27-03-2023 - Tips & Guides

Important Things to Know about Cappadocia for First-time Visitors

In the middle of the legendary Anatolia region of Turkey, there is a wonderland called Cappadocia. This district of the Nevşehir Province in Central Anatolia, known for its magical beauty, has a long and illustrious history. Several civilizations used Cappadocia as a trade route, and it came under attack at various times. To defend themselves from these assaults, the local populace constructed underground towns. Today, this unique region offers its visitors a wealth of wonderful sights. First-time visitors to Cappadocia are so lucky because it will be an unforgettable journey. In this article, we are going to look at the basic information you need to know before you visit Cappadocia for the first time. In our blog posts, we share everything about Cappadocia with you from cave hotels to underground cities, so follow our blog to be updated. Now, let’s begin!

Cappadocia is not a City or a State

Cappadocia is a historical area but neither a city nor a state. Today, it can be a little challenging to define specific borders when referring to Cappadocia because such borders have changed over time. In the late Bronze Age, Cappadocia was referred to as Hatti and was the home of the Hittite empire with its capital at Hattusa. Several kingdoms and empires have occupied the region since the collapse of the Hittite Empire up until the present. It is fair to assume that when the Kingdom of Cappadocia existed, Cappadocia had grown to its fullest extent.


According to current history, it is reasonable to state that Nevsehir's limits encompass central Cappadocia, although when viewed in a broader context, Cappadocia spans five different cities. These cities are Kayseri, Nevşehir, Kirşehir, Nigde, and Aksaray. These boundaries might alter as a result of fresh archeological research, giving us new places to explore!

But don’t worry, everything you need to see for your first time is close to each other in Urgup, Goreme, and Avanos towns in Nevsehir, so you won’t get lost in huge geography. Just keep in mind, if you decide to stay longer and discover more, there is a lot more to see in this vast geography.

Brief History of Cappadocia

The region was formed 60 million years ago as a result of extensive wind and rain erosion of soft lava and ash layers from Mount Erciyes, Mount Hasan, and Mount Güllü. Human habitation in the Cappadocia region dates back to the Paleolithic epoch. The former homelands of the Hittites were home to one of the most important Christian congregations in later times. By building homes and churches in the caverns and rocks, the area became a safe haven for Christians escaping the reign of the Roman Empire.


Later on, it stands as a safe haven for Christians hiding from Muslim and Arab raids for a long time. During the Ottoman era, the Cappadocia region was safer for both Muslims and Christians, and they lived harmoniously in the region. Up until the 1924 population exchange, the region was mostly Christian but today the majority of the population is formed by Turkish citizens. For an extensive article about Cappadocia's history, click here to read our blog post.

Meaning of Cappadocia

Let's examine what the word Cappadocia means. Apologies for the disappointment, but Cappadocia does not imply "the land of beautiful horses," despite what is frequently published online. According to the most recent etymology studies, the name's origin really means "low country." For those who enjoy etymology, here are some details.


On the trilingual inscriptions of two early Achaemenid kings called Darius I and Xerxes as one of the Persian Empire's states, the word Cappadocia first appears in writing in the late 6th century BC. In these lists of countries, the Old Persian word Katpatuka—which originally meant "Low Country"—is employed. The most recent iteration of this theory elaborates the toponym Cappadocia using the Hittite katta peda-, which literally translates as "place below." It is challenging to reconcile the phonetic shape of Kat-patuka with the previous derivation from the Iranian Hu-apa-dahyu, which means "Country of beautiful horses." Yet, it is true that Cappadocia is home to stunning wild horses, and whoever created the moniker legend had a good reason.

Top Things to Do in Cappadocia

If it is your first time in Cappadocia here is a checklist for you! Do everything on this list and take amazing pictures. Share your photos with us on our Instagram account so we can witness your amazing journey! For a more detailed list, check here the 35+ attractions included in Cappadocia Travel Pass®, you love everything you see!


