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Destination Cappadocia Turkey

The fairy tale of nature had started million years ago with volcanoes. Then wind, rain and the temperature differences started to give shape to the region and humankind just added the meaning and the spirit on it. The region was one of the crucial sites of the Mother Goddess “Kybele” and just like a mother; Cappadocia accepted all people who sought refuge. Especially early Christians used the region as a shelter due to its natural caves and underground cities dating back to the Hittites. In this wonderland, you can see various types of natural environment, history and art. Frescoes of the cave-churches, underground cities, bird nests, valleys and fairy chimneys are the first highlights to visit but also the cave-hotels, hiking in the valleys and hot air ballooning flight are the other attractive reasons to come here. Cappadocia accepts guests in all seasons because each season changes the face of Cappadocia and with our professional help, everything will be simply “stunning”. Cappadocia accepts guests in all seasons because each season changes the face of Cappadocia and with our professional help, everything will be simply “stunning”.

DID YOU KNOW ABOUT CAPPADOCIA?

» The Goreme Open Air Museum has been a member of UNESCO World Heritage List since 1984
» The world largest number of cave churches are in Cappadocia many with frescos in-situ.
» 3 of the greatest fathers of the Christian Church, St. Basil, St. Gregory of Nazianzus, and St. Gregory of Nyssa, were all Cappadocians.
» The most famous Dragon Slayer, St. George was born in Cappadocia and the crusades spreaded his fame to Europe.
» Cappadocia region houses about 30 well-known ancient underground cities that could safely hide 100,000 people in troubled times.
» Explosion of Mt. Hasan in Cappadocia was subject to the first landscape painting in the world as a wall-painting that today can be seen in Anatolian Civilization Museum in Ankara

GÖREME OPEN AIR MUSEUM
Cappadocia's most famous attraction is the Göreme Open Air Museum, a vast monastic complex with painted cave churches carved out by Orthodox monks (1000-1200 AD). Along with rectories, dwellings, and a religious school, they formed a large monastic complex carved out of a roughly ring-shaped rock formation and decorated it with elaborate Byzantine frescoes. The site holds the region’s best collection of painted cave-churches and the frescoes’ colors still retain all their original freshness. The frescoes also unique examples of rock hewn architecture and fresco technique.

There are many churches and chapels in Goreme Open Air Museum but the most important ones are The Nunner, St. Barbara Chapel, Apple Church, St. Basil Church, Snake Church, Dark Church, Sandal Church, St. Catherine Chapel and Buckle Church. Most of them are fully painted inside with amazing Byzantine murals dating back to 900-1200 AD. Most of the frescoes have been damaged by wind, water, weather, earthquake, and shepherd boys who sought refuge in the caves and used the faces in the figures as targets for pebble attacks having been taught that images were sinful. But the beauty of the churches and their decoration still remains. 
The Goreme Open Air Museum has been a member of UNESCO World Heritage List in 1984. It was one of the first two UNESCO sites in Turkey.

KAYMAKLI UNDERGROUND CITY
Until now, it have been determined about 40 underground cities and today just six of these are open for visit. Those cities which are guessed to date back to the Bronze Age, was completed in the 8th and 7th century BC and used to be a settlement mostly in Byzantine period. In this period, increasing invasions and external threats forced local residents to built underground cities for protection and religious purposes. 
Stout rolling-stone doors prevented invaders from entering. Deep wells provided water. Wine presses, oil storage, livestock pens, cooking-places and elaborate churches were carved out of the rock so that the inhabitants could live for months underground until it was safe anymore to emerge and return to their ground-level villages.
Although Cappadocia has dozens of multi-level underground cities, the largest and most elaborate excavated cities are at Kaymaklı and Derinkuyu. Those troglodyte cities are two of the best examples of habitable underground structures. 
Scholars believe Derinkuyu was the hiding place for the first Christians who were escaping from the persecution of the Roman empire…

PAŞABAĞ
This remote section is the place where you will see the magestic fairy chimneys. Many sortes of fairy chimneys with multiple stems and caps can be noticed here. This style is totally unique to this area and you will be amazed by this natural wonder. 
But moreover, this place is called as “Monk Valley” and there’s an interesting story behind..
St. Simeon was living in seclusion near Aleppo in the 5th Century when rumours that he created miracles had started to spread. Disturbed by all the over focus on him, he began tol ive at the top of a 2m high column, and later moved to one 15m height. He only descended after then for occasions to get the food and drink brought by his disciples. 
Simeon Monks distanced themselves from the world by cutting into fairy chimneys rather than living on top of columns. They hollowed the chimneys from bottom to top to create rooms 10-15m high for hermitage..

