Far from the busy streets of Istanbul and the dynamic Ankara, Turkey’s hidden jewel awaits in silence. Located in the historical region of Central Anatolia, Cappadocia is a surreal volcanic landscape of matchless beauty, where past and present seem to unify. During ancient volcanic eruptions blanketed this region, reducing the Göreme valley to ashes which later solidified into thick formations of soft rock. Centuries of wind and water eroded the surface of the valley, forming an oniric landscape of irregular cones, pillars, pinnacles, chimneys and all kinds of sinuous and hypnotic forms. A trip to Cappadocia is an introspective journey to another universe, where imagination and reality merge in perfect harmony.
The aesthetically inspiring curves of Cappadocia were once home to 20.000 people.
During the medieval era, the valleys served as a refuge for early Christians, who were strongly persecuted for their beliefs. This community carefully carved a number of underground cities, such as Kaymakli, which served as a shelter against the repression of the Roman Empire. This underground cities have vast defence networks throughout their many levels, which allowed them to protect themselves in case of a sudden attack. The christian monks also excavated extensive dwellings and monasteries, decorated with Byzantine frescoes paintings of incalculable value. This cave-chapels are still visible today as a result of the isolation of the area, and attract art enthusiasts from all over the world. Some Cappadocian dwellings have been reconverted into hostels and family homes, which offer a unique unforgettable alternative to conventional resorts.
If you are considering visiting Turkey, make sure that you plan in a couple of days to visit this Unesco Heritage Site. One of the best places to start your trip to Cappadocia is the town of Goreme,which offers a very wide range of tourist facilities and accommodation. Towns such as Nevsehir, Avanos and Urgup are also more local and secluded options, which may be preferable for more experienced travellers. All the towns named above can be easily reached by bus from Kayseri airport, although long distance buses also run from Istanbul and Ankara. In order to fully experience the wonders of the Cappadocian region, it is advisable for visitors to rent bikes, cars and scooters to access the most remote corners of the area. To visit this gorgeous and unknown side of Turkey, you must have a valid visa that can be purchased online at turkishvisa.com. The fee for a Turkey visa ranges from US$20 prior arrival to US$30 upon arrival. More detailed information about how to get a Turkish visa and other Turkey related matters can be found at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs websit. Note: More information can be found at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. U.S. citizens can contact the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey at 2525 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone: (202) 612-6700 (Turkish Embassy USA), or the Turkish Consulate Generals in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, or New York.