Summer is here and this will be a great time for you to spend your holiday with a great adventure in Cappadocia. You will love the hot air balloon flights in Ürgüp and Göreme. Unbelievable formations of volcanic rocks in the region will amaze you. Renovated cave houses will not only solve your accommodation need but also take you on a journey through fairy tales. Briefly, you will find more than you have ever assumed in Cappadocia…
There are tons of things to say about this magical landscape. Therefore, we had better do it step by step to not missing any point!
While You Are Here…
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Where is Cappadocia?
The region is in the southwest of the major city Kayseri. The city, which is, by the way, a Metropol, has airline and railroad services to Ankara and Istanbul. Geographically speaking, Cappadocia is the name that refers to that triangle of land that lies between Nevsehir, Nigde, and Aksaray. What’s more, this wonderful area is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Turkey. The reason for that is the region has many areas with unique geological, historical and cultural differences.
The Geological Features of Cappadocia
It is sedimentary rocks formed in lakes and streams that mostly underlie the Cappadocia region. Moreover, ignimbrite deposits erupted from ancient volcanoes also took part to shape the area approximately 9 to 3 million years ago (late Miocene to Pliocene epochs). The rocks of Cappadocia near Göreme eroded into hundreds of spectacular pillars and minaret-like forms. The volcanic deposits are soft rocks. The people of the villages at the heart of the Cappadocia Region carved out those rocks to form houses, churches, and monasteries. This is also more or less the story of the people how they turned the place into a living area.
Göreme: Cappadocia’s Most Touristic Region
Göreme became a monastic center between 300-1200 AD. First-period settlement in Göreme reaches to the Roman period way before Christianity. There are four main churches in Göreme as Yusuf Koç, Ortahane, Durmus Kadir, and Bezirhane. Well, houses and churches carved into rocks till Uzundere, Bağıldere, and Zemi Valley carry the mystical side of history today.
The Göreme Open Air Museum, on the other hand, is the most visited site of the monastic communities in Cappadocia. Furthermore, it is one of the most popular sites in central Turkey, as well. It is a gorgeous complex comprising more than 30 rock-carved churches and chapels containing some superb frescoes, dating from the 9th to the 11th centuries.
What to See and Where to Stay?
Well, this is probably the most common question asked before visiting a place. And if you are going to visit Cappadocia, the question comes into prominence even more. But, don’t worry! Below, you will find a list that will save you a great deal of time…
There are 5 main regions for accommodation in Cappadocia. However, all of these regions have more or less the same opportunities when we compare them from a touristic point of view.
Therefore, you can actually look at all of the regions we will list below as the most important tourism centers of Cappadocia. You can choose your region for accommodation in Cappadocia according to details such as transportation, food and beverage alternatives, or hotel prices & types.
Places to See and Stay in Cappadocia
1- Goreme: One of the main touristic spots in Cappadocia and the place where the Cappadocia’s heartbeats.
2- Urgup: It is one of the most important centers of Cappadocia. It attracts attention with its rock formations and mansions, shopping opportunities, and eating and drinking places.
3- Uchisar: This place is home to Uchisar Castle, the highest point of the Cappadocia region, and the most beautiful examples of settlements that emerged with rock formations.
4- Avanos: The area was established on both sides of the Kızılırmak River. Underground cities are home to many traditions such as unique fairy chimneys, pottery workshops, and winemaking.
5- Ortahisar: Ortahisar, which is located 5 km from Ürgüp, is less crowded even though richer in terms of tourism.
6- Mustafapasa: The area was known as Sinasos in ancient times. So, now, it is one of the places we mostly recommend you to visit. The town leads us to the remnants of very different ages with its beautiful houses and churches carved in stone.
What to Do in Cappadocia?
There are numerous things to do in this dreamland. It is actually surprising if you concern about how small an area we are talking about. Yet, below is a shortlist of things that you must do while you are in Cappadocia.
1- Discover Cappadocia’s Underground Cities: Cappadocia is nothing but a magical landscape. The area has more than 150 underground cities only 36 of them have been discovered. They all are unique to the region.
2- Wander Around Goreme National Park: Goreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985. It contains seven parts. They are Goreme National Park, Derinkuyu Underground City, Kaymakli Underground City, Karlik Church, Theodore Church, Karain Columbarium, and Soganli Archaeological Site.
3- Visit Ihlara (Peristrema) Valley: Ihlara Valley is the most famous valley in Turkey. The valley contains great hiking excursions with its nature and cave churches. There are nearly 60 Byzantine churches and monasteries in Ihlara, a 16 km long straight carved into the volcanic rock.
Trekking and Hot Air Ballooning
4- Go for Trekking in Cappadocia: Cappadocia is one of the best hiking destinations in the world. Because it boasts dramatic geography, stunning natural beauty, and rich cultural heritage. They are all distilled from many different cultures that have lived side by side through the ages.
5- Hot Air Ballooning in Cappadocia: Yes. We saved the best to the end. A hot air balloon experience is the first thing that comes to mind when you are planning to visit Cappadocia. Having a chance to explore the fairy chimneys and the magical landscape from the sky is a lifetime experience one can ever have.
What to Eat and Drink in Cappadocia?
Cappadocia’s cuisine is not as famous as Turkey’s Gaziantep city. Nevertheless, the area offers some great flavors that you will never forget. Here are the main courses that you must indulge yourself.
1- Testi Kebab: In the Avanos’ special pots, heavily cooked kebabs are accompanied by vegetables. It’s getting soft as all meats cook heavily.
2- Kuru Kaymak (Dry Clotted Cream): The dry clotted cream is not as soft as clotted cream that you eat on the classic bread. On the contrary, it will be cut with the knife, as solid enough to be broken. Boiling, resting of the milk wants labor for at least 5 days of making the slick drying.
3- Kayısı Yahnisi (Apricot Stew): One of the foods that combine Anatolia’s fruit and meat. The main materials of this description belonging to Nevsehir cuisine are dry apricots and lamb meat. However, you can also prefer the yellow dry plum instead of dry apricots.
4- Düğü Çorbası (Düğü Soup): “Düğü” is a fine kind of wheat grain. So, the “Düğü soup” is also a practical type of soup. Local people cook it into roasted taste butter with the addition of düğü and water.
5- Dolaz: It is the type of Flour Halva that is special to the Cappadocia region, but with eggs and walnuts. Chiefs use only grape molasses or honey instead of sugar to give taste. A practical dessert that anyone can make at home.
What to Drink?
The answer is always wine! Avanos wines are not only famous in Turkey but in the world, as well. The Avanos region itself has been keeping up the wine-making tradition for centuries. Avanos wines that people have been distilling in old oak barrels for decades will give you unforgettable pleasure.
Transportation in Cappadocia
Public transportation in Cappadocia is not perfect. However, it is not a big problem as the places to see and discover in Cappadocia are quite close to each other. There are littles public buses to reach the main touristic spots. A taxi is also an option (but do not forget to arrange your budget according to this transportation way).
However, as for our recommendation, renting a car from the airport is the best idea to visit freely all the tourist spots around Cappadocia.
Hope you enjoyed our article and you will benefit from all the tips we have put in order above. If so, we would appreciate your comments. And don’t forget to follow us on our official social media accounts.