Flights to Konya
Located in the Central Anatolia Region of Turkey, the city of Konya mixes historic Seljuk architecture with modern city buildings. Known as the City of the Whirling Dervishes, Konya also has plenty of culture, making this a popular and interesting tourist destination.
The Konya Airport (airport code: KYA) is only a short drive outside of the city, and is served by a number of major airlines for flights to Konya from South Africa. Turkish Airlines is the only one that has a 1-stop option, connecting in Istanbul. A flight to Konya with South African Airways also connects in Istanbul, but has a stop in Cairo first. British Airways goes through London and Istanbul, and Lufthansa has a route with transfers in Munich and Istanbul. Most flights to Konya take about 24 hours because of long connection times.
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The Tourist Attractions of Konya:
Konya is an ancient city that rose to fame between the 11th and 13th centuries when it was conquered by Seljuk Turks. It was the capital of the Anatolian Seljuk Sultanate during this time, and today it’s still famous for the appealing Seljuk architecture.
Mevlana Museum and Mausoleum of Rumi
The Mevlana Museum and Mausoleum of Rumi is one of the major tourist attractions in Konya. This is several attractions in one as you get to see one of Konya’s older buildings; the mausoleum was built in 1274 over the graves of Rumi and his father. The building served as the dervish lodge for the whirling dervishes, and the museum has exhibits relating to the order and to the life of Rumi.
Known as Rumi in the English speaking world, this Persian mystical poet was actually named Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi, or Rumi. He was famous for Sufism (a mystical dimension of Islam), and upon his death his son and followers founded the Mawlawiyah Sufi Order. This order is today far better known as the Whirling Dervishes.
Not far from the museum you can wander along some of the quieter streets of Konya and experience more of the city’s historical architecture. There are many examples of the Seljuk architecture dating from the 12th and 13th centuries still be found here in Konya. Iplikci Mosque is one of these. It dates from the 13th century and was restored more recently.
Ince Minare Museum
Meaning ‘thin minaret’ the Ince Minare Museum is an interesting visit where you can find artefacts from the Seljuk and ottoman periods in Konya’s history. As well as the interior of the museum the exterior architecture makes this a popular attraction as the buildings include what remains of a 13th century school that the Seljuks built.
Again built by the Seljuks, Alaaddin Hill is an artificial hill that is now right in the heart of the city. Today it’s a nice park, and is home to one of the major landmarks for Konya, Alaeddin Mosque, as well as the scarce remains of an old Seljuk palace. Alaeddin Mosque was completed in 1235 and was known as the ‘Mosque of the Throne’ as it was used by the Seljuk Sultans. These very same sultans are now buried within the two mausoleums within the courtyard of the mosque.
When Should You Visit?:
Konya has a continental climate which means its summers are hot and dry, and winters are cold and snowy. July and August are hottest at an average high of 30C, though daytime highs will usually exceed this, so it may be a little too hot for some visitors. June or September may be better as the average high is 26C.