Home to surreal rock formations, multi-coloured valleys and striking underground cities, Cappadocia is located in Turkey’s Central Anatolia region. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the country’s most captivating destinations, inviting visitors to explore on foot and while floating above during a sunrise hot air balloon trip.
After getting an early morning, bird’s eye view of Cappadocia’s magical scenery, spend your days hiking through its spectacular valleys where fairy chimneys and mushroom-like rock formations rise above. Witness the ancient pigeon houses carved into the cliffs of Pigeon Valley and admire the three-headed fairy chimneys of Monks Valley. Go hiking through the lunar-like landscapes of the Devrent Valley, then see where pottery has been crafted since 3000 BC in the small town of Avanos.
No trip to Cappadocia is complete without exploring the Göreme Open Air Museum where more than 30 rock-hewn churches and chapels lie adorned in magnificent frescoes that are a lasting legacy of an ancient monastic centre. A short drive from Göreme takes you to the sweeping Esentepe viewpoint where you can photograph Cappadocia in all its glory.
Venture below the earth’s surface into the Kaymakli Underground City, just one of around 30 cities that were carved beneath the ground by Christians escaping persecution. Wander through the network of living spaces, kitchens and wineries before visiting the troglodyte town of Uchisar that’s named after an enormous rock that once served as its castle.
Combining striking natural wonders with a fascinating history, Cappadocia is like nowhere else on earth. Add to that its legendary “Turkish Nights” of folk dancing, Whirling Dervish performances and lavish feasts, it’s a destination not to be missed.