|Also known as “Katpatuka”, Cappadocia; is a historical region in Central Anatolia. The Cappacia region contains the Nevsehir, Gulsehir, Kayseri, Aksaray and Nigde cities. The region is characterized by famous fairy chimneys and a unique historical and cultural heritage.|
It is located right in center of Anatolia.
Cappadocia can be reached by air or land. There are local buses operating in and out of Cappadocia from/to many locations in Turkey (from ex. Istanbul, Ankara, Konya, Pamukkale, Kusadasi, Antalya…etc.)
There are many Airlines operating in and out of Kayseri and Nevsehir Airports. The following airlines can operate in and out of Cappadocia; Turkish Airlines, Pegasus Airlines, Atlas Global, Sunexpress Airlines. Stonepark Travel Agency would gladly arrange your flights suitable with your travel needs.
The best season to visit Cappadocia would be Spring and Autumn time. As Cappadocia has a dry climate the winters will be very cold and snowy and the summers will be dry & very hot. But if you don’t mind the cold visiting Cappadocia under the snow would be an unique experience even though it’s not always easy to visit all the sightseing places. If you’re lucky and the weather is suitable for a Hot Air Balloon flight you may have a chance to see the Cappadocia under the snow from a bird’s eye view!
Cappadocia has a dry weather which is best at spring or autumn. As it has a dry weather the winters will be very cold and the summers will be very hot. Again even in summer times the evenings can be a little chilly so it’s best to bring clothes you can wear in layers.
As one of the cultural and historical centers in Europe Istanbul offers many places to visit;
Goreme Open Air Museum: As one of the Unesco World Heritage Sites, the Goreme Open Air Museum was one of the most important Byzantine monastic settlemen that can be found in Cappadocia region. It is one of the most important sites and a must see place in the highlights of Cappadocia. Once housed 20 monks teh settlement has many ancients churches inside such as; Tokalı Kilise (Church of the Buckle), Elmalı Kilise (the Apple Church), Azize Barbara Kilisesi, (the Church of Saint Barbara), Yılanlı Kilise (the Snake Church), Karanlık Kilise (the Dark Church), Çarıklı Kilise (the Church with Sandals).
Zelve Open Air Museum: The Zelve Open Air Museum is another Unescı World Heritage site in Cappadocia. It was a monastery in Byzantine erat hat was carved into the rock. Zelve was turned into an open air museum in 1967i till 1952 it was still an inhabited area. The las inhabitants were moved to “New Zelve” in 1952 due to safety issues. The area also contains houses, a tunnel joining two of the valleys, a mill (without sails), and a small mosque. Several dovecotes are found in the valley.
Pasabaglari (Monk’s Valley): Cappadocia is most famous for its mushroom shaped fairy chimneys which can be found mostly in Pasabaglari. As once it was home to monks it’s also known as Monk’s Valley.
Devrent (Imagination) Valley: Also known as the Imagination Valley, Devrent Valley is mostly famous with it’s lunar landscape and animal shaped rocks. Different from other sightseeing places, Devrent Valley doesn’t have Byzantine Churches, antient inhabitants or an antique strory but it has a very different landscape which is definately one of the highlights of Cappadocia!
Kaymakli Underground City: Underground cities are an important part of Cappadocia’s antique history which alos gives you the oppotunity to experince how the people lived under the ground on those years. Kaymaklı Underground city is one of the biggest underground cities which is located in Cappadocia region. As you can understand from the name this underground city is located in Kaymakli village which is 19km away from Nevsehir. The underground city first opened to visitors on 1964. Kaymakli Underground City has 8 floors but only 4 of these are open to the visitors today.
Derinkuyu Underground City: As being the biggest underground city in the region Derinkuyu has a dept of approximately 60m. This underground city was large enough to shelter approximately 20.000 people with their livestock and food storage. It’s open to visitors since 1969 and again like Kaymaklı Underground City this one also offers only 4 floors to the visitors.
Soganli Valley: Even though not as much as popular as Goreme or Zelve, Soganli Valley was also an important place and home to Byzantine inhabitants. There are 15 Churches that can be visited in the region. The Tokalı kilise (Buckle church), The Gök kilise (Sky-blue church), Yılanlı kilise (Church with a serpent), Kubbeli kilise(Church with a dome) and Saklı kilise (Hidden church) are the most famous and important ones.
