Cave suite at Esbelli Evi,
Panoramic view from
Kale Konak Inn, Uçhisar.
Cappadocia, Turkey is the
historic area of central
by the towns of
Hacıbektaş, Aksaray, Niğde and Kayseri (map). It was known as Cappadocia in
ancient times, and is still called Kapadokya informally
Turkey's most visually striking
region, especially the "moonscape" area
around the towns of Ürgüp, Göreme, Uçhisar, Avanos and Mustafapaşa
(Sinasos), where erosion has
formed caves, clefts, pinnacles, "fairy
chimneys" and sensuous folds
in the soft volcanic rock.
The Bible's New Testament tells
of Cappadocia, but
in fact this part of central
Anatolia has been important since Hittite times,
long before the time of Jesus.
to get there from: Istanbul, Selçuk/Ephesus, Pamukkale, Antalya, Ankara.
activities here are visiting the
historic painted cave churches of
the many monastic valleys (especially
Valley and Zelve
in a hot-air
balloon at dawn above
the incredible landscape, hiking the
volcanic valleys (especially the Rose
Valley [Güllüdere]), and
spending the night in a comfortable
cave room with all the
Here are the highlights of what to see and do in Cappadocia.
Here's the full
and restaurant picture.
Here are the best guided tours of the region.
the volcanic landscape can appear
inhospitable, the mineral-rich
soil is excellent for growing vegetables and fruits,
making Cappadocia a rich agricultural
region. It has always been one of Anatolia's
prime grape-growing areas, and still
boasts many productive vineyards and wineries.
Here's a list
of the towns and major sights of
a list of good Cappadocian
travel agencies that
can arrange guided
tours, car rentals, car-and-driver, flights,
and any other services you may want.
an excellent full-day
drive to the surprising underground
cities at Derinkuyu and
the formerly Ottoman-Greek
mountain town of Güzelyurt
before taking a hike of several
hours in the Ihlara
may also want to spend a half-day
hiking the less-visited Soğanlı
Valleys of southern
Cappadocia, south of Mustafapaşa.
great excursion is to the Byzantine Iconoclastic rock-hewn
monastery at Eski
Gümüşler near Niğde.
to Cappadocia easily
by bus from
anywhere in Turkey. Here's information
on traveling to Cappadocia from Istanbul,
İzmir/Ephesus, Pamukkale and Ankara,
and here's a region
map. For travel
times and distances, see
the pages for Kayseri, Nevşehir or Ürgüp.
here for maps of Ankara,
Cappadocia & Central Anatolia.
—by Tom Brosnahan