What to Visit in Cappadocia

Flying in a hot-air balloon is the best way to see Cappadocia
Hot-air balloons are flying over Cappadocia at dusk

What to see in Cappadocia in 2-3 days or a week: popular attractions, famous valleys and underground cities. Best time to go, where to stay, prices 2024. How to get to Cappadocia from Istanbul or Ankara, some useful tips – in the good Time for Trip review.

Cappadocia is a historical region in Turkey located in Central Anatolia, largely within the province of Nevsehir. Now it’s widely known worldwide thanks to expressive and bizarre landscapes of natural origin.

Local “Fairy Chimneys” or rock “mushrooms” of various and sometimes very erotic forms are one of the local magnet, every year attracting millions of tourists. Each of them (at least every second) would also like to make a hot air balloon flight over such a defiantly beautiful region (this is an expensive pleasure).

Those who know a little more will certainly pay a visit to the local underground cities. Or spend a day or two seeing in Cappadocia ancient cave churches, which have preserved frescoes from the Byzantine period. Also, there are whole monastic complex – Selime – carved into local limestone rocks.

Best Time to Go

Cappadocia has a pronounced continental climate. With hot, dry summers and pretty cold, some years even snowy winters.

In the hot months of the season there is nothing to breathe sometimes! The sun literally scorches the rocks, the air temperature regularly rises to +35 °C and more

The nights are much colder even at the summer. So much that going outside in a T-shirt after the sunset you can catch a cold. That is why at least a windbreaker should be present in the suitcase of any traveler who is going to visit Cappadocia at best times of the year!

There is a shortage of vegetation: you can see in Cappadocia trees and bushes, but no forests. However, the structure of the local soil is almost ideal for growing grapes.

In Cappadocia a tourist will see a lot of different natures landscapes

And wine produced here are praised on specialized forums. Take note – bringing home such a gift from Turkey, you will earn a reputation of a very experienced traveler.

The hottest month here – August but July is not far behind in terms of hot weather. However, this does not scare away tourists – this time considered the high season here.

Therefore, for the best possible experience it’s better to shift the dates of the trip to the region to April-May. Also, it’s remarkably sunny and pretty warm in Cappadocia in September.

Not bad weather, allowing you to travel around and walk a lot, is in the region in March. And in the first half of November it is much warmer in Cappadocia than in central Europe.

It is quite cold here in December, but there is little to remind of the arrival of winter. In January it’s getting frosty in Cappadocia: the air temperature willingly drops below 0 degrees Celsius, a lot of snow falls in the valleys.

Most Interesting Places in Cappadocia

However, enough talking about the weather – let’s go back to a much more exciting topic about those mandatory attractions, only after seeing which you can reasonably say that you have visited Cappadocia.

And we will start, obviously, from Göreme, the uncrowned capital of the region.
After all, it is from this village, which, thanks to tourists, has already turned into a decent-sized city, any walking or car tours of the surrounding area usually begin.

Even hot air balloon flights over Cappadocia commence from here – you will ensure this when, completely sleepy, get into a car heading to the starting point…

Balloon flying in Cappadocia is a must-have

Göreme

The town’s only private attraction – the Open Air Museum with the ancient churches, many of which have preserved Byzantine frescoes. Perhaps the most famous construction here is the Dark Church.

Light enters it through one small window, which favorably affected the preservation of the original frescoes. The admission ticket is worth the extra money – over the sum you paid to enter the museum itself.

South of Göreme is located one of Cappadocian Love Valleys – number 2. The most world-famous for its phallic symbols Love Valley is located in the Balydere gorge, north-west of the town.

You can walk to it on your own. For example, by going along the Pigeon Valley towards Uçhisar. Then turn right, cross the road and head north, in the opposite direction

Even in Google Maps you can find the main local observation deck – Love Valley Panorama. Although, of course, in order to have enough fun with the sophisticated sculptural genius of Mother Nature, the 4-kilometer Love Valley in Cappadocia must be passed through by foot.

Meskendir Valley

is distinguished by extremely picturesque, even slightly unearthly landscapes. Most people prefer to view them from the air. But there are also enough adherents of hiking.

Fortunately, this area is landscaped and equipped with very informative signs

In the Red Valley of Cappadocia you will see the houses of the gnomes. And in the Pink one, so named because of the soft pastel shade in which the rocks are painted in daylight, there are many cave churches.

The town Chavushin is famous for its rock, which in prehistoric times was turned into a semblance of a human dormitory. It is very breathtaking to climb this hill to enjoy the surrounding scenery.

One of the lovely place you need to visit in Cappadocia is Chavusin

There are also their own “Fairy Chimneys”, not as attractive as in the Pasabag Valley, but still deserving your attention

Pasabag

is a valley of stone “mushrooms”. And if you wish, you can also walk to it from Göreme.

But there is an easier way to get there by boarding a dolmush going towards Avanos and getting off at the turn to Zelve. To the latter gravitates the valley with its own national park, Zelve Açık Hava Müzesi.

