Camping in Cappadocia

Camping is a basic issue that every outdoor sportly should know. Most of the actiities in the nature is not a daily activity. Therefore spending the night in the nature is inevitable. Camping consists of information on accommodating in the nature and using the necessary knowledge and equipment related. Camping can be an aim itself but on the other hand it is a tool for many outdoor activities. Whether or not camping is an aim or a tool for us, there are certain rules in camping and the basic mentality stays always the same.

Basic camping equipments

During camping many types of equipment are needed.If we carry the camp load on our back, it would be better to travel with the minimum supplies, most suitable for the aim. For the camping places, being able to be reached by car, the supplies can be more. Beside the break-proff plate, glass, fork and spoon; multifunctional jack-knife is always required in camping. For the nights, do not forget to bring your torches or headlamps with batteries. In your camp site you will need a good canteen, a jerry can and different size of pans for cooking.Portable small stools are very useful to sit as well. The equipments can be increased but as we say the basic equipments, the firsts come to mind are tent, sleeping bag, mate and stove.

Camping in Cappadocia

There are many places in Cappadocia for camping. But many areas in Cappadocia are accepted as naturally or historically protected areas. Therefore it is better for you to consult with the local authorities or security guards of the area that you would like to camp. In addition,in Cappadocia there are enterprises which are defined as camping area and / or serve for this reason. With a small fee, you can pitch up your tent;; use the facilities of bathroom, toilet and kitchen.

Camping caravaning in Cappadocia

Camping in Cappadocia

Camping in Cappadocia

Cappadocia Mountain Biking

In this activity it is possible both to gain the skills, which are required in outdoor sports such as power, endurance, cardiovascular condition and a satisfy the instinct of exploring the nature. Being able to visit many places in a short time period and also being integrated with natura enabled mountain biking to become an outdoor sport immediately. The fans of this sport started to discover the suitable and nice racecourses quickly. If bacycle, an indicator of city culture, was on our roads, we would reach more civilised points.

Cappadocia is the name given to the region in Central Anatolia which was once the heart of the Hitit Empire, later an independent kingdom, and then a vast Roman province. One of the best ways of exploring the fascinating Cappadocia region and discovering the places that crowds never reach is bu mountain bike. Millions of years of volcanic activity and eresion have resulted in a surreal, lunar type landscape littered with strange rock formations. In addition, churches beautifully decorated with frescos, houses and underground cities hollowed out of the soft rock offer an insight in to life in the region as it was centuries ago. Small tracks covered in volcanic sand twist and turn among the rock formations, valleys, vineyards and villages, offering a wonderful way to explore the region far away from any kind of motor traffics. Many of the mountain biking magazines choose Cappadocia as one of the best places to mountain bike in the world.

You can actually mountain bike almost everywhere in the world, but while mountain biking, in order to come across with a place interest or simply a nice scenery, you usually need to pedal tens of kilometers. The best part of mountain biking in Cappadocia is that you always have great scenery and there are tens of museums, sights to visit as you bike along. As you start mountain biking through the unspoiled villages of Cappadocia, besides the touristy places such as cave churhches, rock formations, underground cities, etc.., you can also witness the local life and see the local working in their gardens and fields, ladies baking bread in their traditional stone ovens in the villages, shepherds with thousands of sheep or cows. We can say that it is not easy to create this combination somewhere else in the world.

There are also several single track options in the valleys around Göreme and through Ihlara Canyon which is called the Turkish Grand Canyon. During the spring the region is covered with wild and colorful flowers and autumn – especially May, June, September and October – with the mild climate, are the perfect seasons for mountain biking in the area.

