• This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


A beautiful and mysterious landscape full of tradition
Cappadocia, Land of the Fairy Chimmneys

Cappadocia (known as Kapadokya in Turkey) is located in Eastern Anatolıa   The name was used traditionally by Christian sources throughout history and is still used internationally to described this unique area of natural landscape characterized by what have become known as Fairy Chimneys!

In ancient times it stretched from The Taurus Mountains in the south, to the vicinity of the Black Sea to the north, the Euphrates to the east and Lycia to the east. It is believed the name was first applied to the area by the Persians.

Cappadocia Background

Cappadocia was known as Hatti in the late Bronze Age, and was the homeland of the Hittite Kingdom centered in Hattusa. After the fall of the Hittite Empire, and with the decline of the Syro-Cappadocians they were defeated by the Lydıan Kıng Croesus in the 6th BC, then by the Persian Empire. After bringing the Persian Empire to an end, Alexander the Great tried to rule the area through one of his commanders and Cappadocia lived in peace under until the death of Alexander.  Somehow a Persian aristocrat, Ariarathes, became King of the Cappadocians and under his dynasty Cappadocia first came into contact with Rome, initially as a foe with Antiochus the Great and then later as an ally.

In the Christian era Cappadocia was mentioned in the bible in the Book of Acts 2.9 Cappadocians were mentioned as hearing the Gospel account from Gallıeans in their own language on the day of Pentecost after the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Cappadocıan Fathers of the 4th century were integral to much of early Christian philosophy and the Patriarch of Constantinople – John of Cappadocıa who came from Cappadocia, who held this office in 520AD.

Cappadocia also shared an ever changing relationship with its neighbour Armenia, also then a part of the empire.   During skirmishes with the Arabs, Armenians distinguished themselves as soldiers in the Byzantine army, As a result of these campaigns Armenians spread into Cappadocia and further eastward to Mesopotania to form the Kingdom of Cilica.

Cappadocia remained peaceful under the Byzantine era. In the 11th century it became increasingly influenced by Turkish clans as part of the Selcuks   Some converted to Islam but most Cappadocians moved on to the Ionian coast.   By the 12 CAD the Anatolian Selcuks had established their dominance over the region and then by the 15CAD Cappadocia had become part of the Ottoman Empire. Upon the foundation of the Turkish Republic it became part of modern day Turkey.

What to See and Do

Cappadocia has many small villages Goreme. Urgup Uchisar and Zelve being the most well known. The World Heritage listed Open Air Museum is located in Goreme and its famous rock hewn churches with their frescos dating from the 9-11CAD. The Church of St Barbara is the most famous.

The volcanic rocks around Goreme and surrounding villages eroded into amazing shapes of pillars and minaret formations The local population lived in cave type dwelling and many have now been made into cave hotels for tourists. Some people still occupy them.   There are many valleys of these erosion’s such as Rose Valley, Red Valley. Love Valley which provide opportunities for trekking and horse riding.

Viewing points all around the villages provide stunning views for visitors.. Many International and Turkish movies have been filmed in the region.

The area contains several underground cities, the most famous are Derinkuyu and Kaymakli The early Christians used these cities as hiding places from invasion and also for storage.   Ilhara Valley with its beautiful gorge and nearby Guzelyurt (Monastery Valley) are a must!   No trip to Cappadocia is complete without a sunrise balloon ride over it’s spectacular valleys! To glide over this spectacular landscape is like nowhere else in the world!

What to Buy

Cappadocia has been famous for its pottery from the Hittite era using kick wheel techniques. Aristens in the town of Avanos create pottery with unique family designs. There are a variety of shops, large and small to visit, and a pottery demonstration is included in most tours, where you can pieces. You can also participate in a pottery workshop. There are also jewellery shops with unique designs at very competitive prices.

Cappadocia produces beautiful carpets and kilims, some of older ones woven as dowry pieces. Colourful kilims come from the Yahyahli region adjacent to Goreme – woven by nomadic women of the area the create a kilim from start to finish in the yurts in the summer. The dyes used in the wool are from natural plants and woven to their own designs and motifs. Carpets are also available in many sizes colours, designs and quality.

What to Eat

As well as the usual delicious Turkish cuisine, the local specialty is Tandir – meat slow cooked in a pit oven until absolutely tender. Testi kebab is famous in the area. Meat cooked in a pottery container and bought to your table steaming hot and opened onto your plate. This can be with either chicken meat or vegetables.

Dibek Restaurant in Goreme is famous for its Anatolian food. Also try Cappadocia wines! The volcanic area not only affects culture but plants as well. The grapes of Cappadocia are among Turkeys best and a visit to a local winery can be included in your tour.

Turkey Travel Guide Tours