Cappadocia, which has a culture of thousands of years, has attained a rare natural structure thanks to the activities and weather events of the surrounding volcanoes millions of years ago. Thanks to its fascinating beauty, most of the historical and natural assets in the region, which resembles a fairy-tale land, have been included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list due to their value. I have listed the places that deserve to be seen the most among these places on the list for you in the list of places to visit in Cappadocia.
Cappadocia Places to Visit
The best way to explore Cappadocia, which has a worldwide reputation for mountain and road biking due to its natural tracks, is walking.
However, if you are too lazy to walk, you can also get an idea about the region by participating in ATV tours or taking a hot air balloon. In order to be able to visit the hidden paradises in the valleys of Cappadocia without breaking your budget, it would be beneficial to obtain a Museum Card.
In addition, if you are going to shop in the settlements in Cappadocia or attend organized entertainment nights, do not forget to negotiate the price.
- Fairy chimneys
Fairy chimneys come to mind first when talking about places to visit in Cappadocia; It emerged as a result of weathering erosion of the soft layer formed during the volcanic activities of Erciyes, Hasandağı and Güllüdağ 60 million years ago.
Since it can be shaped easily, you can see the most beautiful landforms, which some of the people of the region have used for their various needs such as shelter and storage, during your visit to Göreme National Park, Lovers Valley and Zelve Ruins.
- Göreme National Park
Göreme National Park, which covers an area of 9,614 hectares, was taken under protection in 1986. Famous for its fairy chimneys, which are rare in the world, the park reveals the historical and ethnological structure of Cappadocia together with the Göreme Open Air Museum.
You can end your trip in the park, where you spent visiting the fairy chimneys and religious buildings from the early Christian period, with the unique view of the sunset.
If you go to the national park between 15 March and 15 November, when the weather conditions are more favorable than other periods of the year, you can easily examine the unique beauties it contains.
Uçhisar is the most historical place in the Cappadocia Region, with its values, which most travelers to the region are deceived by its calmness because of not doing enough research.
The residential area, which was established at the foot of the magnificent Uçhisar Castle, has a rich cultural diversity as it is an important stop on the Silk Road.
You can browse the shops selling handmade products and famous Cappadocian wines in the bazaar of the region, which you can choose for a peaceful stay due to its quality hotels.
When you go on a tour outside the castle, you can give priority to visiting Güvercinlik Valley, an important trekking route between Uçhisar and Göreme.
- Güllüdere Valley
Güllüdere Valley, located between Çavuşin Village and Göreme, is a pleasant walking route with 5 historical churches on 2 branches. I recommend you to start touring the valley, which offers an ideal environment for those who enjoy exploring, from Çavuşin Village, which has a great history to contrast with the area it covers.
In this direction, you can visit Yovakim-Anna Church and Direkli Church first. After passing the monks’ cells that lie right and left along the road, you can see the Ayvalı, Crusader and Three Cross churches, respectively, on the second branch of the valley. Each of the churches, though damaged, are decorated with frescoes telling intriguing Christian stories.
- Ihlara Valley
Ihlara Valley, which should be included in the list of places to visit in Cappadocia with its magnificent view and historical values, was formed by the soft base of the Melendiz Stream. Some of the rocks in the valley, where accommodation facilities are abundant, have been carved into churches since the 9th century.
If you visit the churches of Ağaçaltı, Pürenliseki, Kokar, Yılanlı and Sümbüllü, which offer a peaceful environment in touch with nature, where guests can be relieved from the stress of urban life, you can have the opportunity to examine well-preserved wall paintings.
At the end of the day, you can end your pleasant walk in the valley with a meal where you can taste local delicacies at the restaurant built by the stream.
- Zelve Ruins
Zelve Ruins, only 3 kilometers away from Avanos, consists of 3 valleys where fairy chimneys are quite dense compared to other regions of Cappadocia. The ruin, which is also an important climbing area for adventure enthusiasts, was used as a settlement and religious center by Christians between the 9th and 13th centuries.
There are important religious buildings such as Balıklı, Üzümlü and Geyikli churches built during the Iconoclastic Period covering the years 728-842 in the area built on the steep slopes in the north of Aktepe. You can also see structures such as tunnels, mosques and mills while visiting the region.
Ürküp, the favorite holiday spot of honeymoon couples, is a place where travelers prefer to shop more. The district was called Osiana during the Byzantine period, Başhisar during the Seljuk period, and Burgut Castle by the Ottomans.