Cappadocia met with mountain bike for the first time in 1989 by a Cappadocia company “Bisiklet Tur Ltd” and imported 63 mountain bikes from Italy. The studies which have been started by the firm in order to organize mountain bike tours in Cappadocia accelerated in 1990 by the organisation of cycling tours in the region. In 1993 the name of the company changed by getting into a partnership with a new partner. Since then, the company participated in any kind of organizations related with cycling in Cappadocia. As we examine this development, we can say that Cappadocia broke new ground in Turkey in terms of mountain bike because at that period none of the region of Turkey have been hosted such organized mountain bike activities.

The first international level mountain bike tournament in Turkey was hold in Alanya in 1997. It was followed by the one organized in 2000 in Ürgüp. The activity under “Cappadocia Mountain Bike Festival” was sponsored by Ayhan Sahenk Foundation and supported by Urgup Municipality. The tournament was accepted as one the biggest mountain bike organization in Turkey ever. Hereupon, in 2001 Union Cyclist International (UCI) decided to include the races, organized under the festival, as official categories. Later on, these races becam traditional and repeated each year with the support of Cycling Federation, Foundation, Municipality and various companies.

There is limitless dirt road network in Cappadocia and these are mostly the roads connecting the villages and the gardens or fields outside the villages. Even between 2 villages, you can find several alternative dirt roads. It is possible to do mountain biking tours in Cappadocia from a few hours or half day to 2 weeks and the distance of each day’s riding could be from 15 kms. to 100 kms. depending on the rider’s / group’s  fitness and desire. One of the best parts of the multiple day bike tours is that you mostly do one way riding and change accommodation every day. The ride usually starts from your hotel and ends at  the other hotel, so you experience Cappadocia better by staying at different towns or villages every night.

If you are willing to mountain bike in Cappadocia for about a week or more, the tour can be extendedto the Aladaglar National Park, which is so close to Cappadocia. The roads in that area are mostly mountain roads with long climbs, long descends and great views of the snowcapped mountains. It is a great combination of mountain biking on the mountains, in the forest and by the rivers.

Camping is also available for groups who want to camp in the countryside or in the villages. Camp areas are always prepared with full respect to nature.For the ones who do not want to bring their own bikes, high quality bikes are available for rent in Cappadocia, especially in Ürgüp and Göreme. There are some travel agencies in Cappadocia that specialize in mountain biking tours. These tours are mostly 100% vehicle supported and they carry drinks, foods, tools, spare parts of the bikes, first aid kit and even a spare bike in the supporting vehicle. There are usually 2 or 3 seats available in the supporting vehicle for the ones who do not want to ride.

Here is a sample 5 day itinerary:

Day1: The first day ofthe tour starts from Ürgüp. We cycle through Damsa stream and then by the Red River to Avanos. After a lunch break in Avanos we head Love Valley. We end our day in Uchisar after biking up the pleasant hill from Love Valley. Overnight in Uchisar. This is a 35 km ride with 95% off road.
Climbing: 700 meters
Descending: 700 meters

Day 2: After the breakfast, we cycle to Kavak village first and then Maziköy. We have picnic in Maziköy. We bike through the potato fields until Devrentbasi village and through a very nice valley to basköy. Finally we reach Soganli, which is one of the earliest settlements of Cappadocia. Overnight at the campsite in Soganli. This is a 50 km ride with 70% off road.
Climbing: 800 meters
Descending: 600 meters

Day 3: After breakfast we start riding to Derinkuyu via Orhanli village. After visiting the underground city of Derinkuyu and having lunch at a local restaurant, we keep cucling to Komurcu village via Kiledere and Yazihoyuk villages. Today’s ride finishes in Komurcu, where we rendezvous with our vehicle, and transfer to Guzelyurt. overnight in Guzelyurt. This is a 55 km ride with 90% off road.
Climbing: 700 meters
Descending: 500 meters.

