Dramatic history and landscapes of one of the most ancient regions in Turkey
On my recent trip to Cappadocia in Turkey, I realised the best way to travel around and gain a richer experience was by having my own guide. I went on a ‘Heart of Cappadocia’ day tour with Urban Adventures to discover the sites and understand the history of the area face-to-face.
Following a full day of sightseeing, I’ve selected my favourite valleys and sites from the tour with some interesting insights from my tour guide Ramazan who was born and raised in Cappadocia.
It’s called Pigeon Valley for a very good reason. Dating back the 18th century, farmers used to dig-out dovecotes in the rocks, so that they could collect pigeon droppings and use them as fertilizer. You can notice them in many areas of Cappadocia, but this particular valley is the most famous.
From this view point, you can also see spectacular view of old abandoned cave homes and Greek houses of Uçhisar, Cappadocia’s highest hill-top, where the poignant rock-fortress of Ortahisar projects its grandeur presence. Dating back to the Roman period when it was used as a citadel, it’s in my opinion the best place to view the sunset. If you have the right pair of shoes, the sweaty up-hill walk is worth it to see the majestic views of the surrounding landscape.
Also known as Imagination Valley, most probably because everyone that comes hear usually ends up experiencing flights of visual surrealism. This landscape is a result of thousands of years of wind, rain and extreme temperature changes, which over time have worn the beautifully colourred rocks into strange and wonderful animal and human-like shapes. As Ramazan my guide told me “You have just been introduced to the work of nature’s greatest artist – Erosion.”
The evil eye
Walking around, I just can’t just help noticing glistening blue glass hanging from any possible place that one can hang something on. They are in fact evil eyes (nazar), which in Turkish culture are supposed to help give protection and ward off any form of evil. In Cappadocia, it is very common to see them hanging off trees, which, aside from their mystical characterisation, they are remarkably enchanting to gaze at.
A big thank you to Ramazan and Urban adventures for a spell-binding tour of Cappadocia.
You can book a tour with Urban Adventures through their website.
To make the most of this neighbourhood, stay at the boutique hotel, Taşkonaklar Rocky Palace, Uçhisar Cappadocia