Cappadocia: Turkey’s Magical Landscape – Best Things to Do

by Gavin Darvell

Does soaring above a Dune like landscape in a hot-air balloon sound like something you’d like to do? Then a visit to Cappadocia should be high on your list. Or should that be soaring to the top of your list?

You’ve probably seen the pictures of the multi-coloured balloons rising into a blue sky. The landscape below a sea of jutting rock formations stretching into the distance. That’s Cappadocia. And the word that springs to mind when you see this image is …magical? Spectacular? Mind-blowing?

This semi-arid region of Turkey is more than just a beautiful landscape. It’s also known for its underground cities, cave churches and carved houses in the rocks. With fantastic topography and human history to uncover, it’s not just an adventure seekers playground. It’s time to explore and discover one of Turkey’s most prised places.

The sights of Cappadocia

You’ll find there are plenty of opportunities to take in the unique regional atmosphere, as well as the experience of flying above the terrain, of which we’ll discuss later. It’s likely you’ll head out on organised tours, so the following places may well be part of a tour. If not, however, make sure you try to check them out.

· Gulludere (Rose) Valley – A place best explored on foot, where you’ll get to see fairy-chimney vistas and discover hidden churches cut out of the rock. The valley is right up there with the best this region can offer, so it’s one you don’t want to miss out.

· Goreme Open-Air Museum – A World Heritage site and another essential Cappadocia visit. This place was once thought to be a Byzantine Monastic settlement and there are several stunning rock-cut churches and chapels to explore. They have exotic names such as the nine domed Apple Church or Snake Church. The highlight, however, is the Dark Church, fresco filled and well worth the trek.

· Kaymakli Underground City – Its maze of tunnels and rooms are well worth exploring. There are others, but this place is less claustrophobic.

· Kizilcukur Viewpoint – If you’re not so keen to head up in a balloon, then this viewpoint is a great alternative. See the fang-like rock cones jutting from the ground and the wavy cliff edges.

balloons over Cappadocia
Photo by Snowscat on Unsplash

The experiences of Cappadocia

The time has come! Off you go in that beautiful balloon and soar above the landscape. Whether you have a glass of champagne in hand is down to your preference. There are plenty of different options available to you. Utmost, this is about the views of the craggy landscape. Wow, it’s some experience as you gently fly across the formations. One journey you’ll never forget.

And when you’re back down to earth and returned to your accommodation, be sure to make the most of your evenings. An authentic Turkish night out would cap your day in the air. Belly dancing, folk music and culinary delights. You’ll get the best of Turkish culture.

There’s no mistaking that Cappadocia is a fairytale land. Unique and full of ancient treasures to uncover. If you’re lucky enough to spend time here, seek the lost cities, the quirky named churches, take that balloon ride, and walk the valleys. Unforgettable.

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