Friday, 26 September 2014 10:00

Cappadocia

Cappadocia is an extraordinary fusion nature's artistic beauty and mankind's resourcefulness.  As if it had been plucked out of a fairy tale, Cappadocia is one of those places that must be visited within your lifetime. Explore soaring rock formations, and discover uniquely-rippled landscapes, walking trails, mysterious underground cities and rock-cut churches.

Visiting:

There are so many amazing things to see in Cappadocia, however the main 'must-see' attractions not to be missed are are the two large open-air museums and the best of the underground cities.

  • Goreme Open Air Museum: cave churches with frescoes
  • Zelve Open Air Museum: an empty cave town with churches
  • Kaymakli Underground City: the largest underground city
  • Derinkuyu Underground City: the deepest underground city
  • Ihlara Valley: the deepest gorge of Anatolia
  • Uchisar: Roman rock-cut castle
  • Ortahisar: Roman rock-cut castle
  • Avanos: center of pottery since the Hittites
  • Pasabag: mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys, monks valley
  • Devrent: animal-shaped fairy chimneys, imagination valley
  • Hacibektas: center of Bektasi sect of Islam
  • Gulsehir: first settlements in Cappadocia
  • Forgotten Cave Churches: churches located in the valleys
  • Caravanserais: 13th century hotels on the silk road

 

Without doubt one of the best ways to see Cappadocia is to gently float above the the famous fairy chimney rock formations and rippled landscape on a hot air balloon.  Another great way to explore the area is to saddle up on horseback like the first European explorers and the Scythian nomads.  The valleys and villages of Cappadocia are also easy to explore on foot.

 

Getting There:

From Istanbul there are several daily nonstop flights from both Istanbul's Atatürk Airport (IST) and Sabiha Gökçen Airport (SAW) to Nevşehir-Kapadokya Airport (NEV) and Kayseri's Erkilet Airport (ASR) on Turkish Airlines and Pegasus Air.  Shuttle vans operated by Argeus Tourism and Rock Valley Travel can take you from both airports directly to your Cappadocian hotel.  The entire journey by air from your Istanbul hotel to your Cappadocian hotel can be done in 4 to 5 hours, if everything goes well.

A night bus from Istanbul to Cappadocia is usually the cheapest way to go (about TL85), however it's a long ride, about 730 kilometres - 10 to 12 hours.  If you can sleep pretty well on a bus then this may be the more favoured way to go as it takes you directly between the two destinations.

High-speed trains connect Istanbul with Ankara and Konya. From Konya you can continue to Cappadocia by bus or rental car. The journey by bus or car is about 232 kilometres, so around 4 hours.

You can fly into Ankara and then by bus onto Cappadocia. Quicket way from Ankara to Cappadocis is by bus.  The train takes around 5 and 1/2 hours compared to the bus which is aroung 4 and 1/2 hours.  Nevşehir Seyahat buses depart Ankara's AŞTİ main bus terminal about every two hours for Nevşehir (and vice-versa).

 

Check out some great tours below that include Cappadocia:

 

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