Located in the central parts of Anatolia in Turkey, Cappadocia seems taken out of a dream. Before we arrived in Turkey we had only read about the local caves and seen them in documentaries. The industrious spirit of the local population should be praised as some of these caves have been converted into dwellings and entire underground cities. Nothing can compare to the enormity of what you will find here. There are an impressive number of houses, churches and hotels all carved into the very rocks around Göreme and surrounding spots.
When you walk the soil of ancient Cappadocia you literally feel like you have been transported to another world, a different planet or dimension. The local landscape looks lunar or out of a fantasy novel with the rock spires, cave dwellings and breathtaking views.
According to the locals, these amazing formations are caused by the eroding influence of rain and wind over thousands of years. These were once cooled lava plains located between the volcanic mountains Hasan, Melendiz and Erciyes which were battered by the elements. Nowadays you’ll see the remains of the ancient dwellings which were carved into the rock only to be used as an emergency shelter during invasions. This is a place where you must absolutely bring a camera along to capture this once-in-a-lifetime scene. The surreal quality of everything here shouldn’t be missed and you will want to take as many snapshots as possible – believe us when we tell you that.
There are three tours the companies covering the area offer – the Red, Blue and Green, which are well worth taking.
The Red tour covers the Dervent Valley with its famous “fairy chimneys”. These are essentially unusual, hauntingly beautiful rock spires. It is a place worth visiting and even more interesting to enjoy if you go on one of the hot-air balloon rides offered by Urgup Balloons. The prices for a ride were somewhere around 150 euros per person but they were worth every cent. The company will send a vehicle to pick you up from your place and you’ll receive your safety briefing as you witness the process of inflation. You will enjoy a wonderful, quiet time in the air as most people here take photos in reverence to the impressive landscape.
The Green tour offers a chance to explore the massive underground city of Derinkuyu. You will still spend some time at a place overlooking the fairy chimneys as part of the tour before heading there. One thing to remember however is that you will spend about 8 hours on a minibus, so keep enough water handy and know that most of your day will be spent on the tour. Derinkuyu is truly massive as it was capable of housing up to twenty thousand people. Located sixty meters below the surface, only half of the city is open to visitors so full exploration is not an option. The city is located on 13 floors and it has several large stone doors to block access from the surface. As I mentioned before, this was used as a temporary solution to avoid contact with invading enemy forces, a sort of ancient bunker complex. There was literally anything here for city living – granaries, chapels, stables, storage rooms, cellars and the like. Next comes the Ihlara valley which offers further stone dwellings and a cave church. The valley is also the product of erosion – it is a beautiful place with some really nice views.
Overall Cappadocia has a lot to offer and you will enjoy a great time here with the local food, hospitality and dramatic scenery. We hoped we’ll have a chance to come back here one day for another trip!
About The Author: Angie Harper is an avid traveler and adventurer by hobby. She quickly falls in love with new places, constantly finding inspiration and fascination behind every corner. She’s a real expert in finding the most appropriate holiday rental condo for your perfect trip.