General Information

Situated in the Central Anatolian highlands, Cappadocia region has always presented a wealth of great landscape and culture. The area was covered periodically in volcanic ash, over a timespan of 3 million years, with the eruption of two nearby, now inactive volcanoes of Mt. Erciyes (3916 m) and Mt. Hasan (3268 m). This layer, referred to as “tuf”, was carved away with erosions from wind and rain, with only the strongest materials of the layers standing, creating the structures that are called “Faery Chimneys” by locals. With surreal looking tuf towers with stone “hats”, conical shaped domes and other very interesting naturally occuring landscape, Cappadocia is one of its kind.

Culture and History

Cappadocia is not only famous for its natural wonders. Due to its unique topography, it was already thousands of years ago a very early settlement area of mankind. Due to the nature of the material, Faery Chimneys were soft enough to be easily carved by human hand, but were also sturdy enough to support their own weight. Over thousands of years, different civilizations have carved into these structures, using them as homes and even creating whole villages out of carved housing.

The area also contains numerous underground cities, largely used by early Christians as a hiding place before Christianity became an accepted religion. The underground cities consist of a complex mesh of tunnels, rooms, defensive arrangements and creative traps. Remarkably, ventilation of these tunnels were also maintained naturally due to the way these cities were carved.

The landscape and the Faery Chimneys dotting the numerous valleys in the Urgup, Goreme and Uchisar triangle make the region a very popular tourist destination. These wonders can be enjoyed by both hot air balloons that regularly take off, or a true Cappadocian experience can be had by residing in one of the numerous beautifuly built cave hotels, most of which pride themselves of having restored original caves carved by ancient inhabitants. Some caves are still used today by the locals as shops, but very few are used as homes.