Most visitors, especially those who have booked vacation packages, enjoy tours in Cappadocia for a total of two or three nights, enjoying daily tours in Cappadocia and often staying in one of the many cave hotels. One day is reserved for visiting the incredible early Christian Cappadocia cave churches and monasteries with their beautiful Byzantine mosaics and frescoes. This visit is almost always in the Goreme Open Air Museum, which is protected as a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This was once a destination primarily for trekkers and backpackers who hired local guides for Cappadocia tours and stayed in hostels and small pensions. Many of these guides started their own businesses that offer daily tours in Cappadocia today. Most of the hostels have been converted into boutique hotels and cave hotels, but there are still several pensions in the area for those on a budget.
Most tours in Cappadocia generally last from two to four hours in the morning or afternoon, usually touring the cave churches or one of the underground villages. Sometimes there are full-day tours that include lunch and both the churches and villages. Other popular daily tours in Cappadocia include scenic flights over the valleys and chimneys on Cappadocia balloon tours. These give you a totally different and breathtaking perspective on the extent of the landscape.
Another of the tours in Cappadocia is hiking in the ruggedly beautiful Ihlara Canyon. The canyon is more than seven miles long, and contains churches, dwellings, and graves carved into the rock and cliff faces. It was a place where the monks from the main Cappadocia cave churches and monasteries would come for a spiritual and contemplative retreat. It was also used as a retreat for the local people during times of attack and invasion. These tours generally are a full day, including dining on traditional cuisine at a local restaurant and transfers to or from your hotel.
There are several other lovely valleys suitable for hiking and touring. These Cappadocia tours take you away from the crowds of tourists at Goreme. One of these valleys is the beautiful Red Valley, named for the color of the rock, in numerous shades of the red spectrum. Here is the charming town of Avanos where there is great shopping both for carpets and pottery. Here you can visit a local pottery shop to see the techniques that have remained unchanged for centuries. You can purchase work you watched being made, and can try your hand yourself at a potter’s wheel.
There are plenty of other things to do and see in this unique region, and you can book Cappadocia tours to discover them. This was once one of the primary junctions of the fabled Silk Road, a trading route that reached as far east as China and India. For centuries, caravanserais (roadside inns) were built to service the food and lodging needs of the caravans, and they all included stables for the camels and other livestock. There are several very beautiful ones in the area, many with large elaborate carved portals and elegant enclosed courtyards. Another magnificent sight in the region is the massive Uchisar Fortress. It is 200 feet high and carved entirely out of a natural hill that looks out over the houses (some carved into rock) of a small village.