Cappadocia, Turkey’s Land of Fairy Chimneys

Turkey it’s an amazing country, that I  visited twice. It’s arqiteture, culture, natural wonders, food, music and dance really appeals to me.

This post is about Cappadocia a semi-arid region located in the heart of Turkey. Cappadocia is a place out of other world, it has overwhelming  landscapes that will leave a mark in our heart. While I was there, it felt like I was living in a different planet.

Was also in this region that I had one of  the most amazing experiences of my life, riding in a hot air ballon. Experience the sun rise and flying in a balloon in such an unique place is indescribable. From the air you have a different perspective of the volcanic rock formations and the ancient settlements. This  was truly a “once-in-a-lifetime” kind of experience.

To visit the region I ended up renting a car for a few days, to be free to go everywhere without worrying about public transports. The roads are pretty good, easy to navigate and well sign posted. Using public transport is possible though.

Cappadocia has plenty to do and see, the Göreme Open Air Museum, is an UNESCO-protected site from the 10th to 12th centuries, when Cappadocia was an important Byzantine religious center. Göreme itself is also incredibly beautiful, the village is half buried into the hill, with stunting stone houses. Walking around the streets is a must and also to walk to Maze Caddis to see the fresco-adorned El Nazar Kilise (Evil Eye Church) and Saklı Kilise (Hidden Church).

Red and Rose Valleys are beautiful intertwining valleys between the villages of Göreme and Çavusin that extends as far as the eye can see. The landscape here is out of other planet and great for hiking, there’re dozens of them with many hidden treasures like the Kolonlu Kilise (Columned Church); Haçlı Kilise (Church of the Cross), and the Uç Haçlı Kilise (Church of the Three Crosses).

The Monk’s Valley, Pigeon Valley and the Deviant Valley  also also great for hiking and to see the breath taken fairy chimneys and other natural rock formations.

Visit one of the  underground cities, it’s an unmissable experience, Kaymaklı is the largest example, with a labyrinth of rooms connected by tunnels that extends for eight levels. Derinkuyu is the deepest and just like Kaymaklı, was used by the early Christians to hide from attack. There are many subterranean settlements but these are the most famous.

Paşabaǧ has one of the most famous landmarks of the region the fairy chimneys. A trip to Paşabaǧ valley is easily combined with a visit to Zelve Open-Air Museum.
when I say the most popular I also mean that is kind of a tourist trap with by far to many vendors.

The village of Uçhisar is the most elevated town in Cappadocia and home to the Uçhisar Castle. It’s also  a good starting point for valley walks. Like  Pigeon Valley and White Valley .The river side town Avanos is the Mecca for pottery,  which makes it a fantastic place to purchase handmade ceramics or just watch a pottery demonstration.

Ürgüp is bigger and more developed than Göreme and Avanos and has three of the most remarkable fairy chimneys in Cappadocia, known as the “three beauties of Ürgüp” but despite that is only worth it if you are into shopping.

The village of Çavusin has the most amazing Byzantine churches, including the oldest cave church attributed to St. John the Baptist from the 5th century.

Hope you enjoy the photos, and please share your experience if you have had visited Cappadocia.

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29 thoughts on “Cappadocia, Turkey’s Land of Fairy Chimneys

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