Explore centuries-old troglodyte tunnels and pink-hued rocks at Göreme National Park in Cappadocia, Turkey's crowning historical treasure, and observe hundreds of hot-air balloons ascending into the sky.
Cappadocia is a sight that must be seen to be believed. The area, which has been taken straight out of a storybook, has developed an Instagram mythology in recent years. There's something ethereal about living in this beautiful corner of Turkey, with fairy chimneys, underground settlements, the Göreme Open-Air Museum, cave hotels, and a sky sprinkled with hot-air balloons at sunset.
Cappadocia is a region known for its weird swirling volcanic-rock landscapes, which look to have been fashioned by mischievous elves. It is, however, the product of wind and water slowly eroding the granite.
The principal tourist attractions are the Cappadocian cities carved into the hillsides, the Byzantine-era rock-cut churches with magnificent frescoes, and the labyrinthine subterranean city where early Christians once hid from enemies.
Cappadocia's valleys, which are brimming with activities for both nature lovers and history buffs, are one of Turkey's top hiking and horseback riding destinations, and aerial photographs of the valleys' sinewy outlines have made the location one of the best places in the world to enjoy a hot-air balloon ride. Cappadocia is famous for its unique rock formations and amazing hot-air ballooning opportunities.
There is a list of the best things to see and do in Cappadocia.
1. Explore Göreme National Park
Göreme National Park, a Unesco World Heritage site, has an otherworldly feel about it. Perhaps it is the rock-cut sanctuaries that reveal signs of Byzantine art in the post-Iconoclastic era, or the one-of-a-kind houses, troglodyte towns, and underground cities dating back to the fourth century. The Turkish government established Göreme National Park to commemorate and conserve the valley's historical and distinctive landscapes. One of the most unusual sites in the world is the hoodoo rock towers and constructions seen throughout the rock formations. There is no denying that there is a fantastic sense here.
2. Visit Dibek Restaurant and get a testi kebab.
The Testi Kabab, also known as the Pottery Kabab, is a famous dish in Cappadocia. This Anatolian specialty is cooked for at least 4 hours in a sealed clay pot or jug to allow the meal to stew in its own juice. Before delivering the dinner, the waiter takes out the clay pot and splits it directly in front of you with a hammer.
A must-see while in Cappadocia. Dibek Restaurant is housed in a 475-year-old structure in Göreme's town center. You'll find the most incredible traditional home-cooked meals in the region here, including dishes like cassava (beef simmer) and apart (the typical Göreme village dessert). The must-try food, however, is the testi kebab (meat, chicken, or veggies cooked in a clay pot and accompanied by rice and salad).
3. Explore the cave homes of Cappadocia.
Cappadocia is well-known for its morning hot-air balloon excursions, but it is also famed for its fascinating cave houses. Former dwellings cut into rock faces may be seen all across the region, notably in Göreme National Park; populations resided in these caves until 1952. Many of them have since been converted into upscale cave hotels.
Residents in Cappadocia have literally lived underneath or in caves for ages, right up to the current day. There are a variety of causes for this, which we will discuss, but the fact is that the way humans have existed and endured in Cappadocia is as astonishing as the landscape.
4. Purchase a kilim rug
The most visible distinction between a kilim rug and a standard rug is that interlacing different colored threads manufacture kilims to form a flatweave, resulting in complex and bright motifs. You'll most likely want to take one home with you; La Maison du Kilim offers the most exquisite assortment in the neighborhood and the friendliest proprietor.
5. Marvel at Selime Monastery
The Selime Monastery, with its cathedral-sized church, carved straight into the volcanic tuff, is an astounding rock-cut monument and the greatest religious building in the Cappadocia area. Original frescoes may be found within, but some have been weathered.
The Selime Monastery, which is built straight into the rock face, is the greatest religious edifice in Cappadocia. Inside, visitors will see weather-beaten frescoes, steep staircases, secret corridors, and evidence of early civilizations. It is estimated to have originated in the eighth or ninth centuries, although it has remained dormant since the 16th.
6. Admire the setting sun from Uçhisar Castle.
Uçhisar Castle, a castle rock that looms above the area and is more than 60 meters (197 feet) tall, is a commanding sight. It boasts the greatest view position in the region and was often utilized as a sanctuary for people when enemy forces visited. Head here in the early evening to catch one of those legendary Cappadocia sunsets; those who are ready to endure the short but arduous climb up will be rewarded with a stunning vista.
Uchisar Castle was once the major point of defense for the Cappadocia region due to its location gazing over the surrounding area. Although there are now just hollow rooms within and it's a long walk to the summit, the reward is well worth the effort.
7. Discover Paşabağ
Pasabag Valley is near to Zelve Open-Air Museum and Devrent Valley, and the three valleys constitute an excellent half-day adventure. One of the greatest locations to observe the renowned fairy chimneys of Cappadocia is Paşaba. These charming rock formations have a little "tuff" on top as a result of years of erosion. A valley of fairy chimneys bursts from the earth on the route to Zelve; seek the twin- and triple-topped rock crowns as you make your way through these famous structures.
8. Butterfly Balloons will take you to the skies
Cappadocia is also well-known for its hot-air balloon rides. While numerous businesses in the region provide the chance to float over the mountains and valleys, Butterfly Balloons is the most well-known. The crew is made up of extremely experienced experts who are dedicated to providing you with the safest and most pleasurable experience imaginable. Plan your vacation around sunrise or sunset to take in the most breathtaking views.
9. Explore the Derinkuyu subterranean city
The Derinkuyu underground metropolis originally housed 20,000 people on more than eight stories of cut rock. This sophisticated underground village is considered to have served as a fortress against intruders. It is now open to the public. You may take a tour of the chapels, conference rooms, and storerooms that were used to manage this long-lost civilization.
10. Take pictures at Rose Valley
The Rose Valley, as its name indicates, is a sizable, rocky valley that stretches as far as the eye can see, allowing for the ideal photo opportunity. Look for rock-carved churches and several roads leading to little towns. Explore the circular route on foot; at the summit, you'll be amazed to find a modest cafe that is powered entirely by solar energy, apparently in the center of nowhere. Relax with a nice drink and something to eat.
Cappadocia as a whole is pleasant and gorgeous. These are required if you wish to experience the natural beauty of Cappadocia.