Home > Destinations > Cappadocia

Cappadocia , Turkey is the historic area of central Anatolia bounded by the towns of Hacıbektas, Aksaray, Nigde and Kayseri. It was known as Cappadocia in ancient times, and is still called Kapadokya informally today.Cappadocia is Turkey’s most visually striking region, especially the “moonscape” area around the towns of Ürgüp, Göreme, Uçhisar, Avanos and Mustafapaşa (Sinasos), where erosion has formed caves, clefts, pinnacles, “fairy chimneys” and sensuous folds in the soft volcanic rock.

Although the volcanic landscape can appear inhospitable, the mineral-rich soil is excellent for growing vegetables and fruits, making Cappadocia a rich agricultural region. It has always been one of Anatolia’s prime grape-growing areas, and still boasts many productive vineyards and wineries.

The Bible’s New Testament tells of Cappadocia, but in fact this part of central Anatolia has been important since Hittite times, long before the time of Jesus.

Prime activities here are visiting the historic painted cave churches of the many monastic valleys (especially the Göreme Valley and Zelve Valley), flying in a hot-air balloon at dawn above the incredible landscape, hiking the volcanic valleys (especially the Rose Valley [Güllüdere]), and spending the night in a comfortable cave hotel room with all the modern comforts.

For an excellent full-day excursion, drive to the surprising underground cities at Derinkuyu and Kaymaklı and the formerly Ottoman-Greek mountain town of Güzelyurt before taking a hike of several hours in the Ihlara Valley.

You may also want to spend a half-day hiking the less-visited Soğanlı Valleys of southern Cappadocia, south of Mustafapaşa.

Cappadocia was known as Hatti in the late Bronze Age, and was the country of the Hittite force focused at Hattusa. After the fall of the Hittite Empire, with the decrease of the Syro-Cappadocians after their thrashing by the Lydian lord Croesus in the sixth century, Cappadocia was ruled by a kind of medieval gentry, abiding in solid palaces and keeping the laborers in a servile condition, which later made them well-suited to outside servitude. It was incorporated into the third Persian satrapy in the division set up by Darius however kept on being administered by leaders of its own, none evidently incomparable over the entire nation and all pretty much tributaries of the Great King.

Kingdom of Cappadocia

In the wake of closure the Persian Empire, Alexander the Great attempted to administer the zone through one of his military officers. In any case, Ariarathes, a Persian noble, some way or another got to be ruler of the Cappadocians. As Ariarathes I (332–322 BC), he was a fruitful ruler, and he developed the fringes of the Cappadocian Kingdom to the extent to the Black Sea. The kingdom of Cappadocia lived in peace until the demise of Alexander. The past domain was then partitioned into numerous parts, and Cappadocia tumbled to Eumenes. His cases were made great in 322 BC by the official Perdiccas, who executed Ariarathes; however in the disagreements which realized Eumenes’ demise, Ariarathes II, the received child of Ariarathes I, recouped his legacy and left it to a line of successors, who generally bore the name of the author of the administration.

Persian homesteaders in the Cappadocian kingdom, cut off from their co-religionists in Iran legitimate, kept on honing Zoroastrianism. Strabo, watching them in the main century B.C., records (XV.3.15) that these “flame kindlers” had numerous “blessed spots of the Persian Gods”, and additionally fire temples. Strabo besides relates, were “imperative fenced in areas; and in their middle there is a sacred place, on which there is a huge amount of fiery debris and where the magi keep the flame ever burning.”

Under Ariarathes IV, Cappadocia came into relations with Rome, first as an adversary embracing the reason for Antiochus the Great, then as an associate against Perseus of Macedon. The lords henceforward put their support behind the Republic as against the Seleucids, to whom they had been occasionally tributary. Ariarathes V walked with the Roman proconsul Publius Licinius Crassus Dives Mucianus against Aristonicus, a petitioner to the throne of Pergamon, and their strengths were demolished (130 BC). The imbroglio which took after his passing at last prompted impedance by the rising force of Pontus and the interests and wars which finished in the disappointment of the dynasty.

