The violent eruptions of the volcanoes Erciyes and Hasan three million years ago, which covered the surrounding plateau with tuff, lava and volcanic ash, are at the origin of the strangest landscape on Earth. Undergoing erosion by wind and water, this plateau was shredded, creating monumental rock formations. Rock cones, capped pinnacles and fretted ravines are the result, in colours ranging from warm red and gold to cool greens and greys. "Fairy chimneys" with flat stones on the top, and cones with distorted shapes combine to embellish the landscape in a manner almost beyond the imagination of a surrealist sculptor. Cappadocia is not only a wonder of nature, cliff openings give access to cave dwellings, rock-cut churches, monasteries and underground cities created during the earliest Christian era.
Culture and history
Cappadocia has a surreal landscape of very soft volcanic material, carved by water to create cones, fairy chimneys, and canyons. There are cave dwellings, underground cities and rock-cut churches, many richly decorated with frescoes. In the morning walk through the impressive landscape of Pasabagi. Do a scenic walk in the Goreme area around Cavusin. Explore the underground city of Kaymakli, a labyrinth up to 85 meters underground, dating back to the Hittite period and used as a refuge during invasions. Go to an outstanding viewpoint in Uchisar.
Discover Mustafapasa, a charming town which was inhabited by Orthodox Greeks until 1923. At this date Turkey and Greece signed the Lausanne Treaty, concerning the exchange of population between the two countries. Today, you can still see Greek masonry on the exteriors of old houses.