Cappadocia, inscribed on the World Heritage List, is recognized as one of the most beautiful destinations not just in Turkey but in the world at large. Let’s take a look at what magical places lies in the vast valleys, underground cities and engraved in the rocks ıof Cappadocia.
The Güllüdere Valley, located between Göreme and Çavuşin, is home to numerous churches, monuments and living quarters. The 4-kilometer long trekking trail is home to some of the finest views of the famous fairy chimneys.
As the name suggests, Güvercinlik (Pigeon) Valley, is home to a great number of pigeons. You can observe the pigeons nesting in the carved stone facades. This valley is also has a 4,100-meter long trekking trail.
Popular trekking 5600-meter trails Zemi Valley, Güllüdere and Güvercinlik Valley, are located on the Ürgüp-Nevşehir. Make sure to visit Sarnıç (The Cistern), Saklı, El Nazar and Göründere Church.
This 4900-meter long valley is a nice walking trail, a popular spot for hot balloon tours and is a great place to watch the sunset.
Just 5 kilometers from the city center lies Uçhisar. Uçhisar situated at the tallest point of Cappadocia provides incredible panoramic views of the surrounding Ürgüp, Ortahisar, İbrahimpaşa, Kızılçukur, Göreme, Avanos, Çavuşin, Çat and Erciyes areas from the Uçhisar Castle. This is also, like Aşk Valley, one of the best spots to watch the sunset.
Avanos, famous for pottery making, is home to manifold interesting places. You can explore Paşabağ, Devrent Valley, Çavuşin Village, and Güray Museum when you are not at ceramic workshops.
Paşabağ is close to the Goreme Open Air Museum and Zelve Open Air Museum. Also known as the Valley of the priests, Paşabağ was commonly used by the Christian clergy for seclusion and refuge over history and became an important religious center for Christians centuries ago. Explore traces of past in the Valley and interesting capped fairy chimney formations.
In Devrent Valley, you will see a large number of fairy chimnies that resemble animals and human shapes and the famous camel figure fairy chimney of Cappadocia is also in this region. While you are here, visit the fairy chimney of the Virgin Mary, which looks like a nun with her hands open.
Çavuşin village, located 2 kilometers from Goreme, is one of the oldest settlements in Cappadocia. The Church of St. John the Baptist, the oldest structure in the village dates back to the 5th century, where Christian dervishes and their communities lived.
Visitors travel far and wide to visit Güray Museum, the world's first and only underground ceramic museum, that displays the rich cultural accumulation of Cappadocia over thousands of years. At the museum, you can learn the historical development of pottery and ceramic art and participate in pottery making courses.
Üç Güzeller (The Three Beauties), is a must-see sight and symbol of Cappadocia, a formation of two small and one large fairy chimnies.
Ortahisar, a pristine local village living in Cappadocia, consists of houses carved into Tuff rock and its surroundings. Apart from these structures, you must see the Churches of Tavşanlı, Sarıca, Cambazlı, Harim, Balkan Creek, Ortahisar Castle and the Hallaç Dere on your visit.
Consisting of three valleys built on steep slopes, Zelve is the densest region of the pointed fairy chimneys. The Zelve, home to an open-air museum, is also one of the most important settlements and religious centers of Christians in the 9th and 13th centuries. In Zelve, visit the churches and monasteries of Balıklı, Üzümlü, and Geyikli.
Mustafapaşa is a region of Ürgüp that was once inhabited by Christians. Therefore, it is home to a large number of churches and chapels. The Church of St. George, St. Vasilios, St. Stefanos, Constantine and The Church of Helena and the Chapel of St. Basil are prominent places to visit in Mustafapaşa.
The settlement of Ihlara Valley dates back to the 4th century and is home to interesting structures which are a source of much fascination. The Melendiz River winds through the valley, stretching 14 kilometers long at an average of 200 meters deep canyon. This unique landscape is further accentuated by the surrounding churches carved into rocks.
This Underground City descends 20 meters below ground level, spans 8 floors and can hold up to 5000 people. It dates back to 3000 BC and is known to have been built by the Hittites. The city, carved into tuff rocks comprises of has rooms and halls connected by corridors, water cellars, kitchens, and churches.
Although it has a total area of 4 square kilometers, only 2.5 square kilometers and 8 floors of the Underground City, is accessible to visitors. The Derinkuyu Underground City has enough space to accommodate a large community. Apart from the kitchens, rooms, and lounges, the areas that distinguish this underground city from the others are the confessional and the baptismal pool sections. It is amazing to imagine how people lived in underground cities before they moved above the land.