Day 4: We cycle to Selime village via Alanyurt. Selime is the village where we go in to Ihlara Canyon. We cycle to Belisirma (a small village in the middle of the valley) and have lunch there. After lunch we bike in the second part of the canyon up to Ihlara village. After Ihlara we have a 30 km ride to Ulukisla. This ride is going over Kucuk Hasan Mountain from a passage. We do a long uphill beginnning of the uphill is soft but when we get close to the mountain it is more challenging. We are picked up in Ulukisla village and transferred to Urgup. Overnight in Urgup. This is a 60 km ride with 95% off road
Climbing: 1050 meters
Descending: 1300 meters

Day 5: On our last day, we ride towards the most popular sites of Cappadocia. We first ride through Pancarlik to Ortahisar and then to the famous Goreme Open Air Museum, to visit its rock cut churches dating as early as the 10th century. Riding through the single tracks of Red Valley leads us to Cavuzin Village. After riding through the streets of Cavusin we cycle to Pasabag Fairy Chimneys Valley and then Zelve. After having lunch in Zelve we visit its open air museum and head on Devrent Valley and then Urgup. This is a 30 km ride with 70% off road.
Climbing: 900 meters
Descending: 900 meters.

European mountain bike championships, Göreme 2007

The process started in 1990’s in Cappadocia and the international races organized regularly, were the harbinger of the European Mountain Bike Championships, 2007 which would be organized in Göreme. The European Championships was an important step in Turkish cycling history and during the event, Cappadocia hosted world famous cyclist and cycling authorities. It was one of the best organizations. The world famous cycling authorities were in Cappadocia, such as the president of European Cycling Union and Union Cyclist International (UCI).

The event was followed by 24 press members from different European countries and 500 cyclist from 23 countries participated in the races. The event lasted for a week and the races were for 4 days. TRT (Turkish Radio & television Corporation) broadcasted live for 8 hours by helicopter shootings. This was very important for the promotion of Turkey and Cappadocia abroad.

Mountain Biking Racecourses in Cappadocia

Cappadocia is a rich region in terms of race courses for mountain bike tours and tournaments. It is possible to create hundreds of natural race courses. If we consider that since 2000, the mountain bike tournaments in Cappadocia have been organized on 9 different race courses, we might understand better the variety and richness. Beside the variety, all of the race courses of Cappadocia are natural. Some of the countries create artificial race courses because of not having natural ones. For example, the world famous cycling race course in fort William town of Scotland is hand made.

The race courses of Cappadocia not only serve natural beauties but also you go into history and culture.



Zinciriye Madrasa

Zinciriye Madrasa

Zinciriye Madrasa

One of the historical buildings of Aksaray Province oc Cappadocia area is Zinciriye Madrasa. Constructed by Yahsi Bey of the Karamanogullari (1336 – 1338), the building is made of cut stone and brick and is the type of madrasa with four vaulted rooms with one side open to the courtyard, three porticos and a courtyard. It is topped by a vault and dome, with an eight sectioned open top courtyard.

The entrance is by the eastern crowned door. Decorated with niches, the door is low arched. The vaulted rooms are cowered with plant and geometric motifs. Its portal is embellished with plastic art motifs which continued the Seljuk tradition.

In the southern vaulted room is the tomb of Dingoz Baba (Father Dingoz – 18th. C.). It has functioned as a madrasa to the current period and one of its peculiarities is that it has the appearance of a castle.

Zinciriye Madsara is a museum now.


Sultanhan Caravanserai

Sultanhan Caravanserai

Sultanhan was built in the years 1228 to 1229 by Alaattin keykubat, this han is an exceptional example of architectural stone work and decoration art from the Seljuk period. It was constructed to provide security for the road from Konya to Aksaray that was an important trade and military route. It is a classic Seljuk han with summer and winter quarters plus a mescit and stables. The hans built in the Seljuk period under the direction of the Hanbeyi (Lord of hans). His duty was to make sure that the trade routes were secure. There was always a cavalry force in each han and in times of war these forces joined those of the Sultan. The han is 40 km along the Aksaray Konya highway.


