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The historical region of Cappadocia, located in Central Anatolia in Turkey, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The region features some of the most unique natural scenery in the world—a moonscape marked with intriguing fairy chimney rock formations and valleys carved out of volcanic stone by thousands of years of rain. Visit Cappadocia to marvel at these wonders of nature, walking among the towering, top-heavy formations of Monks Valley and exploring ancient and intricate dwellings carved straight out of canyon walls. Discover the charms of local towns like Avanos, Kayseri, and Ürgüp, which serve as gateways to the rest of the region and all the things to do in them.
From the fairy chimneys of Devrent Valley to the ancient churches in the Ihlara Valley, there are countless things to see just about everywhere in Cappadocia. Immerse yourself in the long history of the region as you explore its most amazing aspects.
Göreme - Göreme is situated among the fairy chimney rocks of Cappadocia, with towering pinnacles rising right out of the town's center. The area is most famous for the Göreme National Park or Open Air Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site recognized for its incredible rock formations and cave houses and monasteries. Visit the Churches of Göreme, ancient sanctuaries carved out of soft volcanic rock and filled with Byzantine art.
Avanos - The town of Avanos is set on the Kizilirmak, or Red River, and is famous for its beautiful earthenware pottery. The pottery, sculpted from ceramic clay found in the red silt of the river banks, is a Hittite tradition dating back thousands of years. Browse ceramics in the historic city, or visit the nearby ruins of Zelve, an ancient cave monastery, or the Özkonak Underground City built in the slopes of Mount Idis.
Derinkuyu - Derinkuyu is best known for its enormous multi-level underground city, the Derinkuyu Underground City. Extending to a depth of 280 feet (85 m), the subterranean city was carved out of the soft sedimentary rock of the region by the Hittites between the 15th and 12th centuries BC. Today you can venture underground into the city, discovering churches, food stores, ancient wells, and schools carved out of stone.
Cappadocia is home to 36 underground cities, the widest of which is the Kaymakli Underground City. The city stretches 8 floors deep, 4 of which you can explore to see unique churches, ventilation shafts, and facilities connected by narrow corridors. Also explore Cappadocia above the ground—hot air balloon rides give you sprawling views of the plunging canyons, natural pyramids, and curious fairy chimneys that dot the region. Get to know Turkish culture as well by watching a captivating sema ceremony, the practice of the whirling dervishes. The tradition, well over 800 years old, has a place on UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list.
With an abundance of natural geological heritage, Cappadocia is packed full of unique experiences. Explore the wonders of the region, like the mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys of Pasabag, or Monks Valley, which balance hermit shelters in their heads. The Ihlara Valley, nestled near the volcanic Mount Hasan and Mount Melendiz, is a canyon hundreds of feet deep carved out by the Melendiz River over thousands of years. You can get a glimpse into the rich past of the area, where early Christians settled to escape Roman soldiers, by visiting the over 100 ancient churches sculpted in the valley walls. The churches are covered in incredible frescoes in Cappadocia and Byzantine styles. Visit the Devrent Valley, or Imaginary Valley, near the Goreme Open Air Museum. The valley's lunar landscape is scattered with fascinating rock formations and unusual fairy chimneys that make the region a natural sculpture gallery. Make your time in Cappadocia unique with a stop in a cave restaurant or by staying in the boutique cave hotels of Ürgüp, a town also known as the capital of Cappadocia's wine-producing region. Take a tour of the Turasan Winery, the largest wine supplier in Cappadocia, and learn about local winemaking traditions, and the fertile volcanic soils that produce delicious, local varietals.