Arriving in Cappadocia is like entering the Lord of the Rings landscape. The surrounding rocks are rolled in smooth regular curves like a cake frost. Walking from Goreme, in the epicenter of the region, you cross slopes that shine with the scarcity of vines. The elderly and women double the load of firewood on the goat paths.
Beyond the busy gardens in the fall, you will find yourself in the fields of giant petrified toads, which rise above the crystal sky. Cappadocia’s famous “Fabulous Chimneys” is the work of the ultimate sculptor: Mother Nature. Time has destroyed this volcanic relief in a lunar view, a topographical whim.
Man followed in the footsteps of nature and built houses out of these rocky cones. Some have been upgraded as luxury hotels, so book a cave room and live like the old ones (bathrooms optional). Walk around the valleys and discover hundreds of churches, chapels and monasteries carved out of stone. At the entrance to the dark staircase, you will meet the faces of saints adorning the walls, arches and columns carved by local Christians 700–30000 years ago.
o Walking with a balloon. Stare at the blue sky and look at the magical landscape.
o Stay in the cave! Unleash your inner troglodyte and check out one of the cave hotels in the region.
Navigate the Ihlara Valley. Walk along the edge of this natural abyss and you will see a lush ribbon, a green oasis that runs through a winding rocky desert. Hike to the depths and you will meet Byzantine churches carved out of the rock walls.
o Gorem Museum in the open air. Spend some time in this huge Christian complex for a walk in the ruins, take a walk and stand out in the sun as you discover the cool, dark interior painted with frescoes from old churches.
o Sightseeing of an underground city. Deep in the dusty soil of Cappadocia are the ancient cities, the huge ammunition of rabbits, dozens of stories in the depths that offered refuge to the people from the time of the Hittites to the rise of the Turks.
When to go: Spring and Autumn. Mid-April to early June and September to October are the best times to avoid the intense summer heat and crowds. If it snows in the winter, this place shines, shines and the more it captures it.
How long: At least three days to see the main events, or one week to really lose yourself in the landscape.
Planning: There are excellent tour operators who can help you organize your trip if you do not have your own transport but make sure they are not going to your destination carpet and tableware stores. Allow your free time to flow voluntarily.
Internal Information: This is not all churches. The Cappadocia landscape makes it a great place for outdoor activities and here is an increasing amount of money from hiking to mountain biking, horseback riding to white water rafting.
Middle Earth Travel – Cappadocia specialist, especially good for walking. http://www.middleearthtravel.com
Tel. +90 384 271 25 59. Gaferli Mah. Cevizler Sok. No: 20 50180 Goreme, Turkey.
Kapadokya Balloons – a company that piloted balloons in Cappadocia. http://www.kapadokyaballoons.com
Tel. +90 (0) 384. 271 2442 TR-50180 Nevsehir, Turkey