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CAPPADOCIA

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Its lunar landscapes may be familiar from photographs, TV and Turkey travel guides, but nothing can truly prepare visitors for their first trip to Cappadocia. Deep in the heart of Anatolia, this amazing area offers surreal scenery, adventure activities, and an in-depth look into the history of Christianity.

The landscape is dotted with rocks nicknamed “Fairy Chimneys.” Created because of wind and water erosion, they are mainly found in valleys between the towns of Nevsehir and Urgup. Some of them have been inhabited for many years, with rooms, windows, and staircases laboriously curved inside creating 5-storey structures. Known as cave homes and hotels, they are one of the main attractions of the region. Cappadocia’s geological quirks, plus the wealth of caves and hideaways, have made it a place of refuge since biblical times, when it was popular with Christians fleeing persecution. Their legacy includes the underground cities at Derinkuyu and Kaymakl─▒ as well as the painted cave churches found in the Goreme and Zelve valleys.

When is the best time to go Cappadocia? Cappadocia has a steppe climate; there is a great temperature difference between day and night. The average temperature is +23 Degrees-Celsius (73 F) in summer and -2 Degrees-Celsius (28 F) in winter. It is cooler and drier than popular tourist areas of the Mediterranean and the Aegean coasts. April to the middle of June and September-October are the best months to visit.

Where to stay in Cappadocia? There are four main areas to stay in Cappadocia; Urgup, Uchisar, Goreme or Avanos town. Cappadocia has all sorts of hotels, from simple modern pensions to deluxe five-stars, but the real character of the region shows in its cave hotels, those in which you can actually sleep in a cave room.
 

Must see monuments

We offer guided tours of Cappadocia to must see places and museums. They include..

Underground Cities: You should not miss a visit to Derinkuyu that is the largest of 36 underground cities in the area. Derinkuyu underground city is located under a hill, was found by chance, and opened to the public in 1965.

It covers 4 square kilometres and was able to shelter 2,000 households on seven floors reaching a depth of 70 to 85 meters. Archaeologists believe the Hittites were the starters of the underground communities and in the 6th and 7th century, they were expanded by early Christians with the addition of air shafts, kitchens, living quarters, churches, water wells, horse stables and wine cellars.

Christians used the elaborate subterranean systems as both a shelter and a safe place to worship. The next largest underground city is at Kaymakli, 20 km from Nevsehir. Only four underground levels have been excavated, but there are speculations there are 11 in total.

The Cave Churches of Goreme Open air museum

There is more to Cappadocia’s otherworldly landscape than meets the eye. Take a closer book and you will discover hidden dwellings and subterranean churches, for it was here that early Christians escaping from persecution lived and worshipped. Of an estimated 3,000 churches in the area, some are open to the public, the most impressive of which are located in the Goreme Open Air Museum.

The Tokali church is the largest and was built in the beginning of the 10th century. Decorated with frescoes depicting the life of Jesus, it is in the town of Goreme.

The Karanlik church, also located in Goreme is among the best preserved in Cappadocia. Its frescoes depict the consecration of Jesus, the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, and the apostles.

The Eskigumus rock cut monastery (close to the town of Nigde), discovered in 1963 is the only one containing a fresco of the Virgin Mary. It has escaped vandalism of which many of the Cappadocian churches and monasteries were subjected to. The well-preserved wall paintings are one of the best examples of Byzantine art in all of Cappadocia.

Other places include…
  • Ihlara Valley
  • Cavusin Village
  • Soganli Valley
  • Selime Monastery
  • Belisirma Village
  • Pasabag and Zelve Valleys
Hot Air Balloon Trip

Weird and wonderful Cappadocia, with its unique lunar landscape and strange rock formations including the romantically named ’fairy chimneys’- can only truly be appreciated from above. As fascinating freaks of nature, long- extinct volcano eruptions and thousands of years’ exposure to the elements formed the strangely shaped rocks. The region can be explored on foot, but to experience the sheer scale and breath-taking beauty of this remarkable area, take a hot- air balloon flight in Cappadocia at sunrise.

Restaurants

Sacred House Restaurant: Dinner menu accompanied by old forgotten and traditional cuisines, which are served in a medieval atmosphere supported by antique silverware, chandeliers and chevalier tables, that make you feel like you are in a castle.

Address:Dutlucami Mah. Barbaros Hayrettin Sok No:25 Urgup
Phone: 0 384 341 7102

Also Available from Cappadocia : Extended Tour to Mount Nemrut

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