaeddin Hill are located in the city center and are good options for an afternoon tour. You can take a walk and have some rest in the shadow of the tall trees.
Start your dinner with a filling soup: arabaşı. Then, you can have papara, which is a dish made of pieces of stale bread soaked in broth and served with toppings like minced meat, butter, and yoğurt. Höşmerim or dilberdudaği are perfect choices for dessert!
We move southwest to Beyşehir which is a one-hour drive from Konya Beyşehir is a large town and district of Konya Province at the border of Mediterranean Türkiye and Central Türkiye at the foothills of the Toros Mountains. The town is located on the southeastern shores of Lake Beyşehir, the largest freshwater lake in Türkiye.
Beyşehir is known for delicious pastries and kömbe is one of the most known ones. It is a soft börek with various fillings cooked between two iron plates. Kıymalı kömbe (kömbe with minced meat) is the favorite dish of many locals!
Lake Beyşehir forms part of two national parks: Beyşehir National Park and Kızıldağ National Park. Both parks are very green and have ideal spots for camping and trekking.
Two special fish species, bass and carp, live in the lake and both are very tasty. If you have the chance, make sure to try them!
A final note: before leaving Beyşehir, don’t forget to visit Eşrefoğlu Mosque. The mosque was built in the late 13th century and features superior wood and glazed tile work.
- Mevlâna Museum and Mausoleum
- Karatay Madrasa
- Neolithic settlement of Çatalhöyük
- Lake Beyşehir
- Beyşehir National Park
- Kizildag National Park
- Eşrefoğlu Mosque
- Etli ekmek
- Çiçek bamya soup
- Sac böreği
- Mevlana böreği
- Bass and carp from Lake Beyşehir
- Fresh local mulberries
- Bountiful oxygen in Beyşehir and Kızıldağ National Parks
- Fresh water of Lake Beyşehir
- Soft carpets in the mosques of Konya
- Poetry of Mevlâna
- Bicycle culture of Konya