Destination Guides Turkey.

Cappadocia

In ancient geography, Cappadocia or Capadocia, Turkish Kapadokya (from Greek: Καππαδοκία / Kappadokía, which in turn is from the Persian: Katpatuka meaning "the land of beautiful horses" , was the name of an extensive inland district of Asia Minor (modern Turkey). The name continued to be used in western sources and in the Christian tradition throughout history and is still widely used as an international tourism concept to define a region of exceptional natural wonders characterized by fairy chimneys and a unique historical and cultural heritage. The term, as used in tourism, roughly corresponds to present-day Nevsehir Province of Turkey. It is impossible to define Cappadocias limits with any real accuracy. In the time of Herodotus, the Cappadocians are supposed to have occupied the whole region from Mount Taurus to the vicinity of the Euxine (Black Sea). Cappadocia, in this sense, was bounded in the south by the chain of Mount Taurus, to the east by the Euphrates, to the north by Pontus, and to the west vaguely by the great salt lake, Lake Tuz, in Central Anatolia. But Strabo, the only ancient author who gives any circumstantial account of the country, greatly exaggerated its dimensions. It is now believed that 400 km (249 mi) east-west by 200 km (124 mi) north-south is a more realistic appraisal of Cappadocias extension.

Ihlara Valley

Ihlara is a township with own municipality in Aksaray Province, Central Anatolia, Turkey. It is situated at about 40 km (25 mi) from the province seat of Aksaray and near the town of Guzelyurt. The township is famed for the nearby valley of the same name, Ihlara Valley, which is a 16 km (10 mi) long gorge cut into volcanic rock in the southern part of Cappadocia, following several eruptions of Mount Erciyes. Through they valley flows Melendiz Stream. What is unique about this valley is the ancient history of its inhabitants. The whole canyon is honeycombed with rock-cut underground dwellings and churches from the Byzantine period. Due that the richness of the watering possibility and its hidden form and easily to hide structure it was the first settlement place of the first Christians escaping from the Roman soldiers. In the Ihlara Valley there are hundreds of antic churches caved in the volcanic rocks. The most known churches are Agacalti Church with cross plan, Sumbullu Church, Purenliseki Church, Kokar Church, Yilanli Church, Karagedik Church, Kirkdamatli Church, Direkli Church, Ala Church, Kemerli Church and Egritas Church.

Derinkuyu Underground City

Cappadocia contains several historical underground cities, carved out of unusual geological formations formed via the eruptions of ancient volcanoes. The cities were initially inhabitted by the Hittites, then later by early Christians as hiding places. They are now archeological and tourist sites, but are not generally occupied (see Kaymakli Underground City). The latest large underground city was discovered in 2007 in Gaziemir, Guzelyurt. This city was a stopover on the Silk Road, allowing travelers and their camels to rest in safety, underground, in a "fortress" hotel equivalent to a modern hotel.

Pigeon

Being one of the major tourist attractions in Cappadocia, the Pigeon Valley, Cappadocia is visited by plenty of tourists. The idyllic atmosphere of the valley makes it a great place to see. Various trips are undertaken to the Pigeon Valley, Cappadocia. The Pigeon Valley in Cappadocia consists of plenty of pigeon houses. In ancient days, pigeons were trained in this region to deliver letters and messages which was a major mode of communication. The pigeon droppings were also used as fuel and fertilizers. Travelers come to this place to see a wide variety of architectural structures. The pigeon houses are carved in rock. The wonderful architecture constructed amidst the idyllic landscape makes it a magnificent sight. Chimneys have been craved in the rocks. The chimneys consist of caves which were used as hiding places for Christians who escaped from the Romans.

Avanos

Avanos is set on the banks of the Kizilirmak, the Red River, which gets its name from the clay that it deposits. This clay has provided Avanos with pottery for centuries and the town is still dominated by this industry despite the inroads that tourism has made in the area. The main street has numerous shops and workshops selling plain and decorated pots and plates and you can watch the potters at work using kick wheels, the design of which has remained unchanged for generations. Many of the workshops will encourage you to have a go yourself. Its harder than it looks. Avanos is a possible base for exploring Cappadocia with accommodation and services available at reasonable rates. The town has retained some of its charm and is a pleasant place to spend half a day or to stop for lunch. The town has a tourist targeted Hamam (Turkish bath) which is popular with tour groups and is also close to the Selcuk built Yellow Caravanserai, a restored Han (travellers -service station-), and the Ozkanak Underground city, a smaller version of those at Derinkuyu and Kaymakli.

Devrent Valley

Devrent Valley, which is also known as Imaginery Valley or Pink Valley does not have cave churches like the other valleys of Cappadocia. There are not any Roman castles or Roman tombs in Devrent Valley, either. Actually it was never inhabited. So what makes it so famous? The lunar landscape! Devrent Valley hides many different rock formations around 10 minutes drive from Goreme. The small fairy chimneys in the valley form a lunar landscape, or moonscape, by their strange look. The valley also has many animal shaped rocks. It looks like a sculpture zoo made by nature. Some of the most important, or the easiest seen animal shapes are camel, snake, seals, and dolphin. If you run your imagination you will find many others. It is like looking at clouds and seeing a dragon. There is even a rock pillar which looks like Virgin Mary, holding Jesus Christ.

Uc Hisar

Once upon a time, there was a unique fairyland on earth. This land was not only famous for its fairies but also for the tall rock chimneys where these fairies lived. This fairyland had the fairest and most beautiful queen who lived in a palace at the top of Uchisar Castle, which was the most splendid and highest point of the fairyland. The beautiful queen used to call all her fairies to the palace after sunset, welcome them and entertain them all night long. Eventually, after being given their daily tasks one by one, all the fairies used to leave the palace at the first light of dawn and fly out to Love Valley, Pigeon Valley, Goreme, Pasabagi, Cavusin, Avanos, Red Valley, Devrent Valley and Urgup, where most of the volcanic vents were situated. From those days on, the geological formations in these places have been known as Fairy Chimneys… Nobody knows if this fairytale is true or not, but the truth is that the terrace of Kale Konak, which is right next to Uchisar Castle at the highest part of Cappadocia, is an exclusive location from where one can visualize the routes the fairies may have taken when they flew over this magical land.