Cappadocia – the Grand Canyon of Turkey

Cappadocia is an area in Central Anatolia in Turkey known for its moon-like landscapes, underground cities, cave churches and houses carved in stone.

The Cappadocia relief is the result of the volcanic eruptions which have occurred in Erciyes, Hasandag and Gulludag transforming the area in a tableland formed only by volcanic eruption. This was only the start. Together, the volcanic eruption, the wind and the erosion of the Kizilirmak river transformed the area into the natural beauty we see nowadays. A natural wonder has occurred during this transformation, the chimney rocks. The area is best known for the fact that Cappadocia was the place where one of the first Christian settlements was placed. The first Christians, who had escaped from the persecution of the Roman Empire in the 2nd century B.C. came to the Cappadocia over the Antakya and Kayseri, and they settled there. So, if you decide to come to Cappadocia let us be a guide and let’s see some of the unique places that this area is hiding.

Goreme is a city in the old Cappadocia. To be more explicit Goreme is in Nevsehir province from central Anatolia. Goreme city is always ready to greet tourists, and although it cannot offer too much it is very well administered. Many coffee shops and restaurants are welcoming the tourists with great views, excellent food, great Turkish coffee and more. Some of the restaurant and coffee places are actually carved in stone, offering to the tourists the chance to see how it was in an actual Cappadocian house. The biggest attraction point in Goreme is the Goreme National Park. It is considered to be the birthplace of Christianity in Europe. Goreme National Park is a monastic complex with lot of churches carved in stone and original fresco inside the churches. The Goreme Open Air Museum has been a member of UNESCO World Heritage List since 1984, and was one of the first two UNESCO sites in Turkey.

Uçhisar is the place where you can admire the natural citadel of Cappadocia. A fortress with many rooms, stairs and secret passages carved in stone which are simply amazing. Uçhisar has many hotels, pensions, rental houses but most of the tourists that come in this are going to see the Uçhisar Citadel. Uchisar is situated at the highest point in Cappadocia, on the Nevsehir-Goreme road, just 5 km from Goreme. If you go on top of the  Uçhisar citadel you will have an astonishing panorama of the Cappadocian region. So, Uçhisar is a place that you don’t have to miss it.

If you are in Cappadocia make sure that you don’t miss the famous balloon ride. It will be an amazing experience that you will never forget. There are many local companies in the area which offer balloon rides. If you wake up very early in the morning and you look up at the sky, you will see over 40+ balloons. All the companies which offer balloon rides are professional ones. They pick you up from where you stay doesn’t matter if they have to go 50 km, and they will bring you to the deployment site, where you are welcomed with a Turkish breakfast. After breakfast they check if everyone has warm clothes because the ride can be chilly even if it is summer. After a 1 hour flight you will land, and at the landing site you are welcomed with champagne and turkish sweets. At the end of this amazing experience you receive a diploma.

Now in the end will go to an underground city called Kymakli. In the period when Christians came in Cappadocia to escape the Romans, they started to build underground cities. With the fear of going out they built storage areas underground,  wineries, kitchens, special ventilation systems. The underground city from Kymakli has 8 floors underground but only 4 are opened to the public.