With unusual terrain and fairy chimneys, In this article I share recommended things to do in Cappadocia
It is always the places that you have no expectation of that literally blow you away. And Cappadocia in Turkey is definitely in my top three. It's a place to rejuvenate and marvel; a place to just let go of all your worries and the most amazing place to just well…be.
Why Go To Cappadocia?
If you’ve never been to Cappadocia, you simply have to go. Fairy chimneys, colourful valleys and the strangest landscape (which nearly did make it into the Star Wars movies), make this a place that is simply like no other. Coined as a miraculous wonder of nature, the Cappadocia region is listed as a World Heritage Site and was formed by a combination of wind and river erosion and volcanic eruptions, that has shaped the chimney rocks into a totally jaw-dropping sight.
Things To Do in Cappadocia
Underground cities lay beneath its honeycombed landscape and were once the secret dwellings for Christians during the Roman Empire. The biggest of these is Derinkuyu Underground City, 40km from Goreme National Park and I was about to explore its deepest underground caves.
This labyrinth of caves in Derinkuyu is a developed city with man-made ventilation shafts, water wells, bathrooms (well toilets anyway) and even rooms for wine production, plus a chapel for holy services. There’s a total of 77 underground cities in the area with 16 open to the public.
The next stop for the cave churches in Ihlara Valley. More of a gorge than a valley, it is thought that Ihlara once housed 100 cave churches within its volcanic rock.
And although I didn’t actually get to witness any of the churches within its valley walls (the steps were too steep for the whole group to climb), it was a really pleasant walk along the Melendiz River where we stopped for a traditional Turkish lunch on a wooden raft over the lazy river.
The caves at Selime Monastery were my last stop. A platitude of rock-cut churches with cave walls dating back to the 12th century has to be seen to be believed. Sculpted purely by erosion, the monks definitely made themselves at home and there’s even a stable within its secret passageways.
After exploring nearly every cave that Cappadocia had to offer, I was back to Goreme National Park and Uchisar for my evening retreat.
With stunning views of Pigeon Valley and the pinkest hues I have ever seen at sunset, I was treated to a boutique fairytale hotel. But this was no ordinary hotel. After looking at caves all day, I finally had my very own luxurious cave…
The Taskonaklar Hotel Cappadocia is simply amazing and a fab eco property to stay in. With stunning views, great hospitality and your own cave for the night, I recommend this hotel to anyone looking for somewhere to stay in Cappadocia.
How I Travelled to Cappadocia
To reach Cappadocia, I took a night bus from Istanbul which took approx 10 hours and only cost £25.00. You even get ice cream and a drink on the bus – just don't forget to pack some socks, a fleece and some earplugs if you are a light sleeper.