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Cappadocia is Turkey's number one tourist site thanks to its off-the-moon geological formations. Houses and churches carved out of the soft rock are original, even awesome. The curious cone-shaped formations are called fairy chimneys and modern residents are converting many into fashionable residences. Sacred chapels and churches cut from the rock have exquisite Byzantine frescoes dating from about the 9th century. The extensive open air museum at Goreme is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A vast network of underground cities is impressive, as are the 20th-century authentic Greek villages that can be explored in leisurely fashion by bicycle ...

Cappadocia is Turkey's number one tourist site thanks to its off-the-moon geological formations. Houses and churches carved out of the soft rock are original, even awesome. The curious cone-shaped formations are called fairy chimneys and modern residents are converting many into fashionable residences. Sacred chapels and churches cut from the rock have exquisite Byzantine frescoes dating from about the 9th century. The extensive open air museum at Goreme is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A vast network of underground cities is impressive, as are the 20th-century authentic Greek villages that can be explored in leisurely fashion by bicycle — or on horses, for which the region has been famous since Roman times.

For a bird's eye view, nothing surpasses the panorama from a hot air balloon. That this was a key trade route is seen in the splendid 13th-century Seljuk caravanserai, Sultanhan, near Aksaray. This is a land of glorious sunsets and shifting lights, outdoor activities and day trips. Mt. Erciyes, overlooking the main city, Kayseri, has challenging pistes and excellent ski facilities.

Suzanne Swan
About the Expert

Suzanne Swan is the main author of DK's Eyewitness Travel Guide Turkey. She updated and wrote original material for DK's Eyewitness Travel Guide Istanbul.

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Suzanne Swan for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Historical Region in center of Turkey, located in Europe.
  • Language: Turkish, English
  • Currency: Turkish Lira
  • Research: Wikipedia
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    May-October, or December-February for skiing