Cave suite at Esbelli Evi,
Panoramic view from
Kale Konak Inn, Uçhisar.
Cappadocia, Turkey is the
historic area of central
by the towns of
Hacıbektaş, Aksaray, Niğde and Kayseri (map). It was known as Cappadocia in
ancient times, and is still called Kapadokya informally
Turkey's most visually striking
region, especially the "moonscape" area
around the towns of Ürgüp, Göreme, Uçhisar, Avanos and Mustafapaşa
(Sinasos), where erosion has
formed caves, clefts, pinnacles, "fairy
chimneys" and sensuous folds
in the soft volcanic rock.
the volcanic landscape can appear
inhospitable, the mineral-rich
soil is excellent for growing vegetables and fruits,
making Cappadocia a rich agricultural
region. It has always been one of Anatolia's
prime grape-growing areas, and still
boasts many productive vineyards and wineries.
The Bible's New Testament tells
of Cappadocia, but
in fact this part of central
Anatolia has been important since Hittite times,
long before the time of Jesus.
to Cappadocia easily
by bus from
anywhere in Turkey. Here's information
on traveling to Cappadocia from Istanbul,
İzmir/Ephesus, Pamukkale and Ankara,
and here's a region map.
times and distances, see
the pages for Kayseri, Nevşehir or Ürgüp.
here for maps of Ankara,
Cappadocia & Central Anatolia.
activities here are visiting the
historic painted cave churches of
the many monastic valleys (especially
Valley and Zelve
in a hot-air
balloon at dawn above
the incredible landscape, hiking the
volcanic valleys (especially the Rose
Valley [Güllüdere]), and
spending the night in a comfortable
cave hotel room with all the
Here are the highlights of what to see and do in Cappadocia. Here's a list
of the towns of
an excellent full-day
drive to the surprising underground
cities at Derinkuyu and
the formerly Ottoman-Greek
mountain town of Güzelyurt before taking a hike of several
hours in the Ihlara
may also want to spend a half-day
hiking the less-visited Soğanlı
Valleys of southern
Cappadocia, south of Mustafapaşa.
great excursion is to the Byzantine Iconoclastic rock-hewn
monastery at Eski
Gümüşler near Niğde. More...
Public transport in Cappadocia is not well suited to sightseeing. You may want to rent/hire a car. If not, luckily there are numerous good guided tours of the region. More...
a list of good Cappadocian
travel agencies that
can arrange guided
tours, car rentals, car-and-driver, flights,
and any other services you may want. More...
Many travelers want to stay in a Cappadocian cave hotel, and there are plenty of good ones. Other types of hotels are also available. Here's the full
and restaurant picture.
—by Tom Brosnahan