Ürgüp, Göreme, and Avanos
This region is a mighty land that was formed by lava, erupted by 3 volcanoes called Erciyes, Hasan Dağı, and Güllüdağ, and was shaped by the wind and rain for millions of years. In 4th century A.D., Christians came to the region and the real beauty of these settlements, the showcase of Cappadocia, is revealed after this era. With the oppression on the people increased, this land enabled Christian community to take shelter, pray and live as they want; churches, monasteries, and houses were carved in the soft tuff layer. These extraordinary carved buildings come together with naturally shaped “Fairy Chimneys” and reveal an incredible landscape. Today, still the buildings, carved by people for centuries to make houses, continue to be used as hotels and restaurants.
Kaymaklı and Derinkuyu Underground Cities
One of the most special places of Cappadocia is underground cities. These are incredible buildings formed by the combination of cells and tunnels dug by local people under their houses to be protected from enemy raids. These cities, some of which are as big as to host 30.000 people, are one of the most impressive structures made by the human. The cities are combined with hundreds of rooms, halls, and corridors that are designed to misdirect, to trap and to confuse the enemy who enters. Underground cities with small bedrooms in which only 1-2 people can fit, large halls, cellars and storehouses, ventilation systems and wells provided people to survive for weeks and sometimes for moths away from their enemies.
The first settlement in Ihlara Valley is known to be founded in the 4th century. The valley, which is shaped by Melendiz River creating 14 kilometers long and 100-200 meters deep canyon, and the stone carved churches in it reached today. The valley, one of the first places that come to mind when you speak of Cappadocia, is located in Ihlara, Güzelyurt.
Winemaking tradition of Cappadocia, continued for generation and became a cultural treasure today, still enchants people. The people who grow grapes in their own vineyards process them in their own facilities sustain an amazing craft. White and red wines of the region are made with the best quality wine grapes of Anatolia; Kalecikkarası, Öküzgözü, Emir, Narince, and Dimrit.
Uçhisar, the highest point of Cappadocia, is located in 5 km distance from the city center. The town and Uçhisar Castle which was named after the town, known as the gate of Cappadocia, are on the hill where the most beautiful panoramic view of Cappadocia can be seen. This is one of the places to watch the sunset.
İbrahim Pasha the Grand Vizier is an Ottoman Pasha who laid the foundation of present-day Nevşehir with the construction plans he made himself. The most important building in the village, where bridges, inns, bath houses, madrasahs, and mosques are built, is Damat İbrahim Pasha social complex. Kurşunlu Mosque, a structure in a yard surrounded by high and thick walls, is known as İbrahim Pasha Mosque.
Güvercinlik (Dovecot) Valley, a 4100 meters long trekking valley extending from Uçhisar to Göreme, is named after doves kept in nests carved in the valley, called dovecots. It is a unique region to watch doves and enjoy the landscape.
Hot Air Balloon Tours
Hot air balloon tours that became the showcase of Cappadocia are for those who want to see the bird eye view of the extraordinary landscape below. This unique journey starts at dawn and covers flight programs offered in different categories. It is a golden opportunity to enjoy both calm air and a nature’s wonder earth at the same time.
Potteries and Galleries
Pottery, one of the oldest craftsmanship of the region, means transformation of clay into a piece of art by skilled hands. While it is not certainly known how humanity discovered pottery, the general opinion is that the discovery of soil hardens when cooked on fire is accidental. Today, workshops and galleries, where precious pots and earthenware are presented, are waiting for visitors.