Why Cappadocia should be on your bucket list

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Anyone who has ever visited Turkey will tell you what an amazing country it is. It offers breathtaking monuments, delicious food, fascinating sceneries and…Cappadocia! This place that has no comparison in the world will stay in your heart forever. Read further and find out why Cappadocia should be on your bucket list!

Zuzana looking at Devrent Valley
Zuzana looking at Devrent Valley

Cappadocia is a region in Central Turkey. Because of its particular geologic and historic features it is becoming more and more popular with tourists. You are certainly familiar with its unique landscape, which includes romantic valleys and rock in all the shapes that you can imagine. These strange formations were created by vulcanic activities. In the past people built the whole cities inside the rocks and cliffs.

Surprisingly, you will find the presence of Byzantine Christians inside the cave churches that are truly impressive. Make sure you have at least one week to explore one of the most beautiful regions we have ever visited!

Now let’s get down to business and start with all the reasons why Cappadocia should be on your bucket list.

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It is easy to get there

Cappadocia is in general very well connected with all the Turkish important cities. There is an airport in Kayseri which is super close to all the important attractions. You can fly there from Istanbul and then take a shuttle bus from the airport.

For those who do not want to spend too much time flying there are also regular buses and trains. There is also a third option which is an organized trip. We are not into this kind of travelling but after a lot of consideration we decided to use the services of a travel agency. We voted for this option for a simple reason: we just didn’t want to miss anything important!

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The best time to visit is in spring and autumn

Cappadocia View
Cappadocia View

The best period to visit this beautiful region is definitely spring and autumn for several reasons. The temperatures are mild and you don’t have to expect any weather caprices. We chose to go in May and the weather was simply perfect. It was very warm but not excessively hot and it was not raining at all.

In these two seasons you will also manage to avoid huge crowds of people at the main tourist spots. However, if you are a fan of skiing you can also go there in winter and enjoy one of the ski resorts in the area.

The history breathes all around you

Cappadocia used to be one of the most important regions of Turkey and its size was much bigger in the past. Nowadays it basically refers to the valleys of Goreme and Urgup. Before visiting make sure you study a little about its history as you will find it useful at the tourist sights.

It was in the 4th century BC, under the ruler Ariarathes IV, that Cappadocia came into contact with the Roman Empire and later Christianity. You will have the possibility to visit several underground cities built by early Christians. The most famous one is definitely Kaymakli Underground City. These cities were used as a hiding place. In order to protect themselves from trespassers, Christians placed a lot of sophisticated traps around the city.

Ortahisar - Turkish flag
Ortahisar – Turkish flag

Another important community to form the history of Cappadocia were Armenians. Their presence was due to their military abilities at the beginning but their number increased after the Byzantine campaigns in Cappadocia. In the 11th century Turkish clans started to spread their influence in the area and in the 15th century it fell under the Ottoman Empire (later Turkey).

It is full of breathtaking spots

Now let’s get serious. The main reason why Cappadocia should be on your bucket list are the spots and the scenery. You probably won’t be able to see all of them during one visit so we want to suggest the most beautiful ones:

  • Ortahisar: this town is truly magical. The first thing you notice when you enter is the doors in the rock surfaces. They are basically storages of different types of fruit and vegetables. The town is a labyrinth of lovely narrow streets and stone houses. Its dominant is a high rock formation which resembles a castle or fortress. You can actually climb up the rock and enjoy the panorama. On your way down make sure you stop in one of tiny bars for some refreshments: a glass of fresh squeezed pomegranate apple is a must!
Why Cappadocia should be on your bucket list? Ortahisar!
Ortahisar
  • Goreme: one of the most popular places in Cappadocia will win your heart over. You can get lost in the maze of streets and houses half-hidden in the hill. It is very close to the Goreme Open Air Museum where you will find the rock-cut churches with magnificent frescoes. Most of them date back to the 10th, 11th and 12th centuries and are very well maintained.
Goreme - open air museum
Goreme – open air museum
  • Red and Rose Valley: just between the villages of Goreme and Cavusin lies a beautiful valley made of colourful rock arcs and formations. Get lost on the endless number of hiking trails and explore the nature’s incredible creations (and hidden churches and vegetable plots between the cliffs).
Terracotta jars tree
Terracotta jars tree
  • Pasabag: Pasabag means Pacha’s vineyard. The mushroom-like rocks in the middle of a vineyard used to be hermit shelters in the past. Some of them are so unique that you wonder how it is possible that they even stand. One of the hermit cells still can be visited.
Zuzana in Pasabag
Zuzana in Pasabag
  • Love Valley: definitely our favourite place in Cappadocia. The name of this valley is very romantic but a little euphemic. The stone structures resemble…well, we guess you will understand looking at the picture. It looks funny at the beggining but your heart will truly melt walking among these huge natural wonders.
Rocks in Love Valley
Rocks in Love Valley
  • Devrent Valley: another picturesque valley full of strange rock formations, some of them resembling animals or human beings. It is also know as Imaginary Valley since you can use your fantasy to guess all those nature creations look like.
Camel rock in Devrent Valley
Camel rock in Devrent Valley

The list of the places to visit is much longer. Those mentioned above are just a few reason why Cappadocia should be on your bucket list.

You can do hot air balooning

It is wonderful to see all those terrific places and colours from the ground but imagine how they must look like from the sky! If you want to find out just try hot air balooning!

It is very popular with the tourists and it is a truly unique experience. There are many different agencies that organize this kind of trips. It is not exactly the cheapest thing (usually around 100 – 150 euros) in the world but will make your stay in Cappadocia unforgettable.

The local food will make your mouth water

We are sure that everyone is familiar with the Turkish cuisine and you would hardly find someone that does not like it. You will definitely not starve in Cappadocia. There are plenty of great restaurants offering delicious local dishes. Don’t forget to try the pottery kebab served in terracotta jars or Gozleme (salty pancakes with cheese, spinach or meet).

Have we convinced you to visit Cappadocia? What are some other reasons why it should be on your bucket list? Let us know in the comments and share the article with your friends!

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