Roman and Byzantine province

Principle article: Cappadocia (Roman region)

The Cappadocians, upheld by Rome against Mithridates VI of Pontus, chose a local ruler, Ariobarzanes, to succeed (93 BC); yet around the same time Armenian troops under Tigranes the Great entered Cappadocia, deposed lord Ariobarzanes and delegated Gordios as the new customer lord of Cappadocia, consequently making a cradle zone against the infringing Romans. It was not until Rome had removed the Pontic and Armenian rulers that the guideline of Ariobarzanes was set up (63 BC). In the common wars Cappadocia was first for Pompey, then for Caesar, then for Antony, lastly, Octavian. The Ariobarzanes tradition arrived at an end, a Cappadocian aristocrat Archelaus was given the throne, by support first of Antony and after that of Octavian, and kept up tributary freedom until AD 17, when the sovereign Tiberius, who he had infuriated, summoned him to Rome and diminished Cappadocia to a Roman region.

Cappadocia contains a few underground urban communities (see Kaymaklı Underground City), to a great extent utilized by early Christians as concealing spots before Christianity turned into an acknowledged religion. The underground urban communities have boundless resistance systems of traps all through their numerous levels. These traps are exceptionally innovative, including such gadgets as vast round stones to piece entryways and openings in the roof through which the safeguards may drop lances.

Early Christianity

The Cappadocian Fathers of the fourth century were indispensable to quite a bit of early Christian reasoning. It additionally delivered, among other individuals, another Patriarch of Constantinople, John of Cappadocia, who held office 517–520. For the majority of the Byzantine time it remained moderately undisturbed by the contentions in the zone with the Sassanid Empire, however was a basic boondocks zone later against the Muslim successes. From the seventh century, Cappadocia was isolated between the Anatolic and Armeniac subjects. In the 9th–11th hundreds of years, the district contained the subjects of Charsianon and Cappadocia.

Cappadocia imparted a continually changing relationship to neighboring Armenia, at that point a locale of the Empire. The Arab antiquarian Abu Al Faraj declares the accompanying about Armenian pilgrims in Sivas, amid the tenth century: “Sivas, in Cappadocia, was ruled by the Armenians and their numbers turned out to be many to the point that they got to be basic individuals from the majestic armed forces. These Armenians were utilized as watch-posts as a part of solid strongholds, taken from the Arabs. They separated themselves as experienced infantry troopers in the royal armed force and were always battling with extraordinary fearlessness and accomplishment by the side of the Romans at the end of the day Byzantine”. As an aftereffect of the Byzantine military crusades and the Seljuk attack of Armenia, the Armenians spread into Cappadocia and eastbound from Cilicia into the bumpy territories of northern Syria and Mesopotamia, and the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia was in the end shaped. This migration was expanded further after the decay of the neighborhood magnificent force and the foundation of the Crusader States taking after the Fourth Crusade. To the crusaders, Cappadocia was “terra Hermeniorum,” the place that is known for the Armenians, because of the extensive number of Armenians settled there.

Another great excursion is to the Byzantine Iconoclastic rock-hewn monastery at Eski Gümüşler near Niğde.

Cultural Tours

Tourism is travel for pleasure or business; also the theory and practice of touring, the business of attracting, accommodating, and entertaining tourists, and the business of operating tours. Tourism may be international, or within the traveller’s country. The World Tourism Organization defines tourism more generally, in terms which go “beyond the common perception of tourism as being limited to holiday activity only”, as people “traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes”.

Tourism can be domestic or international, and international tourism has both incoming and outgoing implications on a country’s balance of payments. Today, tourism is a major source of income for many countries, and affects the economy of both the source and host countries, in some cases being of vital importance.

Deluxe Hot Air Balloon Ride

Experience the magic of a balloon ride while floating over beautiful landscapes. Our personal touch and professional experience will make your flight a memorable event. We schedule flights once a day, every day, all year round.

