Cappadocia with is rock formations, rippled landscapes, splendid walking trails, mysterious underground cities and rock-cut churches is one of those rare places that must be experienced at least once in a lifetime. Hot-air balloon tours are one of the main activities here.
TOP 8 PLACES TO VISIT
1.GOREME OPEN-AIR MUSEUM
As one of Turkey’s top highlights the monastery cluster of rock-cut churches and monk-cells that hold fabulous frescoes is today a UNESCO-protected site in Göreme. The most important churches and chapels are the Elmalı Kilise, with its Ascension fresco above the door; the Azize Barbara Şapeli, with its red-ochre interior decoration; Yılanlı Kilise, with its wall-paintings of St. George and interesting fresco of the hermetic hermaphrodite St. Onuphrius; the stunning and superbly restored frescoes of the Karanlık Kilise; and the cavernous Tokalı Kilise, with its dazzling wall-paintings that cover the entire barrel-vaulted chamber.
2.DERINKUYU UNDERGROUND CITY
The underground shelter is the deepest City in Cappadocia’s. There is a cavernous chapel area and many living and storage areas to explore in this below-ground maze. The Derinkuyu’s ingenious ventilation shaft system can alsa be seen.
3.RED AND ROSE VALLEYS
Rolling and rippling rock faces arc out across the countryside between Goreme and Cavusin in a palette of pastel pink, yellow, and orange cliffs, formed by volcanic explosion and millennia of wind and water erosion. Lush orchards and vegetable plots between the cliffs is still tended by local farmers, while carved into the rock are hidden churches and hermit-hideouts. Highlighted attractions are the Kolonlu Kilise; Haçlı Kilise and Uç Haçlı Kilise. There are dozens of hiking trails for the more adventurer visitors.
The two Byzantine churches is the main attractions in the dinky village. The Cavusin Church with a stunning interior of frescoes is at the entrance into the town. In the old village center, after hiking high up on the ridge above the tumble of derelict houses, is the Church of St. John the Baptist. This is thought to be the oldest church in Cappadocia, and its basilica-like proportions and fat columns are an impressive sight.
The Museum of Seljuk Civilisation with a beautifully curated collection of artifacts that ranges from textiles and jewelry to ceramics and stonework is one of the attractions in Kayseri. Other highlights is the Seljuk, Ottoman Museums and Kayseri's Archaeological Museum. Mount Erciyes is the highest mountain and during winter the ski slopes is high on the list for entertainment.
6.ESKI GUMUSLER MONASTERY
This rock-church has some very impressive frescoes and paintings date from the 11th century and include the Annunciation and the Virgin Mary with baby Jesus flanked by the Archangels Gabriel and Michael. The recently renovated tunnels can be visit within the complex.
The bustling provincial town with its cobblestone roads main attractions is pottery. Along the main road is potter workshops and shops, and many of their owners are happy to let you watch them work or have a go at creating a simple pot yourself. Guray Cerami Museum celebrates this pottery heritage with an astonishing collection of ceramics from across Turkey. Underneath the workshops is a series of carved caves – they are worth a visit.
This is a pilgrimage center for the followers of the Bektaşı order of dervishes. The museum is a place of worship with many interesting exhibits about the faith and the tomb of Haci Bektaş Veli's.
OTHER PLACES TO SEE
The best way to get around is by minibus, car, motorcycle and taxi.
The best time to visit is from March to June when the weather is moderate and the days a long.