4 Photos


Goreme Nevsehir , Turkey


Patricia Jones
34 Reviews
Same is always...
star Reviewed Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Imagine floating through the cloudless sky above Cappadocia, as sunrise casts a crimson glow on Mount Erciyes and the hills surrounding the GOre re Valley Below, an enchanting lunar-like landscape unfurls, with mountain ridges rough and cavernous and weathered valleys studded with pinnacles better known as hoodoos, or the 'fairy chimneys' of Cappadocia.

A balloon ride is one of the most popular ways to appreciate the scale and dramatic wonder of the GOre re National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Cappadocia, in the central Anatolian region of Turkey This is a place where centuries of volcanic eruptions and erosion have rendered a landscape of incomparable natural beauty.

Each morning at daybreak, scores of colorful balloons soar up over the forest of precarious pinnacles, while, from their baskets, travellers peer curiously into ancient troglodyte dwellings and vertiginous chasms as they sail peacefully by. But it's on and under the ground that visitors to Cappadocia can really get to know this mythical landscape. For lovers of culture and history, and perhaps a lithe romance, Cappadocia is unbeatable and it's all just a short flight from Ankara or Istanbul. Shaped by human habitation since the fourth century the traces of these ancient people are visible everywhere, from the slow pace of life to the warm, authentic welcome from modern-day Cappadocians.

Among Cappadocia's star attractions are its 3,000 or so rock-hewn churches and chapels carved by Christian monks, sanctuaries that contain some of the best examples of post-iconoclastic Byzantine art in the world. Thirty of the best are in the GOre re Open Air Museum a large monastic complex carved into the soft volcanic rock outside Goreme village with Karanlik Kilise, the spectacular frescoed 'dark church', hidden in the cliff; and the Tokali Kilise ('church with the buckle'), home to several well-preserved, globally important murals. Let your imagination run wild with a through the nearby Devrent Valley.

('imaginary valley'), where fairy chimneys resemble everything from rabbits and camels to lovers ldssing, while Pasabag ('monks valley') has distinct mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys. More churches are hewn into the rock face of the sheer Ihlara Gorge. South of GOre re are Kaymakli and Derinkuyu, two of the 36 abandoned subterranean cities in Cappadocia (some date back to the Bronze Age). Extending eight floors deep below the earth, Kaymakli was the largest, while the deepest, Derinkuyu 'deep well' in English was home to up to 20,000 people. Secret doorways and passages reveal stables, wine and oil presses and even a bathhouse. Travellers heading to Cappadocia this year can be among the first to explore the largest underground city ever discovered, unearthed in 2014 in the town of Nevsehir. It features a 12th-century rock-carved church and a sixth-century monastery and was partially opened to the public only last year.

Cappadocia's unique landscape has given rise to some of the most original accommodations to be found anywhere in the world: its cave hotels. In villages throughout the region, historical caves and subterranean systems have been restored and transformed into cosy boutique hotels, with hewn open fires, terraces, courtyards and simple, often antique, furnishings, such as exquisite kil ns woven by local craftspeople and distinct red-clay pottery from the town of Avanos on the banks of the Kizilirmak the 'red river'. As well as hotels with subterranean rooms, there are plenty more with guest rooms carved into the sides of the tufa cliffs, with lofty views of the villages and valleys, magically illuminated by night. With so much history and stunning scenery Cappadocia is an unforgettable destination not to be missed.

Further Information visit hometurkey.com

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