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    Cappadocia Guide » Cappadocia Destination » 
Cappadocia Destination

Writer: Yavuz İşçen
January 2010/Ankara

Turkey increases its popularity within tourism world and Cappadocia, one of the outstanding areas in Turkey in terms of belief and culture tourism merits to be evaluated as a separate destination. Since Cappadocia has a special geological formation and since it is one of the centers of the propagation of Christianity, it differs from the other tourism centers and takes attention. Today, the hundreds of rocky churches and the underground cities carved into the caves by the first Christians are being visited with a great interest. But the real reason which makes Cappadocia a destination is; upon these special roots it’s still holding the traditional cultural values until today and combining it today’s modern understanding.
The tuff stone made residence style arched houses belong to the period during which Greeks were living in the area, were added to rock carved cave houses, the traditional housing since the Hittites. Today, the preferred accommodation styles by the visitors of Cappadocia are the boutique hotels which are the traditional cave and the arched houses, decorated in modern style. We can say that, these are the most distinctive places to accommodate for the ones who would like to feel real Cappadocia.
In Cappadocia, this traditional texture continues to follow you everywhere, from the hotel you stay; to air you breath, from the food you eat to the wine you drink. The most attractive characteristic of Cappadocian cuisine is the continuation of tandoori tradition. Tandoori is the name of the one meter depth well, situated in the kitchen which is also used as the living room of the house. The food is cooked on the wood fire lighted at the bottom of the well. Because of the houses being rock in Cappadocia, it is easy to dig a tandoori well on the base of the houses. The continuation of this 2500 years old tradition for today is meaningful to show the stability of Turkish people in keeping their traditions. Today, the elegant restaurants of Cappadocia offer you tradition together with unique tandoori menus.
Wine, the common drink of Anatolia 4000 years ago, was a ceremonial drink served to kings of Hittites and because of that it is accepted as a holly drink. Later on, this holiness created the base of Dionysus cult in Ancient Greek mythology. The famous vineyards of Cappadocia whose history goes back to Hittites, are indebted their fame to tufted soil of the region occurred because of the volcanic activities as well as the perfect rock engraved cellars. Do not have a doubt, the grape, illustrated on İvriz rock relief as being served to Hittite king by fertility god; today is being served to your table as wine in fancy restaurants of Cappadocia.
Cappadocia is one the regions who created its own style with original motives in carpets and rugs, the precious examples of Turkish handicrafts. Nevşehir is being followed by Aksaray, Kayseri and Niğde in terms of being natural carpet weaving atelier. Each of these cities has strong carpet weaving traditions. In the past, it was possible to hear the sound of carpet bench almost in every house as walking on the streets. The region takes attention not only with the richness of wool carpets but also with the richness of plane woven ground clothes therefore one can easily understand why the British people created carpet weaving ateliers during 19th century in the region. It is possible to see the examples of the old and original Cappadocian carpets in the distinguished carpet shops of the region. Pottery and ceramic is the other branch of our handicraft and we guess it is not necessary to emphasize that Avanos, the world famous pottery and ceramic place, is situated within the border of Cappadocia.
Beside these cultural heritages on which Cappadocia raises, the region is also one of the important outdoor sports centers of our country. Most of the outdoor activities can be done in the region. But hot air ballooning, mountain bike and horse safari, identified with Cappadocia very much, are the most stand out ones. The organization of I. World Air Games in 1997 in Cappadocia accelerated the hot air balloon tours which are on progress since 1989 within the region. The history of mountain bike within the region goes back to the years when the mountain bike first appeared in the country. The races organized in the region since 2000, are recompensed by the organization of European Mountain Bike Championship of 2007 in Göreme. If you like horse riding or if you think you should try it, Cappadocia, which means ‘land of beautiful horses’ in Persian language offers you its magical nature. There is no other activity which will let rest to your soul. In addition to all these, we strongly recommend you to have trekking in the beautiful valleys of Cappadocia. Also it is better for you to know that there is a vast variety of outdoor sport activities are waiting for you in Cappadocia such as ATV safari, jeep safari, abseiling, rafting and cross golf which is a first for our country. Let us stop here for a while and leave you alone with Cappadocia.

Note: This article has been published in “Cappadocia Life and Travel Guide-2010”. It is under protection of the copyrights of the book. No part of this article may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by electronic, mechanical or other means without prior permission from the owner.


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