Hos geldiniz! Welcome …to Cappadocia, the amazing wonderland right in the middle of Turkey.
In an extraordinary meeting of nature's artistic splendor and humankind's resourcefulness, Cappadocia is one of those rare places that must be experienced at least once in a lifetime. With soaring rock formations, uniquely-rippled landscapes, splendid walking trails, mysterious underground cities and rock-cut churches, Cappadocia is the must-see destination in Turkey.
Located just one hour away from Istanbul or Izmir by plane, adding this wonder of nature & man to your Turkey Itinerary couldn't be easier. Turkish Heritage Travel is your local expert in all things Cappadocia – allow us to tailor-make your entire Turkey experience and be your regional specialists in Cappadocia.
WHERE IS CAPPADOCIA?
Turkish Heritage Travel, located in Goreme – a village in the heart of Cappadocia (and where most travelers prefer to stay) – is your local authority on the Cappadocia region. We offer a variety of tailor-made tours and organize travel itineraries for all of Turkey.
Goreme and the Cappadocia region is easily accessible from all parts of Turkey. Once here you can easily comfortably explore all the highlights and the hidden gems that this area is known for. By far the best introduction to Cappadocia is gently floating above the rippled landscape in a hot air balloon. Known world-wide as one of the best places to fly hot air balloons, you will glide just above orchards, between the famous fairy chimney rock formations and up and over the rippled ravines. Alternatively, saddle up and travel like the first European explorers and the Scythian nomads on horseback through the many trails and valleys. The valleys and villages of Cappadocia are also easy to explore on foot. We offer several guided hiking tours as well as daily tours (private and group) to see the highlights of the region.
HOW CAPPADOCIA CAME INTO BEINGThousands of years ago a group of ancient volcanoes, Mount Erciyes, Mount Hasan and Mount Melendiz, spewed out layer upon layer of thick tuff which blanketed the countryside for miles around. Over the centuries the wind and rain worked their magic on the soft rock, carving out spectacular gorges and leaving behind the dramatic pinnacles of rock - the 'fairy chimneys' - that have created the Cappadocian moonscape.
But Cappadocia has always been much more than its dramatic scenery. Humans, too, have left their unique mark on the region, carving cave storerooms, cave stables, cave houses and even entire underground cities out of the rock. To this day many of the soaring pinnacles are still inhabited and many of the rock-cut storerooms are still stuffed with grapes, lemons, potatoes and flat bread waiting for the winter.
Long, long ago Cappadocia was inhabited by Christians who also carved thousands of cave churches, chapels and monasteries out of the rock. Many of these churches were decorated with frescoes of medieval saints whose ghostly images still gaze down from the walls. In the 21st century these ancient churches make some of the most remarkable sights for visitors.
THE FAIRY CHIMNEYSIn the days before tourism local people called the strange rock cones that surrounded them kales, or 'castles'. Nowadays these amazing structures are usually called peribacalari, or 'fairy chimneys'. They come in an extraordinary range of shapes and sizes but most are tall and phallic-shaped with a cap of harder stone that protects the softer rock underneath from erosion. Eventually these caps fall off, whereupon the wind and rain start to whittle away the cone until eventually it, too, collapses.
PLACES TO VISIT IN CAPPADOCIAThere are so many fascinating things to see in Cappadocia that you could spend a lifetime here and still discover new places. The main 'must-see' attractions are the two large open-air museums and the best of the underground cities. However, there are also many small, all-but-forgotten rock-cut churches and monasteries, splendid hiking trails, several spectacular caravanserais and many dramatic rock formations well worth going out of your way to visit.
- Goreme Open Air Museum: cave churches with frescoes
- Zelve Open Air Museum: an empty cave town with churches
- Kaymakli Underground City: the largest underground city
- Derinkuyu Underground City: the deepest underground city
- Ihlara Valley: the deepest gorge of Anatolia
- Uchisar: Roman rock-cut castle
- Ortahisar: Roman rock-cut castle
- Avanos: center of pottery since the Hittites
- Pasabag: mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys, monks valley
- Devrent: animal-shaped fairy chimneys, imagination valley
- Hacibektas: center of Bektasi sect of Islam
- Gulsehir: first settlements in Cappadocia
- Forgotten Cave Churches: churches located in the valleys
- Caravanserais: 13th century hotels on the silk road