With its incredible landscapes, ancient rockcarved churches and underground cities, cave hotels, activities like hot-air ballooning and hiking and delicious local food and wine, the Cappadocia region in Turkey’s heartland in central Anatolia offers visitors a one-of-a-kind travel experience.
Cappadocia’s striking, otherworldly landscapes are like no other place in the world, even featuring as a backdrop in a Star Wars ﬁlm. Cappadocia is formed at the centre of a once volcanic region and millions of years ago two large volcanoes poured lava and volcanic ash across the landscape. Over time, the ash solidiﬁed into soft rock that was later eroded by wind and water, sculpting the sensual curves of the Cappadocian landscape and forming the pinnacles, plateaus and peaks now known as ‘fairy chimneys’.
Today Cappadocia is Turkey’s most visually striking region. The area is also rich in culture and history: Early Christians settled in Cappadocia to practice their religion in peace. St Paul visited here, and many sought the solitude of its lonely valleys ﬁlled with caves. Millions of visitors come from around the world to tour the Göreme Open-Air Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site home to dozens of medieval cave churches decorated with colourful frescoes. Zelve, Uçhisar and the town of Avanos are other not to be missed sights – also don’t miss the underground cities, vast labyrinths of tunnels, caves and passages reaching deep into the earth.
In recent years, Cappadocia has also become one of Turkey’s top destinations for boutique cave hotels – as well as an increasingly sophisticated restaurant and wine culture – indeed, Cappadocia is said to be where wine-making ﬁrst originated over 6000 years ago thanks to its fertile volcanic soil. You’ll also be spoilt for choice with activities such as hot-air ballooning, hiking, cross-golf, horse-riding and biking tours through the endless valleys.
Cappadocia is easily reached via the region’s two airports, Kayseri’s Erkilet International Airport and Nevsehir Airport. Whether one is looking for a romantic vacation spot or an active holiday for the whole family, Cappadocia’s unique blend of scenery, culture and adventure is certain to impress.