Discover Turkish culture in Cappadocia

In the centre of Turkey, a trip to Cappadocia combines nature, history, culture and gastronomy. As well as discovering the splendid panoramas offered by this semi-arid region, take the time to immerse yourself in Turkish culture and appreciate all its diversity.

Attend a whirling dervish show, let yourself be guided by a Turk who is passionate about his region, take a cookery class in a family home or make traditional pottery in an artist's workshop... There's no shortage of options! More than just a holiday, your trip to Cappadocia will become a real experience, with memories that will stay with you forever.

Tourist discovering hand-woven carpets in a souvenir store in Cappadocia

- © Lizavetta / Shutterstock

Attend a whirling dervish ceremony

Whirling dervishes are men of faith belonging to the Muslim Mevlevi order. Their nickname refers to their dancing prayer, the Semâ ceremony, during which each protagonist spins around in order to reach a state of trance. Rhythmed by song and a few musical instruments, this prayer represents the spiritual ascent of the human being towards the "Perfect".

By dancing on themselves, whirling dervishes seek to modify their state of consciousness and develop their creative abilities.

- © Leroy Arthur / Age Fotostock

The prior, the Semâzen dervish, wears a felt cap symbolising the tombstone of his ego. As he turns, the man uncrosses his arms to raise them to the sky. His right hand is turned upwards to receive the divine gifts, while his left hand is directed towards the ground to pass on to the people what he has received from God. The result is a whirling dance that ends with a prayer addressed to the prophets and the souls of all believers. A breathtaking spectacle set to traditional music.

Les trois tours de salle effectués par les derviches symboliseraient les trois sphères nécessaires à l'épanouissement de l'être : la science, la vision et l'union

- © Mehmet Can / AGEFotostock

In Cappadocia, you can attend whirling dervish ceremonies. These performances take place in a number of places, including the historic caravanserai of Saruhan and the villages of Ortahisar and Konya. Please note that photos and videos are often forbidden during the ceremony.

Whirling dervish show in Cappadocia Cappadocia

Whirling dervish show in Cappadocia

Attend a traditional whirling dervish ceremony. Pick-up from your hotel in Göreme.
From
£35
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Performance in front of the Konya Museum. Dervishes wear white clothes and a black or red hat. Each element has a strong symbolism

- © Rene Mattes

Explore the region with a local guide

"Travelling without meeting others is not travelling, it's moving".

In Cappadocia, as everywhere else in the world, this quotation from the author Alexandra David-Néel is self-evident. Who better than a local to tell you all about the riches and secrets of the region? When travelling to Cappadocia, we recommend that you book at least one day's guided tour with a local guide.

Visiting Cappadocia with a local guide will enable you to better appreciate the region's history and architecture, as seen here at the Zelve Museum.

- © frantic00 / Shutterstock

Whether in a group or on a private tour, you'll have the chance to explore some exceptional places and learn more about the region's history. You'll also have access to more intimate addresses and viewpoints, known only to the locals... Some tours are also available at the end of the day, to enjoy the beauty of the sunset.

👉 Practical information

Tip: avoid uncomfortable shoes, which will prevent you from exploring the sights in peace, as well as shoes with smooth soles. The ground can be quite slippery at tourist sites.

Local guide explaining the history of fairy chimneys in Cappadocia to tourists

- © Mohammad Bash / Shutterstock

Try your hand at pottery at Avanos

Situated in the centre of Cappadocia, the town of Avanos is renowned for its pottery and its many craft workshops. The town's main economic resource, the creation of terracotta objects is a genuine tradition handed down from generation to generation. Numerous workshops offer pottery demonstrations and courses in a friendly atmosphere. Don't miss this opportunity to take home a unique souvenir of your trip!

Craftsman using a potter's wheel in the village of Avanos, Cappadocia (Turkey)

- © Maria Studio / Shutterstock
Kirkit Hotel Cappadocia

Kirkit Hotel

Located in Avanos
From
£68
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Discover Anatolian art in all its splendour

As well as terracotta pottery, Cappadocia is also renowned for its onyx jewellery and hand-woven Turkish carpets. To discover all aspects of Anatolian art, why not dedicate a whole day to visiting artists' studios? Local tour operator Pupa Tours offers an 8-hour excursion departing from the city of your choice. Learn more about ancient Anatolian artistic techniques in the company of an expert guide.

Woman working on a traditional Turkish handloom

- © evantravels / Shutterstock

Take a Turkish cookery course

Let's face it: discovering a culture also means discovering its cuisine! And it has to be said that Turkish cuisine has everything to please, with generous, gourmet dishes. During your stay in Cappadocia, don't miss the opportunity to take a traditional cooking class. In a top-of-the-range establishment, alongside top chefs, or in a family home, learn how to prepare the country's most emblematic dishes, such as stuffed aubergines, borek pastries or baklava. It's sure to impress your future guests!

Take advantage of your stay in Cappadocia to take a Turkish cooking class in a family home.

- © Altug Galip / Shutterstock

Taste the wine of Cappadocia

Did you know? Cappadocia is renowned throughout the wine world for its delicate, fruity wines. If you love this beverage, take advantage of your stay to visit the region's historic vineyards. Most producers, such as the famous Turasan Winery, offer guided tours accompanied by wine tasting.

Vineyards in front of fairy chimneys in Cappadocia

- © Travel Faery / Shutterstock
Vigneron Cave Hotel Cappadocia

Vigneron Cave Hotel

Establishment with mountain views
From
£101
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If you have a hire car, you can drive straight there. Be careful not to exceed the permitted alcohol limit before getting behind the wheel. Otherwise, a number of local guides offer 'all-inclusive' outings from several of Cappadocia's major towns.

Cappadocian wine tasting in Uçhisar, Turkey

- © nurdem atay / Shutterstock
by Faustine PEREZ
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