Cappadocia is a region in Central Anatolia in Turkey that offers to visitors unique landscape, underground cities, cave churches and houses carved in the rocks. Originally, Cappadocia means it the Land of Beautiful Horses in Persians language. Millions of years ago, the volcanoes of Erciyes, Hasandag and Melendiz mountains erupted and cover Cappadocia with a layer of tuff. Over millennia, this tuff layer was eroded, turn out earth formations that, in turn, inspired cave art that has carried the imprint of ancient civilisations to our time. The first human settlements in Cappadocia date to the Palaeolithic Period, and the written history of the region goes back to the Hittites. Throughout its history, Cappadocia has served as an important trading post and bridge between the various lands of the Silk Road. In the Upper Miocene epoch, the volcanoes under the lakes erupted and spouted lava. The lava formed a plateau, a landscape that smaller eruptions constantly altered. The Kizilirmak river, wind and rainwater flowing down the sides of valleys eroded the tuff structure and sculpted the formations known as fairy chimneys.
The earliest civilisations started in Early Bronze Age. Cappadocian Tablets and the Hittite works of art in Alisar are dating from 2000s B.C. After 1200s B.C., the Tabal territory, of the Khatti Branches of Scythians, became strong and founded the Kingdom of Tabal. Following the Late Hittite and Persian regions, the Cappadocian Kingdom was established in 332 B.C. During the Roman Empire the area served as a shelter for the early escaping Christians. During this period many man-made underground cities used by early Christians as hideouts in Cappadocia. Christians build man-made caves, churches and monasteries. Some historic records claim that there were more than a thousand churches in Cappadocia. In the 13th century, the Turkish Islamic Sufi Haci Bektas-i Veli also settled in this area. Ihlara Valley was created as the basalt and andesite intensive lava from Hasandag cooled down, and gave way to cracks and subsidence. Strams found their way in these cracks, and the Melendiz Steam, called Potamus kapdokus I antiquitiy, has eroded the bottom of the valley, bringing it to its present form. The Ihlara Valle is 14 kilometres long and starts from Ihlara ends in Selime. The valley sides are between 100 and 150 metres high. There are numerous abodes, tombs and churches hewn into the rock face along the valley. Uchisar is an attractive little town which is 7 kilometres away from Nevsehir. Uchisar is the best vantage point overlooking whole region. Your camera needs to be ready for the fascinating panoramic view in Uchisar. The Goreme Open Air Museum sits at the site where the system of education unifying all Christian ideas was developed by St. Basit the Great and his siblings. The architectural style and frescoes of the Tokali (Buckle) Church, The Monastery of Nuns and Monks, St Basil Chapel, Elmali (Apple) Church, Yilanli (Snake) Church, Karanlik (Dark) Church, and Carikli (Sandal) Church retain all their old glory. Derinkuyu (Melegubu) Underground City is 85 m deep and contains rooms used as stables, cellars refectories, churches, wineries and school. Total 4 floors underground city is open the visitors since 1965. Cappadocia Region offers an enchanting mixture of natural wonders and aesthetic elegance beyond its visitors' imagination. Hot Air Balloon Tours enable passengers to have unbelievable tour. Local Wines are served to visitors in authentic terracotta decanters and ceramic goblets. Horseback Safari is a group activity offers day tours as well as longer tours. Pottery, the history of pottery goes back to Neolithic age. The most renowned terracotta pottery producing town of Cappadocia is Avanos. Carpet and Kilim Weaving, is exist since the Byzantine Period. The numerous carpet shops display and supply local carpets as well as carpets from other regions.
Cappadocai is one of the best hiking regions in the world as it has exceptional geography and a rich cultural heritage distilled over the ages through many diverse cultures living side by side. Trekking routes often start from Guvercinlik (Devecote) Valle and Esentepe Hill which allow visitors to enjoy the spending natural scenery of region. This route is approximately 4 kilometres long. Baglidere Valley route offers 5 km natural geoglogy. Zemi Valley is approximately 6 km which starts from Mount Kermil along the road Nevsehir, Urgup and Goreme. Balkan Stream route starts from Ibrahim Pasa Village and ends in either Ortahisar or the Pancarlik Valley. Meskendir route is approximately 4 km long which allow you discover many chapels and churches. Kizilcukur and Gulludere Valleys route offers 4km to 6km options both allows you to enjoy wonderful scenery and many chapels and churches. Gomeda, Ozengi, Pancarlik and Ortahisar Valley route starts from Gomeda and ends in Urgup. Its length is almost 7km. Cat Valley route starts from Cat town and offers 4 km and 7 km lengths. Aciksaray Ruins is about 3km that allows visitors to see best mushroom shape rocks and 9th -10th century churches build in the region. Ihlara valley is one of the most popular and well known trekking routes that offer 14km walk alongside the stream. Ihlara Valley route is popular with hidden churches.
There are also alternative longer trekking routes in Cappadocia. Hodul Mountain and Hirka Mountain routes offer approximately 12 km walk alongside the fascinating geography. Ascent to Hasandagi and Erciyes Montoun route allows visitors to camp in one the valleys and daily hikes.
Traditional Cappadocian houses and dovecotes carved into stones are showing the uniqueness of the region. These houses are constructed on the feet of the mountain via rocks or cut stones. Rock, which is the only construction material of the region, as it is very soft after quarry due to the structure of the region, can be easily processed but after contact with air it hardens and turns into a very strong construction material. Due to being plentiful and easy to process of the used material, regional unique masonry is developed and turned into an architectural tradition. Materials of neither courtyard nor house doors is wood. Upper parts of the doors built with arches are decorated with stylized ivy or rosette motifs.
Cappadocia Holidays and Tours
Eco Turkey Travel has got a good choice of tour operators which now offer eco friendly Cappadocia holidays, Cappadocia Treks, Cappadocia Tours and cave hotel stay exploring the region's rich history and culture. All our Cappadocia holidays and cave hotels are run by operators committed to the environment, responsible tourism activities & community. If you are interested in combine your Cappadocia holiday with one of our Classic Turkey Tours please contact us with any questions, for ordering free brochures or booking. You can also visit Flights to Turkey if you are looking for a cheap flight to Cappadocia. Our tour list is updated frequently so you can visit often. E-mail