A beautiful region that is defined in both ancient Christianity and modern tourism as a site of natural wonders, the people of Cappadocia have made the most of their surroundings. It is home to the people who Biblically heard the gospel in their own tongue during the Pentecost and later resisted the rule of Alexander the Great. Current draws to the region are “fairy chimneys”, dovecotes, rock carvings and underground cities.
Soft stone has been whittled away by water and wind to creature jarringly fantastic shapes. These “fairy chimneys” are pillars of soft rock topped by a basalt boulder. Devrent Valley has hundreds of these magical structures all seen through a pink haze. Rock formations are also known for appearing as animals and tourists are recommended to try and find them all!
Carved Cliff Houses
Exploring these works of architecture can be tricky on your own but many tours take you to the favourites. The valley of Soganli has many rock churches with carefully painted murals adorning them. This site has fewer churches and paintings than other sites which cuts the number of tourists dramatically, allowing you to fully see and appreciate the sight. Here, many Turks still live in a traditional village. Restaurants offer some of the best Turkish food and plenty of it. Hike to the northern-valley to view dozens of carved cliffs or make the trek to the southern-valley to see dovecotes, the highly decorated niches along the rock.
Six of Cappadocia’s famous underground cities are open for visitors to explore. Kaymakli is one of the top rated examples of the region’s hidden life. This site has four of its levels open to tourists which consist of steep inclines and narrow passage ways based around a ventilation shaft. Some of the space is still used as storage lockers.
Another example of an underground city is Derinkuyu. These cave dwellings offers spacious rooms and is often over-run with tourists. According to tradition, it was re-discovered when a farmer knocked down a wall in his home and found a tunnel with rooms! The rooms in Derinkuyu weren’t just used for storage. Some may have been part of a religious school.
See the rock carvings in Devrent Valley and then head to the museum to learn about the lives of the hermits who lived there on this tour!
Explore rock dwellings above and below ground on this tour of Kaymakli!
Venture into the depths of Derinkuyu on this tour!
Land in the middle and hike between cliff carvings and dovecotes on this tour of Soganli Valley!