Things To Do In Cappadocia; Cappadocia, a semi-arid region in central Turkey, is full of otherworldly natural sites, most notably the “fairy chimneys,” tall, cone-shaped rock formations clustered in Monks Valley and elsewhere. Popular for exploration are Bronze Age homes carved into valley walls by troglodytes (cave dwellers) and later used as refuges by early Christians. The 100m-deep Ihlara Canyon houses numerous rock-face churches.
Things To Do In Cappadocia
First things first, where are Cappadocia? Well, it’s literally on the middle of Turkey; the area is called Central Anatolia. The famous cities in the region are: Goreme , Urgup, Uchisar and Avanos. So, where to stay in Cappadocia?
I put this first as it best captures the history of this place. In a relatively small area you will see a lifetime’s quota of cave churches and paintings. This is one of those places you must see once, but like a suspense movie it loses its allure once you know the ending. At the Open Air Museum, you’ll find cave inhabitants were also monks and nuns. A lot of monasteries were hidden in caves. Step inside and you’ll occasionally find aging ceiling frescoes.
Visit an Underground City
There are many underground cities but these are the two most famous, most visited. Derinkuyu is the deepest (around 8 stories) and Kaymakli is the broadest. The entry fee is 20TL per person.
Hot Air Balloon Ride
Hot Air Balloon Rides in Cappadocia are a bucket list activity to try. If you had to splurge on anything, I’d suggest this. Of all the places that offer hot air balloon rides, Cappadocia is the place to do it as the land is one spectacle, while the 50+ balloons in the air offer another.
Stay In A Cave Hotel
Goreme from a distance just looks like a larger rocky hill among other rocky formations and cliff faces. As you come closer you can make out the windows dotting the sides of the cliffs and how the city buildings have actually been carved from the existing stone faces.
Cappadocia is known for its pottery and Turkey for its delicious kababs. If you are seeing for something tasty to satisfy your hunger. Having been told that you can’t leave Cappadocia without trying a testi kabab, or pottery kabab as it is more commonly known among foreigners.
The town of Avanos has been a center for pottery and craft making since the Hittite period, which makes it a fantastic place to purchase handmade ceramics. The Kizilirmak River or “Red River” runs through the old part of town. It is from this river that the reddish-brown clay is harvested, and then used in workshops throughout Avanos.
Places like Uchisar Castle are artificial, which is the extraordinary thing. The castle is a giant rock which looks like Swiss cheese and you can walk around and explore the caves. Uchisar Castle is about a 45 minute walk from Goreme or you can catch the local bus, which will take you 6-8 minutes.
Cappadocia is derived from the ancient Hittite word ‘Katpatuka’, which means “land of beautiful horses”. Today, one can explore the unique landscape of Cappadocia on a native Anatolian horse or Arab horse and visit areas where even tour buses can’t pass through. Choose between a 2- or 4-hour trail rides and traverse the many fascinating valleys and mountains, ride among apple, apricot and walnut orchards and meet local Turks as you cross ancient villages.
Shop For Rugs
Turkey is famous for its hand woven rugs a tradition that began as early at 400 B.C., but flourished during the Ottoman Empire. Turkey’s rugs, also known as Kilim, come in all colors, designs, and sizes. It can take days, weeks, months, or even years to finish a good-quality rug.
Obligate a clay pot meal
Be authentic, food is a big deal while traveling. Lucky for all of us, Turkey is a gourmet epicenter, and Cappadocia is no exception. One of the most traditional meals here is a clay pot dish. The concept is a simple one fill a ceramic pot with meat, vegetables and spices, seal it, and bake it until it’s cooked through and all the flavors are melded. The finished product is a tender stew of delicious flavors. Clay pot dishes take some time to cook, so reserving ahead is your best bet. Pots come with lamb, beef, chicken, or vegetables and are usually served with a side of rice pilaf.