Cappadocia in Turkey: The Most Magical Place on Earth
Have you ever been to a place that’s picturesque and has a magical feel? If not then Cappadocia in Turkey is the right place for you to add to your bucket list.
Cappadocia is a geological oddity of honeycombed hills and towering boulders of otherworldly beauty. This region is in central Turkey and is famous for its fairytale scenery, cave dwellings, remarkable rock formations, and not to forget the hundreds of hot air balloons that soar in the sky during sunrise every morning. Cappadocia’s landscape consists of dramatic expanses of soft volcanic rock, shaped by erosion into towers, cones, valleys, and caves.
Those who wish to travel to Turkey never miss catching the beauty of Cappadocia. Here traveling by plane is the most practical way wherein you can reach Cappadocia Airport in Nevsehir. This place can be visited in all seasons of the year; thanks to the winter season which is not too cold. Visiting Cappadocia in different seasons will surely give different experiences. However visiting the place during the spring and autumn months (April, May, June, September, and October) will give a pleasant feel as the climate will be neither hot nor cold. It is also the best time for activities such as trekking and the famous ballooning. Due to its inland location and high altitude, this place has a markedly continental climate, with hot dry summers and cold snowy winters. In this region, rainfall is less and the region is largely semi-arid.
Cappadocia just looks like another planet. Sometimes weird can be truly beautiful. This weird landscape is what makes it more magical to explore. The best way to describe Cappadocia’s landscape is “Moonscape” as it just looks otherworldly.
One of the best ways to enjoy the beauty of this place is by flying over it. Not just flying, you have to experience a hot air balloon ride. They are fast becoming one of the most common travel bucket list items in the world. Each year more than half a million people come to experience hot air ballooning in Cappadocia, which makes this region the number one hot air balloon destination in the world. Soaring above the valleys and dramatic rock formations, peeking into pigeon holes and caves, and getting to float among hundred multi-colored hot air balloons would nothing be short of more spectacular.
Another quintessential thing to do in Cappadocia is to stay at one of the many cave hotels – rooms carved into mountainsides or rock pillars. These cave hotels are not only just for the rich travelers and are literally affordable by most. The best thing about such cave hotels is that the interiors stay cool and feel like a natural air conditioner. Ottoman Cave Suites in Goreme and Kale Konak Cave Hotel in Uçhisar are the top famous ones among the cave hotels, though there are still many more that offer the best hotels and are affordable at the same time. These hotels also come with complete amenities such as Hamams (Turkish baths), fast-speed internet, and modern bathrooms. Other highlights of these include rock-cut arches, walls painted with volcanic color, and panoramic terraces with views of the valley.
While being in Cappadocia, the next thing you shouldn’t forget is to wander through Goreme Open Air Museum. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that consists of classic rock-cut churches with beautiful frescoes dating back to the 10th, 11th, and 12th centuries. Plan to spend an hour to 90 minutes wandering between hollowed-out cave churches, and don’t forget to skip the “Dark Church” for seeing the preserved colorful frescoes. This Open-Air Museum sheds light on the life of early Christians. Buckle, Apple, Snake, Dark, and St. Barbara churches are amongst the main churches to visit in Goreme Museum.
Just outside of the Goreme town is the Rose Valley which is aptly named after its signature pink hue. It’s the minerals and sandstones in this landscape that gives it the pink tinge. This is a popular place for people to take wedding photos. The Rose Valley is a 4-km trekking trail where the fairy chimneys can be viewed perfectly. Rose Valley’s pink color becomes more and more evident throughout the day, peaking at sunset when the sun glows directly onto the Rose Valley giving it that fine shade of pink where many people come to witness it.
The next highlight is the Pasabag Valley that is the most popular spot in Goreme which has its epic fairy chimneys and cave dwellings. Here the fairy chimneys are truly quite amazing where large crowds always come to witness it. It can be seen often with a rock that sits atop of the chimney, ominously balancing its way through storms and heavy winds. These exist becomes of volcanic eruptions and were carved beautifully by the winds. You will also find cave dwellings which are often double and triple stories.
The Ihlara Valley is also an incredible gorge that has a stunning river running down the heart of the valley for 16km within the volcanic rock. This is located near the province of Aksaray but is still considered to be part of the southern Cappadocia region. This is a great spot for a casual easy walk amidst some peaceful leafy nature and also is a hub for cave churches which you may find along your trail. 16 of 105 churches are open to the public and there are intact paintings and carvings inside.
The Uchisar Castle is located in the small but beautiful town of Uchisar in Cappadocia. This is also one of the best viewpoints in Cappadocia and only a short drive or a small trek from the town of Goreme. The trek isn’t that tough with 100 stairs on the top but watching the sunset from the Uchisar castle will be worth the walks. With a 360-degree view, there is really a lot to view so make sure you walk around all the corners to see out over Goreme and all of the surrounding valleys.
So are you ready to visit Cappadocia in Turkey?
Pic Courtesy: google/ images are subject to copyright