The region of Cappadocia in eastern Turkey is known for its unusual conical structures called “fairy chimneys”. or “stone mushrooms,” centuries-old underground cities and early Christian churches carved into the rocks. Turkish tourism authorities expect the number of foreign tourists to rise sharply in 2022. The signs are clear: Cappadocia welcomed 54 percent more guests in the first quarter of 2022 than in the same period a year earlier.
Cappadocia was famous in antiquity for its topography dating back millions of years, when the African and Asian tectonic plates created a unique landscape unparalleled on planet Earth.
It is said that the best way to view the scenery of Cappadocia — it's a balloon ride. Colorful hot air balloons are launched around five o'clock in the morning from the village of Goreme and offer tourists stunning views of Pigeon Valley, Zemi Valley, Love Valley and Pasabag Monks Valley, as well as the famous chimneys and other bizarre rock formations.
The best choice — stay in one of the many cave hotels, ranging from simple to five-star. The rooms, carved into the rock, combine history with the luxury of modern amenities.
The Goreme Open Air Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a complex of churches with frescoes carved into the rock that commemorate the former inhabitants of the region, including the Assyrians, Hittites, Phrygians, Hellenes, Romans, Byzantines, the first Christians up to the arrival Islam. Magic chimney “Three Beauties” in Urgup — one of the most photographed places in the region. The 18th century Church of Saints Constantine and Helena in the town of Mustafapasa was built during the reign of Sultan Ahmet I. Ortahisar Castle — the largest magic pipe in Cappadocia — a striking citadel carved into the rock.
In Cappadocia, multi-level settlements were built over the centuries, completely carved into the rocks. They date back to the 7th and 8th centuries BC. The underground cities of Kaymakli, Derinkuyu, Ozkonak, Mazi and Tatlarin reveal the secrets of the life of their inhabitants — rock tunnels connect dozens of dwellings, places of worship and storage.
Like the cuisine of any other region of Turkey, Cappadocian cuisine has been shaped by the region's cultural traditions and local seasonal products. Menemen egg dish is complemented by fragrant Turkish tea. Apricot ragout, clay pot kebabs, saffron rice — these are must-haves, as are the local wines made from centuries-old vines.
Capadocia's dreamlike landscape makes it a popular destination for weddings and honeymoons. Romantic nights in the caves, wine on the terrace at sunset, hot air balloons and Turkish baths — an unforgettable romance.
Cappadocia is just over an hour away from Istanbul and is a “must see” destination. for many tourists coming to this area of Turkey.