Nature and no small amount of human zeal has shaped Cappadocia, the most magical place you are ever likely to encounter. Over millions of years, volcanic eruptions have covered this region, deep in the mountainous center of Central Anatolia, in deep layers of ash and mud that has solidified into tufta. This soft rock, shaped by the elements into whimsically conical spires called fairy chimneys, proved to be heaven-sent when the early inhabitants embraced Christianity and found that their faith put them at odds with Romans, Arabs and even other Christians.
Digging into the pliant tufta, they were able to build secret churches, dwellings and entire underground cities that could harbor as many as 20,000 souls in safety from marauding raiders.
Even in times of peace, cave dwellings tucked into verdant valleys proved to lend themselves ideally to a monastic lifestyle, such as that espoused by Saint Basil , who was born in Cappadocia. Over the years , the ease of digging into the soft tufta has made troglodytes of most Cappadocians , whatever their religious convictions. Every village in the region is, at least in part , a community of caves etched out of weirdly shaped outcroppings. What awaits visitors , especially in the triangle between Ürgüp, Göreme and Avanos, is a landscape that is nothing short of bizarre and all the more fascinating for it
Cappadocia lends itself especially well to exploration on foot and aside from its distinctive caves and geological formations, the orchards, fields and forested river valleys invite unhurried walks. In your wanderings you will have the pleasure of encountering Cappadocians, who are often on horseback or behind a plow pulled by a mule. They may well offer you some local wine and tell you where to a find a hidden cave church