The UNESCO site of Cappadocia is the historic area of central Anatolia in Turkey. The region is one of the country’s most visually striking. Over the years, erosion has formed caves, pinnacles, “fairy chimneys”, and folds in the soft volcanic rock making this a spectacular natural wonder. Visit historic hand-painted cave churches, hike volcanic valleys and spend the night in a cave hotel. A hot air balloon journey over the region is an experience not to be missed.
Best Time to Visit: April, May, June, September and October for optimal temperatures. July and August tend to be very hot.
How to Get There: Cappadocia has two airports (Kayseri Airport and Nevsehir Airport). Turkish Airlines and Pegasus Airlines have daily flights to/from Istanbul. Duration of the flight is roughly one and a half hour.
What to Do: Goreme Open Air Museum, Zelve Open Air Museum, Kaymakli Underground City, Derinkuyu Underground City, Ihlara Valley, Pasabag, Devrent
Hot Air Balloon Ride: The best way to see Cappadocia and take in the surreal landscape is up high, just as the sun is rising. Balloon rides are about an hour each and can cost at least $400, though the experience is well worth it. (Book: Kapadokya Balloons, Urgup Balloons)
(Photos by Flickr users: aigle_dore, mysillything, calflier001 & Aydinli Cave Hotel)