5 Good Reasons to Visit Cappadocia

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I like to think of Cappadocia as my second home. Even though I get a buzz from going to new places, I adore the familiarity of the region and I’m not the only one because there are many good reasons to visit. Sitting in the central Anatolian region of Turkey, Cappadocia is the country’s third most visited destination. Attracting an international audience of fans, travel magazines have labelled it as “must visit” while others called it one of the most … Read More

Secrets of Yüksek Monastery & Church

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Wherever I go, when locals tell me about an attraction or landmark that isn’t in my guidebooks, I fill up with frenzied excitement, and an intense urge to get there. That was my initial feeling when I found out about Yüksek Monastery and Church. On this occasion, my private guide and driver was taking me to the small district of Güzelyurt in the Cappadocia region. I’d wanted to see it for a long time because out of all the villages … Read More

The Best Photography Spots in Cappadocia

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When I started travel blogging, I was quite naive because I thought it was purely about writing. However, it involves a lot more than that, and good photography is part of it. Indeed even the whole world of travel writing has progressed in that if you pitch any publication, famous or not, they generally ask for high-resolution photographs as well. Therefore, over the years, as well as trying to become a better writer, I have also delved into the world … Read More

The Stunning Saruhan Caravanserai of Cappadocia

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The travel industry of Turkey in years gone by was very different to what we see now. People didn’t travel for leisure unless they were of the upper-class members of society such as the literary great Mark Twain, the female pioneer Gertrude Bell or the Ottoman version of Marco Polo, who was Evliya Çelebi. Aside from the affluent members of society, people mainly traveled for business, to sell their wares and tares and the perfect example of this is the … Read More

Is Ibrahimpasa the Sleepiest Village in Turkey?

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Looking at the large map displayed on a billboard at the bus station, I noticed a small village called Ibrahimpasa. Figuring it might be similar to the old Greek village of nearby Mustafapasa, I decided to visit. Groaning inwardly when the bus driver said I would need to change buses twice to get there, I decided instead to bargain with the taxi drivers that had a rank in Goreme bus station. The boss, who was extremely proud that his nickname … Read More

Standoff in the Byzantine Chapel of Açik Saray

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My aim was to visit the Açik Saray Open Palace in Cappadocia. Sitting in the front passenger seat, I watched the young taxi driver speed down the highway, weaving in and out of traffic like a race car driver. Clutching my map in both hands, I feared that if we came up to a set of red lights, the puddles from the rainfall would send us skidding off the road. The fear for my safety came shortly after I had … Read More

Following the Ghost Rider in Zelve Valley

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The open air museum of Zelve tells much the same story as other places in Cappadocia. Previously a monastery retreat from the 9th to the 13th centuries, in later years, Turks and Greeks lived side by side in the caves, carved out of the soft volcanic rock. It was a fully functioning community until the end of the Turkish War of Independence in 1923 that resulted in the Treaty of Lausanne requiring Greeks to return back to their homeland and … Read More

Goreme in Cappadocia: Tourism Hub of Anatolian Turkey

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On my first visit to Goreme in Cappadocia, Turkey, in November 2009, I was all over the town like a hot rash. The summer was over, but backpackers arriving from Istanbul on the overnight bus overnumbered us. Travellers from all over the world headed there with eager anticipation to see for themselves the fairy chimneys, lunar-like landscape, cave hotels, ancient churches, and a fantastic sunrise view of twenty or more hot air balloons in the sky. I was in constant … Read More

5 Years Later : The Goreme Open Air Museum

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I first visited the Goreme Open Air Museum of Cappadocia in 2010 and my write-up was neither kind nor full of praise. I accused the guidebook of incorrect information and my exact words to describe the historical UNESCO World Heritage site were… “Goreme Open Air Museum is 13 cave churches that all look the same. Throw in the Cappadocia tour guide that screams at you, the overpriced entrance fee, the vile coffee, the mile-long toilet queue, seven coaches of selfish … Read More

Uchisar in Cappadocia: The Supreme Peak and Ugly Castle

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Uchisar in Cappadocia is renowned mainly for two things; luxury hotels and the ugly Uchisar castle, the highest point in the region. On my first visit, I could not afford to stay in any of their hotels but heard Uchisar castle can be seen from miles away, gives off a wowing panoramic view of fairy chimneys and valleys in Cappadocia. I set off from Goreme with my camera, my best walking shoes and a rucksack filled with bottles of water. … Read More

Mustafapasa: The Greek Sinasos

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Like many other small villages of Turkey, Mustafapasa in the central Cappadocia region of Turkey is steeped in Greek Orthodox history, specifically the Ottoman years before the Turkish War of Independence in the early 20th century, when Turks and Greeks lived side by side in harmony. Stories of the ethnic groups residing together throughout Turkey are told extensively by author Giles Milton, who featured Turk, Greek, Armenian and Jewish communities of Izmir, or as it was then known Smyrna, in … Read More