Selime Cathedral

Selime Cathedral

Situated 28 km from Aksaray, Selime is a town that was established at the end of the Ihlara Valley. Like Ihlara, Yaprakhisar, Belisirma and Guzelyurt there are rock cut churches here of which the most important is known as a Selime cathedral. The Cathedral has been hollowed out of the rocks on a rather elevated site. Inside tehere are two rows of rock columns. These columns divide the cathedral into three sections. The figurative frescoes of the largest religious edifice in Cappadocia, the 8th century. Kale Monastery, were painted at the end of the 9th century or beginning of the 10th century A.D. The fairy chimneys that can not be seen in other parts of the valley are also to be seen in other parts of the valley are also to be seen in the village of Selime.

Selime Sultan Turbe (Monumental Tomb)

The turbe, located in Selime town, has the architectural and decorative characteristic of an early period piece. A rare example of its type in Anatolia it has an octagonal base and is conical. In the turbe stonework and brickwork are interconnected. From the architectural style and materials it must date from the 13th century A.D.


Oresinhan Caravanserai

Oresinhan Caravanserai

Oresinhan is situated 22 km along the Aksaray to Nevsehir highway. The han seems bigger than it actually is and visitors find that it has a mysterious atmosphere. It has an unusual design with five naves with embrasure windows. Centre dome and gate of inn are collapsed. There are sections each with 6 arches. Although there is no definite information it is believed that the han was built towards the end of the 17th C.

Mount Hasan

Mount Hasan

Mount Hasan

With an altitude of 3268 m Mount Hasan is Central Anatolia‘s second highest peak. It is a volcanic formation and is covered by oak forests up to an altitude of 1750 m. It is not difficult to reach and the road continues as far as the ski centre of Aksaray and 15 km from Ihlara Valley. Mount Hasan is an important centre for mountaineering, summer migration, forestry retreats, adventure sports, skiing and cultural tourism.

There are important cultural remains on the slopes of the mountain; amongst the significant remains can be included: Nora (Viransehir) Ancient Site, Sarigol Church, 3 km to the northeast of Yenipinar, Yardibas Church and Sut Church 1 km to the southwest of Viransehir, the 6th century A.D. Bozboyun Church 3 km to the southwest of Viransehir, the mountaintop Tepe Church, the cruciform Cukurkent Church in Dedesivri, the cruciform Kale Church in Yenipinar and the other churches of Nora (Viransehir), plus the Seljuk edifice Karahan (Eshab-i Kefh Hani) found on the road to the ski centre.

Konya Province

Ivriz Rock relief - Konya

Ivriz Rock relief – Konya

The early permanent settlements in and around Konya go back to prehistoric times. The cultures of the Neolithic, Paleolithic and Early Bronze Age can be found within this period of time.

The mounds within which the early settlements are burled are within the borders of Konya. The findings of the Neolithic period have been dug-out during Catalhoyuk excavations. The diggings made in Catalhoyuk revealed that Konya has been an old city of civilization since people started to run a settled life in 7000 B.C. The existence of Ivriz Rock relief, Eflatunpinar, Glistra, Sille St. Elena church is another point which shows that Konya is a centre of hitory and culture.

The Hittite settlements were at Karahoyuk, which lies on the outskirts of Konya today. The archeological excavations have given light to the way of living of those people who lived on this land in those days. The Phrygians, who ended the Hittite domination on Asia Minor, were the migrating tribes form the Thrace. The findings from Aleaddin mound, Karapinar, Gicikisla and Sizma belong to the seventh millennium B.C.. Konya (Cavania) was invaded by the Lycian, Alexander the Great and the Romans. The Roman domination all over Asia Minor was long-lasting and Konya was Iconium then (25 A.D.)

