Cappadocia, an area of lunar rock formations, is famous for its carpet-weaving, wines and the distinctive red pottery of Avanos. The area was a refuge for the early Christians escaping persecution by living and worshipping in the underground.
There are around 3000 rock churches in this region yet most of them are closed to visitors. The village of Göreme is the highlight of tourist attractions. Many of its villagers still live in cave dwellings, of which some have been converted into pensions. Surrounding the area are the amazing rock formations " Peri Bacalari" or 'Fairy Chimneys'.
Located to the west of Niğde, is the very green and picturesque Ihlara Valley, a gorge of 10 km long and some 80 meters wide. It is popular for hikes and to visit about 12 of its 60 churches open to public.
There are hundreds of underground cities in the regions. Two of the most impressive are Kaymakli, which has 8 levels, and Derinkuyu, which goes down to 55 meters. Fleeing persecution in the 7th century, the Christians created in these cities a self-sufficient underground environment including bedrooms, kitchens and storage rooms.
Among the villages offering a wide choice of accommodation yet also their local attractions : Uçhisar and its citadel; Göreme and its open air museum; Ürgüp famous for its wines; Mustafapasa (Sinasos) and its iconoclastic decorations; Avanos and its tradition pottery-making alive since the Hittite times...