Diving

Imagine crystal clear warm water with spectacular visibility, producing incredible harmonies of light and colour. The underwater landscape is diverse with many calm shallow bays that are ideal for the beginner and the exciting caves, reefs, drop-offs, caverns, tunnels, ship wrecks, airplane wrecks and night dives for the more advanced diver. Encounter the Meditteranean fauna and flora: sea horses, octopus, barracuda’s etc. Moreover, let’s not forget an ancient Greek and Roman amphora pots dating back to 300 B.C. Fethiye and Kas are without any doubt Turkey’s best diving destinations. From May to October water the temperature reaches an average of 28 C., whilst even during the coldest months the water temperature has still an average of 20 C. Daily diving tours: Beginner Diver (also available for children from 8 yr old on); Non-Diver; Certified diver; Night Diver. Diving courses (from 1 to 10 days): Discover Scuba Diving ; Scuba Diver; Open Water Diver Junior Open Water Diver (10-14 years); Advanced Diver; Advanced Plus; Medic First Aid; Rescue Diver; Divemaster Scuba Tune-up; Scuba Referral. PADI – CMAS – DAN – SCSPF.

Hiking

With its many national parks and mountains, Turkey has some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the world (some more arduous than others). We chose some of the best hiking trails from around Turkey so you can pack up your gear and book your tickets.

Lycian Trail

One of Turkey’s most famous hiking trails, the Lycian Trail stretches around 509 km from Fethiye to Antalya with amazing views all around and great stops along the way such as Patara Beach, the natural beaches of Kaş, and the historic ruins of Olympos.

Uludağ Mountain

Uludağ is usually known as one of Turkey’s most popular destinations to go skiing, however, in the warmer months the national park is also an excellent spot for hiking. Explore the meadows, rocky area, and glacial lakes, and definitely traverse the best trail that leads from Sarıalan to Çobankaya.

Kaçkar Mountains

Another fantastic Turkish mountain to climb and explore, Kaçkar is located in Turkey’s beautiful Black Sea region whose natural alpine beauty is often compared to Switzerland. Walk past the wildflowers and sheepherders with their flock, and challenge yourself to reach the peak at around 4000m.

Cappadocia

Cappadocia is a hiking paradise because of its unique landscape and an abundance of historic sights. The most popular trails are in the Pigeon and Love Valleys, the Rose and Red Valleys, and the Zemi Valleys where you’ll come across Cappadocia’s famous Fairy Chimneys, rock churches, and stunning rock formations.

Via Egnatia

The Via Egnatia once served as the road that connected the western and eastern parts of the mighty Roman Empire and was used for both trade and military purposes. Nowadays, passionate hikers can traverse the trail that starts in Durres, Albania and goes through Macedonia, Northern Greece and Turkey, with the final stop in Istanbul.

Taurus Mountains

Another very important mountain range in Turkey, the Taurus Mountains are flanked by sheer rock walls, deep valleys and canyons, and beautiful alpine pastures and lakes. The western Taurus (with the ancient city of Termessos) and central Taurus (with the beautiful Karagöl Lake and the bridge in Adana) are the most popular.

Mount Nemrut

We wouldn’t recommend that you climb Mount Nemut in the winter because of the thick layers of snow, however, in the warmer months, the climb to the 2150m peak is thoroughly rewarding. It is here that the famous temple tomb of the late Hellenistic King Antiochos I of Commagene Kingdom continues to stun hikers.

St. Paul Trail

This special trail also has a lot of historic significance because it was used by Saint Paul during his first journey through Asia Minor. The 500km St. Paul Trail (which can take up to 27 days) also goes through the Taurus Mountains but passes through the ancient sites of Perge and Aspendos in Antalya as well as rural villages and breathtaking natural landscapes.

