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Turkey has some of the most extraordinary natural and historical wonders in the world. Cappadocia in particular is world famous and visited by thousands every year. Most of the sights are best experienced via Cappadocia tours which take visitors to all of the highlights of the region.
Goreme Open Air Museum
During the 11th and 13th centuries, Goreme was a bishopric administered by Mokissos near Aksaray. Therefore it is an important Christian centre in the early middle age with a vast number of monasteries, churches and chapels. The most important of them are Elmali Kilise (Apple Church), Azize Barbara Sapeli (Chapel of St. Barbara), Karanlik Kilise (Dark Church) and Tokali Kilise (Buckle Church).
Unfortunately, limited inscriptions bearing dates could be found and so these religious buildings could only be recorded based on the iconography or architectural features.
One of Cappadocia’a most famous natural wonders where you will find mushroom shaped rock chimneys here. Pasabag Valley, is also known as Monks Valley because a religious community once lived here and you can still see the carved monk cells high up in the pinnacles. One of these monk cells can still be visited.
Situated 1KM from the Pasabag Valley and 5KM from Avanos, Devrent Valley could be found on the northern slopes of Aktepe. You could see several pointed fairy chimneys with large stems scattered around the valley and they spread over three valleys.
Kaymakli Underground City
The first underground city to be chiseled out from the ground of Cappadocia during the Hittie era. It consists of a labyrinth of rooms connected by tunnels and extending eight levels deep into the ground. Today, visitors can explore only four levels of it. Walking through the mazy tunnels and seeing the lifestyle of the Christians escaping from Arab and Persian invaders can be a fascinating experience.
The beautiful red rock formations is the reason behind its name. This valley could be reach by foot from Goreme where you will pass through vineyards and gardens, also seeing villagers working hard in the area. There are also dozens of hiking trails so it’s a perfect place for hikers or adventurer. Kolonlu Kilise (Columned Church), Hacli Kilise (Church of the Cross) and Uc Hacli Kilise (Church of the Three Crosses) are three of the main attractions within the Rose Valley.
Cavusin is 2KM away from Goreme situated on the Goreme – Avanos road and is also one of the oldest settlements in Cappadocia. You could get a panoramic view of the village by climbing up to the Church of St. John the Baptist. This church is also believed to be the oldest in Cappadocia with impressive basilica-like proportions and fat columns. The Cavusin Church is another site to visit, it is also known as the Big Pigeon House Church because of its usage as a local pigeon house in the early 20th century.
This is an amazing and stunning rock cut monastery on a cliff. It consists of a vast kitchen, a church, stables with feeding troughs, a gallery and beautiful soaring chimneys.
This could be a destination after the Selime Monastery and you could trek in the valley and see the homes’ of early Christians. Melendiz River runs through the valley and alongside are rock houses and temples built by carving the tuffs in the valley. Be sure to check out Kokar Kilise (Fragrant Church), Yilanli Kilise (Snake Church) and Kirk Dam Alti Kilise (St. George Church), these are the best being carved off the cliffs.
Centuries old pigeon houses carved from the cliff could be seen here in the Pigeon Valley. It is located on the outskirt of Goreme and the pigeon’s manure is a rich source of fertilizer for the farmer’s crops here.
This is the best place to finish off a day with a beautiful sunset. It provides a panoramic view of the area with fairy chimneys of different colors, for example white, yellow, pink, grey and black.
Wondering where you should head next from Cappadocia? Easily hop on a Mount Nemrut tour to see the fascinating funerary mound of King Antiochus I.