Cappadocia as a Mystery of Underground City

Why wouldn’t you wake up in a unique pointy fairy chimneys hotel and start your day by enjoying the sunrise inside of a hot air balloon that each morning brightens up the skies above Cappadocia?

Sounds good, huh? Scroll down to learn more about this magical underground land full of history and heritage.

Here we present the 7 biggest reasons why you shouldn’t miss visiting this amazing city. 


1. Where to visit in Cappadocia?

So many. Cappadocia is a region that lies in eastern Anatolia. It was shaped by rain and wind over millions of years by lava and ashes erupted by the mounts Erciyes, Hasan, and Golludag. After nature has done to shape the region, especially the early Christians settled there while they are running from the persecution of the Romans and they hide and build homes, and churches in the fairy chimneys. This caused the list to grow because while outside of the fairy chimneys it is possible to feel the magical atmosphere of mother nature’s surreal painting, inside each fairy chimney are rich and early versions of Christian paintings. Here is a “not to be missed list” :

a. Cappadocia Open Air Museum

If the topic is Cappadocia the first place to visit should be the Goreme Open Air Museum. Here there is an ambiguity about the name. Cappadocia is the name of the region that contains the destinations Goreme Open-air Museum, Urgup, Ihlara Valley, Selime, Guzelyurt, Uchisar, Avanos, Zelve, and the underground cities Derinkuyu, Kaymakli, Gaziemir, and Ozkonak. So while you are saying “Open Air Museum Cappadocia” or “Cappadocia Open Air Museum” you are meaning this list.

Cappadocia Open Air Museum Goreme

So back to the topic Goreme Open-air Museum is the Unesco World Heritage since 1985. It has been a settlement since the Hittites. Plus the region was within the Hurri-Mitanni, Hittites, Middle and Neo Assyrians, Persians, and the Greeks, the political turmoil between these empires caused the natives to carve tunnels. Later during the Roman era, Christians who are running from Romans transformed the fairy chimneys into homes and churches. While the view of it is gorgeous itself the cave churches St. Basil’s, Elmali, St. Barbara, St. Catherine’s Yilanli, Pantokrator, Malta Cross, Dark, Carikli, and Tokatli, and approximately 600 other churches can be visited. Inside the churches, the wall paintings are taken from the Torah, the Bible, and the life of Jesus still have vibrant colors.

The Dark church stepped behind among others. The “Dark Church” is the best-preserved one because of them it was taking little bid light from the small window in the narthex thus it was called ‘Dark’ and the inside decoration did not harm because of this kind of reasons

Don’t forget to make the trip to Cappadocia Open Air Museum!

b. Devrent Valley in Cappadocia

Devrent Valley is the location of the is known as “Dream Valley” or “Pink Valley” because it is the house of animal-like fairy chimnies and both the earth and the fairy chimnies are a tone of pink during the sunset. Trekking, hiking, or roaming around are not quite possible and no churches or cave houses in the valley. It is popular because of its view, animals look like fairy chimnies and the color. Explore Pink Valley in 2023.

Devrent Valley-Cappadocia

c. Pigeon Valley in Cappadocia

The Cappadocia region has barren soil, which makes it hard for agricultural activities. However, locals had found a smart solution to deal with this problem. They carve pigeon nests on the outside surface of the fairy chimnies. Up until the 9th century, they collected these pigeons’ fertilizers and used them in the vineyards, and used their eggs in the plaster casts of the frescoes. The name “pigeon” is related to this fact. Today, the valley is a well-known destination in Cappadocia. It is a 1-hour, medium-difficulty trekking route where you can see the pigeons, a waterfall, and a tree decorated with many evil eye beads. Pigeon Valley in Cappadocia’s one of the favorite sights among travelers.

d. Pasabag Valley in Cappadocia

Pasabag Valley is another destination where you can see different amounts of fairy chimnies most obvious in the Cappadocia region and it is known as the Valley of the Priests. The valley takes place in the Goreme National Park on the Zelve Way. A rumor claim that once the monks were secluded in the region. So people called it the Valley of the Priests at the same time. When you visit Pasabag Valley, the view you will see that they are right.

e. Salt Lake in Cappadocia

Recently, everybody has been searching for the salt lake in Cappadocia however, there is no salt lake in the region. Salt Lake is actually Kochisar Lake, which is around 2 hours drive from the region to the northwest. It is one of the main salt resources of the country and has an amazing view that is worth seeing. 

It is on the migration routes of birds, so the spring is the time to see the flamingos on their break here, and travelers can see stunning moments. Visit Pinky Salt Late in this 2023 season!

Salt Lake in Cappadocia

In the other months of the year when there is water, the sunsets create magnificent reflections, which is a rare atmosphere for taking seductive shots. In July and August, it produces beta-carotene to save itself from the harmful sun rays, and thanks to that, it turns red. As you see from the facts above, all seasons are best for visiting the lake.

f. Derinkuyu Underground City

In Cappadocia, while people carved homes and churches on the rock formations, they built cities under the ground too. In the Cappadocia region, like fairy chimneys, the ground is made up of the soft tuff layer, which allows ancient people to build cities under the ground. Derinkuyu Underground City is one of the best-known and most visited underground cities in Cappadocia. However, there are others: Kaymakl Underground City, Ozkonak, Sivasa, Gökcetoprak Underground City, Maz, Ozluce, and Tatlarin which are other less popular underground cities. The feature that makes Derinkuyu Underground City unique is its depth, which is around 85 meters. It has a 55-meter deep ventilation shaft, which is connected to the surface and is also used as a water well. Stum shops, kitchens, cellars, dining halls, churches, and a missionary school can be seen on a visit.

