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Welcome to Cappadocia, the amazing wonderland right in the middle of Turkey.
In an extraordinary meeting of nature's artistic splendor 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.
Located just one hour away from Istanbul or Izmir by plane, adding this wonder of nature & man to your Turkey Itinerary couldn't be easier.
WHERE IS CAPPADOCIA?
Rich in history going back to Hittite times (+4000 years) and once a province of the Roman Empire, Cappadocia is now the sprawling area of central Turkey which lies between Aksaray in the west, Kayseri in the east and Nigde in the south. Modern Cappadocia is an incredible place, criss-crossed with valleys and dotted with dramatic rock formations. Whatever your expectations or travel style, it's impossible to go home disappointed.
Goreme and the Cappadocia region is easily accessible from all parts of Turkey. Once here you can easily comfortably explore all the highlights and the hidden gems that this area is known for. By far the best introduction to Cappadocia is gently floating above the rippled landscape in a hot air balloon. Known world-wide as one of the best places to fly hot air balloons, you will glide just above orchards, between the famous fairy chimney rock formations and up and over the rippled ravines. Alternatively, saddle up and travel like the first European explorers and the Scythian nomads on horseback through the many trails and valleys. The valleys and villages of Cappadocia are also easy to explore on foot. We offer several guided hiking tours as well as daily tours(private and group) to see the highlights of the region.
HOW CAPPADOCIA CAME INTO BEING
Thousands of years ago a group of ancient volcanoes, Mount Erciyes, Mount Hasan and Mount Melendiz, spewed out layer upon layer of thick tuff which blanketed the countryside for miles around. Over the centuries the wind and rain worked their magic on the soft rock, carving out spectacular gorges and leaving behind the dramatic pinnacles of rock - the 'fairy chimneys' - that have created the Cappadocian moonscape.
But Cappadocia has always been much more than its dramatic scenery. Humans, too, have left their unique mark on the region, carving cave storerooms, cave stables, cave houses and even entire underground cities out of the rock. To this day many of the soaring pinnacles are still inhabited and many of the rock-cut storerooms are still stuffed with grapes, lemons, potatoes and flat bread waiting for the winter.
Long, long ago Cappadocia was inhabited by Christians who also carved thousands of cave churches, chapels and monasteries out of the rock. Many of these churches were decorated with frescoes of medieval saints whose ghostly images still gaze down from the walls. In the 21st century these ancient churches make some of the most remarkable sights for visitors.
THE FAIRY CHIMNEYS
In the days before tourism local people called the strange rock cones that surrounded them kales, or 'castles'. Nowadays these amazing structures are usually calledperibacalari, or 'fairy chimneys'. They come in an extraordinary range of shapes and sizes but most are tall and phallic-shaped with a cap of harder stone that protects the softer rock underneath from erosion. Eventually these caps fall off, whereupon the wind and rain start to whittle away the cone until eventually it, too, collapses.