Ihlara Valley: Due to being located by the Melendiz stream, Ihlara Valley was one of the first settlements for the Christians escaping from Roman Soldiers. Ihlara Valley holds hundreds of churches inside the volcanic rock caves. Agacalti Church, Pürenliseki Church, Sümbüllü Church, Yilanli Church, Kokar Church, Kirkdamatli Church, Karagedik Church, Direkli Church, Ala Church, Kemerli Church and Egritas Church are the most famous ones…
Red & Rose Valleys: Offering dozens of hiking trails these are the most favorite valleys in Cappadocia. These valleys lie between Goreme and Cavusin villages intertwining to eachother. Also known by the famous sunset view the valleys are offering a palette of pastel pink, yellow and orange cliffs, formed by volcanic explosion. You can also visit hidden churches and hermit-hideouts carved into the rock which dates back to the Byzantine era. The most famous attractions in Rose Valley are; Kolonlu Kilise(Columned Church), Haçlı Kilise (Church of the Cross) and the Uç Haçlı Kilise (Church of the Three Crosses)
Mustafapasa (Sinasos): Known also by it’s old name “Sinasos”, Mustafapasa is a beautiful old Greek village very close to Urgup (5km). Msutafapasa had a mixed community of Greeks and Turks till the population Exchange in 1923. That’s why there are a lot of Greek structures in the village. There are still 2 beautiful churches (Ayios Konstantinos-Elini Church & Ayios Vasilios Church) in the village which can be visited nowadays.
Cavusin: This lovely village is located between Avanos and Goreme. Main attractions you can find in the village is 2 beautiful churches; Cavusin Church and the Church of St John the Baptist.
Sobesos: Sobesos is an ancient city in Sahinefendi Village which is found quite recently (1962). This is an ancient Roman City which holds magnificient mosaics and a Roman bath.
Uchisar Castle: As you can understand from its name, this castle is located in Uchisar and one of the highest position of Cappadocia. Throughout history, the castle was always the main point of defence for the Cappadocia region. It’s offers an amazing view aswell.
Ortahisar Castle: Another high point of the region is Ortahisar Castle. Recently opened to visitors this castle also offers a beautiful view of the region.
Avanos Village: Located by the Red River Avanos village is famous with its clay and pottery making. Its a fine place to relax by the river or visit the pottery makers. Besides watching professionals work, you will also have a chance to create a pottery of your own.
Hacibektas: Hacıbektas is a holy place especially for the followers of Bektasi order of dervishes. It is founded by the Iranian philosopher and Sufi Haci Bektaş Veli. Haci Bektas Veli Museum was once a home to these dervishes. This lodge called as “dergah” is showing how the dervishes lived in those days. There are three courtyards linking three parts of this beautiful structure.
Gulsehir: Holding one of the oldest settlements Gulsehir is famous with Aciksaray (Open Palace). This Palace is a combination of ancient rock-cut caves which is located in a very unique valley. Aciksaray is famous for its mushroom shaped rock formations which can’t be found anywhere else in Cappadocia.
A city as lively as Istanbul offers many other attractions and entertainment too!
Hot Air Balloon Flight: One of the main attractions in Cappadocia is the chance to visit the region from air by the hot air balloons. This flight begins with a pick-up from your hotel about one hour before sunrise.
Turkish Night Show: The Turkish Night Show is a great way to pass a joyful evening in Cappadocia and to have a glimps of the dance traditions of various regions of Turkey, complete with traditional costumes and of course, exhilarating belly dancers.
Whirling Dervishes Show: If you prefer to pass you evening in a serenity mood Whirling dervishes will carry you in a holy place. The mystical Sufi trance movements of the Whirling Dervishes will delight your senses and take you on a spiritual journey with the live music and graceful movements.
Horseback Riding: Known also by the name “Katpatuka” which meand “The Land of Beautiful Horses”, it’s not a surprise that Cappadocia is also famous by its horses. Riding along the magical valleys on the back of a horse will definitely offer you a different experience.
Quad Bike Adventure: The unique, rugged terrain of the low valleys is perfect for ATV biking tours. Each ATV bike tour offers the best valleys around the heart of Cappadocia - with a good mix of rock formations, rolling hills and a few stops for photos along the way.
Jeep Safari: This is an adventure that takes you through ancient villages, amazing rock formations and deep ravines with spectacular scenery. You will have a chance to make several photo stops at the best locations and see the "behind the scenes" of Cappadocia.
