Turkey is an incredible place to visit, full of tradition and culture. It’s a perfect bridge between Europe and Asia, having Istanbul really close to European beauty, and exotic markets and undiscovered beauty much closer to Asian backgrounds!
From 1978 to now days, Turkey has been in conflict with the closest power territory Iraq and Iran. There has been an ongoing civil war in the south-east of the country, reason why is not the safest part of the country to visit. The conflict are in constant update, so before you decide to travel in that area please check the new updates.
When to travel in Turkey.
It really depends of which part you would like to visit. Usually high season is from June to August, where the temperatures are really high, and so the hotel’s prices! But it’s best for visiting all the beach cities along the coast. May and September are the mid seasons, daily temperatures on average are 24-26 C°, perfect if you plan to visit some cities. October to April is the lowest season, some hotels are actually close or giving really good discounts.
The heart of Turkey: Kapadokya.
You probably know Kapadokya, or Cappadocia, for the air ballon experience, and initially, me too but i discoverd there is much more. I went in November and the weather was quite warm to visit city like Instabul, around 20/22 C° , but if you are planning to do the airballon experience I discovered it’s not the best month, as the airballon fly really early in the morning, and if it’s windy, it’s dangerous, so they will eventually decide not to fly. For the whole week that I’ve been there hoping every day to go, unfortunately there was nothing to do, but the good thing is that i discovered much more about the area that i could imagine!
Kapadokya area was born 60 million years ago from the erosion of soft layers of lava and ash of the Mount Erciyes (Argeus), Mount Hasan and Mount Güll that gives to the area an amazing and ispiring backgroud. As there is a lot to see, i will recommend at least 4 days, take one of the beautiful Cave Hotel in Göreme, the experience is so great! I used a guide company to see the whole area, I paid around 40 euro and the tour included 3 days of escursions (if you think about it, it’s nothing right?).
“Those are pictures from the Cave Hotel I was staing in Göreme”.
Esentepe Panoramic View Point
This was one of the most touristy spots we came across, there is only the viewpoint and one big shop with souvenirs (classic!). This spot is located between Uçhisar and Goreme, easy to reach by car.
Derinkuyu Underground city
This is one of the highlight of this post, Derinkuyu Underground city it’s a cave underground 85 meters deep. Before you go in, if you are claustofobic or you suffer from panic attacks it’s best to skip this part of the tour. There are more than 36 underground cities around the Kapadokya area, but this is the biggest one and better organised. We are talking about cities built in the 8th or 7th centuries BC. During times of invasion, the citizens used this caves as a proper city, infact, inside there are a series of tunnels which brings you to different rooms. Everything has a ventilation sistem that provides air in all the underground city, it’s so interesting!
Most of the rooms where used for chapels, schools, storage, room for alive animals, water tanks and also a better ventilated area where any dead body along that time, could be placed in this space, and then bring it out once any invasion was over.
Ihlara Valley is a canyon of approximately 100 m deep, and was formed by the Melendiz River thousands of years ago. We did a beautiful hike for about 3 kilometers . We had the pleasure to stop and drink an amazing tea on the river. It’s located between Ihlara village and Selime village, about 14 km long.
Belisirma village is located in the middle of the trekking path on the Ihlara Valley, we had an amazing local lunch, and we enjoyed the rest of the view.
Selime Monastery is dated back to the 8th or 9th century BC, and it’s the largest religious construction in Kapadokya. The monastery includes a cathedral divided into three sections by big columns, monks’ quarters, a large kitchen and even a stable for mules. Rudimentary drawings are still visible inside, unfortunately due to weathering the color is not really visible.
The name of the valley comes from Pigeons, as they have been used in the Cappadocia region for food and fertilizer for their particular soil. The background is still incredible!
It is a factory of ceramics and jewelry. As with any other store the final step is to let you buy something, so don’t let your mind get blew! In this video you can see the original stand they use for produce ceramics, and how it’s molded. Also, there is me trying to make one pot, clearly, not a job for me!
Beside all the places to see, the city of Goreme it’s pretty, walking down the streets it’s full of amazing shops way cheeper than Instabul. Every kind of souvenirs from the “blue eye” symbol, (or Nazar Boncugu in Turkish) to carpets and beautiful ceramics handmade. Also a lot of cafe and restourant with local cuisine and amazing views.
I hope you enjoyed this small guide around the beautiful history of Kapadokya. I would like to hear your comments and your experiences, Leave a message!
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