Türkiye | The Fairy Chimneys of Cappadocia

June 10, 2022

Cappadocia is a stunning region located in the center of Türkiye, and because of the historic significance of the area, the entire region has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Famous for its cave dwellings, obscure rock formations, fairy-tale-like scenery, and hot air balloon tours that allow travelers to completely take in all of the amazing attractions, it comes as no surprise that Cappadocia sees an increase each year of travelers looking to enjoy the spoils of the region.

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The soft tufa rock that covers the region is a result of the spewing volcano that erupted millions of years ago. Travelers must keep in mind that nature may have created this landscape, but it was the ancient civilizations that saw the potential of the region, using the rock formations to build their homes, their storage rooms, and even their places of worship.

The locals of the region have worked very hard to preserve the rich history and traditional cultures which have grown in its wake. Cappadocia is truly a destination that will take your breath away!

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Hot Air Balloon Adventure

For the people on the ground looking up as the sky becomes filled with beautiful, hot air balloons of all different colors and sizes, creating a stunning and unforgettable image, it is safe to say that this spectacle can only be beaten by seeing it from a hot air balloon yourself!

The Cappadocia hot air balloons attract over a half million people each year, and are steadily growing in popularity. As you float seamlessly through the air, hovering over the cave dwellings of Goreme Town, while joined by over 100 other air balloons, you will find yourself living out a real-life fairytale.

Travel Tip : Note that the hot air balloons of Cappadocia do not fly everyday. In fact, on days where the wind is too strong, no flying happens at all as the hot air balloons do not have breaks and this can be very dangerous.

Travelers who do not wish to be disappointed should book in advance as the hot air balloons do not fly everyday, creating a backlog of tourists. Another thing to keep in mind is that travelers should allow for a couple of days in their trip to be spent in Cappadocia just in case the weather is unfavorable, and they don’t get to fly on the intended day or time.

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Red Valley Hike and Sunset Viewpoint

The Red Valley is known for offering travelers one of most unforgettable sunsets that they will ever come across throughout their traveling exploits. As the sun starts to set, the sharp sandstone ridges of Red Valley will begin to glow a bright vibrant red, transforming the landscape into something unique and magical.

Travelers can reach the sunset viewpoint by either taking the hiking trail up, or taking a car straight to the viewpoint where they can enjoy a refreshing beverage at the cafe that overlooks the region.

The drive from Goreme Town will take you 15 minutes, and will take you straight to the Red Valley sunset viewpoint. No hiking required. You can also choose to drive to the Rose Valley Trailhead and begin the Rose and Red Valley combination route. Or you can drive to the Meskendir Trailhead and take that trail to the Rose Valley trailhead and continue on to the Red Valley Trail.

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The Goreme Open-Air Museum

The Goreme Open-Air Museum is one of the most popular attractions in Cappadocia and is littered with historical sites. Travelers can take part in an audio-tour that allows them to gain a deeper understanding of the region through the ancient paintings, churches and other structures that were built centuries ago.

The Goreme Open-Air Museum is a great attraction for all sorts of travelers as the museum is situated close to the city-center, and can be reached in 15 minutes on foot, however, the walk to the museum is slightly uphill.

The Goreme Open-Air Museum is a culmination of monasteries placed side-by-side, each housing its very own incredibly detailed church, and is one of the only places you’ll find yourself having to wait in a line in Cappadocia.

Although there are many other cave dwellings and churches scattered throughout the region, free to visit and equally as stunning, there is still something special about the Goreme Open-Air Museum that makes tourists choose this location, rather than other locations that offer similar experiences.

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Derinkuyu Underground City

On top of a 1000m-high plateau in Cappadocia, travelers can find the region of Anatolia. Covered in volcanic ash millions of years ago, the landscape is filled with lava domes and pyramids, caves and tunnels, and other natural wonders caused by the volcanic eruption.

The soft rock that covers the landscape of the region made it possible for the people of Cappadocia to easily carve out tunnels, caves, and even their homes.

Hittites of Cappadocia started with carving out storage rooms and other underground rooms that they used to store their goods and food, to protect their valuables from the weather extremes.

Hittites also used their carving and tunneling skills to create tunnels that they used to hide from the Phrygian raiders. It has been estimated that the tunnels served the Hittites from the 15th to 12th century BCE according to estimates.

However, some have speculated that the tunnels were actually created by the Phrygians themselves, with this theory being backed up by the reputation of the Phrygian architects who were known for their complex structures and tunneling systems.

Archaeologists strongly believe that there could be hundreds of unexplored underground cities in Cappadocia, although to this day, only six have been found. The underground city of Derinkuyu is not the oldest, or biggest of the underground cities, however it is one of the deepest, making it an incredible tour that cannot be missed for anyone planning to visit the region.

Fun Fact : Derinkuyu Underground City was a secret for a long time! It was discovered when a local man living in the Nevsehir Province decided to do renovations on his home. Imagine his surprise when he knocked down a wall, revealing to him a strange room. When he dug further, choosing to explore the strange room, the room led into an intricate tunnel system with a series of cave rooms.

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Lake Tuz - The Pink Salt Lake

Although Lake Tuz isn’t part of Cappadocia, the 1.5 hour trek out to the pink salt lake is definitely something to consider.

Lake Tuz is a unique, vibrant shade of pink, and makes for a great location to end off the day after a tour of Cappadocia. Travelers are recommended to arrive early enough to see the lake in full sunshine, and then watch as the sun sets, creating pastel reflections on the water’s surface. It is truly a place where heaven and earth meet.

Travel Tip : Although the water is beautiful, it is not recommended to swim in Lake Tuz as the salt count in the water is dangerously high. Also, because the lake is situated on a salt flat, you will feel sharp pieces of salt dig into your feet as you walk into the water that is only a couple of inches deep.

Türkiye is a destination that has the ability to transport its travelers back in time, giving them an authentic Turkish experience. This is only possible as a result of how tirelessly the people of Türkiye have worked in order to preserve these natural wonders and UNESCO World Heritage Sites that attract thousands from across the world and that have become the country’s pride.

Contact Art in Voyage today, and speak to one of our travel experts to start planning your next Exclusive Journey to Türkiye.