Turkey is an exhilarating country that awaits exploration. From food to culture to different ethnicity of people, Turkey offers beauty, culture, history and adventure. Accurately known as the cradle of civilization, it is a nation full of evidence of past civilizations and empires.
I traveled Turkey extensively for 6 months and Cappadocia remains one of the highlights of my trip. If you have never been to Cappadocia, make it to the top of your list of must see. The amazing landscape literally transports you back to the Flintstone age of the bizarre and yet stunning natural sculptured caves, stones and mountains. Cappadocia is not a greenery place but rather plains of a mountainous desert. However, it’s not as plain as you think. No, it’s full of tall, cone-shaped, spire and tent-like rock formations. So, where do we start?
Start in Cappadocia Valley – Göreme
Let these whimsical rock formations blow your mind away! The UNESCO Göreme National Park is a wonder to behold. It’s the perfect atmosphere to go for hiking explorations or trekking expeditions through the vast National Park of volcanic rock structures. There are numerous hiking routes taking you through different rock creations such as the: Rose Valley, Zelve, Paşabağları Valley, Love Valley, Devrent, Pigeon Valley, Tahtali Valley and the Ak Tepe. Take the opportunity to explore the hewn out chapels, houses and churches as you take in your natural surroundings – the unusual outlandish networks of spires and cliffs.
Underground Cities of Nevşehir
Sounds bizarre? These underground cities were recently discovered and it is utterly mind boggling. There are several underground cities such as Kaymaklı, Derinkuyu and Mazi, each has distinct features. The 60m deep Derinkuyu, 10 floors and narrow alleyways with low doorways is an experience that you will never forget. The interconnecting chambers and tunnels make one wonder, how on earth did they create a city life underground? Where are these people now? Every floor level has a hole-like air shaft opening to the ground surface. Discover what lifestyle is like under these magnificent yet staple living conditions.
Stroll through Ihlara Valley
Ihlara Valley is a narrow volcanic canyon split by an ancient earthquake with a cool fresh spring river flowing through the gorge. This was once a hiding spot for persecuted Christians during the rule of the Byzantine Empire from the Roman soldiers. Chambers and churches were hewn out of rock consist of paintings and mosaics on the wall and floor of the caverns. The gentle quiet stream surrounded by the gigantic canyon makes a wonderful once in a lifetime afternoon stroll.
Kapuzbaşı Waterfalls in Aladağlar National Park
Kapuzbaşı Waterfalls are among Turkey’s most striking natural occurrence with seven waterfalls spurting right out from a crease of a vertical limestone cliff face. The cold cascading water is sold as spring water and it’s both refreshing and delicious. Small villages surrounding the waterfalls have several simple family-run restaurants where you can indulge in some local vegetables and fresh Turkish-style grilled fish overlooking spectacular views of Cappadocia Mountains.
Panoramic View from the Uçhisar Rock Castle
The castle is situated at the highest point of the region was always the main point of defense for Cappadocia. Unlike any traditional castle structure, from afar it looks like a mass jumble of rocks. Though it is barren inside, the fascinating chambers and architecture sing praises to the brilliancy of the ancient inhabitants. The prize of Uçhisar Rock Castle is the astonishing panoramic view over Cappadocia’s landscape. From far, you can just spot out the glacier top of Mount Erciyes. For any enthusiastic photographers, this spot is unbeatable to capture a perfect picture of Cappadocia.
More details about trips to Cappadocia can be found on website