Sobesos : Small but Impressive and Full of Potential

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As I looked at the tour itinerary that I had signed up for, I saw the name “Sobesos Excavation Site” and was instantly intrigued. Having visited many off the beaten track places in Cappadocia, the fact that I’d never heard of this place meant one of three things. A: It was recently discovered B: It is nothing to boast about C: I was not as well-travelled as I assumed To my relief, although it had been discovered 13 years ago, … Read More

How Did the Residents of Mazi Underground City Stay Sane?

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Mazi underground city is just one of hundreds in the Cappadocia region of Turkey. Exploring an underground city sounds exciting, but the truth is that when you have seen one, you have seen them all. Citizens retreated to them, during times of invasion and they acted as fully functioning cities with chapels, schools and rooms for the livestock. The first underground city I visited in 2010 was Derinkuyu, which is the biggest and the best. Hence the reason, why I … Read More

Pasabag Monks Valley with 3 Names

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I had returned to Pasabag Monks Valley, just outside the touristic town of Goreme in the central Anatolian region of Cappadocia. Standing there alone, I looked up at the tall domineering rocks in front of me. Some were rugged while others were smooth, a sign of wind erosion over hundreds of years. Many websites described them as mushroom shaped whereas all I could see was a strong resemblance to a man’s private part. Perhaps my mind is twisted and dirty … Read More

Devrent Valley Where Your Imagination Runs Wild

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Devrent Valley is a small place on the outskirts of Goreme, the transport and tourism hub of Cappadocia. Unlike other valleys in the region, it doesn’t boast of the normal cave churches and I had no plans to visit there since public transport doesn’t go that way, but my private tour guide suggested we stop by while driving through. “I hope your imagination is alive today” he said. Since I don’t like surprises, I groaned quietly to myself but we … Read More

Cavusin old Greek village and the Church of Saint John

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Cavusin old Greek village in the Cappadocia region of Turkey is rarely featured in travel articles. If it does appear, it garners a couple of sentences before the author talks about other more well-known places such as Goreme, the transport and accommodation hub. For this reason, even though, I had been to Cappadocia twice before, I had never bothered to go there. It is separated into 2 parts; the new town and the old greek village and on my third … Read More

Avanos : Cappadocia’s Pottery Hub & a Hair Museum

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I have previously written about Avanos. It is a small town in the Cappadocia region of Turkey and on my first visit, I was not impressed. I wrote… “Avanos reminded me of the Wild West films showing deserted streets while playing an eerie whistling tune. I looked up and down the street, completed a full 360 degree turn and the only sign of breathing movement was a stray dog searching through the bins for scrap food. It is a ghost … Read More

Soganli Valley : An Abandoned Village with Old Churches

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I was not expecting much from Soganli Valley in the Cappadocia region of Turkey. In guidebooks, the likes of Ihlara or Pigeon Valley overshadow its presence. Yet, I was pleasantly surprised. Sitting off the beaten path, the pigeon houses carved into the rock fairy chimneys, and ancient cave churches promoted a surreal appearance but I was mostly in awe at the old abandoned village. My visit was part of a tour and after we left, I can say, with the … Read More

I was Wrong About Ortahisar

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When I first started this blog, I had no intention of putting Ortahisar in Cappadocia on my bucket list. Despite visiting the Cappadocia region twice, the small town had never appealed to me. Guidebooks did not portray it as a happening place to be and it was rarely featured in blogs or magazine articles. I assumed my readers would not be interested in a place like that and editors wouldn’t even look at a pitch for an article about the … Read More

A Boutique Hotel in Cappadocia called the Castle Inn

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Sometimes the most unexpected and delightful events occur if we are willing to step outside of our comfort zone. A perfect example is what happened to me on my last visit to Cappadocia, when I discovered what was to be my favourite boutique hotel in Cappadocia. On every visit to the region, I always book hotels in Goreme, Urgup or Uchisar. However Suat, an online acquaintance of two years said that when I was in the region again, I should … Read More

Keslik Monastery and the Spiritual Presence

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Despite my vast knowledge about Turkey, I had never heard of Keslik Monastery until I signed up for a Blue Tour of Cappadocia. The Blue Tour didn’t exist on my last visit to the region but its aim is to satisfy repeat visitors, like myself who have already been to all the popular tourist attractions. Keslik Monastery is “off the beaten track” and my collection of guide books at home, hardly mentioned it. About Keslik Monastery Located close to the … Read More

