Cappadocia

Turkish: Kapadokya, Greek: Καππαδοκία Kappadokía, from Ancient Greek: Καππαδοκία, from Old Persian: Katpatuka) is a historical region in Central Anatolia, largely the Nevşehir, Kayseri, Kırşehir,Aksaray, and Niğde Provinces in Turkey.

According to Herodotus, in the time of the Ionian Revolt (499 BCE) the Cappadocians were reported as occupying a region from Mount Taurus to the vicinity of the Euxine (Black Sea). Cappadocia, in this sense, was bounded in the south by the chain of the Taurus Mountains that separate it from Cilicia, to the east by the upper Euphrates, to the north by Pontus, and to the west by Lycaonia and eastern Galatia.

Cappadocia lies in central Anatolia, in the heartland of what is now Turkey. The relief consists of a high plateau over 1000 m in altitude that is pierced by volcanic peaks, with Mount Erciyes (ancient Argaeus) near Kayseri (ancient Caesarea) being the tallest at3916 m. The boundaries of historical Cappadocia are vague, particularly towards the west. To the south, the Taurus Mountains form the boundary with Cilicia and separate Cappadocia from the Mediterranean Sea. To the west, Cappadocia is bounded by the historical regions of Lycaonia to the southwest, and Galatia to the northwest.

The Black Sea coastal ranges separate Cappadocia from Pontus and the Black Sea, while to the east Cappadocia is bounded by the upper Euphrates, before that river bends to the southeast to flow into Mesopotamia, and the Armenian Highland. This results in an area approximately 400 km (250 mi) east–west and 250 km (160 mi) north–south. Due to its inland location and high altitude, Cappadocia has a markedly continental climate, with hot dry summers and cold snowy winters. Rainfall is sparse and the region is largely semi-arid.
The area is a popular tourist destination, as it has many areas with unique geological, historic, and cultural features.

Touristic Cappadocia includes 4 cities: Nevsehir, Kayseri, Aksaray and Nigde.

The region is located southwest of the major city Kayseri, which has airline and railway service to Ankara and Istanbul and other cities.

The most important towns and destinations in Cappadocia are Ürgüp, Goreme, Ihlara Valley, Selime, Guzelyurt, Uchisar, Avanos and Zelve. Among the underground cities worth seeing are Derinkuyu, Kaymakli, Gaziemir and Ozkanak. The best historic mansions and cave houses for tourist stays are in Urgup, Goreme, Guzelyurt and Uchisar.

Hot-air ballooning is very popular in Cappadocia and is available in Goreme. Trekking is enjoyed in Ihlara Valley, Monastery Valley (Guzelyurt), Urgup and Goreme.

Sedimentary rocks formed in lakes and streams and ignimbrite deposits that erupted from ancient volcanoes approximately 9 to 3 million years ago, during the late Miocene toPliocene epochs, underlie the Cappadocia region. The rocks of Cappadocia near Göreme eroded into hundreds of spectacular pillars and minaret-like forms. People of the villages at the heart of the Cappadocia Region carved out houses, churches and monasteries from the soft rocks of volcanic deposits. Göreme became a monastic centre in 300–1200 AD.

Since 2012, a multiday track running ultramarathon of desert concept, called Runfire Cappadocia Ultramarathon, is held annually in July. The race tours 244 km (152 mi) in six days through several places across Cappadocia reaching out to Lake Tuz.

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