Through Cappadocia

The surrounding region to the village of Goreme, concentrate most of the tourist attractions that make the famous Cappadocia: its arid landscapes, rocks sculpted by erosion, the underground cities, castles, monasteries and churches built in the rocks. The presence of Greek communities in this region has left examples of the Orthodox Christian religion in churches and monasteries, as is the house of the village of Mustafapasa.

The area is vast and required at least two days to visit the most popular sites.

One of the routes, at north of Goreme: pass by the Love Valley, including Goreme Open Air Museam, Çavusin, Zelve, Urgup, Uçhisar. One can also visit Mustafapasa and Cemil Monastery.

Zelve stands out for its castle, much like that of Uçhisar, but with the attraction of being able to find a traditional house dug into the rock, inhabited by a friendly couple, who apart to show the interior of the housing serves a light meal consisting of gozleme, ayran, and some vegetables picked from the garden just before serving.

Mustafapasa, a small, quiet village, proved to be a nice place to rest in this intense itinerary, offering a number of monasteries built during the presence of Greek Orthodox in this region, especially the elaborate masonry work in churches and village buildings.

The Cemil Monastery a bit out of the popular rout, has at the entrance a friendly and helpful guard, that speaking reasonable English shown desirous of a chat to break the monotony of being away from everything only nagging wife in the company. At the end of the visit we are asked to sit for tea and a few more explanations of the monastery. Despite recent works, the frescoes with religious motifs that remain on the ceiling and walls of the church have not been recovered, lying vandalized and dirty, and only with a help of a flashlight you can get an idea of ​​its beauty.

Although not extensively visiting all these places, the walk along the roads and through villages is itself interesting, the typical landscapes of Cappadocia, arid and rocky, where time carved the rocks giving them organic shapes and sometimes bizarre.

 

The second rout covers the more kilometers, and is recommended to start early: Derinkuyu, Belisirma, Ihlara Valley and Selime Monastery.

In Derinkuyu is possible to visit the underground city, a series of tunnels and stairways that connect halls, houses, stables, school and willing church in this labyrinth that reaches the five floors, and where you feel the pressure, physical as well as psychological, as that if you’re going down the narrow and low corridors.

This underground city, served as a refuge for Greeks, Christians, Zoroastrians and the Byzantines, who took refuge here during the Muslim and Mongolian occupations, protected by heavy stone doors, of circular shape, able to slide and block access to this city under the ground, with a capacity for twenty thousand people.

Ilahra Valley can be visited on foot or by following up Belisirma and toward the Ilahra of town you can have a wide view of the wooded valley that develops a red rock canyon. The green mass of trees that covers the valley, fed by a gentle river, there is a bit like an oasis in the dry and rocky landscape where the flatter areas dominates the cereal planting, but this time of year has already been harvested, leaving a yellowish creeping vegetation.

But it is the Monastery of Selime (Selime Katedrali) which offers the best performance, with the vast array of excavated buildings in the rock as well as a church and a cathedral have various facilities necessary for the operation of the monasteries, such as bedrooms, kitchen, warehouse, stables, wine cellar, dining rooms, etc. … And here also takes a broad view of the valley and the neighbour villages, where the houses built in stone and others dug into the rock.

Important note: to return to Goreme the best option, after visiting the Selime Monastery, is back the way that is again to Ilhara because going north toward Nevsehir, you must travel more than 60 km by highway, the that is far from a pleasant experience for what is a shaky scooter.

 

Love Valley
Love Valley

 

Zelve
Zelve Castle

 

Urgup
Urgup

 

Cappadocia
Cappadocia

 

Mosteiro de Selime (Selime Katedrali)
Selime Monastery (Selime Katedrali)

 

Mosteiro de Selime (Selime Katedrali)
Selime Monastery (Selime Katedrali)

 

Mosteiro de Selime (Selime Katedrali)
Selime Monastery (Selime Katedrali)

 

Mosteiro de Selime (Selime Katedrali)
Selime Monastery (Selime Katedrali)

 

Mosteiro de Selime (Selime Katedrali)
Selime Monastery (Selime Katedrali)

 

Mosteiro de Selime (Selime Katedrali)
Selime Monastery (Selime Katedrali)

 

Cappadocia_Selime Katedrali_DSC_0757
Selime Katedrali

 

Mustafapasa
Mustafapasa

 

Mustafapasa
Mustafapasa

 

Ilahra Valley
Ilahra Valley

 

Ilahra Valley
Ilahra Valley

 

Belisirma
Belisirma

 

Belisirma
Belisirma

 

Belisirma
Belisirma

 

Belisirma
Belisirma

 

Where to stay:

Goreme is a good starting point for exploring the region, as well as Uçhisar, located a few kilometers.

 

Where to eat:

There are several restaurants along this route, is next to the most tourist areas is even in nearby villages. However Zelve was in memory by homemade cheese gozleme. To get there, pass the castle and continue up the footpath, following a rough wooden signs indicating “traditional house”.

In Derinkuyu, underground city entrance there are several outdoor restaurants, serving appetizing gozleme with different fillings as well as other Turkish specialty.

Belisirma also has many restaurant situated by the river, in a bucolic setting offered by the sound of the small stream that runs through the valley and the trees that cool the hot, dry air of Cappadocia.

 

Gozleme saboreado em Zelve
Gozleme at the village of  Zelve

Transports:

The best way to explore the region is by renting a scooter. Cost: 80TL per day.

Maps are provided for guesthouses, hotels and travel agencies.

Alternatively there are three routes organized by travel agency covering the main points of interest.

It can use public buses bound for Urgup, Nevsehir, Ihlara, Avanos and Kayseri, to access some of these places, and the stop on the main road of Goreme, just below the bus terminal, almost opposite the only bank in town … uncertain times and no information on the arrest and buses, requiring request information from the local people.

 

Costs:

In all locations and need to pay a ticket ranging from 10 TL (Selime Monastery) and 20 TL (underground city of Derinkuyu), including Ihlara Valley, which is also charged entry for walking the valley.

The Cemil Monastery to be further from the tourist route costs only 5 TL.

 

Important note: to return to Goreme the best option, after visiting the Selime Monastery, is back the way that is again to Ilhara because going north toward Nevsehir, you must travel more than 60 km by highway, the that is far from a pleasant experience for what is a shaky scooter.

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