Cappadocia - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Cappadocia


Cappadocia occupies the centre of Turkey, the region between the Black Sea in the north and the Taurus Mountains, between the capital Ankara and the city of Malatya to the east. Famous for its spectacular natural rock formations and valleys, Goreme National Park, as it is known today, is strewn with underground cities, stone chapels, monasteries and dwellings that were hewn out of the weirdly eroded volcanic rock from as long ago as 400 BC.

Thousands of years of wind and rain erosion on a landscape of soft volcanic stone topped with hardened larva caps has created a fascinating landscape of rock cones and pinnacles that are known as 'fairy chimneys'. The Valley of Fairy Chimneys is the most popular area, roughly within the triangle formed by the three main towns of the region, Avanos, Urgup and the main transport hub of Nevsehir.

Outside the triangle to the south are the remarkable underground cities of Derinkuyu and Kaymakli, where layers of tunnels and an intricate system of caves hid generations of settlers and sheltered early Christians fleeing persecution. The Ilhara Canyon is another religious hideaway with more than 100 painted churches and about 4,000 dwellings carved into the rock walls or concealed within the cliffs; its river bed and lush vegetation stand in stark contrast to the dusty, seemingly barren land above.

Cave dwellings, ancient monasteries and painted chapels are well camouflaged, with entranceways that are barely noticeable among a landscape of perforated cliff walls and rock fissures. Houses of volcanic stone blend unobtrusively into the natural surroundings, pigmented in natural shades of ochre and yellow, to pinks, greys and greens, and many people still inhabit the cones and chimney formations. In tourist towns such as Goreme, delightful little hotels and pensions are built partially into the rock or are housed within a rock cone and offer cave-style rooms.

Information & Facts


Cappadocia has a continental climate characterised by hot dry summers and cold snowy winters. Rainfall is sparse and the region is largely semi-arid to arid. April to June and September to October are the best months to visit Cappadocia. There is a sharp difference in the temperature between day and night and it is not uncommon to have freezing cold nights interspersed with scorching hot days. The average temperature during the summer months is 23°C (73°F) while winter's average is much lower at -2°C (28°F). Cappadocia is much cooler and drier than its Mediterranean and Aegean counterparts, which are more popular tourist destinations.


Turkish is the official language, but English is widely understood in the main tourist areas.


The official currency is the New Turkish Lira (TRY). Currency can be exchanged at banks, exchange booths, post offices, airports and ferry ports; banks have the worst rates and highest commissions, but will exchange lesser known foreign currencies. Banks open mainly Monday to Friday, but some are open daily in tourist areas. ATMs are widely available in major cities and tourist areas, but Turkish ATM keypads usually do not have letters of the alphabet on their keys. Most bank branches have ATMs which accept Cirrus and Plus. Major credit cards are widely accepted; the most popular are Visa or MasterCard, but American Express is accepted in many of the more expensive places. Travellers cheques can be exchanged at some banks and currency exchange offices, but are not as welcome as cash or credit cards. US dollars or Euros are preferred. Some pensions and hotels in the most popular destinations accept US dollars as payment.

