Cappadocia: A geological wonderland

Nevşehir province is located in central Turkey near its capital Ankara.

Nevşehir includes the area called Cappadocia - a very popular tourist attraction in Turkey. The famous town of Göreme is also located in Nevşehir.

Cappadocia, the geological Disneyland consisting of canyons, cave cities and iconography, is a good alternative for those looking for a unique weekend getaway with aerial views in hot-air balloons and atv's in UNESCO's only open-to-drive area

Cappadocia, with its mesmerizing structure resembling a sci-fi movie, is one of the remarkable places where rarely seen artistic beauty of nature meets the patient touch of centuries-long human labor. Spectacular fairy chimneys that came into existence as a result of intense volcanic activities in ancient times, stunning early human settlements carved inside these formations and the role it played particularly in christian history, make Cappadocia a place of great interest for tourists every year.

Hundreds, perhaps thousands of tourists spill out from Nevşehir airport every hour, starving hysterical, to join the mad pursuit of canyon pleasure only found in the Cappadocia region. Savvy vacationers on package tours from the U.K., EU and the gulf, even from far-off America, Australia and New Zealand, get whooshed in, like mail in pressurized postal tubes, for an experience as regulated as some southern California juice diets.

The best way to view the real beauty of Cappadocia, which hosted the setting for 2014 Cannes Film Festival Golden Palm Award winner movie Winter Sleep, is to take a balloon tour and enjoy the unique view from the sky. Hosting these unique beauties, Cappadocia also offers different tastes for tourists with their own local wine production.

Urgup…

The unfortunately named Urgup is probably the busiest of the small towns in the vicinity of the Cappadocian sites. İt's possibly the tastiest as well, recent development has mushroomed leaving a grim legacy of poorly designed and serviced buildings. The road down into the town however does take you past some pleasant rock carved dwellings, accommodation and restaurants. İt's worth wondering around the old town for a taste of what the place must have been like before we all arrived.

Avanos...

Avanos is set on the banks of the Kizilirmak, the Red River, which gets its name from the clay that it deposits. This clay has provided Avanos with pottery for centuries and the town is still dominated by this industry despite the inroads that tourism has made in the area.

The main street has numerous shops and workshops selling plain and decorated pots and plates and you can watch the potters at work using kick wheels, the design of which has remained unchanged for generations. Many of the workshops will encourage you to have a go yourself. It's harder than it looks.

Underground cities.

The underground cities of Cappadocia are worthy of a visit. Let's take Derinkuyu for example. The one time home of up to 20,000 people, it's 8 levels descend into the Anatolian plateau 50 km south of Göreme. Stop and think about that for a while. A large, market town sized community digging a settlement out to guarantee themselves a degree of protection.