It is worth warning the driver about your intention to exit at the turn. Because otherwise you will go right to Avanos. Also, a good place, famous for its pottery workshops. But not half as exciting as the Cappadocian valleys.

The main attraction of Pasabag Valley is the church of the hermit, St. Simeon, which is located inside the three-headed “mushroom” on the height of 15 m

Other Cappadocian valleys also abound with mushroom-shaped pillars, but only in Pasabag they are two- and three-headed. In ancient times, monks settled inside these “houses”, so the second name of the area is the Monks Valley.

Devrent

Very popular around travelers, this place has a second name – the Imaginary Valley. For the obvious reason – local stone figures literally awaken the imagination.

Here everyone can see something of their own: animals and people, faces and other objects are distinguishable – any kind that your fantasy will draw. The famous landmark of the Devrent Valley is the Camel Rock.

The Camel Rock in Devrent Valley - one of the best known attractions of Cappadocia

Pigeon Valley

Uçhisar is the village famous for its rock castle (on the height of 60 m) and dovecotes. Hollowed out – of course – in the local rocks of a bizarre shape.

Why are there dovecotes here? Everything’s simple: Cappadocia has been famous for its vineyards since time immemorial, and pigeons fertilize this land.

To get to Uçhisar from Göreme, you should choose the right gorge – the Pigeon Valley.

Uçhisar, Pasabag and Imaginery Valleys, Love Valley Panorama are the core points of the Cappadocia Red Tour

Kaymakli

There are 36 underground cities in Cappadocia which were inhabited during the time of the Hittites, in the second millennium BC! The deepest and most tiered of them is Derinkuyu. But the most extensive one – Kaymakli!

Unlikely that underground cities were used for long-term habitation. But they were clearly built in order to escape during invasions

For long periods of time, numerous people and their pets could exist there. The city organization was very complex, and its inhabitants it seems constantly worked to improve the infrastructure.

Kaymakli was built under a hill and opened to visitors in 1964. The (modern) inhabitants of the village of the same name built their houses above the tunnels. And still use the most convenient places in the ancient cellars, storage rooms and stables, which they enter through from their yards.

The number of storerooms in such a small area supports the idea that many people once lived here. Archaeologists believe that there could be up to 3,500 of them

Kaymakli has low, narrow and gentle transitions. The underground city consists of 8 floors underground, but only 4 of them are open to the public.

Derinkuyu

is located 40 km from Göreme. It consists of over 600 rooms on 14 floors (8 are open to the public), the total depth of occurrence is approximately 85 meters. It was assumed, apparently, complete autonomy.

Derinkuyu is the especially interesting sight of Cappadocia

There are common areas: stables, cellars, warehouses, refectories, churches, wineries, water tanks. A lot of ventilation ducts are also provided – not everyone of them come to the surface to protect the inhabitants from poisoning.

Also there were created balanced moving stone doors. Quickly blocking corridors in the case of an attack.

Derinkuyu was opened to visitors in 1965. But until now, just about half of all premises in total are available for exploration.

If you will solve the issue of transport (to get to this underground city is better by car), then you can visit Derinkuyu on your own. But most foreign travelers reasonably choose the easiest way, paying around € 60-70 for an organized excursion from Göreme.

Derinkuyu, Ihlara Valley and Selime Monastery – main points of the local Green Tour

Where to Stay

Most travelers visiting Cappadocia choose as their base hotel in Göreme. Fortunately, there are many of accommodations there. And some of the local hotels will satisfy the aspirations of even the demanding people.

Extremely popular but not so cheap (about € 150 per night in September) Elite Cave Suites. A wonderful cave hotel with a good location and helpful staff.

Not bad and Cappadocia Caves Hotel. Sometimes a little less expensive and obviously deserved a rating of 8.8!

Hotel Prices in Göreme in Sept, 2024
Level Hotel Distance, m Price, €
Cheap Adventure Inn Cappadocia 350 60
Mid-Range Vezir Cave Suites 200 115
Exclusive Secret Hill Cave Suites 150 245

How to Get

Cappadocia has good transport accessibility. The Kayseri Airport – main in the region – is connected to many Turkish cities by regular flights.

However, you can’t get directly from this air hub to Göreme (except by taxi) – first you have to get to the Kayseri bus station. Therefore, many local hotels organize transfers for guests – for some money, of course.

You can also easily get to Cappadocia by car from Istanbul, not being overtired on the road!

The capital of the province, the city Nevsehir, is connected by regular bus service (9-10 hours on the way) to Antalya and Alanya. There is no problem to reach Cappadocia from Ankara, the capital of Turkey.

In addition, sightseeing tours to the region are offered in any more or less resort town in Turkey. And their prices aren’t so high!

© Goodtimefortrip.com

About STen 184 Articles
Traveling is like a life: the further you go, the more understand. I am not a writer or a journalist, but believe that my real & reach experience gained on trips can be useful. The whole Europe and Turkey are enough for me so far... Spent a lot of time in Turkey, lived in Italy and Spain, visited France and the Czech Republic, Greece and Hungary, now I am exploring Montenegro)

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*