Mt. Olympos

It’s hard to overlook magnificent Mount Olympos, which towers above the beautiful beach at Çıralı. Known as Tahtalı Dağ in Turkish, the well marked trail is more reachable after being dropped off at the village of Beycik, and you can only imagine what the view is like from up there, Mediterranean coast and sea and all.

Yenice Forest Trail

One of the lesser-known hiking trails in Turkey, this particular path leads through the natural beauty that calls itself the Yenice Forest. A true discovery for nature lovers, the trails goes past forests and canyons and can also be traversed on bike or horseback. Safranbolu, which is famous for its well-preserved Ottoman era houses, is also nearby and definitely worth a day trip.

Horse Carriage

A carriage is a wheeled vehicle for people, usually ox or horse-drawn; litters (palanquins) and sedan chairs are excluded, since they are wheelless vehicles. The carriage is especially designed for private passenger use, though some are also used to transport goods. A public passenger vehicle would not usually be called a carriage – terms for such include stagecoach, charabanc and omnibus. It may be light, smart and fast or heavy, large and comfortable or luxurious. Carriages normally have suspension using leaf springs, elliptical springs (in the 19th century) or leather strapping. Working vehicles such as the (four-wheeled) wagon and (two-wheeled) cart share important parts of the history of the carriage, as does too the fast (two-wheeled) chariot.
The word carriage (abbreviated carr or cge) is from Old Northern French cariage, to carry in a vehicle. The word car, then meaning a kind of two-wheeled cart for goods, also came from Old Northern French about the beginning of the 14th century; it was also used for railway carriages, and was extended to cover automobile around the end of the nineteenth century, when early models were called horseless carriages.
A carriage is sometimes called a team, as in “horse and team”. A carriage with its horse is a rig. An elegant horse-drawn carriage with its retinue of servants is an equipage. A carriage together with the horses, harness and attendants is a turnout or setout. A procession of carriages is a cavalcade.

Nature Walk

An educational trail (or sometimes educational path), nature trail or nature walk is a specially developed hiking trail or footpath that runs through the countryside, along which there are marked stations or stops next to points of natural, technological or cultural interest. These may convey information about, for example, flora and fauna, soil science, geology, mining, ecology or cultural history. Longer trails, that link more widely spaced natural phenomena or structures together, may be referred to as themed trails or paths.

In order to give a clearer explanation of the objects located at each station, display boards or other exhibits are usually erected, in keeping with the purpose of the trail. These may include: information boards, photographs and pictures, maps or plans, display cases and models, slides, sound or multimedia devices, facilities to enable experimentation and so on. The routes are regularly maintained.

Educational trails with a strong thematic content may also be called “theme paths”, “theme trails” or “theme routes”, or may be specially named after their subject matter, for example the Welsh Mountain Zoo Trail, Anglezarke Woodland Trail, Cheshire Lines Railway Path, Great Harwood Nature Trail, Irwell Sculpture Trail, Salthill Quarry Geology Trail and Wildlife Conservation Trail.

Paragliding

Have you ever wanted to fly like a bird and touch the sky?

Experience with us the magic of a tandem paragliding flight! Our highly experienced pilots and most up to date new equipment make sure that you will pass a day to remember during which your safety always comes first. In Oludeniz near Fethiye the adventure begins and ends on the famous beach. A 45 minute truck safari brings you to the peak of Babadag (Father Mountain) and is an experience in itself, with over whelming views of the Blue Lagoon and its surrounding flora. Once we reach take-off point you will be fully briefed by your pilot. And then it is time to … touch the sky! You will be amazed by the stunning aerial views for 30 up to 45 minutes, depending on the day’s conditions. Experience unthinkable heights and dare yourself to an exhilarating spiral or simply float down gently as a bird. Your ultimate landing will return you to Oludeniz Beach where your friends or family wait for you, ready to hear all about your journey of a lifetime!

Road Cycling

Road cycling is the most widespread form of cycling. It includes recreational, racing, and utility cycling. Road cyclists are generally expected to obey the same rules and laws as other vehicle drivers or riders and may also be vehicular cyclists.

