Cappadocia Private Tour Guide
Cappadocia Private Tour and Travel Guide
Cappadocia is a Persian origin word which means “The Land of Beautiful Horses”. This name suggests an exceptional description of this unusual place and there is no wonder why Cappadocia is such a popular place among tourists from all around the world.
The most important feature of Cappadocia that makes it like a place from a fairy tale is its fairy chimneys. These chimneys, alongside other unique geographical formations, came to life following the eruption of Erciyes, Hasandagi, and Gulludag. A huge amount of lava and ashes created what Cappadocia is today.
A Short History of Cappadocia
Cappadocia is located right in the center of Turkey and it’s embroidered with works of art crafted by mother nature. Manmade churches and mausoleums on top of the hills and valleys and even underground cities make Cappadocia one of the most special places on earth.
City-states, empires, and religious groups rose and fell in this region. Hittites, Persians, Alexander the Great, Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire and, Ottomans are important civilizations and figures that existed in this region for centuries.
Where is Cappadocia and Which Cities Does It Include?
Cappadocia is not somewhere that can be explored thoroughly in a few days and it is because of the fact that Cappadocia covers a wide range of area. The region known as Cappadocia consists of four cities, which are Kirsehir, Aksaray, Nigde, and Kayseri. Therefore, it takes time to discover Cappadocia completely as it houses tons of original architectural masterpieces and natural beauties within its borders.
Cappadocia Private Tour and Travel Guide 2020
Goreme Open Air Museum
The most important feature of Goreme Valley is its impressive valley-churches in Cappadocia. Christian monks who resided in this area in the Middle Age created these churches by carving these soft volcanic rocks. These churches were built on spots that are hard to reach since the monks wanted to isolate themselves from worldly pleasures and they wanted to be closer to god by secluding themselves. This is basically the function of monasteries.
The churches built during the Byzantine era are fine examples of Byzantine art that you can observe in the Chora Church and Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. We can easily say the best examples of Byzantine art can be found in Istanbul and Cappadocia. We should note that the Byzantine Empire was an advanced civilization in terms of mosaics and frescos with religious themes.
Although the traces of first settlements go back to Hittites period, the most noticeable examples in the area are from Byzantine era in the Middle Age.
If you visit Goreme in summer, you are recommended to visit it in the morning, as it gets harder to walk in the valley under the sunlight. And you will have a less pleasant experience as a result.
The frescos in churches were damaged due to the wind, water, and earthquakes in time. Furthermore, the damage inflicted by humans shouldn’t be underestimated. However, these images are still beautiful and worth seeing.
The best-preserved works are in the church named Dark Church. You should note that you have to pay an extra entrance fee to visit Dark Church. The ticket to be purchased to visit the Goreme Open Air Museum will not be valid for entering the Dark Church.
Dark Church in Goreme Open Air Museum
Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Tours
It’s a must-do activity to participate in a hot air balloon ride if you visit Cappadocia. Most of the photos that make you want to visit Cappadocia are the ones taken during such tours.
Companies that offer these tours pick tourists up from their hotels and take them to departure points. Tourists can have a delicious Turkish breakfast while watching the the balloons prepared for their ride.
Once the balloon is ready to fly, participants are boarded after security measures are taken. As most of the balloons depart usually the same time, a unique view is created on the sky.
You can find more about Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Ride through the link.
Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Rides
Underground Cities in Cappadocia
The beauty of gifts by mother nature in Cappadocia is undisputable. However, manmade works are as impressive as those of nature. I mentioned above that the monks made use of the soft texture of the rocks while building their churches.
These underground cities date back to times before Christianity appeared and they reached a very deep level under the ground. You may ask yourself, “Why did these people take the trouble of building underground cities in an area that has an amazing beauty?” Ruthless and devastating wars that took place in the past forced these people to take precaution.
Never-ending wars were fought in Europe, Anatolia, and Mesopotamia, which were the most active settlement areas in the Ancient Age. Greeco-Persian Wars, Alexander the Great, and Roman Empire terrorized these regions and armies passed by villages quite often. At such times, villagers found a way to hide and save themselves from being sold as slaves and plunders. And these underground cities were made of stones, which could be moved. Therefore, it was impossible to find these places.
We should also note that these places deserve to be called as a city since they functioned as one. The tunnels and rooms in these cities were used by the Christians too. That’s because the Roman Empire oppressed Christians for centuries until Emperor Constantine recognized Christianity and allowed Christians to practice their religion freely in 325.
The most famous of these underground cities are Kaymakli and Derinkuyu. As in cave hotels, the temperature is set to 13 degrees in these cities. Therefore, bringing a shawl or a light jacket along may be a good idea.
You should bring water with you when you go down to an underground city because you won’t have a chance to buy anything in underground cities. Moreover, it’s a good idea to wear a pair of comfortable shoes since the ground is a little rough. And you need to watch your head as the height of cities is around 170 cm.
Cappadocia Private Tour and Travel Guide
Where to Stay in Cappadocia
Choosing the place to stay in Cappadocia is as equally important as visiting its beautiful spots. As most of the hotels are located inside caves, you will definitely have a unique accommodation experience during your stay in Cappadocia. Additionally, some boutique hotels that resemble mansions reflect the soul of Cappadocia perfectly.
Museum Hotel is probably the most well-known and popular boutique hotel in Cappadocia. It was awarded the Best Boutique Hotel Award in 2015 and its location offers a cool Cappadocia view too.
It boasts 30 rooms made with stonemasonry craftsmanship and it’s safe to say Museum Hotel is the most luxurious hotel in Cappadocia. It’s especially suitable for honeymoon, but you are recommended to make a booking in advance in order to find an available room.
Sacred House Hotel
Sacred House is a hotel that makes its visitors have mixed feelings. When you look at the hotel from outside, it looks like one of the stone houses in Cappadocia, but inside of the hotel offers a Middle Age Castle atmosphere. The hotel also consists of Neo-Classical and Baroque features.
At the beginning of the post, I compared Cappadocia to a fairy world. If you want to feel this atmosphere in your hotel too, I recommend you to have a look at this hotel before making a reservation elsewhere.
Yunak Hotel is in the heart of Cappadocia’s magnificent nature and it’s like a part of its natural beauty. The hotel is located on the skirts of a hill and it is impressive with its rooms hidden on the slopes of the hill. Moreover, the hotel boasts a big yard and common areas to spend a good time.
Another good choice to stay in Cappadocia is Kapadokya Hill Hotel. Apart from its rooms on the attic, it offers stone or cave room suites. Moreover, the hotel has a spa center to make you feel privileged. Additionally, Kapadokya Hill Hotel is at a short distance to underground cities. Its success has been proved on numerous occasions with the awards Kapadokya Hill has won. Therefore, you can expect nothing but the best from this hotel.
You can find more information on Best Cave Hotels in Cappadocia blog post.