Cappadocia, with traditional villages and communities scattered around a unique landscape of “fairy chimneys,” is one of the highlights of any trip to Turkey. Eroded rock formations, ancient underground cities and fresco-covered churches in caves make up this region’s otherworldly topography. Visit Urgup and Goreme, where homes, churches, stores, hotels and restaurants create a fascinating and slightly surreal moonscape. Many of these structures are literally carved from conical mounds or caves.
Cappadocia also offers interesting shopping. In Urgup, Ortahisar and Goreme there are impressive rugs, while the region surrounding Avanos is well known for pottery and ceramics. One of the most exciting ways to see Cappadocia is from a hot air balloon in the summertime.
Activities while in Cappadocia
> Private Tour of Goreme
Your tour begins by visiting the Goreme Open Air Museum, Cappadocia's most famous attraction, a complex of several painted cave-churches carved out by Orthodox monks between 900 and 1200 A.D. The paintings and decoration represent the flowering of a uniquely Cappadocian artistic style. Afterward, you will visit the small villages of Cavusin and Ortahisar, admiring their rock-cut dwellings and stone houses that have long since been abandoned. After the tour you will be transferred back to your hotel.
> Private Tour of Kaymakli Underground City
Begin your tour by visiting the Kaymakli Underground City, which was originally carved out of a rock hill by the Hittites nearly four thousand years ago. This incredible site was then expanded by the Assyrians, Persians and Romans as each conquered the region. After the tour you are transferred back to your hotel.
> Hot Air Balloon Ride
Enjoy a magical morning admiring the dramatic landscape of Cappadocia! You will be collected from your hotels roughly one hour before sunrise and taken to the Hot Air Balloon base, where tea, coffee and cookies are served, and you get a chance to meet your fellow passengers. You then go to the take off field designated for that day. The balloon will be ready and waiting for you. Following a safety briefing from your pilot, you climb into the baskets and take off.
During the flight the balloon rises to altitudes of several hundred meters to give you a good view of all that there is around, but mostly it drifts through the valleys and canyons and around the fairy chimneys, performing contour flying. This sort of balloon flight in Cappadocia is the only like it in the whole world. The actual flight time is between 50 to 65 minutes.
On landing, there is a traditional celebration party with some champagne and cakes, and every passenger is given a personalized commemorative flight certificate. You are then taken back to your hotel. The whole excursion takes about 3 hours from pick up to drop off. Therefore if you wish to go on a sightseeing tour during the day, you are back in time to join the tour.
> Private Tour of Cappadocia Region
Your tour of the Cappadocia Region will begin with a visit to Uchisar. The natural rock citadel is the highest point in Cappadocia and as its center, is an ideal spot for viewing the region. Continue to Soganli Valley, an area that has been continuously inhabited since the earliest days of the Christian era. Churches date back to the 9th to 13th centuries. Soganli, like other valleys in Cappadocia, exemplifies the harmony between man and nature. Over the centuries men carved shelters for themselves in the cliffs and rock cones of the valley. In Soganli, for the first time the exterior surfaces of some cones were carved to form unique churches with high drums and domes. Your tour will continue to the Ihlara Valley. The valley is a 16 km long gorge cut into volcanic rock. Through it flows the Melendiz Stream. This valley is famous for its ancient inhabitants which can be witnessed through rock-cut underground dwellings and churches from the Byzantine period.
Weather In Cappadocia
Top things to see and do in Cappadocia
> Goreme National Park
> Goreme Open-Air Museum
> Pigeon Valley
> Zelve Monastery
> Özkonak Underground City
> Derinkuyu Underground City
> Uchisar Castle
> Kaymakli Underground City
Main Airport in Cappadocia
> Kayseri Erkilet Airport Airport code ASR
Current Date/Time in Cappadocia