Cappadocia, concealed from sight in central Turkey, is the most magical destination in the country. This stunning destination boasts dreamy moonscapes and an ethereal panorama dotted with cave dwellings, rock castles, and fairy chimneys. The moment you set foot in Cappadocia, it will look and feel like you have been whisked off to fairytale land.
But what makes Cappadocia so enchanting? Here are some of the top attractions in Cappadocia that are almost reminiscent of fairytales.
With its name inspired by the phallic-shaped rock formations that Mother Nature has generously blessed the area with, Love Valley is one of Cappadocia’s most famous walking locations. It serves as the home to erotically eroded volcanic ash columns. You can access the valley from Göreme and explore the entire area in approximately two and a half hours.
Cappadocia’s underground cities are some of the most impressive architectural feats in the world, and the perfect example is none other than Derinkuyu. It has an incredible depth of 85 meters with more than 600 concealed entrances and around 15,000 ventilation ducts together with cunning defensive mechanisms, water wells, and wineries. If a zombie apocalypse does happen, Derinkuya is the perfect hiding spot.
Göreme is the key base for tourism in Cappadocia for both ballooning and walking. Underground cities, ancient rock architecture, and fairy chimneys surround the area. Göreme open-air museum is the main attraction here, which is one of the country’s earliest World Heritage Sites. It also houses several remarkable rock-hewn monasteries and churches that date back hundreds of years.
Devrent or Imagination Valley
Nothing beats the lunar-like Devrent Valley when it comes to manmade architecture and other valleys in the region. However, what makes it even more interesting is the numerous rock formations surrounding it that come in many shapes including camels, dolphins, snakes, and anything else that piques the imagination. This is the perfect destination for a fun stroll with the kids.
Cappadocia is known for its soft rock perfect for hollowing out, and Monks’ Valley or also called Pacha’s Vineyard features caves where monks live. You can take a peek inside some of these caves if you are willing to climb the narrow rock staircases that are 15 meters high or so. Monks’ Valley and its fairy chimneys, some of which even support several cones, are what make the region unique and distinct.
Located outsideGöremet, Uchisar is a hilltop citadel that looks like it is drawn straight out of Tolkien’s books. Caves are found all over the hill, with many of them connected to one another and some being used as pigeon houses these days. It is believed that the tunnels used to reach far deep into the ground with nearby fairy chimneys used as tombs during the Roman times.
Özkonak is an underground city that would have accommodated 60,000 people for three months that a local farmer discovered during the 70s. The place was also secure and was thought that the holes in the rock were used for dumping hot oil on the enemies. Visitors are allowed access to just four floors of this complex but the additional six floors reach a depth of 40 meters.
The biggest of the 40-odd underground cities of Cappadocia, local residents continue to use for storage most of the tunnels and caves of Kaymakli to this day. Kaymakli, just like others of its type, had its own church, ventilation system, wells, and fortifications against invaders. A huge andesite rock that was probably used to process copper was one of the most striking features in the area.