Traveling to Turkey and visiting one of the most iconic and historical region Cappadocia is like you never been to Turkey. Many people have visit this ancient region in Central Turkey. Way more of them write something about this wonderful area and structures that ancient civilization build into the landscapes. But still no matter how much you write or try to describe Cappadocia is always space for more.
Getting to Cappadocia
If you drive a car is a 757 km journey from Istanbul and almost 8 hour driving. If you use public transport than you can catch a bus or train that goes in direction of Kayseri or Nevsehir. For most of the tourists Cappadocia is accessible from the nearest airports- Ankara, Antalya , Konya. From there you can catch a bus to the central stations and from there to Cappadocia. Also there is a plenty of shuttle buses that goes directly from the airport to the Cappadocia region.
The earliest record of the name of Cappadocia dates from the late 6th century BC, when it appears in the trilingual inscriptions of two early Achaemenid kings, Darius I and Xerxes, as one of the countries (Old Persian dahyu-) of the Persian Empire. In these lists of countries, the Old Persian name is Haspaduya, which according to some researchers is derived from Iranian Huw-aspa-dahyu- “the land/country of beautiful horses”.
Others proposed that Kat-patuka came from the Luwian language, meaning “Low Country”. Subsequent research suggests that the adverb katta meaning ‘down, below’ is exclusively Hittite, while its Luwian equivalent is zanta. Therefore the recent modification of this proposal operates with the Hittite katta peda-, literally “place below” as a starting point for the development of the toponym Cappadocia
After the Persian Empire , Alexander the Great conquer the place and ruled through one of his generals – Ariarathes IV whom later become king of Cappadocian Kingdom. Sometime fighting with the neighbors to extend his kingdom Ariarathes IV become one of the most successful kings. After that they work together with Romans and become part of the Byzantine till the Armenian comes on short to rule with the area and around the 12 century and entering of many turkish clans in the area Cappadocia become part of the Turkish (Ottoman Empire) .
Cappadocia contains several underground cities (see Kaymaklı Underground City). The underground cities have vast defense networks of traps throughout their many levels. These traps are very creative, including such devices as large round stones to block doors and holes in the ceiling through which the defenders may drop spears.
Cappadocia as a touristic attraction
The most popular thing to do in Cappadocia is cave hotels, exploring the landscape by the air balloons and exploring some of the caves and underground cities that were build into the rocks many centuries ago. Uts outstanding network of caves and passages that goes endlessly underground. Fascinating way of building shafts and canals for air to circulate inside. Cappadocia is one of its kind and is MUST place to go.
My travel story – Cappadocia seen from my angle
Got a flight to Istanbul and from there change a plane to Konya. There was a friend of mine waiting for us on the Konya airport , i was super excited and couldnt wait to see this miracle structure for a first time. We arrive in Nevsehir and settle in one of the cave hotels and once we went out of our room we were able to see all those balloon tours.
First day decide to have look from upclose into the underground cities and canyon fascinating carved ways into the landscapes.
Sedimentary rocks formed in lakes and streams and ignimbrite deposits that erupted from ancient volcanoes approximately 9 to 3 million years ago, during the late Miocene to Pliocene epochs, underlie the Cappadocia region. The rocks of Cappadocia near Göreme eroded into hundreds of spectacular pillars and minaret-like forms. People of the villages at the heart of the Cappadocia Region carved out houses, churches and monasteries from the soft rocks of volcanic deposits. Göreme became a monastic centre in 300–1200 AD.
In Goreme Hot Air Balloning is so popular and tours for one hour drive usually cost 120 euro per person. But paying this price will fully pay off when you took off and see the landscape from the air.Fantastic view that will take your breath away.
Accommodation in Cappadocia and summary
Prices in the hotels range from 50-100 euro a night , Its a unique opportunity to enjoy in some of those cave hotels and feel a bit like those who live there few thousands years ago but with all modern commodities that modern life have.
People are super friendly and will help you in anything you ask for. Food is great and views all around are fascinating.
Cappadocia – Highly recommended from me and many that been there…