Cappadocia, also known as Kapadokya in the Turkish language, is an ancient city that lies in the Central Anatolian part, the heartland of Turkey. If you believe in the power of nature, then you will be mesmerized by the beauty of this Turkish city. Full of unique landscapes and naturally formed cone-shaped Chimneys, Cappadocia attracts tourism into Turkey.
The city is famous for its caves which were home to many churches in ancient times. Now, these caves are carved up into luxurious hotels for tourists to live in. If you plan to spend your vacations in Turkey and have time then it is recommended to visit this city. Here is a list of 5 things to do in Cappadocia.
Hot Air Balloon Ride:
You must have heard about Cappadocia’s hot air balloons and wondered why they are so famous. This activity is one of the most well-known points of interest in Turkey. If you are visiting Cappadocia then booking yourself a hot air balloon ride is a must. It is a fantastic way of enjoying the beautiful landscapes of the city and as you go up in the sky, you will be experiencing one of the best scenes you’ll witness.
The ride duration is around 1 hour or maybe more, depending upon the package you have taken. Don’t forget to take a camera with you to capture the best Turkish sights you will ever see. If unfortunately, you can’t get this ride then do visit the launching sites where you can see dozens of balloons lined up together ready for the flight. Ask your taxi driver or any local person to take you to a vantage point after the launch, so that you can see the balloons filling the sky which itself is a sight to watch.
Stroll through the Fairy Chimneys:
Cappadocia, Turkey is famous for its Fairy Chimneys, a natural formation of rock structures formed from ancient volcanic eruptions. These rock structures are more than 130 feet long filling the landscape with their mighty look. During the ancient times, these chimneys were also home to many communities as they carved these rocks to make caves and took shelter from the war and persecutions in them.
Today, these sites are preserved by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and hundreds of visitors are welcomed to visit here. Most of these sites are located in the Goreme area and depending upon where you are staying you can take a hiking track from your Goreme cave hotels and stroll through the fairy chimneys enjoying the beauty of nature. Some of these Fairy Chimneys in Cappadocia have also been turned into luxury boutique cave hotels so you can also experience living inside them.
Taking the City Tours:
One of the best Turkish city tours is the ones you will get in Cappadocia. There are three types of tours which are planned and organized for the tourists.
- The Red Tour: The Red tour mainly covers up to four places, including Cavusin Village, Red Valley, the fairy chimneys, and the Uchisar Castle.
- The Blue Tour: If you want to visit some extra places other than the places listed in the Red Tour, then you can consider taking the Blue Tour package. These places include all the places in the red package and also some monasteries and will take you to areas for wine tasting.
- The Green Tour: The Green tour will take you to the top locations such as Ilhara Valley, the Pigeon Valley, and the Derinkuyu Underground City.
All these packages include transportation, a tourist guide, and a delicious lunch. You can also purchase a map of Cappadocia and plan to visit these locations by yourself if the packaged tours don’t suit you.
Goreme Open Air Museum:
Goreme is the center of tourism in Cappadocia and became a famous destination for tourists visiting the city. The town lies among the fairy chimneys and is home to many ancient churches and pigeon houses made inside the caves. The Goreme Open Air Museum is the main highlight tourist destination to visit. There you can witness the vast historical monasteries placed side by side with their own churches built inside the caves. The churches themselves give a beautiful sight from the inside with bright colored wall paintings still retaining their originality. You can also see the man-made rock tables and other architecture which gives a unique look.
There are many churches preserved inside the museum’s boundaries and it is believed that they are from the time of 10 – 12 centuries. Some of these Churches you can visit are St. Barbara Church, Apple Church, Snake Church, Dark Church, and many more. It is important to know that photography is not allowed inside the churches. If you plan on visiting this UNESCO World Heritage site, then it is recommended to visit it in the morning or in the evening as Goreme’s weather can get hot in the afternoon. Visiting the Open Air Museum is one of the best things to do in Cappadocia.
Visiting the Carpet and Pottery Industrial Area:
Turkish carpet and pottery are famous all around the world and Cappadocia is home to these handicrafts. Do you know, it is believed by the locals that if a boy doesn’t know how to make a small pottery cup he can not get married to a woman? Strange right?
Well, the Cappadocian people have been in this business for centuries and they make carpets and pottery to earn a living for the family. Most of the men are trained to make pottery whereas the women are schooled for weaving a carpet. Avanos is a town that is famous for its pottery-making tradition. When you enter their workshop, they will ask you to sit behind the wheel to make something out of the clay. Use your imagination and create something from scratch.
The master potters will assist you in doing so. Then you will be taken to their factory inside where many experts are working hard and designing clay items. Moving on you will be taken to the shop at the end where you can buy something as a souvenir for visiting their small workshop.
Similarly, when you visit the carpet industry, a guide will take you to see the carpet weavers and tell you all about how these carpets are manufactured and then will take you to the warehouse where he will expect you to buy something from him. The factory owners expect the visitors to buy their products because they believe that it will help the people working there to earn a living. So if you are keen and a handicraft lover it is recommended to visit these places.