Saint Paul, who landed at Antalya and made his way to the inner parts of Central Anatolia, made her a land of the Ottoman Empire. From there, passed through Antiochia (Yalvac) and came to Iconium. In those days Lystra, Laodica and Sille were the predominant Byzantine settlements. The penetration of Islam into Asia Minor brought the Arabian raids, which were made through Konya. After the Battle of Malazgirt in 1071 a large part of Anatolia including Konya was captured by Seljuk Turks and the dominance of the Eastern Roman Empire began to disappear. Suleyman Shah, the Anatolian Seljuk Sultan, declared Konya the seat of his crown in 1076. In 1080 Iznik was made the capital and in 1097, once more Konya was declared the capital of Anatolian Seljuk Empire staying that way until 1277. Karamanoglu Mehmet Bey took the rule of the Karamanogullari State. The Ottoman Sultan Murad II. captured Konya in 1442 and ended the Karamanogullari rule. Konya enjoyed many estimable years and made herself a notable reputation during the Ottoman reign. Konya was the halting place of Yavuz Sultan Selim during his campaigns to Egypt a Persia. Suleyman the Magnificent and Murad IV. halted in Konya on their way to Baghdad.

The city grew larger a developed rapidly after 1923. The considerably rich background of Konya has been enough to make her to be considered as an open air museum with numerous historical sites and a large number of works of art. Karatay, Meram and Selcuklu districts are up the Konya Metropol.

Goreme from Nevsehir or Kayseri Airports



You can take taxi at the Kayseri airport to go to Göreme or other centers of the city. But if you prefer mass transport, you should go to the city center and then to the bus terminal by city bus. If you get on bus at airport you should get off the bus at Republic Square (Cumhuriyet Meydani). You can go to the bus terminal by any of the busses numbered 140, 141, 142 or 530. You can find bus or minibus going to each side of Cappadocia region at the bus terminal.

If you come to Nevsehir-Kapadokya airport by Turkish Airlines the F.O.C service bus available and you can find bus or minibus for every destination at the city center.

Derinkuyu underground city

Derinkuyu Underground City

Derinkuyu Underground City

There are so many underground cities at Cappadocia area of Turkey. Noone can know how many underground city there are. The biggest and deepest is Derinkuyu Underground City. There are eight floors and extend at a depth of approximately 85 m.

The underground city at Derinkuyu has all the usual amenities found in other underground complexes across Cappadocia, such as wine and oil presses, stables, cellars, storage rooms, refectories, and chapels. Unique to the Derinkuyu undergorund city complex and located on the second floor is a spacious room with a barrel vaulted ceiling. It has been reported that this room was used as a religious school and the rooms to the left were studies. Between the third and fourth levels is a vertical staircase. This passage way leads to a cruciform church on the lowest level.

Derinkuyu Underground City

Derinkuyu Underground City

The large 55 m ventilation shaft appears to have been used as a well. The shaft also provided water to both the villagers above and, if the outside world was not accessible, to those in hiding. First built by the Phrygians in the 8th –7th centuries B.C according to the Turkish Department of Culture, the Derinkuyu underground city was enlarged in the Byzantine era. The city could be closed from inside with large stone doors. With storerooms and wells that made long stays possible, the city had air shafts which are up to 100 feet (30 m) deep. Derinkuyu is the largest excavated underground city in Turkey. The complex has a total 11 floors, though many floors have not been excavated. It has an area of 2,000 square feet, with a possible total area of 7,000 square feet (650 m2). Each floor could be closed off separately. The city was connected with other underground cities through miles of long tunnels. The city could accommodate between 20,000 and 50,000 people.

Derinkuyu Underground City

Derinkuyu Underground City


Underground city life

Derinkuyu is by no means the only such city you can visit here. There are actually 40 or so subterranean settlements in the area although only a few are open to the public.

It is in Derinkuyu District that is almost 30 km to Nevsehir, on Nevsehir – Nigde road.

Derinkuyu Underground City Video

Derinkuyu underground city entrance fee is 15 TL (2014), in summer open 8.00 and close 19.00, in winter open 8.00 and close 17.00.

Cappadocia Tours from Istanbul