Cappadocia (Kapadokya in Turkish) is a region in Central Anatolia, Turkey, consisting of a triangular area formed by the city provinces of Aksaray-Nevsehir, Kayseri and Nigde. In the ancient Persian "Katpatuka", from which Kapadokya is derived, means 'Land of beautiful horses'. Originally the home of the Hittite culture, it was ruled by the Persians from the 4th to 6th century B.C., Romans (1st to 4th century) and the Byzantines (4th to 15th century).Today Cappadocia is mostly known for its visually striking landscapes in the smaller region in the area around Uçhisar, Göreme, Avanos, Ürgup, Derinkuyu, Kaymakli and Ihlara.
Cappadocia is absolutely one of the unique place on earth and is a miraculous natural wonder, where erosion has formed valleys, clefts, "fairy chimneys" (peri bacalari) and sinuous folds in the soft volcanic rock. Due to the nature of the soft volcanic rock, called tuff, there are many chapels, dwellings and underground settlements in the region excavated by inhabitants of the area over the centuries. Although many of them are not open to the public there are, there are still plenty that can be visited. The underground cities of Kaymakli and Derinkuyu are particularly impressive.
Prime activities in Cappadocia are visiting the historic painted cave churches of the many monastic valleys (especially the Göreme Valley and Zelve Valley), flying in a hot-air balloon at dawn above the incredible landscape, hiking the volcanic valleys (especially the Rose Valley), touring the underground cities, and shopping for pottery ceramics (especially in Avanos). There are many cave style hotels in the region for accommodations while visiting Cappadocia, for an experience of cave style living, with modern amenities of course.
The area is a popular tourist destination, as it has many areas with unique geological, historic, and cultural features.