ftnNEWS would like to present you a unique vacation idea here in Turkey: Cappadocia Region. Located on the central Anatolia plateau within a volcanic landscape sculpted by erosion to form a succession of mountain ridges, valleys and pinnacles known as “fairy chimneys” or hoodoos, Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It covers the region between the cities of Nevşehir, Ürgüp and Avanos, the sites of Karain, Karlık, Yeşilöz, Soğanlı and the subterranean cities of Kaymaklı and Derinkuyu.
While geographic events are forming fairy chimneys, during the historical period, humans had carried the signs of thousand years old civilizations with carving houses and churches within these earth pillars and decorating them with frisks.
Göreme was inhabited as early as the Hittite era, circa 1800 to 1200 B.C. and later sat uncomfortably on the boundary between rival empires; first the Greeks and Persians and later the Byzantine Greeks and a host of rivals. This precarious political position meant that residents needed hiding places—and found them by tunneling into the rock itself.
The site became a religious refuge during the early days of Christianity. By the fourth century Christians fleeing Rome’s persecution had arrived in some numbers and established monastic communities here. The monks excavated extensive dwellings and monasteries and created Byzantine frescoed paintings in cave chapels beginning in the seventh century, which endure in well-preserved isolation to this day.
Traditional Cappadocian houses and dovecotes carved into stones are showing the uniqueness of the region. These houses are constructed on the feet of the mountain via rocks or cut stones. Rock, which is the only construction material of the region, as it is very soft after quarry due to the structure of the region, can be easily processed but after contact with air it hardens and turns into a very strong construction material. Due to being plentiful and easy to process of the used material, regional unique masonry is developed and turned into an architectural tradition. Materials of neither courtyard nor house doors is wood. Upper parts of the doors built with arches are decorated with stylized ivy or rosette motifs.
We strongly recommend you to stay in one of the cave hotels which are the specialty of the region. There are also many accommodation options in Ürgüp, Göreme, Üçhisar and Avanos towns for every budget of traveler.
Cappadocia & wines
Wines have played an important role in Turkey since times immemorial and Cappadocia was one of the first wine-producing areas. The best grapes grown here are the white Narince and Emir and the red Bogazkere, Öküzgözü and Kalecik Karası. These Turkish wines are winning awards and continue to attract more and more world-wide attention. Check out the food and wine tasting tours in Cappadocia.
Due to the very low population density which leads to limited public transportation, and spread out nature of the sites, you may want to consider either renting a car or hiring a tour package.
How to Get There
The fastest and most comfortable way of reaching Cappadocia is using the airway. There are two main airports that you can use to reach Cappadocia. One of them is Kayseri Erkilet Airport (ASR) located in Kayseri and nearly one hour driving to the center of Cappadocia region. Turkish Airlines, Pegasus Airlines and Onur Air operate several direct (nonstop) flights from Istanbul airports to Kayseri Erkilet Airport. There are also daily flights from Izmir into Kayseri via Istanbul. It's easy to arrange a transfer or shuttle bus from Kayseri Airport to Cappadocia.
The second one is Nevşehir Kapadokya Airport (NAV), which is located in Gülşehir town of Nevşehir Province. Turkish Airlines and Pegasus Airlines operate direct (nonstop) flight from Istanbul to Nevsehir Kapadokya Airport.
Most of the bus companies have bus services to Nevsehir and Göreme. By bus:
Istanbul - 12 hours
Ankara - 5 hours
Bursa - 11 hours
Izmir - 12 hours
Konya - 4 hours
Antalya - 9 hours
Çanakkale - 17 hours
Kayseri is on a busy railway route. It is possible to find suitable trains to Kayseri from almost all the train stations of Turkey. From Kayseri, you can take bus to go to Göreme.