The mysterious rock formations and underground cities of Cappadocia are perhaps the jewel in Turkey’s crown. Whole troglodyte villages, subterranean churches and fortresses have been hewn from the soft porous rock, creating a complex system of apartments, public rooms and underground interconnecting streets that once easily housed hundreds of people. The underground cities were largely used as hiding places by Hittites and early Christians and even today some are still inhabited.
The UNESCO Listed Goreme is probably the biggest attraction in Cappadocia with over 30 Byzantine rock churches covered with magnificent frescoes and open to the public. The remains of human habitats have been discovered here that date back as early as the 4th century. At the open-air museum of Zelve the remains of a monastery complex and the famous phallic-like rock formations nicknamed ‘fairy chimneys' are the main draw. A little further out the subterranean villages of Derinkuyu and Kaymaklı are a warren of ancient houses and a highlight for many visitors.
As well as being a place of unique beauty, Cappadocia is also an excellent region for purchasing handmade carpets and the volcanic topography lends itself perfectly to adventurous activities such as mountain biking and hiking with a number of trail markers directing you on popular routes. A hot air balloon ride over this magical landscape at sunrise is highly recommended for incredible bird's eye views across the valley.
Here are some popular itineraries for a trip to Cappadocia
If you are planning a Cappadocia holiday, have a look at some of the accommodation that we recommend. 'Our Rating' indicates how we feel each property rates according to normal Western hotel standards. 'Local Rating' indicates how the property is categorised/rated locally:
Burcu Kaya Hotel Cappadocia
The Burca Kaya building was modeled on ancient Seljuk architecture and carved into rocks. The swimming pool has views of fairy chimneys and the restaurant uses locally produced fruit and vegetables.
Kelebek Hotel Cappadocia
Kelebek - the Butterfly in English - has its rooms, in the fairy chimneys, in caves and some of them are traditional arched rooms. Filled with historical pieces, the Kelebek is a quirky and comfortable place to stay.
Yunak Evleri Cappadocia
Yunak Evleri is a combination of six cave houses with a total of 30 private cave rooms dating back to the 5th and 6th centuries and crowned with a 19th century Greek Mansion. These exceptional cave houses are renovated and decorated with care and in their own distinct style, the decor is elegant and personalized with beautiful hand-crafted furnishings and antiques.
For all our tours and tailor-made holidays we provide you with a clear categorisation of all hotels we use. The REGIONAL CATEGORY indicates the local rating of each hotel in each respective country. We have also rated each hotel using OUR CATEGORY, which will be in line with generally accepted western hotel grading standards.
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.
Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre.
Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care.
Lavish accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!
Cappadocia Tailor made suggestions
Here are some of the recent tailor made itineraries we have created for our clients which include a visit to Cappadocia.