Things to do in Cappadocia checklist for first-time visitors

  • Fly with hot air balloons over Cappadocia
  • Join a half-day Red Tour
  • Experience pottery making in Avanos
  • Join an ATV Safari tour to see around
  • Go to a horse ranch and ride a horse
  • Visit an ancient winery and taste locally-produced wine
  • See at least one of the underground cities of Derinkuyu, Kaymakli, and Ozkonak
  • Catch a whirling dervishes show
  • Dine in a traditional Turkish restaurant with Turkish shows
  • Relax in an authentic Turkish bath and get a massage!
  • Stay in a cave hotel or an old stone mansion

As we said earlier, enjoy your time, and don’t forget to share your photos and experiences with us!

Getting to Cappadocia

Getting to Cappadocia is easier than you think! Since there are two airports in the region with a lot of transfer alternatives, a trip to Cappadocia is an easy and convenient one. Although there are no direct international flights to Cappadocia for now, the best way is to transfer to Cappadocia from Istanbul if you want to fly over there.


Turkey has two flight companies Turkish Airlines and Pegasus, and you can find various flight options to both Nevsehir and Kayseri airports. From both of these airports, there are many options available to transfer to Urgup, Goreme, Uchisar, or anywhere where you are staying. Just keep in mind, with Cappadocia Travel Pass® you can have a discounted and comfortable transfer from Kayseri and Nevsehir airports to your hotel.

Since it is your first time, we recommend you fly there. But if you want to see other cities around you can always rent a car from Istanbul, Ankara or any other cities to see Cappadocia. There are also many bus services from Ankara and Istanbul to Cappadocia. So you don’t need to be worried about how to get Cappadocia.

Weather and Climate in Cappadocia

Let's look at the normal weather in Cappadocia for each month so you can make an informed decision about how to organize your vacation. Cappadocia is located in central Anatolia, which has a continental climate. As a result, Cappadocia has a variety of climates depending on the season. While the summers are hot and dry, the winters are frigid and snow-covered. The autumns are warm, and the springs are relatively frigid. The majority of Cappadocia is located at a height of more than 1000 meters, which contributes to the harsh winters. Summers can reach temperatures around 40 degrees Celsius and are sunny and dry.


Now that you are aware of the high and low seasons, it is time to determine when the weather will be at its best. The best times to visit Cappadocia are from March through May and from September through November. These months are perfect for outdoor activities and touring because of the beautiful weather. The best times to escape the heat are from April to June and September to October because July and August can easily see temperatures rise above 40 degrees Celsius.

Be aware that the weather varies during the day because the area is not humid. Even a bright morning brought a chillier night. Always pack a few layers of clothing, especially if you're traveling in the spring. So that you are ready for a chilly night, you can wear your shorts during the day.

The Best Way to Discover Cappadocia: Cappadocia Travel Pass®

Cappadocia has many amazing things to do and see. Especially if it is your first time here, you are so lucky because you will witness an amazing and unique place with your own eyes. For you to have the best of Cappadocia, we gladly present Cappadocia Travel Pass® to you! This pass is beyond a regular sightseeing pass but beyond. This digital card includes 35+ amazing attractions, experiences, underground cities, and more.


For you to save time and money, the Cappadocia Travel Pass® compiles the most well-liked sights, museums, and attractions into a single pass. Locating reputable businesses to hire is also crucial. With our 25+ years of tourism experience, we carefully selected the top services in Cappadocia. To view a complete list of the 35+ attractions in the Cappadocia region, click here. Here is our WhatsApp number and Instagram account if you have any questions. Let's investigate more!

FAQ

Which language do they speak in Cappadocia?

In Cappadocia and in Turkey, people speak Turkish. Turkish is the official language of the country but don’t worry especially in tourist areas you can communicate in English, Arabic, or Russian easily.

Should I have cash money with me in Cappadocia?

Although after the pandemic, the use of credit cards expanded, it is always to carry some cash Turkish liras with you in case. Especially for the local stores, it is better to pay cash.

Can I wear shorts, mini skirts, and sleeveless shirts in Cappadocia?

Yes, especially in hot summers, you would want to wear shorts in Cappadocia. You can wear whatever you want as you are traveling to a modern country. Turkey is a secular country and there are no religious rules for how you dress.

Can I stay in the hotel with my loved one without a marriage license?

Of course, you can stay with anyone you’d like in your hotel room. Hotels are not allowed to ask for a marriage license for couples.

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