‘Land of Red Fairies’ aims to host half million tourists
The fairy chimneys in the Narman district of the eastern province of Erzurum, listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative list, is expected to host tourists up to 500,000 with a joint project prepared by the Erzurum Governor’s Office, Erzurum Metropolitan Municipality and Narman Municipality.
There are 12 different canyons in the area of Narman Fairy Chimneys, which is known as the “Land of the Red Fairies” by the locals, the formation of which dates back to 300 million years and is similar to the Grand Canyon in the Colorado Valley in the U.S.
The unique view of Narman Fairy Chimneys is a natural wonder. Recently, walking paths have been made and a restaurant is under construction in order to increase its tourism potential.
Erzurum Governor Okay Memiş has said that it is easy to reach the point where the fairy chimneys are located, and with the completion of the project, this natural wonder would become an area where tour companies would flock.
“There are fairy chimneys in Cappadocia region in Turkey and is a unique place in the world. Narman Fairy Chimneys are also considered to be a geologically unique place,” Memiş said.
He also notes that there are many differences between Narman and Cappadocia.
Stating that they had difficulties in hosting tourists coming to the region in previous years due to the lack of facilities in the region, Memiş said: “This is a very special location where we are working on the design of this place as a geo-park. We built a two-story facility right next to the road that reaches here.”
Noting they had to build a 3.5-kilometer road in order to reach the location, he said: “When the works are finished, tour buses will come here, and we will host thousands of people. They will come and see this panoramic view. Our guests will rest in the facility, which is under construction and is suitable for nature, and then they will be able to walk down the valley.”
Memiş stated that the fairy chimneys have an area of 17 million square meters and contains 12 valleys.
Stating that they will open the fairy chimneys to the world, Memiş said, “There is a one-hour walking track in this area. Tourists will be able to rest, stay temporarily, eat their meals, taste natural and local products and buy souvenirs at the facility.”
He also noted there would be activities such as horse safari, ATV safari and cycling, and they were also considering hot-air balloon rides under the scope of their project.
Noting that this place is suitable during the pandemic for visitors in terms of a natural environment and social distance, he said, “Hopefully, after overcoming the pandemic, we expect people living in the country and abroad to visit this region.”
The chimneys are a result of a geologic process that began millions of years ago due to volcanic eruptions. Sitting on the layers of sandstone, a type of sedimentary rock, the red chimneys get their color from the presence of ferric oxide. It is believed that there are no other examples of this in the world caused by the same material composition.