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My Turkish Delight

Rob in Uchisar, TurkeyI have to say I was quite thrilled when I was asked to accompany a colleague on a trip to Cappadocia earlier this year.

Central Turkey was not a region I knew well, but as I began to seek out information and images of the area prior to going, I soon became enthralled and fascinated by the strange landscapes of tall, white rock-capped pillars that litter the countryside around the so-called troglodyte town of Göreme.

I was not to be disappointed and, shortly after arrival, we were soon walking down winding valleys where these tall towers hid some amazing secrets.

Rob visiting Hidden Church near GoremeMany had been excavated and tunnelled into, creating secret churches (bottom image - Grapes Church near Göreme), adorned with startlingly beautiful and colourful wall paintings of religious scenes, and labyrinthine dwellings that housed hundreds of communities seeking refuges from invading armies

But far from being relics of the past, these caves are often still lived in today - and many have been converted into luxury bedrooms in some of the most incredible hotels you could ever wish to stay in. The Sofa Hotel in Avanos and the Sultan Cave Suites in Göreme, to name just two, both feature in our Two Faces of Cappadocia walking holiday. I was there to introduce Inntravel to the hoteliers, familiarise myself with the holiday details and to walk the routes and help write the notes.

It was a fact-finding mission of sorts and our wonderful English-speaking guides made sure we got the most out of our trip, from learning about the ancient Hittites and traditional spicy Turkish cuisine, to visiting as many wall paintings as we had time for, while enjoying the warm hospitality - and a glass or two of Efes, the national beer - of a remarkably friendly people.

If you want to go somewhere a little bit different, head for Cappadocia to explore the amazing valleys around Göreme. This holiday proved to be one of the most popular walks in our 2010 programme, and we are confident it will be again in 2011 - but don’t just take my word for it…

Grapes church, Goreme, Turkey
 

Posted: 14/12/2010 08:50:38 by | with 0 comments
Filed under: heritage, nature, Turkey, walking


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