Hot Air Balloons Of Cappadocia

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You could be under the assumption that in this post,   I am going to tell of the day I took advantage of the numerous Cappadocia Hot air balloons trips over the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia. Before I left for Cappadocia, I read many blog posts of the experience and saw photos from other blogs of the fantastic views available. I was all geared up to take the trip of a lifetime. However when the time came, I took one look … Read More

Intriguing Pictures of Cappadocia and 14 reasons to Visit

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I love looking at pictures of Cappadocia. The region always surprises me with stunning landscapes views, quirky trends, and the Turkish culture behind the touristic face. Sitting in Turkey’s Anatolian region and part of the Nevsehir province, Cappadocia is the country’s second most popular tourist destination. Many round the world backpackers put Cappadocia on their list of destinations after Istanbul, and for honeymooners, romance awaits. Considering Cappadocia is a landlocked region in Turkey with no beaches, holidaymakers are often surprised … Read More

Where to Stay in Cappadocia: The Best Areas for an Authentic Experience

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I received an email from a reader who asked where to stay in Cappadocia. D wrote… “I was wondering, which town in Cappadocia should I make my base? Goreme, Urgup, Uchisar, or…? Which would be the quaintest (for lack of a better word) town to stay in, although I would love to see all three towns mentioned and more if possible. I am also interested to see and experience the ongoings of Turkish rural life as well, as I am … Read More

Visiting Urgup In Cappadocia for the Day

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I had a difficult choice. To choose my overnight accommodation in Goreme or Urgup in Cappadocia. I finally settled on the latter but still had to go to Urgup for the day to see if I had made the right decision. Both have unique vibes, but within half an hour, I spotted Urgup’s special character and why the town attracts a different type of traveller. Goreme is more for backpackers, youngsters, and those on a budget. Restaurants are cheaper, and … Read More

A Visit to Derinkuyu Underground City in Cappadocia

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The ancient Derinkuyu underground city proves what man can achieve when a threat is made to his life. Sitting in the Cappadocia region of Turkey, this complex network of tunnels forms a city 100 meters under the ground. Hundreds of years ago, when invaders attacked the area, citizens fled to the underground city and stayed until they could re-enter the land of the living. These days, Derinkuyu opens to the public as one of the top tourist attractions in Cappadocia. … Read More

Haci Bektas. Seeking and Finding in Cappadocia

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“Seek and find” were the first words that I came across when visiting the town of Haci Bektas last week. They were listed on a sign that also said “The feature of man lies in the beauty of his word” I thought it is a perfect way to sum up any traveler or blogger, but I wondered why the words were written in English because looking around Haci Bektas, it become obvious that there were no other foreigner visitors. No … Read More

Pigeon Valley in Cappadocia – Losing My Way Again!

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I sometimes wonder if I should be barred from traveling due to my lack of navigation skills. My inability to read maps does not help either and getting lost is not unusual for me. Sometimes it works to my advantage and I discover little gems not listed in any guidebooks. On other occasions, I start to panic, and wonder if this will be the day that I disappear from the face of the earth forever. Pigeon Valley in Cappadocia, Turkey … Read More

Walking The Ihlara Valley

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Ihlara valley in Cappadocia is a place that you will either love or hate. It is a 14Km hike through a gorge that was formed thousands of years ago when there was an earthquake and volcano eruptions one after the other. If you don’t want to complete a full 14km trek, there are four entrances and exits situated at various points. Just completing 4km of the Ihlara Valley trek will amaze you and remind you about the power of Mother … Read More

A Panoramic View of Goreme

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Near to Goreme in Cappadocia, there is an area called Panoramic View.   If you are in this area, then definitely make the effort to go. It gives you views over the whole of Goreme and if travel photography is your thing, you can guarantee that you will end up with some award winning pictures. There are many seats like the one in the picture, where you can sit and let the world pass you by. There are also a few … Read More

Return to Esentepe Panoramic Viewpoint

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In my opinion, the Panoramic Viewpoint of Esentepe, Goreme is a tacky, touristic spider web. Tourism agencies regularly visit it while taking customers on excursions around Cappadocia. It is marketed as a toilet stop; place for refreshments and of course a wonderful landscape view. Located between the small towns of Uchisar and Goreme, what the guides forget to mention is the dozen or so tacky tourist shops that all sell the same souvenirs but just market them a different way. … Read More

A Cave Hotel in Cappadocia

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My long-suffering husband says I am every hotelier’s worst nightmare. I am not a habitual complainer but am critical of everything from the décor to the cleaning to the staff attitude. As soon as I enter a hotel, I start thinking,“What would I do if this were my business?” I am not sure why I do it. Maybe it is because I have worked in a Turkish hotel before and seen what goes on behind the scenes. Maybe it is … Read More