This simply furnished hotel is characterised by its' structure of locally sourced stone and low-rise build. Situated on the old Silk Road route, the hotel is built in the style of the old caravanserais or inns which used to populate the route. Positioned by the main road into the small town of Ihlara,..
The hotel is located in the historical rock formations of Goreme National Park. It is only 1 km from Goreme Open Air Museum with its rock-carved churches and wonderful frescos. The town of Urgup is 6 km away, while the city of Nevsehir is 10 km from the hotel. In 2008 it was transformed and restored..
This charming hotel is located a mere 2 km from the city centre of Kayseri, where guests will find themselves surrounded by delightful restaurants, lively bars and exciting shopping opportunities. Links to the public transport network are located directly in front of the hotel, offering ease of access..
Royal Stone Houses - Göreme, which opened it's doors on 1st of September 2010 is simply located in a unique location. It is only 5 minutes of walking distance away from the world famous valleys of Göreme and the city center of Göreme. In the mornings you can enjoy your breakfast with the world famous..
Situated in the heart of Nevsehir, an ancient city in the beautiful Cappadocia region of Turkey, this modern and welcoming hotel offers a pleasant and peaceful stay for business or leisure travellers. Visitors will enjoy an excursion to nearby Goreme and Urgup, home to spectacular scenery with volcanic..
This unique and charming hotel is located in the small town of Urgup in centre of Turkey, offering a blend of tradition, culture and hospitality, beautiful views of the town and an unforgettable stay. Visitors can take an ever-popular balloon ride to admire the stunning rock formations found throughout..
Suitable for business and leisure travellers alike, this comfortable hotel consists of a main building and annexe blocks set in spacious grounds and features a range of amenities to ensure guests' comfort and convenience. Situated on the outskirts of Nevsehir, just a 20 minute walk away, the many wonderful..
This upscale hotel enjoys a peaceful setting in Turkey. The hotel is located just 3 km from the nearest shopping centre, and the lively town centre of Kayseri is a mere 5 km away. The Erciyes ski resort is15 km from the hotel, providing guests with a wide variety of recreational options to choose from...
This hotel is located at the heart of the Cappadocia region of Turkey. The hotel is situated close to the Goreme open-air museum, in an area popular for hot-air ballooning, trekking and horse riding. The hotel is located just 1 km away from the centre of Ortahisar, where guests will find a number of..
Situated just outside of picturesque Goreme with its spectacular volcanic rock formations and cave houses, this hotel provides an atmosphere that is both casual and elegant. Nearby Goreme offers various restaurants and museums in addition to the national park, and guests may enjoy horseback riding or..
Located in Kaymakli town in the region of Cappadocia in central Turkey, this spa hotel is just a short stroll from the town's famous underground city, which consists of a series of tunnels, some still used today for storage and as stables. The hotel features a large spa area, 6,000sqm of garden with..
This superb hotel is situated in the stunning Cappadocia region of Turkey. The hotel provides the perfect base from which to explore the breath-taking natural beauty and cultural intrigue of the area. The centre of the lively city of Avanos lies just 1.5 km away, while other sightseeing attractions,..
This hotel is nestled amidst the splendour and natural beauty of Mount Erciyes, close to Kayseri's splendid attractions. Kayseri's business district and Kayseri Erkilet Airport are located just a 10 minutes' driving distance away. This wonderful hotel extends a warm, hospitable welcome to guests upon..
Holiday INN Kayseri-Düvenonu provides you offers you the opportunity to explore the city with its unique architecture and location. For both business and and leisure travelers we offer different designs and colors with spacious accommodation in the heart of our city.  As the newest and most spacious..
Located in the heart of one of Turkey's fastest-growing cities, this is an elegant home base for business and leisure travellers. Conveniently situated in Kayseri's city centre, this deluxe accommodation offers easy access to enjoyable attractions like the Forum Shopping Mall, adjacent to the hotel,..
Suhan Cappadocia Hotel is built on the bank of Kızılırmak river, the longest river which is born in Turkey and which meets the sea in Turkey. You can enjoy the lights reflecting off the waters of the river of 1355 km long from the elegant and comfortable rooms of Suhan Cappadocia HoteThere are a total..

The small town of Goreme is situated in the middle of the Valley of Fairy Chimneys, surrounded by the eerie shapes and fantastic rock formations that have made the region famous. It is one of the few remaining villages where fairy chimneys and rock-hewn houses are still inhabited, and several pensions, restaurants and cafes are carved into the rock. Its biggest attraction is the Goreme Open-Air museum with over 30 beautifully frescoed Byzantine rock churches. The town makes an excellent base from which to explore the surrounding rock formations, villages, vineyards and attractions. For shoppers, carpets and kilims are plentiful.

The Goreme Open-Air Museum is the most visited of the monastic communities in Cappadocia and is one of the most famous sites in central Turkey. It is a complex comprising more than 30 rock-hewn churches and chapels containing some superb frescoes, dating from the 9th to the 11th centuries. Inconspicuous from the outside, the interiors are characteristically Byzantine with a central dome and a floor plan in the shape of a cross. The three columned churches, the Elmali, Karanlik and Carikli churches are the best known, and are superbly painted. The largest and best preserved is the Tokali Church, its interior walls covered in some of the richest frescoes in the region depicting scenes from the New Testament.

Central Cappadocia was overlooked by most as a dusty, infertile and barren landscape, making it a perfect refuge for the early Christians who established the first Christian communities here. They carved chambers, vaults and labyrinthine tunnels into the soft volcanic rock for use as churches, stables and homes. Of the 40 underground cities and settlements discovered in the area, Derinkuyu and Kaymakli are the biggest and most interesting, inhabited by Christians fleeing persecution in the 7th century and hiding from Arab invasions. These cities were well-hidden complexes, a safe and self-sufficient environment that could accommodate up to 30,000 people. The most thoroughly excavated is Derinkuyu, consisting of eight floors with stables, a school room and dining hall, churches, kitchens, living quarters, wine cellars, store rooms and a dungeon. Original airshafts still function and the maze of tunnels and rooms are well lit. Kaymakli is similar but smaller with only five of its levels having been excavated so far.

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