Dedicated road bicycles have drop handlebars and multiple gears, although there are single and fixed gear varieties. Road bikes also use narrow, high-pressure tires to decrease rolling resistance, and tend to be somewhat lighter than other types of bicycle. The drop handlebars are often positioned lower than the saddle in order to put the rider in a more aerodynamic position. In an effort to become more aerodynamic, some riders have begun using aerobars. Who and when aerobars where invented is unclear but they seem to date back to the early 1980s. The light weight and aerodynamics of a road bike allows this type of bicycle to be the second most efficient self-powered means of transportation, behind only recumbent bicycles due to the latter’s higher aerodynamic efficiency.

Standard Hot Air Balloon Ride

Get carried away in a Hot Air Balloon adventure, unlike anything you’ve ever seen. During your flight you will get a spectacular bird’s eye view of the gorgeous Red Rock Mountains and the famous Las Vegas Strip. You will drift silently over the city and countryside where you will watch for wildlife and talk with envious onlookers down below. After drifting serenely for approximately an hour, we prepare for landing.

Swimming

Human beings have been swimming for millennia. According to Wikipedia, Stone Age cave drawings depict individuals swimming and there are written references in the Bible and the Greek poems “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey” dating back 1,500 to 2,000 years. There are even Egyptian clay seals from 4000 BC showing four swimmers doing a version of the crawl, and the most famous swimming drawings were apparently found in the Kebir desert and were estimated to be from around 4000 BC.

According to the Encyclopedia of Traditional British Rural Sports, literature specifically related to swimming grew in the middle ages. It is believed that the first book devoted to swimming was Colymbetes by Nicolas Wynman written in 1538, and a more widely recognized text, De Arte Nantandi, was published in Latin by Everard Digby in 1587. The encyclopedia also reports that swimming was required of knights and that Romans built bathhouses and pools in the cities they conquered to serve as social clubs and places to exercise.

Organized swimming began in the 1800s and 1900s with the creation of swimming associations (for example, the Amateur Swimming Association in 1886) and clubs that competed against each other. There are reports from that era of swimming clubs in England, France, Germany, and the United States. High-profile events also contributed to swimming’s visibility. For instance, Matthew Webb swam the English Channel in 1875.

Competitive swimming continued to grow in popularity during the 1800s and was included in the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896. In 1904, the Olympics in St. Louis included the 50-, 100-, 220-, 440-, 880-yard and one-mile freestyle, the 100-yard backstroke and 440-yard breaststroke, and a 4×50-yard freestyle relay.

By the 20th century, swimming had become mainstream. Indoor pools were beginning to appear, most towns with populations over 20,000 had public outdoor pools, and swimming clubs became increasingly popular for recreation. Women participated for the first time in swimming in the Olympic Games in Stockholm in 1912, and Johnny Weissmuller (considered by many authorities to be the greatest swimmer of all time and who later went on to Tarzan fame in movies) became the first person to swim 100 meters in less than one minute.

Today swimming is the second most popular exercise activity in the United States, with approximately 360 million annual visits to recreational water venues. Swim clubs, recreation centers, Y’s, and many other facilities feature swimming pools. Many high schools and colleges have competitive swim teams, and of course, swimming is one of the most popular Olympic sports. Millions of Americans are swimming each year. Are you one of them? If not, the following information may help get you started.

Turkish Bath

A Turkish bath or hammam is a steambath, sauna, distinguished by a focus on water, as distinct from ambient steam. In Western Europe, the “Turkish bath” as a method of cleansing and relaxation became popular during the Victorian era. The process involved in taking a Turkish bath is similar to that of a sauna but is more closely related to ancient Greek and ancient Roman bathing practices.

We provide you a free shuttle service from your hotel to the hammam.

