• Cappadocia, Turkey
  • Overview

    A place like no other, the Cappadocia region in central Turkey is a landscape of surreal beauty with lunar-like topography, towering boulders, strange rock formations, deep canyons and valleys filled with myriad Byzantine-era churches, monasteries and entire ancient villages hewn out of soft volcanic rock together with deep underground cave systems of labyrinthine cities.

    The region’s semi-arid landscape has been sculpted by erosion over millennia and is truly astounding. Awe-inspiring sights include rose-hued valleys, deep gorges and remarkable cone-shaped rock formations known locally as fairy chimneys together with centuries old rock-carved churches, enchanting monasteries and troglodyte settlements, with some of the historic cave dwellings transformed into delightful boutique hotels. Unique to the area are hundreds of hidden underground cities dating back to the 7th century. The sunsets and sunrises are spectacular, and a fleet of colourful hot air balloons seen drifting across the valleys at dawn is a fabulous sight. Towns worthy of note include Urgup with its beautiful stone houses and its close proximity to vineyards, Avanos famed for its pottery, charming Goreme close to the open air museum and Uchisar with its castle perched high on a rock affording stunning views.

    Attractions

    This magical wonderland is brimming with must see sights including the Goreme Open Air Museum, a monastic complex and UNESCO World Heritage site of monasteries, chapels and exquisitely frescoed rock-cut churches; the stunning Dark Church is famed for its particularly well-preserved frescoes. For many visitors a hot air balloon flight at sunrise is one of the highlights and a chance to take in the truly captivating landscape from above. There are numerous ancient subterranean cities that once served as sanctuaries for persecuted early Christians, with Derninkuyu and Kaymakli two of the most impressive; the latter extending a full eight levels below ground, four of which are open to visitors. The pink-hued Rose Valley offers some of the finest of the fairy chimneys as well as a little-visited collection of fabulous rock-carved churches. There are hiking trails to follow through the peaceful Ihlara Valley where the deep gorge holds rock-hewn tombs, shelters, chapels and churches dating from 6th to 13th century. Pasabag Valley is known for its hollowed out mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys that once sheltered hermit monks, and Red Valley is great for hiking and sunsets.

    When to visit

    July and August are hot and dry and peak season for visitors. Spring is idyllic and brings wildflowers and warm days. Although do note, early April can be windy so may affect the availability of balloon flights. As with spring, autumn is less busy with visitors and the best time for hiking, with pleasant weather and little rain. Winter is cold and there is a good chance of snow.

  • Tours & Cruises
  • Hotels
 

A place like no other, the Cappadocia region in central Turkey is a landscape of surreal beauty with lunar-like topography, towering boulders, strange rock formations, deep canyons and valleys filled with myriad Byzantine-era churches, monasteries and entire ancient villages hewn out of soft volcanic rock together with deep underground cave systems of labyrinthine cities.

The region’s semi-arid landscape has been sculpted by erosion over millennia and is truly astounding. Awe-inspiring sights include rose-hued valleys, deep gorges and remarkable cone-shaped rock formations known locally as fairy chimneys together with centuries old rock-carved churches, enchanting monasteries and troglodyte settlements, with some of the historic cave dwellings transformed into delightful boutique hotels. Unique to the area are hundreds of hidden underground cities dating back to the 7th century. The sunsets and sunrises are spectacular, and a fleet of colourful hot air balloons seen drifting across the valleys at dawn is a fabulous sight. Towns worthy of note include Urgup with its beautiful stone houses and its close proximity to vineyards, Avanos famed for its pottery, charming Goreme close to the open air museum and Uchisar with its castle perched high on a rock affording stunning views.

Attractions

This magical wonderland is brimming with must see sights including the Goreme Open Air Museum, a monastic complex and UNESCO World Heritage site of monasteries, chapels and exquisitely frescoed rock-cut churches; the stunning Dark Church is famed for its particularly well-preserved frescoes. For many visitors a hot air balloon flight at sunrise is one of the highlights and a chance to take in the truly captivating landscape from above. There are numerous ancient subterranean cities that once served as sanctuaries for persecuted early Christians, with Derninkuyu and Kaymakli two of the most impressive; the latter extending a full eight levels below ground, four of which are open to visitors. The pink-hued Rose Valley offers some of the finest of the fairy chimneys as well as a little-visited collection of fabulous rock-carved churches. There are hiking trails to follow through the peaceful Ihlara Valley where the deep gorge holds rock-hewn tombs, shelters, chapels and churches dating from 6th to 13th century. Pasabag Valley is known for its hollowed out mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys that once sheltered hermit monks, and Red Valley is great for hiking and sunsets.

When to visit

July and August are hot and dry and peak season for visitors. Spring is idyllic and brings wildflowers and warm days. Although do note, early April can be windy so may affect the availability of balloon flights. As with spring, autumn is less busy with visitors and the best time for hiking, with pleasant weather and little rain. Winter is cold and there is a good chance of snow.

Local Information

Language:
Turkish
Currency:
Turkish lira
Local time:
GMT + 3 hours
Local airport:
Nevsehir Kapadokya Airport
Flight time:
6 hours 15 minutes

Weather

40

30

20

10

0

J F M A M J J A S O N D
3 6 10 16 20 24 28 28 24 18 11 6
Average daily hours of sun

Featured hotels

Argos in Cappadocia

4 star superior boutique

Occupying a former cave monastery and a collection of old stone houses interconnected by subterranean tunnels, Argos in Cappadocia boasts fantastic views over the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia’s Pigeon Valley where hot air balloons drift across the valley each morning as the sun rises.

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Featured hotels

Argos in Cappadocia

4 star superior boutique

Occupying a former cave monastery and a collection of old stone houses interconnected by subterranean tunnels, Argos in Cappadocia boasts fantastic views over the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia’s Pigeon Valley where hot air balloons drift across the valley each morning as the sun rises.

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Local Information

Language:
Turkish
Currency:
Turkish lira
Local time:
GMT + 3 hours
Local airport:
Nevsehir Kapadokya Airport
Flight time:
6 hours 15 minutes

Weather

40

30

20

10

0

J F M A M J J A S O N D
3 6 10 16 20 24 28 28 24 18 11 6
Average daily hours of sun

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