Going ahead with your Turkey holiday this year? Be sure to check out Cappadoccia, home to an underground city, mystical fairy chimneys, and a hospitable people that will change your perception of the Middle East.
Here’s what you should get up to in this part of the world…
1) Go on a tour on an underground city
This is a major aspect of Cappadoccia’s popularity, so you may as well get it out of the way as soon as you get settled in the area (hint: stay in a cave hotel to get into the spirit of the region from the second you arrive).
Carved out of the tufa that composes much of the local bedrock, the maze-like nature of these subterranean dwellings served to protect the Christian populace from the persecution that the Romans meted out on them in the early days of what is now the world’s biggest religion.
For this fact, it has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so be sure you don’t miss this fascinating site on your visit to Cappadoccia.
2) Visit a pottery workshop
The nature of the local soil has also made Cappadoccia a leading centre of exquisite pottery for countless generations.
The best of these artisans can be observed still plying their trade in the town of Avanos. Harvested from the moist banks of the Red River, jugs, vases, plates and various other crafts and pieces are made from the very moldable clay that is in abundance around these parts.
3) Walk amidst the fairy chimneys of Urgup
Another feature that Cappadoccia has long been famous for are the fairy chimneys that dot this valley in Turkey.
A type of rock formation that has its origins as the remnants of ancient volcanic ash and lava, only to be molded by wind and water over millions of years, these pinnacles have attracted the attention of tourists in the modern day, and were used as homes by area residents for milennia.
Three particularly striking chimneys can be found in the Urgup area, and a trail wends beneath and between them, making it a great place for an outdoor excursion during your time in this part of Turkey.
4) Go on a hot air balloon ride at dawn
By far the most sought after activity in Cappadocia, the fact that you’ll have to set your alarm on holiday shouldn’t stop you from going on a hot air balloon at dawn.
The lack of sleep and expense will be worth it, as you’ll lift off into the rapidly lightening sky with numerous other colourful lighter than air contraptions, giving you a photo opportunity that will unlike few others that you’ll come across in your life.