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Decorated with a cycle containing life of Jesus, it is located right in town of Goreme. The Karanlik church, also located in Goreme is among best preserved in Cappadocia with lively paintings depicting consecration of Jesus, Last Supper, Crucifixion and apostles. The Eskigumus rock cut monastery (close to town of Nigde) is only one where you can see a frescoe with smiling Virgin Mary. Recent discovery of monastery in 1963 allowed it to escape vandalism to which many of Cappadocian churches and monasteries were subjected. Well-preserved wall paintings decorate spacious main church are known to be one of best examples of Byzantine art in all of Cappadocia.
Other attractions in area include but not limited to: - museums in Aksaray, Nevsehir, Goreme, Nigde, Kayseri; - fortress of Ortahisar, spectacular Devrent Valley; - Seljuk history relics such as Karatay Madrasah, many mosques and caravansaries in Konya; - hot springs in Nar-Golu and Guzelyurt where also one of oldest existing churches in area- Kizil Kilise (Red Church) is located, a 6th century artifact; - mountain climbing and mountain skiing at Erciyes Dagi mountain (3916m above sea level); - hot air ballooning.
WHEN TO GO: Cappadocia has a steppe climate, there is a great temperature difference between day and night. The average temperature is 23 deg.C (73 F) in summer and -2 deg.C (28 F) in winter. It is cooler and drier than in popular tourist areas of Mediterranean and Aegean coasts. April to middle of June and September-October are best months to visit.
GETTING THERE: Ankara, Turkey's capital city is only 350km away. You will find all necessary local contact phone numbers, price quotes and dining recommendations by following these links: Goreme - Nevsehir. Tours to Cappadocia are offered by almost all travel agencies in Turkey, although they are all too short allowing you just enough time for brief sightseeing. Tour guides tend to spend too much of your time at local pottery and carpet shops. We recommend you to rent a car in Ankara (usually $ 75-100 USD/day, check rental prices ) and drive to Cappadocia on your own, or put together a little group and hire a minivan together with a local driver/travel guide (a car and driver would cost you $85- 135 USD/day).
TRAVEL TIPS: Local travel books, information booklets are available on spot in Cappadocia's towns. If travelling on your own, a detailed road map would definitely be a must to buy before leaving home. Modest clothes are suggested for women. The rural Turkey's culture is conservative and immodest clothing (short skirts, shorts, tight clothing) can invite unwanted attention. Do not forget a sun hat, sun protecting lotion, comfortable shoes. Plan ahead to spend at least two full days in area.
Stan Trof is the editor and owner of http://www.travelmake.com - one of leading online discount travel agencies, a source of useful travel information.