Not many places can present a wide variety of things to do and places to see, but Cappadocia can. Situated in the central Anatolian region of Turkey, its moonlike landscape makes it one of the quirkiest destinations in the world.
Mentioned in the Bible, it was a pivotal player in the spread of early Christianity and these days is one of the most visited regions of Turkey after Istanbul and Antalya. From activities under the ground to getting up high in the air, there is not a shortage of number of things to do.
Fun Things to do in Cappadocia
A hot air balloon trip is the most popular activity. Passengers arrive early in the morning for a pre-flight breakfast and then gather in small, wicker baskets to take off for a sky-high trip over the lunar landscape that was formed thousands of years ago by now dormant volcanos. Such is the popularity of this excursion, up to 20 hot air balloons can be seen floating against a backdrop of the sun rising and most travel guide photos of Cappadocia feature the balloons.
From high in the sky to under the ground, another interesting feature of Cappadocia is the underground cities. Many have speculated they were built by aliens but historians insist they were built by communities such as the Hittites in 1200 BC. Designed so a full community could exist for many months underground, their purpose was protection against invading forces. Rooms include the prayer chapel, kitchens, animal storage and a place to store the dead. Two popular underground cities to visit include Derinkuyu and Kaymakli.
Caves are another landscape feature that is abundant in Cappadocia. Indeed cave hotels do a roaring trade because they have been renovated to provide modern amenities, while keeping in line with building laws to maintain their original and authentic appearance.
Aside from sleeping in a cave for the night, explore ancient cave churches displaying marvellously intact frescoes, depicting scenes from the Bible. The most popular collection is the UNESCO World heritage site of Goreme Open Air Museum that includes churches and monasteries.
The unique landscape prompts many to explore the area further by booking guided horse riding excursions, or hiring a 4 wheeler quad bike. A cheaper version of this is bicycling, but enthusiastic trekkers insist that “on foot” is the ideal way to learn about Cappadocia. Valleys to explore using any of the methods above include Love, Red, Rose and Honey.
The small town of Avanos sits on the banks of the red river running through Cappadocia. For many centuries, locals have collected clay from the river beds and produced master pieces of pottery to be sold all over Turkey. To accommodate visitors, most open up their workshops so that novice pottery enthusiasts can sit at the old-fashioned wheel to craft their own piece. Be warned though because it is not as easy as it looks!
Read about our wide range of tours to Cappadocia on our Turkey Tour package page.
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