It’s one of the strangest landscapes you’ll ever see: the cliffs and valleys and fairy chimneys of Göreme National Park in Cappadocia. Wind and water erosion scoured out this land of soft volcanic ash (tufa) leaving this extraordinary place of valleys and pillars, some of which rise to 130 feet (40m).
 
The earliest settlers were Christian exiles in Roman times and they carved churches into the rock, along with houses and tombs. In the Middle Ages Göreme became an important religious center with monasteries, churches and chapels; many of which have impressive Byzantine religious wall paintings. Some of the most important are Basil Kilise (St Basil’s Church), Elmali Kilise (Apple Church), and the richly decorated Tokali Kilise (Buckle Church), which is the oldest. The best-preserved and recently restored frescoes can be found in the Karanlık Kilise (Dark Church).
 
The town of Göreme itself is the center of this UNESCO World Heritage site and only a 15 minute walk from the Göreme Open Air Museum (1 mile/1.5 km), which is open every day but it’s wise to go early during summer months, before the heat hits. Some people in Göreme still live in cave houses and many have been turned into hotels.

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2-Day Cappadocia Trip from Kayseri

4.5 star rating: Recommended 15 Reviews

Take time out to tour Turkey's famous moon-like landscape of Cappadocia - on a two-day excursion from Kayseri. You'll visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites like ...  Read more

Location: Cappadocia, Turkey
Duration: 2 days (approx.)

From USD $235.00

Small-Group Cappadocia Tour: Devrent Valley, Monks Valley and Open Air Museum in Goreme

4.5 star rating: Recommended 3 Reviews

Wonder at the natural and man-made treasures of Cappadocia on this full-day tour! Mother Nature has turned the region’s volcanic hills into crowds of bizarrely ...  Read more

Location: Cappadocia, Turkey
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $80.00

Cappadocia In One Day Small-Group Tour from Istanbul: Devrent Valley, Ozkonak, Pasabag, Avanos and Goreme Open-Air Museum

4 star rating: Recommended 46 Reviews

Behold the spectacular rock formations and cave churches of Turkey’s Cappadocia region on this full-day sightseeing trip from Istanbul, including round-trip ...  Read more

Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 15 hours (approx.)

From USD $288.00
$320.00 Save $32.00

7-Day Turkey Classics Tour from Istanbul: Gallipoli, Troy, Ephesus, Pamukkale, Cappadocia and Ankara

Tick through Turkey’s classic sights on this spellbinding 7-day tour that starts and finishes in Istanbul. Traveling by air-conditioned coach with an expert ...  Read more

Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 7 days (approx.)

From USD $587.85
$691.59 Save $103.74

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