Top bikers fascinated by Cappadocia tracks

21 July 2007

   The top mountain bike riders of the world were in Turkey for the International Cycling Union’s (UCI) Mountain Bike Cross Country Championship that was held at Nevsehir-Goreme.The championship ended with the participation of a total of 66 sportsmen from 23 countries, who were aged between 23-30 that raced over the weekend.Spaniard Jose Antonio won the Elite Men in the last day of the championship. Julien Absalon of France came on the 2nd place and Fredrik Kessiakoff of Switzerland was 3d place in the 23-30 age category in the last day of the championship. The spaniard champion expressed that he belives Nevsehir brought him luck, after beating worlds top ranked biker Absalon,

   Another biker, Hermida also found the time to praise Nevsehir, talking about the exciting racecourse and beautiful scenery where second runner Absalon agreed, saying that this was the race he enjoyed the most. Bronze medallist Kessiakoff was content to finish third on such a difficult track.International Cycling Union (UCI) President Pat McQuaid seemed happy about the organization of the event that was held in Turkey for the first time.
McQuaid said that the Cappadocia track is very suitable for mountain biking and Turkey may well be a contender for hosting a world championship in the future. Currently, the world championships are already scheduled until 2011.Cappadocia region’s unique scenery that comes from its geology. Cappadocia is largely underlain by sedimentary rocks formed in lakes and streams, and ignimbrite deposits erupted from ancient volcanoes approximately three to nine million years ago.

   The rocks of Cappadocia near Goreme eroded into hundreds of spectacular pillars and minaret-like forms. The volcanic deposits are soft rocks that the people of the villages at the heart of the Cappadocia Region carved out to form houses, churches, monasteries. Some may recognize the scenery – part of the Cranked film series was shot here along with the 2003 Adidas cycling wear catalogue.

Caravanning tourism in Cappadocia

Friday, July 6, 2007

NEVŞEHİR – Anatolia News Agency

   Caravanning recently experienced a surge in popularity in Cappadocia; one of Turkey’s spectacular historic and natural spots known for its signature fairy chimneys.

  The region hosts a number of caravanning and camping areas where domestic and international tourists may find anything that they might need. Stretching over an area of 7,000 square meters, the camping centers offer all kinds of comforts and facilities such as parking lots, pools, toilets, electricity, showers and running water. The prices per person range from five to 15 euros. Those who wish to enjoy tent camping can also pitch tent in the centers.

  According to Osman Baltacı, a caravan and camping center owner in Goreme, Cappadocia, tourists who traveled solo expressed great interest in caravanning.  International tourists stay from two to 15 days at these facilities while domestic tourists display little interest. Most of these foreign caravanning enthusiasts are from Germany, France, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Italy.


Sarica Church – One of Many

6 june 2007
There are over 400 churches and chapels in Cappadocia. One has been lovingly restored

   The award for Conservation of Architectural Heritage will be presented at the Europa Nostra Annual Congress this week to the Sarica Church in Cappadocia (Turkey), part of the Goreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia World Heritage site. Having suffered from severe surface erosion due to rainwater infiltration, cracks and flaking, this remarkable example of a rock-carved Byzantine church was rescued, restored and made accessible to visitors. The project principally involved the restoration of the wall paintings, the construction of a new drainage system and the replacement of the eroded rock of the facade with a covering of harder local tuff of similar colour.

Rock-carved church
A private company, Vasco Travel, restored the church in order to contribute to the sparse public money that the Turkish State invests in the Cappadocian heritage. The project began in 1997 and the restoration commenced in 2001. The project sponsored by Vasco Tourism Investment Industry and Trade Inc. and carried out by KA.BA Conservation of Historic Buildings and Architecture Ltd over seven years, makes the Sarica Church stand out as a rare example of a successfully restored and revitalised rock-carved church in Cappadocia, says Europa Nostra in its presentation of the award.  

In the promotional brochure Vasco Travel claims that the project has given the company much positive feedback not least in the aftermath of 9/11.

Cappadocia Offers Otherworldly Holiday

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

  The famous fairy chimneys in the central Anatolian tourist attraction of Goreme in Cappadocia have for centuries been hollowed out and used as homes by locals. This tradition continues today, with many of the would-be residences serving as hotels.

  The natural rock formations, shaped from centuries of volcanic deposits and the effects of water and wind, offer lodging for prices that range from $50 to $250 a night. The rooms have natural temperature control; they stay cool in summertime and warm in winter.

  Mustafa Durmaz, the head of the Goreme Tourism Development Cooperative, told the Anatolia news agency that both native and foreign tourists visiting the region frequently chose to stay at the “chimney hotels” over regular modern hotels.

  British tourists were the most frequent summer visitors to the chimney hotels, while visitors from the Far East formed the majority of the region’s winter tourists, Durmaz noted. Turkish holidaymakers’ interest in the chimney hotels has increased in the last few years, said Durmaz, adding that the region was home to around 30 such accommodations.


Cappadocia Bicycle Tours

bycle    bycle

   Going through Urgup, Goreme and Zelve, the open air museum of churches and hermit dwellings hewn out of the naked rock, and the rock pinnacles pierced with the apertures of doors and windows. In the heat of summer, cyclists can cruise along in a comfort not offered by cars and coaches. And they do not have to abandon their vehicles when the roads narrow to paths. The number of cyclists is therefore steadily rising in the region. Cappadocia which has been featured in several European and American Mountain Bike magazines as one of the best places to cycle in Turkey and Europe.

Churches and Monasteries in Cappadocia

 Churches and Monasteries in Cappadocia                

   The rock cut churches and monasteries were developed by the Christians from the cave dwellings and they are also situated deep underground. These excavations have reached down to about 85 meters, or until the water level has been reached, and are marked with efficient ventilation systems. There are many settlements in Cappadocia that were established primarily as ascetic communities following the rules mentioned by Bishop of Caesarea Mazaca in the 4th century, St. Basil the Great.
    Goreme Valley is famous for its churches and these churches followed the rules laid down by St. Basil the Great. In fact it was under his guidance that the first churches of Goreme Valley were built. Presently the Goreme Valley with its numerous small communities having their own churches forming large monastic complex serves the purpose of the Open Air Museum.
    The most striking monastery in Cappadocia is the Eskigumus Monastery, its main church is roomy and well ventilated, but the main point of interest lies in its well-preserved frescoes that are considered the best representative of Byzantine art in all of Cappadocia.

Cappadocia Modern Tourism

Cappadocia Modern Tourism                                            

   The area is a famous and popular tourist destination, as it has several cone-shaped geological formations.It is southwest of the major city Kayseri, which has airline and railroad service to Ankara and Istanbul.After the eruption of Mt. Erciyes about 2000 years ago, the volcanic deposits formed soft rocks (ignimbrites) in the Cappadocia Region. People of Goreme, at the heart of the Cappadocia Region, realized that these soft rocks could be easily carved out to form houses, churches, monasteries. Goreme became a monastic center between 300-1200 AD. First period settlement in Goreme reaches to the Roman period from Christianity. Yusuf Koc, Ortahane, Durmus Kadir and Bezirhane churches in Goreme, houses and churches carved into rocks till to Uzundere, Bagildere and Zemi Valley carries the mystical side of history today. The Goreme Open Air Museum is the most visited site of the monastic communities in Cappadocia and is one of the most famous sites in central Turkey. It is a complex comprising more than 30 rock-carved churches and chapels containing some superb frescoes, dating from the 9th to the 11th centuries.