You won’t believe how magical Cappadocia is until you see it for yourself. As I made the drive towards the hot air balloon spot pre-sunrise, I was fraught with emotions at watching before me countless of hot air balloons rising into a cloudless sky.
Aside from hot air balloons, the otherworldly rock formations found around Cappadocia will make you gape in wonder at nature’s creations.
- Cappadocia, Turkey Map
- How to get from Istanbul to Cappadocia, Turkey
- Wondrous Things to do in Cappadocia, Turkey
- 1. Take a hot air balloon ride.
- 2. Stay in a cave hotel.
- 3. Stay in a museum hotel.
- 4. Hike around the surrounding national reserve and valleys.
- 5. Get a shot of the fairy chimneys, unique only to Cappadocia.
- 6. Visit Cappadocia’s underground cities.
- 7. Visit Goreme Open Air Museum.
- 8. Also visit Zelve Open Air Museum.
- 9. Take a traditional Turkish bath (hamam).
- 10. Catch the setting sun.
- Day Tours in Cappadocia, Turkey
- What to Eat in Cappadocia, Turkey
- 1. Pottery Kebab
- 2. Turkish Pizza
- 3. Turkish tea
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Cappadocia, Turkey Map
To watch the hot air balloons or see fairy chimneys, be in Goreme. It is a little town in Cappadocia, Turkey where their main source of income comes from tourists.
Gerome is in the Nevşehir Province and has a population of around 2,500 people. Göreme National Park and its surrounding rock sites is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and its cave-dwelling complexes makes for one of the most fascinating trips around Europe.
Uçhisar is another town village that offers plenty of interesting accommodation in Cappadocia. Read on to find out more.
Below are the most up-to-date information and everything you need to know from how to get to Cappadocia to how to hop on a hot air balloon and catch the fairy chimneys in Cappadocia.
How to get from Istanbul to Cappadocia, Turkey
Istanbul to Cappadocia by BUS: USD 24
Istanbul to Cappadocia by FLIGHT: from USD 28 by Pegasus Airlines
Airport shuttle from Cappadocia airport to hotel: USD 9
Wondrous Things to do in Cappadocia, Turkey
1. Take a hot air balloon ride.
- USD 122/ 330 TL
- 1 hour
- 20- or 28-person baskets
- Pick up at around 4.30am
- Sunrise view
- Includes pick up and drop off at hotel
Most other companies charge USD 166. Be sure to ask around. There are plenty of tour agencies, though your hotel also provides such tours.
2. Stay in a cave hotel.
We’ve found that every single inhabitable house is a hotel or guest house of some sorts. You won’t believe the sheer number of hotels in the area.
That said, if you want to make a unique experience out of staying in Cappadocia, you have to stay in a cave hotel. Popular hotels in Cappadocia include:
3. Stay in a museum hotel.
Can you imagine a cave hotel that doubles as a museum? On top of living in cave units, get the chance to appreciate priceless antiques furnished within Museum Hotel.
4. Hike around the surrounding national reserve and valleys.
We hiked from the centre to the red and rose valley, but you don’t have to do it on your own. You can easily book a tour to take you here.
To be exact, a kind driver picked us up along the way to facilitate our hike without expecting anything in return heh heh. He spurred me to write about why everyone loves Turkey!
Walking exposes you to many more places that you’d never have known/ stopped for! We saw a horse shed which lets you do horse riding. There was also a pottery factory to learn/ watch pottery for free!
5. Get a shot of the fairy chimneys, unique only to Cappadocia.
6. Visit Cappadocia’s underground cities.
Kaymakli Underground City is the largest underground city, while Derinkuyu Underground City is the deepest underground city. Take a tour to find out why they are called underground cities.
7. Visit Goreme Open Air Museum.
Discover all about the ruins of monasteries, churches and houses that are somehow carved into soft volcanic rock.
8. Also visit Zelve Open Air Museum.
You won’t help but be fascinated at how people used to live within this cave village.
9. Take a traditional Turkish bath (hamam).
Perfect for wet weather plans. Which was exactly what happened in our circumstance.