You will:

Enjoy a 1,000-year old Turkish tradition
Relax your body with a foam and oil massage
Experience an original Anatolian ritual
Get an invigorating body peel
Take time out in the sauna and Jacuzzi
Receive a face mask and facial massage

The Turkish bath starts with relaxation in a room (known as the warm room) that is heated by a continuous flow of hot, dry air, allowing the bather to perspire freely. Bathers may then move to an even hotter room (known as the hot room) before they wash in cold water. After performing a full body wash and receiving a massage, bathers finally retire to the cooling-room for a period of relaxation. The difference between the Islamic hammam and the Victorian Turkish bath is the air. The hot air in the Victorian Turkish bath is dry; in the Islamic hammam the air is often steamy. The bather in a Victorian Turkish bath will often take a plunge in a cold pool after the hot rooms; the Islamic hammam usually does not have a pool unless the water is flowing from a spring. In the Islamic hammams, the bathers splash themselves with cold water.

Turkish Night

Turkish Night Show is organized not only to let you experience Turkish culture and traditions but also to have a real entertainment and show after a relaxing Cappadocia day. We pick you up from your hotel in Goreme or other towns of Cappadocia at 20:00 in winter and 20:30 in summer and drive you to one of the cave restaurants of Cappadocia where the show will be performed.

The dancers, including the bride and groom, come on the dance floor and perform the traditional way, which a girl gets married in Turkey. The bride dressed in a beautiful red dress dances in the middle and the groom comes up and put on different shows for her. He first shows how handsome he is, and than how strong he is and finally how rich he is. After rejecting all these shows one by one, the bride accepts to get married with him when the groom tells that his heart beats for her. While they are starting to their wedding dance, all the guests are invited to dance with them, as well.

After a couple of other folk dances from different parts of Turkey, the highlight of the night comes: Belly Dancer! She makes her breath-taking dance and then goes around all the tables to take one man from each table. The men have a great time while they are learning the secrets of belly-dancing with some basic figures. Their wives Well, it was made sure there were no sharp objects around, before the belly dancer!

After some other dances and shows like fire dance, Caucasian dance with knives and drum show, the night ends around 23:30 and we drive you back to your hotel for a deep sleep.

During the night the waiters will serve unlimited soft and alcoholic drinks with appetizers. The main course will be lamb with rice, the traditional wedding meal of Turkey.

Whirling Dervishes Sufi Show

See the stunning Mevlevi Sema ceremony in Istanbul. Known for its whirling dervishes and dances, enjoy a complex musical repertoire called ayin and go on a mystical journey representing man’s spiritual ascent through mind and love to perfection. Watch a magnificent 1-hour show of the Mevlevi Sema ceremony at the HodjaPasha Culture Center in central Istanbul and witness the miracle of the whirling dances and dervishes.
Dating back 800 years, the show represents in thrilling fashion the idea that everything in the universe, from atoms to the solar system, to the blood that circulates in the body, revolves. Sema is a spiritual journey that the soul makes to God as it becomes mature and attains unity. After the journey, it returns to its life and to serve humankind again. This thrilling program begins with a classical Turkish music concert, followed by the Sema ceremony, comprised of 7 parts. Watch in wonder as the whirling dervishes and sheikh take their place and praise the Prophet Mohammed. Following the chant, a drum voice is heard and all 7 parts unfold, – the ceremony climaxes when the extraordinary whirling dervishes revolve to represent the birth of humanity. The Sema ends with a Fâtiha for the souls of all prophets, martyrs, and believers, and a prayer for the salvation of the country. Chosen as the best authentic local event in 2010 by the Federation of Tourist Guides in Turkey, this fantastic show takes place in the fantastic HodjaPasha Culture Center, which is a restored 550-year-old Ottoman Turkish bath in Sultanahmet-Sirkeci.

You will:

See an extraordinary dance show that dates back 800 years

Enter the HodjaPasha Culture Center, set in a restored 550-year-old Ottoman Turkish bath

Learn about the Mevlevi Sema spiritual journey

Enjoy a fantastic musical repertoire

Watch the miraculous whirling dervishes

Change Language »