A historical region of Turkey with exceptional natural wonders, characterized by volcanic fairy chimneys, underground cities, churches, and hot air ballooning.
Cappadocia, in the Anatolia Region of Turkey has one of the most surreal landscapes in the world. Its natural artistic splendor and humankind’s resourcefulness, has recently began attracting tourists from around the world.
Ancient volcanic eruptions blanketed the region with thick ash, which solidified into a soft rock, called tuff. The wind and rain at work left behind harder elements which formed the surreal landscapes of cones, mushrooms, pinnacles, pillars, and fairy chimneys that reaches as high as 130 feet (40 meters) into the sky.
Early Christians who sheltered here, created the rocky wonderland and network of carved caves with churches, chapels, stables, storehouses and underground cities. Tunnel complexes formed entire towns with as many as eight different stories hidden underground. Cappadocia has 36 underground cities, the deepest is Derinkuyu and the widest is Kaymakli.
The historic town of Göreme is home to the Göreme Open Air Museum complex, with more than 30 carved-rock churches and chapels having superb frescoes dating from the 9th to 12th centuries. South-west is Uçhisar Castle, a fortification carved into a large rock, with panoramic views. The Paşabağ Valley, is known for fairy chimneys and cone-shaped rock formations.
Hot-air ballooning is very popular in Cappadocia and is available in Göreme. Trekking is enjoyed in Ihlara Valley, Monastery Valley (Guzelyurt), Ürgüp and Göreme.