CAPPADOCIA INTRODUCTION

CAPPADOCIA INTRODUCTION

 

Travel to the land of a stark lunar landscape and beautiful horses

Mysterious open-air sculptures carved by Mother Nature's chisel. The natural land formations and huge expanses of silence are just a part of the mystery of the region.

In an extraordinary meeting of nature's artistic splendour 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.

The common descriptions of Cappadocia really just tap-dance around the subject. There are few places on earth where you can get a good night's sleep in a cave, and Cappadocia is one of them. Besides ridiculously romantic primitive surroundings, you can expect traditionally Greek/Anatolian single-vaulted rooms with utilitarian niches cut into the rock. Because of the multilevel character of the rock, most hotels are terraced around open patios with fantastic views of the valley or of local village life.

Nobody knows for certain whom the original inhabitants of the region were, or who first hollowed out shelters in the soft rock of these sheltered ravines and odd chimneys. But as a largely barren area, central Cappadocia was bypassed by most armies, making it a perfect refuge for the early Christians following in the footsteps of St. Paul, who established the first Christian colonies here. 
As an incubator for Christian philosophy, the monasteries, cave dwellings, and feats of underground engineering are a testament to human ingenuity. Cliff walls of the valleys are riddled with cavities that on closer inspection turn out to be centuries-old dwellings or chapels decorated with colourful frescoes and biblical images.

Cappadocian soil is extremely fertile, and a general tour of the region will reveal numerous vineyards. Famous for its local wines, Cappadocia is a major producer; many of the Şarap Evi (wine house) have wine tasting in the evenings.

BOOK TOURS IN CAPPADOCIA

People & Heritage - in ancient geography, Cappadocia, Turkish Kapadokya, was the name of the extensive inland district of Asia Minor. The name is widely used to define a region of exceptional natural wonders characterised by fairy chimneys and a unique historical and cultural heritage… more

People & Nature - tradition says that the name Cappadocia was derived from Persian Katpatuka, which means the land of beautiful horses. This vast area of plains, valleys and mountains … for thousand years was a crossroad of migrating tribes and trade routes… more

Fairy Chimneys & Underground Cities - Cappadocia is full of otherworldly natural sites, most notably the “fairy chimneys,” tall, cone-shaped rock formations, Bronze Age homes carved into valley walls by troglodytes (cave dwellers) and later used as refuges by early Christians ... more

Hot Air Balloon Flight (standard flight 40-60 minutes, basket capacity 24-28 people) - Every flight is a wonderful adventure as you float majestically over this surreal topography feeling the stillness of the world, and the distant sound of villages waking up beneath your sunrise pass... more

Hot Balloon Flight (comfort flight 40-60 minutes, basket capacity 12-16 people) - Sometimes, flying low through this extraordinary landscape you may even find yourself picking apricots from the treetops. Without doubt, this is some of the best hot air ballooning in the world ... more

Hot Balloon Flight (Deluxe flight 90-120 minutes, basket capacity 8-11 people) - Discover the stunning landscape of the Cappadocia region from a hot-air balloon! Admire Cappadocia beautiful scenery of tall, volcanic rock spires and high plateaus from the air. Toast to your unforgettable experience with a glass of Champagne during the post-flight celebration and receive a souvenir medal ... more

REGIONS AND SITES OF CAPPADOCIA

Cappadocia covers the region between the cities of Nevşehir, Ürgüp and Avanos, the sites of Karain, Karlık, Yeşilöz, Soğanlı and the subterranean cities of Kaymaklı and Derinkuyu. One hundred square miles with more than 200 underground villages and tunnel towns complete with hidden passages, secret rooms and ancient temples and a remarkably storied history of each new civilisation building on the work of the last, make Cappadocia one of the world's most striking and largest cave-dwelling regions of the world. 
Standing 1,000 metres above sea level, the Cappadocia relief is a high plateau, pierced by volcanic peaks that create a visually stunning landscape, which includes dramatic expanses of rock, shaped, into towers, cones, valleys, and caves. From a distance, Cappadocia appears like a deserted land, however, with closer examination, it is possible to spot the small, winding paths and beautifully-carved homes scattered within the unique land formations. 
Although the area has been extensively used and modified by man for centuries, the resulting landscape is one of harmony and consideration of the intrinsic values of the natural landforms. But nowhere else is the ingeniousness of the ancient architecture more visible than in the nearby subterranean cities of Derinkuyu and Kaymakli.

 

Immense underground labyrinths, home to tens of thousands of people; multiple levels reaching deep into the earth; low, twisting passages leading to rooms stocked with treasure. 
The stuff of fantasy adventures? No! Millions people have already visited these underground cities, and you can too… more 



♦ Underground City of Derinkuyu - the largest & deepest excavated subterranean city, which could house up to 20.000 people
♦ Kaymakli Underground City - the next largest excavated subterranean city, which could house up to 5.000 people

 

 

Open-air Museums, Valleys & Sites of Cappadocia

♦ Underground City of Derinkuyu - the largest & deepest excavated subterranean city, which could house up to 20.000 people 
♦ Underground City of Kaymakli - the next largest excavated subterranean city, which could house up to 5.000 people 
♦ Göreme National Park & Open-air Museum - cave churches with frescoes 

♦ Zelve Valley & Open-air Museum - an empty cave town with churches 
♦ Paşabağ (Monk Valley) - mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys 
♦ Ihlara Valley - the deepest gorge of Anatolia 
♦ Devrent Valley (Imagination Valley) - animal-shaped fairy chimneys 
♦ Uchisar Castle - A rock-cut castle. You’ll see it driving back and forth 
♦ Ortahisar Castle - Troglodyte village with rock-cut castle 
♦ Sobessos -  The only late-Roman/early-Byzantine settlement found in Cappadocia, mosaic pavements, Roman baths 
♦ Avanos Town - Town of pottery & craftsmanship 
♦ Hacibektaş Town - Centre of Bektasi sect of Islam 
♦ Gülşehir Town - First settlements in Cappadocia 
♦ Caravanserais - Inns, «caravan palaces» on camel trains through Asia Minor


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