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Things To Do In Cappadocia (Kapadokya)
Cappadocia is located in the central region of Anatolia in Turkey and is most popular for its out-of-this-world landscapes and hot air balloon rides. No picture of Cappadocia is complete without a hot air balloon somewhere in the sky! But there are plenty of other things to do in Cappadocia including outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, snowsports (during winter) and plenty of sightseeing while exploring this unique part of the globe.
Float Over Cappadocia In A Hot Air Balloon
If you search for Cappadocia, every picture you come across will definitely have a hot air balloon in it, as this is the most popular activity here. The landscapes this region has to offer are absolutely stunning and to get an ariel view of them from the hot air balloons is definitely worth the time and price. It is a great way to see the fairy chimneys. There are balloon tours all year round and this is a fun and safe activity for families. On any given morning, there is an average of 100 balloons flying over the moonscapes!
Explore The Underground Cities
There are 36 underground cities in Cappadocia. Kaymakli and Derinkuyu are the top tourist spots. Derinkuyu being the deepest while Kaymakli being the widest. Construction of underground cities was started by the Hittites sometime during the 15th century BC, but they were fully formed during the Byzantine period. They were mostly used for protection during the many wars that happened over the centuries. It was only in the 20th century that the underground tunnels were finally abandoned. The underground cities offer interesting insight and history to the region of Cappadocia. A very interesting place to explore even if you are not a history buff.
Get Adventurous And Go Hiking Or Horse Back Riding
The weather and landscapes of Cappadocia make it a wonderful place for outdoor activities like Hiking and Horseback riding. In fact, the name Cappadocia literally translates to Land of Beautiful Horses. You have a choice of doing 1 hour, 2 hours, half a day or full day tours on horseback. If you have the time, you can even do a 5-day tour all on horseback over the Taurus mountains. There are many hiking trails like Pigeon Valley, Red Valley, Ihlara valley which can take between 3 to 5 hours and cover a distance of 8 to 11 km. Definitely a must-do for the adventurous and sporty tourists.
Tour The Valleys
The Cappadocia region is full of valleys and attached with it are some stunning landscapes. Chimney Fairies and moonscapes, mushroom head rocks and monasteries. Each valley has a charm of its own. Some of the most popular ones are Ihlara Valley, Zemi Valley, Monastery Valley, Red & Rose Valley, Devrent Valley, White & Pigeon Valley and the Gomeda Valley. You can cycle, hike, drive or ride (horse/balloon) over the valleys.
Master The Craft Of Pottery At Avanos
Located 8 km away from Cappadocia's historic centre Goreme, Avanos is known best for its tradition of pottery making. You will find many shops that sell beautiful pottery, but the more interesting activity is to try your hand at the craft yourself! There are some workshops you can attend which teach you more about pottery and you can also see experts at work.
Stay In A Cave Hotel
A unique activity one must definitely experience is to stay at least one night in a Cave Hotel in Cappadocia. The rooms are part of a natural cave with stone walls, and give you a traditional Turkish experience. Some of them can be ultra luxurious and pricey. So choosing the one that suits your pocket the best is the key here. Many cave hotels can be found in and around the historic town of Goreme, which is most popular with tourists.
Visit Cappadocia's Museums
The Goreme and Zelve Open Air Museums are perhaps the most important and popular museums in Cappadocia. They both offer spectacular insights into chimney fairies, cave dwellings, ancient churches and excellent views. Other interesting museum is The Cappadocia Art & History Museum which is home to some amazing statues and has a large collection of dolls. There is a lot of history to be learnt from here. Another museum that you can visit is Guray Museum in Avanos which has on display some beautiful ceramic art.
Find Yourself on a Spiritual Tour
Religion has always played a very important role in civilization. You can see this through the beautiful carvings, glittering frescoes and grand architecture in churches, mosques and temples throughout history. So visiting some of these spiritual places is definitely worth every effort. Some of the prominent places in Cappadocia are Aladdin Camii in Avanos, Caves Churches in Goreme Open Air Museum, Church & cave Mosque in Cavusin, Monasteries at Pasabag (Monk Valley), Monasteries and Churches in Zelve Open Air Museum, St. Jean's cave church at Gulsehir, Nevsehir’s mosque and Haci Bektas.