Apart from hotels with high service quality and shops selling local products, you can visit the district to see its natural beauties such as 3 Güzeller, rock tombs from the Roman period and Altıkapılı and Tememnni Hill Tombs built by the Seljuks. You can crown your Urgup trip by participating in the balloon tours that start at sunrise.
8.Paşabağ Priests Valley
Paşabağ Priests Valley, which is one of the ideal regions for photographing in Cappadocia, is located very close to Zelve, which is famous for its ruins.
The valley, which contains the best examples of mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys, can be easily visited thanks to the good walking paths that pass through these formations.
You can explore the rock-cut chapels and chambers as you tour the area that hermits and monks once used to retreat.
- Derinkuyu Underground City
Derinkuyu Underground City, where those who escaped from the persecution of the Roman Empire during the first Christian period came from Antakya and Kayseri and took refuge, consists of 8 floors.
At that time, sections were built to meet all the needs of refugees in the underground city, which created a safe environment thanks to its invisible entrance.
In the city, where the rooms are connected to each other by narrow corridors, in addition to religious buildings such as churches and monasteries, food stores, wineries, water wells and meeting halls are some of the areas where you can see. In addition, there is a missionary school in Derinkuyu, different from Kaymaklı, which I will tell you shortly.
- Uçhisar Castle
You can include Uçhisar Castle in your list of places to visit in Cappadocia in order to watch the unique beauty of the region from a bird’s eye view and take lots of photos.
The castle, which dates back to the Roman Empire, was built to stop the incursions from the east thanks to its advantageous location. A large number of rooms, warehouses, cellars and cisterns were built in the Roman and Seljuk periods in the military structure, which consists of two adjacent fairy chimneys, which the local people call “Aga’s Castle” for the larger and “The Castle of the Sergeant” for the small one.
- Kaymaklı Underground City
Kaymaklı Underground City, located within the boundaries of the town from which it takes its name, has 8 floors, just like in Derinkuyu; but today only 4 floors can be visited.
B.C. Built by around 3,000 Hittites, this city was expanded during the Roman and Byzantine periods and turned into a shelter for 25,000 people.
While walking around the underground city built around the main ventilation shaft, you can see cemeteries, churches, warehouses, living areas and wells connected by corridors.
- Cappadocia Caves
Cappadocia Caves, most of which are located between the Nevşehir-Ürküp-Avanos triangle, have been used by the people of the region for thousands of years for shelter and storage purposes.
Some of these structures, which were carved into soft-built rocks, were expanded over time by the refugees who came to the region and turned into underground settlements called “villages” for the small ones and “cities” for the older ones. You can see the most magnificent of these structures in places such as Kaymaklı, Özkonak, Mazı, Tatlarin and Derinkuyu.
- Pigeon Valley
Güvercinlik Valley, which is one of the most preferred routes by those who love hiking, stretches between Uçhisar and Göreme.
The vineyards where delicious grapes are grown in the region where wine production is widespread have been fed with fertilizers obtained from birds sheltering in this region since the 9th century.
In addition, the Christians who lived in the area used the eggs they collected from the nests that gave the valley its name and mixed the plaster they would use in frescoes. You can spend time in the valley, where there is a 15-meter high waterfall, because of its magnificent natural wealth.
- Love Valley
Love Valley, also known as Baghdad, is located in Goreme. The valley, where hundreds of fairy chimneys of different sizes and colors are located, fascinates visitors with its view, especially at sunset.
You can come across many beauties where you can take pictures while strolling along the path of the valley, which is 4,900 meters long, which starts from Örencik and extends to Göreme-Avanos road, sometimes through orchards and vineyards.
- Mazı Underground City
Mazı Underground City, which was built in the early Roman period, is the last historical settlement I will tell you on the list of places to visit in Cappadocia. Situated about 18 kilometers south of Ürküp, the campus is only 10 kilometers away from Kaymaklı Underground City. There are cemeteries from both Roman and Byzantine periods in the city, which has 4 known entrances.
The striking point of the city, from which you can reach the interiors by moving through the areas reserved for stables, is the church decorated with reliefs.
Other Things to Do in Cappadocia
During the article on places to visit in Cappadocia, we talked about the most important places you should visit and see in the region. If you have enough time on your trip to Cappadocia, you can add the following points to your trip list:
Cappadocia Art and History Museum
Guzelyurt Underground City