Cappadocia forever, magical land of mysteries

As a native Cappadocian, I want to introduce my region and give you some practical guidelines and ideas to travel this region. Firstly, you must know what these words stand for.

Zorhan Mokoele | TDO local expert from South Africa


By Fatihilhan

I believe Turkey is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. I am from the Cappadocia Region of Turkey, which is famous for its so-called ‘fairy chimneys’, strange looking rock formations. I like very much trekking in rocky valleys of this region and exploring its splendid nature. Along with that, I have been to many splendid parts of Turkey. I would like to share all of these experiences with you in this blog and introduce my country.

a Turkey based traveler

I want to give little information on Cappadocia before I proceed with my writing. Cappadocia is the name of a region. In this region, there are provinces of Turkey like Nevşehir, Kayseri, Aksaray and Niğde. In fact, Cappadocia is not an official name. It comes from Persian and means ‘the land of beautiful horses”. Cappadocia is renowned for fairy chimneys, rock formation formed as result of eruption of nearby volcanoes, now called Mount Erciyes and Mount Hasan, and abrasion of rocks by wind and floods in time. Cappadocia is also famous as it was a home and a sanctuary for early Christians from oppressive Romans.

How can I come to Cappadocia?
To come to Cappadocia, first, you must fly to Istanbul. There are two airports in Cappadocia: Kayseri Erkilet Airport and Nevşehir Kapadokya Airport. There are daily flights from İstanbul to these airports. Tourists usually choose the hotels in Ürgüp, Göreme, Uçhisar, Avanos, Ortahisar or Mustafapaşa. There are usually free shuttles arranged by your flight company (ask them if there is) to these places. Or, if you have contacted with a local travel agency, they will welcome you at the airport.

Where should I stay?
Cave hotels are highly recommended but at the same time more expensive than other hotels. They may cost you 150-200€ per night. You can find many cave hotels in Ürgüp, Uçhisar, Göreme and Ortahisar. There are also luxurious 4-star hotels. Your last alternative can be boutique hotels which are far less expensive.

Open Air Museums
Göreme Open Air Museum
This museum, in fact, was the religious center of early Christians. They built churches, monasteries, religious schools and facilities for living here. Churches built here are embellished with well-preserved frescoes portraying the life of Christ and scenes from the Bible. The churches in the museum are Dark Church. Çarıklı Church, Apple Church, Snake Church and Buckle Church.

Zelve Open Air Museum
It is an old town curved into rock. It is fascinating to see that people once led their lives in houses and facilities carved into rock. You can see churches with frescoes- but not as good as the ones in the Göreme museum- such as Üzümlü Church and Balıklı Church here as well.

Churches and Monasteries
Kılıclar Church and Virgin Marry Church are near Göreme. Çavuşin Church and Saint John Church are near Çavuşin. There is a very beautiful church in Derinkuyu. And, you can see Selime Monastery in Ihlara Valley.

Underground Cities
The most famous underground cities are Derinkuyu and Kaymaklı underground cities. Özkonak, Tatlarin, Mazı and Özlüce underground cities are worth seeing. Along with these, the recently – discovered underground city in Nevşehir, which is still under excavation, will be a good alternative to see in the future.

You can watch the splendid scenery of fairy chimneys and go trekking in these valleys.
- Ihlara Valley
- Devrent Valley
- Rose Valley
- Love Valley
- Pigeon Valley
- White Valley

Different and Crazy Ways of Touring in Cappadocia
Instead of touring on a bus or in a car, you can add flavor to your travel in Cappadocia by different kinds of tours. Of course, don’t miss taking a balloon tour to watch Cappadocia from the sky. Here are some ideas for you.
- Touring on horseback
- Touring by bikes or motorbikes
- Joining a jeep safari
- Hiking and trekking within fairy chimneys.