About Cappadocia The mysterious rock formations and underground cities of Cappadocia are perhaps the jewel in Turkey’s crown. Whole troglodyte villages, subterranean churches and fortresses have been hewn from the soft porous rock, creating a complex system of apartments, public rooms and underground interconnecting streets that once easily housed hundreds of people. The underground cities were largely used as hiding places by Hittites and early Christians and even today some are still inhabited.
The UNESCO Listed Goreme is probably the biggest attraction in Cappadocia with over 30 Byzantine rock churches covered with magnificent frescoes and open to the public. The remains of human habitats have been discovered here that date back as early as the 4th century. At the open-air museum of Zelve the remains of a monastery complex and the famous phallic-like rock formations nicknamed ‘fairy chimneys’ are the main draw. A little further out the subterranean villages of Derinkuyu and Kaymaklı are a warren of ancient houses and a highlight for many visitors.
As well as being a place of unique beauty, Cappadocia is also an excellent region for purchasing handmade carpets and the volcanic topography lends itself perfectly to adventurous activities such as mountain biking and hiking with a number of trail markers directing you on popular routes. A hot air balloon ride over this magical landscape at sunrise is highly recommended for incredible bird’s eye views across the valley.