Cappadocia hosted an extraordinary number of visitors in the first quarter of 2022
With its extraordinary topography, rich history, and delicious cuisine, Cappadocia fascinates its visitors. Featuring subterranean rock-carved cities, enchanting fairy chimneys, and breath-taking vistas, a visit to Cappadocia offers magical hot air balloon rides, horseback rides through rocky landscapes, charming cave hotels, and sampling local wines in quaint cafes.
Cappadocia is an unforgettable combination of natural and historical wonders that has captivated travellers for centuries. The region’s topography, created by the erosion of lava and ash spewed by now-dormant volcanoes, fascinates visitors with the unusual conical structures called “fairy chimneys” and centuries-old underground cities carved from rock. Cappadocia gained fame in antiquity for breeding true horses and has been known as the “Land of Beautiful Horses” for hundreds of years. With these assets and more, Cappadocia promises an unforgettable holiday!
Cappadocia hosted an extraordinary number of visitors in the first quarter of 2022. The museums and archaeological sites in the region were visited by 305,275 people in the first three months of the year, increasing by 54% compared to the first quarter of 2021.
See Cappadocia from the sky, stay in caves
The best way to see Cappadocia’s magical landscape is a hot air balloon ride in its incomparable skies. The colourful balloons launch around five ‘o clock in the morning, usually from the village of Göreme, and visitors can enjoy sweeping views of Pigeon Valley, Zemi Valley, Love Valley and Pasabağ Monks Valley, along with the famous fairy chimneys and other fantastic rock formations during the ride. Bring a camera!
For guests seeking an authentic Cappadocian experience, the area’s cave hotels are the perfect accommodation. Rock-carved rooms in cave hotels bring history and modern amenities together in a luxurious blend. After a full day of sightseeing, the best way to spend the evening is to relax in the lounge of a boutique cave hotel with a glass of fine local wine.
From Göreme to Ürgüp on horseback
As the ‘land of beautiful horses, it is fitting to go horseback riding in Cappadocia. The area’s ranches offer guided horse-riding tours on beautiful, sure-footed ponies. Watching the sunset over the Red Valley while astride a horse is an unforgettable experience. While horses can cover more ground, travellers can also see many sights on foot. The peaceful Ihlara Valley is a perfect place to walk or hike. In the valley, there are gazebos along the Melendiz stream where trekkers can enjoy tea or a coffee. Jeep and ATV safaris are also available, and some of the area’s churches and valleys can be reached via off-road vehicles.
Enthralling underground cities
A land of mystery, Cappadocia has been inhabited for centuries, sometimes under the ground. Intriguing multi-level subterranean cities, carved entirely from rock, date to around the seventh and eighth centuries BC, according to some studies. The underground cities of Kaymaklı, Derinkuyu, Özkonak, Mazi and Tatlarin, created to protect the area’s population from invaders, open a window into the daily life of their inhabitants, with rock-carved tunnels connecting dozens of living, worship and storage areas. To walk along the paths of these unique underground dwellings is an unforgettable experience.
Like the cuisines of every other region in Türkiye, Cappadocian cuisine was shaped by the area’s cultural heritage and the availability of fresh local and seasonal products. Visitors to Cappadocia begin the day with a traditional Turkish breakfast, usually accompanied by a lovely view of the landscape of fairy chimneys. This hearty breakfast showcases local cheeses, and fresh eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers, and green peppers, along with olives, jams, honey, butter, and cream. Delicacies like homemade sausages, pastries, and the delicious egg dish, menemen, are complemented by fragrant Turkish tea. A perfect start to a busy day of having fun and seeing beautiful sights!
Other dining delights in Cappadocia are local dishes such as apricot stew and zerdeli rice (a saffron-rice dish). In a region famous for its pottery, the testi kebab (pottery kebab) is a must-try: vegetables and meat are placed in a clay pot sealed with bread and baked in a tandoor (traditional oven). Before serving the dish, the seal is broken with a dramatic flourish!
Cappadocia’s climate is ideal for growing grapes and the area has a long-established winemaking tradition. At various wineries in the area, guests can sample local vintages made from the grapes grown in the rich tuff soil of the region.
Romance in the Land of Fairy Tales
With its fairy-tale landscape, Cappadocia is one of Türkiye’s most popular wedding and honeymoon destinations. Couples and their guests choose Cappadocia for its many gorgeous boutique hotels, dining options and, of course, the spellbinding hot air balloons.
Many couples immortalize their marriage proposals and wedding ceremonies during a hot air balloon ride or celebrate anniversaries and honeymoons while floating across the blue Cappadocia sky. Often featuring terraces with stunning sunset views, secluded boutique cave hotels are a popular option for wedding celebrations. Many of these hotels also have Turkish baths or other spa facilities.