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Introducing Cappadocia

Those troglodytes sure knew what they were doing when they decided to lay down their hats and call Cappadocia home. Deep in the heart of the country, they settled within the lunar-like landscape and burrowed their houses and churches into stone cliffs and their cities underground. In so doing, they provided a still-cogent example of the simplicity and sense of living at one with nature rather than imposing upon it.

These days the cave dwellers are predominantly tourists staying in cave hotels who have been drawn to this part of Turkey by its surreal scenery, wealth of ancient churches and unparalleled opportunities for adventure activities. Where else can you float over the fairy chimneys in a hot-air balloon in the morning, admire Byzantine frescoes in the afternoon and sample fine food and wine at night? Let alone take a spectacular hike through a rose-tinted gorge, indulge in a frenzy of shopping at a covered bazaar dating from Ottoman times and see dervishes whirl in an atmospheric caravanserai. It’s this mix of attractions that makes Cappadocia such a compelling tourist destination – there truly is something here for everyone.

Let’s be clear, though. The true joy of Cappadocia doesn’t come courtesy of its wealth of boutique hotels, its spectacular sunsets, its world-class hiking or its warm and welcoming locals. Instead, it stems from the fact that life still follows a village rhythm here, far removed from the wannabe jet-set lifestyle of the Mediterranean tourist resorts or the marvellous mayhem of İstanbul. This is a place to enjoy at your own pace.