Cappadocia Goreme Valley Ihlara Gorge

The surrealistic landscape of Cappadocia, a strange area of multi-hued volcanic rock pilliars and tortuous valleys sculpted by millenia of rain and wind, was first a refuge for early Christians fleeing presecution, and in Byzantine times became a vast complex of churches and monasteries, hollowed out of malleable rock, and adorned with frescoes depincing biblical scenes and saints. The Goreme Valley and the Ihlara Gorge are the main sites of these Urgup.

Another extraordinary sight of Cappadocia are the underground cities of Derinkuyu and Kaymakli, hollowed like the churches out of the volcanic rock and delving seven to nine floors into the earth, with a labyrinth of corridors, chambers, storerooms, kitchens, and churches. These are not inhabited, although there are still troglodyte dwellings in the rock cones.

The town of Avanos in the area is famous for its beautiful old houses, pottery and onyx. Most of the hotels are to be found in Nevsehir, the largest town in Cappadocia, Urgup and Avanos.

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