The procedure goes like this:
Strip completely naked > Face mask > Steam > Shower > Exfoliating scrub (the Turkish way!) > Body Massage > Swim > Apple tea
So what makes Turkish bath different?
The scrub and massage are done on a marble plinth that occupies the centre of a room. At the end of the whole hamam you are treated to apple tea.
USD 24/ 60 TL
2h or more (depending on how long you want to steam/ soak)
TIP: Book it through an agency. It offers a better package than walking directly in! Also, negotiate!
10. Catch the setting sun.
Rooftops of some of the cave hotels offer a panoramic view of the town. Oftentimes, you can even catch hot air balloons decorating the sky at sunset!
Day Tours in Cappadocia, Turkey
T’here are 2 main tours that you can opt for in Cappadocia: Green and Red.
SGD 60/ 120 TL
Lunch and transport provided
Here’s where the Green Tour brings you:
1. Derinkuyu Underground City
Deepest underground city which used to inhabit those who had to remain uncovered from enemies. Ventilation shafts are ingeniously carved. Cattle can be raised in this underground city, food can be cooked, garbage can be disposed and you also excrete in there. Oh, there’s also a church and a tombstone. It amazes me how anyone can live underground. Reminds me of the movie Mockingjay, or The Host by Stephanie Meyer.
2. Ihlara Valley
Ihlara Valley and the volcanic landscape of the region were formed as a result of the volcanic eruptions. A river flows through its bed, making the valley deeper and forming it. The valley has a 100m depth. There are 105 churches and 10,000 rock caverns in the valley alone.
3. Selime Cathedral
The largest cathedral in Cappadocia. It has a multi-storey structure carved into rocks at a high point, thus making it an excellent viewpoint to the rest of Cappadocia. It resembles a volcano with holes carved in it and was served in the Byzantine period.
The cathedral is made up of tens of rooms connected to each other via tunnels and passages. It was mighty fun exploring around, entering little cave doors only to find unexplored terrain. One wonders how large this cathedral really is, with so many hidden passages. The cathedral dates back as early as the 8th century.
There even exists a kitchen made up of these rocks, and niches for candles and storage!
Found deep holes on the grounds.
4. Uchisar Pigeon Valley
Pigeons were important to the Turks then as they act as messengers. They were thus really well taken care of. This pigeon valley is made up of carvings of little houses to feed and house the pigeons.
En route, saw some snow-capped mountains! And that was in end May!
SGD 50/ 100 TL
Lunch and transport included
The Red tour brings you to:
(Or you can walk here, like we did)
2. Devrent Valley
3. Pasabag fairy chimneys
4. Urgup Fairy chimney rock formations
This tour is perfect if you’re out to look for the fairy chimneys in Cappadocia as it brings you to several locations around Cappadocia for different viewpoints of the fairy chimneys.
5. Uchisar Castle
6. Pottery Shop
7. Cavusin Old Cave Village
What to Eat in Cappadocia, Turkey
Don’t miss trying out some of the most unique Cappadocia food.
1. Pottery Kebab
Do yourself a favour and try this. You CANNOT leave Cappadocia without trying this! The stewed kebab inside is stewed for many hours, which makes the meat extremely tender and tasty!
The waiter would crack the pot on the spot in front of you, making for quite a show of your food.
This is what the inside of the pottery kebab looks like. A definite must eat in Cappadocia!
2. Turkish Pizza
Pizza…with a twist.
The bread that’s used to make the pizza is unique in a Turkish way.
Also, bread is served as an entree in Turkey no matter what you eat. To think I actually enjoy eating Turkish bread!
3. Turkish tea
That goes without saying – another must try in Cappadocia or Turkey.
We went to this shop D’stiny under a local’s recommendation. It is a local-frequented restaurant, which is hard to find in Cappadocia. This means the prices are not overpriced and you soak in the local atmosphere. As a bonus, they serve some of the best food in Cappadocia, in their own authentic way.
It’s further down the street, but go ahead and walk all the way! It’s not too far from the bus station, so it’s still extremely accessible.
Hope the above posts share some light about travelling to Cappadocia! Let me know if it has helped you! 😀
… Do you love Turkey yet?!