Things to do
Glimpsing Cappadocia’s ‘fairy chimneys’ for the first time is magical. Formed from lava millions of years ago, these towering, mushroom-like cones have created a one-of-a-kind skyline. To see what lies beneath, visit UNESCO-listed Göreme Open-Air Museum. Here, 10th-century churches are hewn from the rocks and home to bright, beautiful frescoes.
From Alexander the Great to Emperor Caesar, Cappadocia has a varied and fascinating dynastic history. To immerse yourself in the stories of this ancient land, venture below ground and explore atmospheric cave cities. Kaymakli, Derinkuyu, Gaziemir and Özkonak are excellent examples. Many have their defence networks still in tact – including millstone doors and spear holes. In others, you can view bathhouses, kitchens and even prisons.
Be sure to bring your hiking boots to Cappadocia – its canyons make it magnificent walking country. Try the evocatively named Love Valley, Rose Valley or Pigeon Valley. A trek through the Ihlara gorges will see you following the Melendiz River, past pistachio trees and through rust-red rock formations. Look out for ancient cave dwellings and Byzantine chapels as you travel.