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Cappadocia (Kapadokya) generously spreads before visitors an extraordinary and lavish banquet of natural wonders exceeding their wildest imagination and elegantly graced with works by the hand of man.  The region known in ancient times as Cappadocia is the setting for some of nature's most bizarre wonders.

It incorporates the provinces of Aksaray, Nevşehir, Niğde, Kayseri, and Kırşehir. For most people, the name Cappadocia suggests the towns and vicinities of Uçhisar, Göreme, Avanos, Ürgüp, Derinkuyu, Kaymaklı, and Ihlara, where, in the course of millions of years, the land has been shaped into fantastic forms. 'Fairy chimneys' that seem haunted, and cities and houses of worship that extend many meters deep into the earth are all enveloped in an atmosphere that is ethereal and unworldly.

The Cappadocia region's 'underground cities' are as amazing as they are fascinating. There are many in number, but the most extraordinary ones are located at Kaymaklı, Derinkuyu, Mazı, Özkonak, and Tatlarin. In Kırşehir province the underground cities of Mucur, Dulkadirli, İnlimurat, and Kümbetaltı are also quite impressive in their extent and layout. These were all used as shelters for great lengths of time and, having undergone restoration work, they are now open to visitors.  The Cappadocia region has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Visitors to it have an opportunity to view the distinguished examples of Seljuk and Ottoman art and architecture as well; Eğri Minaret, the Alayhan and Sultanhanı caravanserais, the Sarıhan Caravanserai, the Ürgüp Taşkınpaşa Mosque, the Sungur Bey and Alaadin Mosques are among many.

Discovering these marvels from a hot-air balloon in a voyage unique to the Cappadocian region is an experience unlike any other as you race with the doves through the sky's shades of blue and behold below the sinuous terrain extending into infinity, the enigmatic and artistically magnificent churches, and the pyramids, cones, mushrooms, and hats of the fairy chimneys.


The Hattis, followed by the Hittites, Phrygians, Persians, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks, and Ottomans were all enchanted by the allure of Cappadocia and left the imprint of their own presence here.  Important trade routes - including the illustrious Silk Road - traversed it both east and west and north and south. As a result of this heavy traffic, the region was a complex web of historical and cultural influences. Cappadocia was where different faiths and philosophies met and influenced one another. Frescoed churches and dwellings carved into the cliffs extend from Ihlara Valley, which is 40 km from Aksaray, as far as 14 kms to the town of Selime. Some of these structures can be dated back to as early as the 4th century AD. Among the many sights worth seeing are the Eğritaş, Ağaç Altı, Kokar, Yılanlı, Pürenli, Kırkdamaltı, Ala, Direkli, and Kale Manastırı churches, and Selime Cathedral. 

Because of its location, Cappadocia was an extremely critical and strategic region. As Cappadocia's trade and resources were tempting prizes, the region was frequently invaded, raided, and looted. To protect themselves from such depredations, the local inhabitants took to living in the region's caverns and grottos whose entrances could be concealed so as not to be noticed by trouble-making outsiders. Since it might be necessary to lie low for extended periods of time, these troglodytic dwellings eventually became subterranean cities that included sources of water, places to store food, wineries, and temples. Some of them date back to before the Christian era.



The splendid scene of the town of Uçhisar, seven kilometres from Nevşehir has an appeal that is irresistible. From the heights of the Uçhisar citadel, you have magnificent and unrivalled view of the whole region. 


Göreme and its environs, located ten kilometres from Nevşehir, are thought to have been used as a necropolis during Roman times by the inhabitants of Venessa (Avanos). The Göreme region is called 'belief centres'. The Göreme Open-Air Museum is where the 'educational system that unified all the ideas of Christianity' of St. Basil the Great and his brothers, was born. In the Tokalı church, the Convent of Monks and Nuns, the Chapel of St. Basil, and the Elmalı, Yılanlı, Karanlık, and Çarıklı churches the architectural details and frescoes seem as alive today as when they were new.


Ürgüp, near Göreme, is a famous city with wines, as its historical places and natural beauties. Whether your wine is served to you in a rustic earthenware pitcher or an elegant crystal goblet, it will be an experience that you'll never forget. Although some local winemakers have adopted modern techniques of wine-making, there are still many that remain faithful to the ancient and time-proven methods.


Six kilometres south of Ürgüp is Mustafapaşa (Sinasos), a town justifiably famous for its splendid stone works. The Chapel of St Basil is decorated with motifs reflecting the Iconoclastic system of thought. In Avanos, located 18 kilometres from Nevşehir, there is a tradition of pottery-making that has been alive since Hittite times.

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