Let us launch you into the majestic world of hot air balloon rides to experience the sheer joy of the oldest and most romantic form of aviation in the world, Cappadocia.
You will be picked up from your hotel early in the morning, usually before sunrise, and will be driven to the take off site. While you are having a light breakfast you will see the inflation of the balloon and get a passenger briefing which explains basic rules about balloon flights ...Please visit Hot Air Balloon Tour page for more information.
Best examples of fairy chimneys can bee seen in Red Tour. Goreme Open Air Museum, this time not only the places curved into rocks...
also the churches with gorgeous frescos and paintings will be shocking you by their art. Afterward you will see fairy chimneys and walk through Pasabaglar, used to be known as Valley of Monks, after that you will be able to see Devrent Valley, you most probably wont want to stop taking picturesPlease visit Red Tour page for more information.
Avanos is set on the banks of the Kizilirmak, the Red River, which gets its name from the clay that it deposits. This clay has provided Avanos with pottery for centuries and the town is still dominated by this industry despite the inroads that tourism has made in the area. The main street has numerous shops and workshops selling plain and decorated pots and plates and you can watch the potters at work using kick wheels, the design of which has remained unchanged for generations. Many of the workshops will encourage you to have a go yourself. It is harder than it looks. Avanos is a possible base for exploring Cappadocia with accommodation and services available at reasonable rates. The town has retained some of its charm and is a pleasant place to spend half a day or to stop for lunch. The town has a tourist targeted Hamam (Turkish bath) which is popular with tour groups and is also close to the Selcuk built Yellow Caravanserai, a restored Han (travellers -service station-), and the Ozkanak Underground city, a smaller version of those at "Derinkuyu and Kaymakli Underground Cities"
Cavusin is a village about 4 kilometres from Göreme. The old village is largely deserted because the area has been plagued by rock falls. For this reason it is best to rent a guide if you want to visit Cavusin and to watch your step. At Cavusin you can visit the Church of John the Baptist, dating probably from the 5th century with paintings from the 6th, 7th and 8th centuries. Quite nearby, another church contains frescos commemorating the passage of Nicephoras Phocas (a Byzantine emperor) through Cappadocia from 964 to 965 during his military campaign against Cilicia. Nicephoras may have visited the Church of John the Baptist, which was an important centre for pilgrimage at that time.
Göreme which have the old names of Korama, Matiana and Maccan is 10 km far away from the center of Nevsehir province. The valley created from volcanic rocks is famous with the chimney rocks resulting from the erosion made by the natural factors to these rocks and with the historical richness. It has been an important religious place together with the intensive emigration of the first Christians escaping from the pressure of the Roman soldiers. The population escaped from the pressures has made many abbeys, churches and houses in the volcanic rocks from the valley where they were able to hidden easily. In our days in Goreme are found Elmali Church, St. Barbara Church, Sandal(Carikli) Church, The Buckle(Tokali) Church and The Dark Church and all of these are Goreme Open Air Museum. In the churches there are scenes from the life of Jesus, descriptions of the saints who written the Bible and pictures of Saint Barbara and Saint Georgius.
The number of axe-heads and ceramic pieces made of obsidian (naturel volcanic glass) encountered around the Analipsis Peak on which the Yuksek (High) Church is located show that region must have been inhabited in the Chaloclithic Period. Over time the area has seen Hittites, Persians, Cappadocia Kingdom, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks, Ottomans and Turkish Republic. From the beginning of history the area has also been setting for many different religions. Christianity, which was introduced to the region by St. Paul, met much resistance in the early years. Until it was accepted by the Roman Empire as an official religion Christians hid themselves in places like Guzelyurt and its environs, the Ihlara Valley and Soganli. The ideas put forward by St. Gregory of Guzelyurt ans basil of Kayseri led in time to the foundation of the Orthodox denomination; connected to this was the foundation of the first monastery in Guzelyurt. The "Iconoclastic Movement" began as a reaction to the Roman pressure over religion. At this time the religious system proposed by St. Gregory was so powerful that the region was not affected by these actions and those Christians against the Iconoclastic Movement found protection here.
The volcanic eruption of Mt. Hasan led to tectonic movements that left the surface of the region covered with a layer of volcanic rock. The same volcanic activity led to pressure and heat being put upon the limestone causing it to crack and create naturally spouting springs of hot water, these can be seen at the Ziga Thermal Springs between Ihlara and Yaprakhisar. The structural characteristics of the region due to volcanic eruption produced tufa outcrops which were moulded by wind, erosion and other natural phenomena and created the strange and colorful Fairy Chimneys that are also encountered at Selime and Yaprakhisar. The tectonic movoments produced tufa rock that in some places is soft and in others is coloured grey, green and brown. Huge areas of crumbling rock completely covered the area in its debris. The Ihlara valley alogside the melendiz River is a result of this disintegration that created a canyon with a deep base. The fast flowing river is in places between 100 and 200 m deep and it divides the valley into two; it continues towards Aksaray with the name Ulunmak until reaches Tuz Golu (Salt Lake). Aksaray Province of Cappadocia region was an important religious centre in Christianitys very earliest days. Founders of orders like St. Basil of Kayseri and St. Greegory of Nazianos lived here in the 4th century. A different set of monastic rules than the system used in Egypt ad Syria was determined here. Although the monks in Egypt and Syria cut themselves off from relationships with the wordly things the monks under Basil and Gregory did not. The birthplace for this concept was Belisirma.
The unfortunately named Urgup is probably the busiest of the small towns in the vicinity of the Cappadocian sites. It is possibly the tattiest as well, recent development has mushroomed leaving a grim legacy of poorly designed and serviced buildings. The road down into the town however does take you past some pleasant rock carved dwellings, accommodation and restaurants. It is worth wondering around the old town for a taste of what the place must have been like before we all arrived. This said it does offer services, such as banking, which are a little scarce elsewhere. It has a scattering of hotels and pansiyons of varying degrees of sophistication and a couple of good places to eat. The central bus station can feel a little bit like a gladiatorial arena if you arrive looking disorganised and vulnerable to tour operators. It just is that way and there is not much you can do about it. Cappadocia is a training ground for guides and travel operators and Urgup seems to be a bit of a target range.