PLACES TO VISIT IN CAPPADOCIA
With many places and valleys to visit that takes more than a month; Cappadocia is the area where Mother Nature painstakingly worked miracles that defy imagination and where the living elements of 10 million years of history, culture, art and the society are inextricably linked. Known as the 'Land of Beautiful Running Horses”, marvelous fairy chimneys and rock churches, the region covers an area of 4000 km2 and incorporates the provinces of Aksaray, Nevsehir, Nigde, Kirsehir & Kayseri while many people only think of the towns and vicinities of Uchisar, Goreme, Avanos, Urgup, underground cities and the Ihlara Valley. The fertile soil rich in minerals as the result of volcanic activities in the past concealed valleys and easily carved soft tufa that keeps the inside temperature almost constant attracted virtually every tribe here since very early times. However, Cappadocia is well known with Christian settlements when they took shelter in the region 2000 years ago escaping from the Roman persecution. Due to its importance for the rebirth of Christianity, it is one of the most important biblical places in the world. Cavusin Village was a center of Pilgrimage dedicated to St. John the Baptist.
Hints about a day in fairyland: You can start your day with a hot air balloon ride as first light of the day hits the beautiful and baffling landscape, continue with a visit to Goreme Open Air Museum to see the cave-churches and adore the frescoes of early Christian art, push your imagination to the limit in an underground city, meet the locals and have your well-deserved scrumptious lunch at their house. Feel like a Cappadocian Hittite, imagining yourself 4000 years ago by sitting back at a potter's wheel. Take a hike in one of the numerous hidden breathtaking valleys and leaving the rest of this inspiring for the next day... Well, you have enjoyed the “moonscape” terrain all day and created precious memories along each and every step but there's one more experience that no one should miss; close this day with a wine tasting at the glorious sunset of the region as the colors shift by minute and light and shadow game seems heavenly...
If you are still thirsty for knowledge and experience, you will be recommended to see the Whirling Dervishes Ceremony at which you will transform to a whole new level of consciousness and love as the softness of the serene Sufi music and divine compassion in the air engulfs you.
Konya is located in Central Turkey and is the largest province in terms of land area. The city is also important for its historical aspect as St. Paul visited here and later Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi settled here and gained great importance throughout Selcuk and Ottoman reigns. He produced his world famous masterpiece Masnavi here and is the father of the”Mevlevi” sect.
Hattusa: One of the many UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Turkey which was the capital of the Hittite Empire. The ancient site was set in the loop of Red River which provided them with the highly plastic and also decorative red clay that was used to produce both religious and daily objects. The ruins of the city were discovered in 1906 and today it's well worth to visit the site which is in very good condition and the rock shrine at Yazilikaya (writings carved into rock), Grand Temple, Citadel, Lion's Gate, King's Gate and city walls are remarkable.
HIGHLIGHTS OF CAPPADOCIA
- Goreme Open Air Museum is one of the must-see places with numerous rock-cut churches, refectories, and some small daily buildings. Many of the churches have medieval Christian art which played a significant role in the European Renaissance.
- Uchisar Rock Castle is the highest place in the region, was used as a watchtower and as a dwelling site. Today it is a favorite panoramic spot to watch the scenery and take beautiful pictures.
- Underground Cities are beyond words, a must-see to understand how it should feel to live meters deep under the ground for weeks or maybe for months with the relatively limited supply of life necessities. The exact date and number are unknown, but we see those were used earliest by the Hittites I the written history.
- It is the land of the Cappadocian Fathers; Basil the Great; Bishop of Caesarea (Kayseri), Gregory of Nyssa, later Patriarch of Constantinople; Gregory of Nazianzus and St. Paul who lived in the 4th century and made key contributions to the doctrine of the Trinity.
- Hot Air Balloon Flight; is one of the most popular activities in the region; they take off early in the morning, so you greet the first sunlight together with the birds and soon flying over the incredible landscape becomes a fantastic experience.
- Ihlara Valley is deep cut canyon near the city of Aksaray where Byzantine monks practiced their prayers and studies in well hidden peaceful rock-cut churches which also they painted and decorated themselves with religious scenes.
Below is a list of some of the best places to visit in Cappadocia for inspiration. For a better understanding, easy navigation and to get the most of this extraordinary region, we would highly recommend travelers to consider Private Tours in the area and surroundings.