19 Jul Northern Cappadocia
The landscape formed 60 million years ago by ashes from different mountains and erosion of soft layers of lava is one of Turkey’s most famous natural wonders. Volcanic eruptions followed by natural erosion have created an incredible landscape of valleys, craters and fairy chimneys (the tall pillars with little caps on).
Göreme is a town in Cappadocia, nestled amongst the “fairy chimneys” rock formations in the Nevşehir Province and six kilometres from Ürgüp, with its elevation 1,100 meters above sea level.
Thousands of years of continual erosion have formed the landscapes from its solidified lava streams and ash, and fortunate to its unique geological circumstances, the Göreme Valley National Park is a perfect location for seclusion. You will find the earliest examples of Byzantine churches in many Valleys around Cappadocia.
Take in the awe-inspiring sceneries and valleys with colours from bright white to dark shades of pink that will leave you spellbound.
Pasabag (Monks Valley)
Pasabag or Monks Valle is a Unesco World Heritage site that contains the remains of many churches carved into the Cappadocia stone and housed some 20 monks. It is also the Center of the Fairy Chimneys.
The variety of conical, pyramid-shaped, pointed, or blunt fairy chimneys in Zelve are the most beautiful in the region, presenting a picture of the abandonment of a village with a Seljuk-type mosque and adjacent homes carved from the rock.
The churches of Balıklı, Üzümlü and Geyikli are essential structures that are still standing in this Valley, despite their frescoes in a very frail state.
- Entrance cost: Entry ticket required
- Time: 45 minutes to 1 hour
Devrent Valley is also called Imagination Valley.
The erosion over time has left rock formations that include ‘Fairy Chimneys’, appearing as rock towers, tent rocks, animals or imaginary people.
It is a unique valley in this region, and if you have the time, you can also take a walking tour through the Valley, but be careful as some slopes are slippery.
A great location to visit to let your imagination wander!
Google Maps will take you to the main road where you see the souvenir stands, but there is a viewpoint with a large car park where the Avanos-Urgup road meets the 50-14 road.
Devrent Valley is next to the road, so it will only take a few minutes to get amongst the rocks.
- Entrance cost: Free
- Time: 15 minutes
Three Beauties Valley
The iconic “Three ‘Graces’ fairy chimneys in Ürgüp depict the Legend of the Three Beauties, symbolizing a Princess, her shepherd’s husband and their child killed by her father (the King) as he didn’t allow them to marry.
This Valley is also famous for its wine factories and stunning views, including Mount Erciyes.
There is a huge parking area off the main road. Once you have parked, a few minutes walk up to the viewing platform where you can admire the vast scenic view. There are also telescopes for a small amount to get a closer look.
- Entrance cost: Free
- Time: 20 minutes
Goreme Open Air Museum
A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985, the Goreme Open Air Museum displays a well-preserved collection of historical carved churches with paintings dating from as early as the 10th century and the best examples of Byzantine art in Cappadocia. The region forms a valley including churches, chapels, dining halls and sitting rooms at the rock-cut blocks.
Goreme Open Air Museum hosts the world’s most important Byzantine cave churches, where the monks and nuns pursued monastic life.
Churches include Chapel of St Basil, Chapel of St Barbara, Snake Church, Dark Church, and Sandal Church, to name a few and it takes approximately 2 hours to see them all.
Please note that no photography is allowed inside any of the churches.
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