is the pivotal point of Cappadocia. It’s a very lovely tourist town. Goreme has the region’s top sight , the Goreme Open-Air Museum. The three best in the Museum grounds are the so-called columned cave churches, Elmali Church, Karanlik Church, and Carikli Church. Just outside from the museum proper on the road, we must not miss to see is the Tokali Church. It’s the best very preserved one in the entire Cappadocia region.
Uchisar has a big citadel perforated with troglodyte rooms like Swiss cheese. It’s easy to climb to its pinnacled summit for 360-degree spectacular views. Uchisar’s scenic panorama is better, especially at sunset, looking over a volcanic landscape the texture of whipped cream, tinged blue, red, and pink from mineral deposits.
Urgup, Cappadocia’s tourist capital, offers the best restaurants and accommodations. Top boutique cave hotels are all located in here. Ottoman stone houses set into the volcanic rocks are worth admiring; the sun-dried apricots, raisins, and pumpkin seeds are the best known local produce along with Urgup’s Kilims and Rugs. In this town, the wineries sell the delicious bottled products. Turasan’s wines have the best reputation in the area.
Avanos, on the banks of the Kizilirmak river, is really just at the corner of the Central Cappadocia. The clay that gives the Red River its name in Turkish and the color is used to make the earthenware pottery for which the town is well known in Turkey. We can watch potters at their wheels during the visit.
Derinkuyu & Kaymakli underground cities cut into the hillside valleys were not only home to early Byzantine Christian communities but most probably inhabited by the Hittites much earlier times. Derinkuyu is larger than Kaymakli. It may have as many as 20 floors, eight of which are open to public to explore. You descend from the surface like a rabbit into a warren. A winery, stables, a missionary school, refectories, a church and a meeting hall appear, all completely lit and ventilated. Deep wells are sunk at the bottom for water. Many ventilation shafts connect with the surface, corridors join cave rooms on each floor, flights of steps link each level. During the visit, you’ll see circular stone doors which were rolled across the entrances in times of danger, like corks in wine bottles; the hole in their middle was for shooting arrows at invaders. If you have some claustrophobia or difficulties to bend, don’t go down, since the connecting passages are very narrow and low.
Ihlara is a beautiful valley to hike and explore. This long, twisting gash in a tawny plateau with a gushing stream, willows and poplars, was a monastic center from the 6th to 14th century during the Byzantines. Dwellings pockmark the sheer sides and signs guide you to frescoed churches in the rock close to the valley floor. The most interesting ones are Yilanli Church for its snake paintings, and Agacalti Church which is located underneath there.