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2. Cappadocia Balloon Flights 

Feel the Sunrise in Air Balloon- Recharge your batteries in the endless landscape. 

If you want to get the feeling of touching the sky you will have to wake up and be ready before sunrise- that usually means around 5 am. Since the ‘80s, hot air balloon flights have been held in Cappadocia. Hot air balloon flights are held from the Cavusin and Goreme districts and the Love Valley, Red Valley, Rose Valley, Cavusin, Goreme, and the castles of Uchisar and Ortahisar can be seen in a bird’s eye view. When the wind changes its direction, the Avanos and Ibrahimpasa regions are on the horizon.

Cappadocia Balloon Flights 

Once you arrive at the valley you will see hundreds of colorful balloons covering the sky. This astonishing view will give you a sense of being positioned between dream and reality. The flights are held all year round, no matter the rain or snow, but the wind causes the flights to be canceled or route changes. Cappadocia University Slot Service Center announces whether the flight will be done or not every day on the web, and all the hot air balloon companies act according to this announcement. Due to weather conditions, It is possible to say that the Cappadocia hot air balloon season is between March and June or August to October. Every day, two flights are held, roughly at around 5 and 6 a.m. So, if the weather is not abnormal, it is possible to experience it during the winter season. In winter, the months of December, January, and February are the coldest ones and snow. The region, which already looks like a fairy tale, transforms into a magical atmosphere. So in Cappadocia, all seasons are hot air balloon season. The Air balloon experience in Cappadocia is considered a thrilling and must-see activity. 

3. Trip to Ephesus to Cappadocia or Kusadasi to Cappadocia

Like Cappadocia, Turkey has so many destinations that are alluring to travelers from all around the world, plus it has various options when it comes to different themes. Cappadocia, on the other hand, is on so many travelers’ lists. These wish to visit Kars for winter sports and more or religious tourists who will visit the Virgin Mary in Ephesus or even blue cruise enthusiasts. Two airports facilitate anything: Cappadocia Airport and Kayseri Airport. These two airports have flights from the center of tourism, Izmir, Bodrum, Antalya, and Istanbul. So you can add your Cappadocia itinerary where ever your destination is in Turkey.

4. Cappadocia Caves

What do you say about spending a couple of nights in a castle built in a real white stone cave?

Volcanic eruptions created this surreal moonscape that shaped rocks through wind and rain into curved valleys and cliffs. Those fairy chimneys today are homes of Cappadocians and have become unique boutique hotels for thousands of tourists worldwide. If you are looking for a safe and clean Cappadocia cave hotel, our choice is Cappadocia El Punte Cave Hotel.

Cappadocia Cave Hotel

5. Marvel of Cappadocia Underground City

Feels like you are in a time machine: Go back to the Byzantine era and feel the charms of history

One of the most magnificent and vivid landmarks that make Cappadocia unique are the frescoes painted on dry plaster by the Byzantines. The Dark Church in Cappadocia, which was then home to Christian refugees, has the best examples of paintings made by colorful angels that cover pillars and ceilings. As a result, the lack of light has preserved those frescoes that still look fresh and colorful even after millennia.

Today, in the area of Cappadocia, you can visit hundreds of cave churches carved in limestone rocks with wall frescoes.

Cappadocia Cave Hotel Room

Can you imagine?

More than 600 cave churches and dozens of underground cities have been discovered in this area. 

6. The Land of Beautiful Cappadocia Horses

How about riding horses in Cappadocia? 

In the ancient Persian language, the word Cappadocia carries the meaning of beautiful wild horses that this region still possesses. Horses and donkeys are still used by locals more than cars. The valleys of Cappadocia are one of the main destinations for hiking and horseback riding in Turkey. Many tourists enjoy city tours on these beautiful fields by riding the horses and feel another dimension of the ancient centuries that this city carries.

The valleys of Cappadocia are one of the main destinations for hiking and horseback riding in Turkey.

7. Things to Eat in Cappadocia

You don’t need a silver fork to eat good food!

Why wouldn’t you end your day by enjoying the taste of traditional Turkish food under the open sky, surrounded by belly dancers and Ottoman music?

In the heart of Cappadocia, there are plenty of cave or rooftop restaurants that offer traditional Turkish cuisine and folk performances for their valuable guests. At these spots, you won’t be able to resist tasting a fresh-squeezed pomegranate, Turkish pide, small pasta packets, usually stuffed with meat or cheese, called manti, and pottery kebab meat, and a glass of local wine. Don’t forget to visit Cappadocia to test these stunning, delicious dishes.

Testi Kebabı (Pot Kebab)

FAQs about Cappadocia

i. How many days is enough to see Cappadocia?

If you are well organized and have a tourist guide or a local person, three to four days are enough to experience most of the beauties of Cappadocia.

ii. Is Cappadocia safe place to stay?

Central Turkey has also been given a green light by the FCO, which has no warnings in place for the region. Lonely Planet says that “even compared to many other popular traveler destinations across the world, Cappadocia remains an incredibly safe place”, including for solo female travelers.

iii. Is Cappadocia a wonder of the world?

UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia are indeed two of the wonders of our planet.

iv. What is the currency of Cappadocia?

ou can obtain currency exchange before traveling Cappadocia region, or on arrival. We recommend you to get Turkish Liras after you arrive in Turkey as the exchange rates are usually better in Turkey and you can find exchange offices in Nevsehir Kapadokya Airport (NAV) or Kayseri Airport (ASR).

If you would like to learn more about other regions in Turkey or all around the world, please visit our blog to see the best deals and offers and experience the world’s most beautiful spots and places.

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