Wine tasting: Considered to be one of the regions where the making of wine originated, nearly 7000 years ago, Turkey is number 6 in the world for wine production, with an annual production of 75 million liters. Each region of Turkey has a different climate and soil composite and offers a different tasting experience. In Cappadocia the wines are smooth, dry and delightful. Red, blush and white wines, as well as dessert wines are produced here – grape growing and harvesting is done with ancient techniques in the many small vineyards and orchards that dot the landscape.
Cappadocia has 3 big centers which can offer accommodation. Goreme is usually more touristic. If you prefer to stay with other tourists and in a walking distance to many different restaurants and bars it’s best to choose Goreme.
Urgup is best to observe the local life in Cappadocia. Many people choose to live in Cappadocia. There are many beautiful boutique hotels and it’s the best place to blend in and experince the local life.
For luxury travel and unforgettable views, Uchisar is the place to stay. There are many luxury cave hotels and restaurants in Uchisar which will offer an unforgettable experience.
There are also beautiful boutique and cave hotels in Ortahisar which is best for people who would like a silent vacation. Ortahisar, usually will be away from tourist crowds and will offer a chance to experince local village life.
Cappadocia is located at the heart of Anatolia which has been a center for handcraft over centuries. That’s why Cappadocia is also famous for many handcrafts. The most known of these are; pottery making and rug weaving.
Pottery making is coming from the Hittite era. In Avanos, you can still experience how the Hittites took red clay from old banks of red river and shaped them on kick-wheel technique. Of course you can also buy many different kinds of pottery made by the local professionals. You can even try to make one yourself and take this with you!
Another Hittite era handcraft is rug weaving. Hittites started this handcraft to warm their tents in winter. With magnificent patterns and colors, you can find many differetn kind of rugs made by different cultures in Cappadocia. You can still see how the rugs are made in Cappadocia’s carpet shops and we still have lots of government subsidized cooperatives where local ladies are educated.
This is the reason, Cappadocia is one of the best places to witness this antique art of carpet making and bringing one with you to home!
As hosted many different cultures through out the history Turkey has a very rich culture and cuisine. Turkish people enjoy meat very much and it’s a large part of our cuisine with famous kebabs but our cuisine is also very rich in vegetables and different kind of snacks so Vegetarians will also find a chance to benefit from our rich cuisine.
As Istanbul, Cappadocia also does contain many different cultures so you can find different dishes from all over the Turkey.
You should definetly try the “pottery kebab” while you’re in Cappadocia. Besides being very delicious, it has a show of its own. Basically it’s a meat and vegatable kebab cooked in pottery in a very slow way. If you intent to eat one in Cappadocia you should make a reservation beforehand to taste a real one. As it’s cooked very slowly you should make a reservation from morning for lunch and noon for dinner.
Tandoori dishes are a very important part of Cappadocia’s cuisine. Especially soups and beans cooked in tandoori made by the locals are very delicious.
As a starter dish warm houmous with pastrami is one of the tasty dishes you can find in Cappadocia.
If you will also visit non touristic places it will be best to carry some Turkish Liras with you as you may not always find an exchange center.
You can always use the banks or exchange offices to Exchange currencies but its best to use exchange offices as usually the banks give lower exchange rates. If you can’t find any exchange offices or banks around, you can always try goldsmiths. Try to exchange your currency in the week days or on Saturday as the goldsmiths and exchange offices may be closed on Sundays.
People & Language
A Turkish Phrase book or Google tranlate will help you communicate with the people at non-touristic parts of Turkey but even though they don’t speak or understand English you will find a person eagerly ready to help you at every corner.
1 inch = 2.54 centimeters / 1 centimeter = 0.3937 inches
Things to be Careful About
Some of the museums (like Goreme Open Air Museum) you’re not allowed to take photos as the mosaics are very fragile. In some museums, it is allowed to take photos without flash but it is forbidden to take photos of the military bases.
Taking photos of the local people is generally fine but in some countryside some people can be conservative. If you are in an area like that, it’s better to ask their permission before taking the photo. Even if they don’t understand your language they will understand your gestures. As most of the local people are very friendly, they also may come to you to take a photo with you.
As much as Turkish people are friendly and good willed, like in many countries we may have ill-minded people also. Don’t believe everybody or go places with them without searching or asking someone you would trust (your hotel or your travel agency for instance)
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