Despite being one of the main tourist towns in Turkey, if you look for Cappadocia on a map you won’t find it. But it’s the term used to describe the tourist area of Turkey, today famous for its fairy chimneys and unique landscape.
There’s no denying it’s unique beauty.
We love the outdoors, especially when it’s weird and wonderful – but we didn’t love Cappadocia as much as we’d expected to. After weeks on the road, feeling a long way from home and going days without seeing other tourists in places like Kars, Sanliurfa and Mardin – the sudden influx of selfie-stick holding crowds was a bit of a shock for us. There are so many tourists here that it almost feels like being in an amusement park – Turkey’s own version of Disneyland.
Like the masses, we visited the open-air museums.
We saw the monks in Monks Valley.
Then, with a bit more time up our sleeves we discovered how to beat the crowds and get the best views in town – hiking! We did two beautiful walks in the area in the Pigeon and Zemi Valleys, passing only a handful of other tourists each time. Win!
The hikes themselves aren’t very long, maybe 2-3 hours each, but there is NO signage apart from at the beginning, which can make things interesting. Surprising for such a touristed place.
At the start of our hike was this beautiful tree, full of nazars (or charms) to keep people safe and protected against the evil eye.
In Pigeon Valley there are beautiful views across to Uchisar and it’s castle.
And you pass some amazing looking teepee-shaped rocks.
Soon we reached the valley itself. Wow. I’m not even sure how to describe these rocks.
Zemi Valley was completely different again. The rocks looked like they were melting, almost like ice-cream.
If you get lost, you could always make this your new home. There are certainly enough caves to choose from on the trail.
We also passed through green valleys and the occasional underpass.
And of course, the most photographed ‘shapes’ of the area. Even though we are grown adults and serious travellers, we’re not above missing a cheap joke. It did make us laugh.
And we’ll leave you with our favourite rock/mountain thing of all. A melted marshmallow man!
Of course you have to see the rocks from above. Read about our hot air balloon adventure here.