HOT AIR BALLOONING IN CAPPADOCIA
Cappadocia is most famous with its landscape, and tremendous views. Hot air balloon flight offers you to see these beauties from the sky. It is a unique experience and one of the most exciting ways to feel the magical atmosphere of the region. 
Your journey starts very early in the morning because hot air balloons fly best in sunrise time. You will be picked up and meet with other balloon passengers (up to 12 in total) and then move to the area where the big balloons are blown by hot air. You will be witness to all the process how they blow the balloons etc.

Watching the sunrise in Cappadocia landscape will be a perfect wake-up as a daydream. This is one of the most exhilarating balloon trips in the world. Comfortable, quiet, and serene; this balloon adventure will give you the chance to peek the unbelievable scenery of the region.

You won’t feel that you are in a basket and flying with a hot air balloon. Basically, you will feel that you levitate just like in an astral travel. Winds will be your guide and lead you wherever it wants. You will feel like you are a holy-watcher who is watching the world from a different aspect.

Then, you will start recognizing the difference of the landscape appearance from the sky. Fairy chimneys, valleys, cave churches…. You will see how the power of nature continues to shape our world and you will be stunned by the view.

IHLARA VALLEY
Ihlara Valley is actually a canyon with a depth of approximately 100m and was formed by the Melendiz River thousands of years ago.14km long, 100 -150m high, the valley begins at Ihlara and ends at Selime Monastery. The valley houses more than 4000 dwellings and a hundred cave churches remaining from Byzantine period decorated with frescoes. There are numerous dwellings, churches and graves in the valley walls, some of which are connected to each other by tunnels and corridors.

The valley had been an ideal shelter for the seclusion and worship of monks, and a hideaway and defense area for local people during the times of invasion

The decorations in the churches are dated to different times from the 6th to the 13th Centuries. The churches can be divided into two groups as in Ihlara Valley and Belisirma Village. The frescoes in the churches near to Ihlara display oriental influence. Those nearer to Belisirma reflect Byzantine type decorations. The site holds about 60 small mostly semi-ruined Byzantine churches, chapels, monasteries and hermits' caves dating from the 11th to 13th centuries.

The most known Ihlara Valley churches are Ağaçaltı Church with cross plan, Sümbüllü Church, Pürenliseki Church, Kokar Church, Yilanli Church, Karagedik Church, Kirkdamatli Church, Direkli Church, Ala Church, Kemerli Church and Egritas Church.

It is very pleasant to walk through the Ihlara valley by the vineyards, poplars and pistachio trees by the sound of Melendiz River and a rich wildlife of lizards, butterflies, birds, lambs and sheep. You will be amazed by the dominating nature still secluded.

If you come from the underground cities and Güzelyurt on the day excursion, your next stop will be Ağzıkarahan Seljuk Turkish Caravansarai. Definitely worth to visit it. 

SOĞANLI VALLEY
Soğanlı Valleys in southern Cappadocia will be an amazing stop if you want to visit Cappadocian cave- churches and explore some off the beaten track. You will also witness real traditional Turkish village. 
Settlements in this area took place in the Roman period. The stone conies on the slopes of the valley were used as graveyards by the Romans and later as churches by the Byzantine. The valley was continuously inhabited since the earliest days of the Christian area. The frescoes in the churches date back to the 9th and 13th Centuries.
The major churches in the Soğanli valley are Karabas (Black Headed Church), Yilanli (Church of the Serpent), Kubbeli (Domed Church) and St. Barbara Church. The decorations it it are mostly well-preserved. Some of the churches contain inscriptions giving the exact dates of construction.
Soganli Valley exemplifies the harmony between mankind and nature. Over the centuries, men carved shelters in the cliffs and rock cones of the valley. They also used rocks provided by nature to express their religious faith and devotion to God.