With her deep rooted history, Konya has been a cradle to many cultures and civilisations throughout history. Hosting some of the oldest Christian settlements and shrines, Konya also has a strong place in cultural tourism attractions. In this context Konya, is one of the centres of cultural tourism as well as belief tourism.
Important historical and cultural values such as Sille, Hagia Elenia, Ancient City of Kilistra, Eflatunpınar Monument, Çatalhöyük, Karahöyük, İvris Rock Reliefs, Bolat and Boouleterion show the potential of Konya regarding this subject.
Konya’s traditional handicrafts and folkloric values are part of cultural tourism. Carpet, spoon and rifle making, pottery, tile making, and calligraphy are points of interest for tourists. Semah, folk dancing and sufi music constitute the major folkloric values of Konya.
Konya bears the traces of a history spanning back to 7.000 BC. The province has a rich history with her archaeological sites, natural and historical protected areas, caves and civil architecture.
The capital of the Sultanate of Rum, Konya has a huge potential in tourism with world renowned figures such as Rumi and Nasreddin Hodja.
There are 7 museums in Konya city centre (Mevlana, Karatay, İnceminare, Sırçalı Medrese, Atatürk, Ethnography and Archaelogy Museums) and 4 in districts (Catalhoyuk, Eregli, Aksehir Western Front and Arksehir Archaelogy Museums). More than 2.5 million people had visited the museums in 2015.
Bedding capacity is 4.663 in 29 tourism operation licensed hotels and 6.277 in 18 tourism investment licensed hotels. The total bedding capacity is 10.940. Also there are 18 touristic licensed restaurants and 110 travel agencies.
There is one UNESCO World Heritage Site in Konya (Çatalhöyük). Eşrefoğlu Mosque, Konya-A Capital of Seljuk civilisation, Anatolian Seljuk Madrasahs and Eflatunpınar Hitite Spring Sanctuary are in the tentative list.
As two manuscript libraries where our national and local culture is kept in record, Konya has Regional Manuscript Library and Yusufağa Manuscript Library. There are 18.118 handwritten and 73.503 printed books in these libraries.
Beyşehir Lake, which is the largest freshwater lake in Turkey, is one of the leading places in nature and hunting tourism. With new investments and efficient promotion, the lake and its surroundings will become one of the leading attractions in the province in the coming years.
The districts of konya that are situated over the Taurus Mountains, are very suitable for trekking and mountain sports. Also there is potential for hunting tourism in mountainous and woodland areas.
The province is also rich with caves in Balatini, Körükini, Suluin, Sakaltutan, Susuz, Tınaztepe, Pınarbaşı and İncesu Caves.
There are also prominent areas suitable for birdwatching. The areas of the Salt Lake within the region are home to the largest colonies of flamingos in the world. Regarding other fauna, there are wild sheep in Bozdağ and jade horses in Karaman’s Karadağ area.
Turkey is one of the top seven countries in the world regarding geothermal springs. There are over 1.000 springs with temperatures between 20-100oC. There are more than 200 touristic establishments in the country on these springs and one of these is in Konya
Traditional handicrafts and folkloric values are parts of cultural tourism. Konya being one of the richer provinces in this regard, is promoting her carpet making, spoon making, rifle making, pottery, calligraphy and handmade tools craftsmanship traditions. Semah ceremony, folklore, folk dancing, sufi music and prominent figures such as Rumi, Yunus Emre, and Nasreddin Hodja constitute some of the local values of the region.
In Konya national and international cultural and touristic activities are organised annually. Some of them are:
- Nevruz (21-22 Mart)
- Library Week (30 Mart - 05 April)
- Thousand Breaths One Voice International Turkish Language Theatre Festival (20-30 April)
- Tourism week Activities (15-22 April)
- Arrival of Rumi and His Family in Konya (03-07 May)
- Hıdrellez Culture and Spring Fest (06 May)
- Museums Day Activities (18 May)
- Akşehir Nasjeddin Hodja Festivities (05-10 July)
- Anniversary of Atatürk’s First Time Visit to Konya (03 August)
- Anniversary of Rumi’s Birth and International Mystic Music Festival (22-30 September)
- International World Faiths Photopgraphy Contest (09-15 October)
- International Student Films Festival (05-08 November)
- Mevlana Festival (07-17 December)