History, sites and activities in Cappadocia!
Welcome to Cappadocia, the “land of the pretty horses” according to ancient Persians, situated in the Nevşehir Province in Central Anatolia Region, in Turkey. Today we are taking a first walk and a first glance at the history, the sites and the activities one can find in Cappadocia, through the experience of the people of Yanna Tours.
The history of Cappadocia
Cappadocia was first mentioned by Herodotus, who described it as a plateau somewhere between the rivers Tiger and Euphrates. Many have passed through this region in the passage of time, Seljuq Turks, Hittites, Ottomans, but the Greek-Cappadocian period is considered to be the longest as it begun with the arrival of Alexander the Great in the region. In the 1st century AD the Hellenization of the region was completed, with Christianity evident everywhere through several Greek-Christian center that were established, such as Caesarea. Here lived and were distinguished some of the most prominent fathers of the Church, such as Basil the Great, Gregory Nazianzinos, Gregory Nyssis, but also esteemed heroes such as Digenis Akritas who fought against the Grim Reaper at the legendary Marble Threshing Floors. The Greek element is maintained unchanged till this day despite the radical changes in population and the persecution of the Greeks in 1922, whereas the impressive, almost surreal landscape remains unaltered through the centuries, transferring the visitor back to an era long past but not forgotten.
The main attractions of Cappadocia
Our first stop will naturally be the Goreme Village, characterized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Monument. Goreme has about 2500 inhabitants and it is in its entirety an outdoor museum. The impressive rock formations were created by volcanic lava, a combination of eruptions and large scale floods over time. The habitants in turn shaped the soft rocks, forming their homes and their churches, where sadly no murals are left to tell their tales. Close to Goreme, approximately 3 km away are the “Fairy Chimneys”, intricate cone shaped tower like rocks of up to 40m in height that look like chimneys with a “hat” of basalt on their top.
Cappadocia is characterized by its underground cities. It is said that there were at least 40 of them, even though only six survive and are open to the public. The most impressive one is Derinkuyu, an underground commonwealth found 60 meters below the ground, separated in levels that could accommodate around 20.000 people. In the three levels accessible to the public you will get to see stables, churches, cafeterias, barns and the ventilation systems disguised as wells.
The villages of Cappadocia such as Urgup, Avanos and Ortahisar together with Caesarea are the spots where the Greek element has flourished and is still strong today. You can visit them to discover the ancient craft of pottery in Avanos, to admire the spectacular view to the valley from Urgup and to explore the rock-carved old castle of Ortahisar from where you will delight in a magnificent sunset.
Activities in Cappadocia
Since we are in the “land of the horses”, don’t miss out on the opportunity to go on a day-long horse ride to the Rose Valley or to the Bayram Chacilar Village where pools of hot spring’s waters act as a natural spa.
Undoubtedly the top emotion is a flight on a hot air balloon over the magical valleys of Cappadocia. Don’t skip the chance to live an exhilarating experience admiring the \ valleys from above and to watch the sky flowing with colorful hot air balloons.
Cappadocia is an enchanting land that seems as if it popped out of a medieval fairytale full of fairies and heroic warriors. Following the suggestions of the people of Yanna Tours you will walk on a land with traces of history evident in every step you take, not touched in the slightest by the passage of time. A trip to Cappadocia titillates everyone’s imagination. The long experience of Yanna Tours brings this fantasy forth to the real world, travelling you to a place where all senses awaken. This was our first tour into the history, the sites and the activities of Cappadocia! Contact us to arrange all the details for your amazing excursion to Cappadocia by clicking here: www.yannatours.gr/en/contact