If visiting Cappadocia, Turkey isn’t on your bucket list, it should be. Here, history and nature collide in a landscape covered by natural columns and pinnacles that poke more than one hundred feet into the air. This bizarre yet beautiful landscape offers something for everyone, from spectacular hot air balloon flights to prehistoric caves to well-preserved Byzantine art.
As part of Central Anatolia’s historical region, Cappadocia gets its unique landscape from centuries of historic volcanic eruptions and long-term erosion. After volcanic ash covered the area and solidified into soft rock, erosion stripped the land, creating a series of cones, cliffs, spears and chimneys that protrude up into the sky. While Mother Nature shaped the Göreme valley all on its own, in the fourth century A.D., people began burrowing into the landscape, creating one of the most intricate underground communities in the world.