Cappadocia

Cappadocia is famous for its otherworldly landscapes, with rock formations that emerged from a geological process that started 65 millions years ago when volcanic eruptions blanketed the region in thick ash, which later solidified into a soft rock called ‘tuff’. This soft rock layer was then eroded by the natural forces of wind and water to form stunning rock formations soaring as high as 130 feet into the sky that are often referred to as ‘fairy chimneys.’ In addition to its otherworldly landscapes, the region is famous for beautifully decorated, fresco-adorned rock-cut churches from the Byzantine era, villages that are hewn into the cliffsides, and over 200 underground cities which are thought to have been established by the Phoenicians in the 8th-7th century BC, then enlarged by early Christians during the Roman Empire.

A hot-air balloon ride that provides a birds eye view of this lunar-like landscape is an absolute must. Visitors can also go hiking on the many hiking trails in the region, visit wineries and wine cellars, shop for handicrafts, marvel at the fascinating cavern architecture and mid-Byzantine era religious art at the Göreme Open-Air Museum and Ihlara Valley, or explore the vast underground cities of Kaymakli and Derinkuyu, which are believed to have once housed as many as 20,000 people and their food stores and livestock.

Autumn and Spring are the best time to visit, as Cappadocia can get very hot in the summer, and cold in the winter, although the snow-covered landscape looks even more magical in the winters.


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