Top Things to do in Cappadocia..
Updated: Nov 16, 2019
Cappadocia is easily one of the most magical places that we have seen so far. We guess it's truly God's most favorite place, for he has bestowed this one with nothing but enchanting beauty. This place has so much to offer which made it really tough for us to pen down each one of them. So, here are some of our favorite spots that we are definitely not getting over very soon!!
HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE : "An unfathomable experience"
Fly in a HOT AIR BALLOON over the magical moon like landscape of Cappadocia to feel the peace wash over you!
“What better way to start of your stay in Cappadocia than with a hot air balloon ride to soak up the full extent of the unique landscape. Nothing can ever feel better than watching over 100 hot air balloons of different colors and designs float by, as the sky bathes the valley in pink hues. ”
Floating above the honeycombed scenery is like coming in for landing on moon. It's crazy how the landscape changes the color as the minute ticks by. This particular experience is a fitting example of how easy it is to feel like you own the nature around you!
I vividly remember how excited we were the night before we had to witness this majestic site with our own eyes. It's one of the most breathtaking views we have seen in this lifetime hands down.
We miss this place so goddamn much!
1) The hot air balloon ride can be an extravagant affair with the price varying from 120 euros - 200 plus euros depending upon-
Size of the basket
Length of the ride ( 60 minutes / 90 minutes)
High season or low season
This whole package includes hotel pickup and drop, light breakfast of coffee and
pastry, and a celebratory Champagne post ride along with a personalized flight
2) I would advise you to make a booking when you are in Cappadocia. This way you can
compare the prices quoted by different companies and finally pick the one that fits your
3) Weather plays a very crucial role for hot air ballooning. Strong wind, rain, poor visibility
lead to flight cancellation. So, its always better to book the hot air balloon ride the first
possible day to give you a backup.
LOVE VALLEY : "Valley of the permanently Erect"
Yes, you read it right! Why it's called Love valley is plainly obvious once you are
there. Phallic..! [only smaller ;) ]
If you are living in Goreme, I would suggest ditching the tours and hike to this valley by yourself. It's a relatively easy hike of 5 kms that takes around 40 to 45 minutes. As you reach the Love valley, you can visit the view point from above for a bird's eye view or you can trek right down to the base of those rock formations. Trust me, it was a different feeling walking down among the rocks sprouting out of the earth like Phallic mushrooms. Absolute solitude! It's difficult to shake off that feeling like you are the only one on the planet. A strong connection that leaves you feeling calm and positive!
"Do stop at the photo stops lined up along the edge of the valley and don't forget making a wish at the 'Wish Tree'."
Lastly reward yourself with a cup of Turkish tea at a little tea house tugged right in front of these huge phallic columns. A cup of Chai would cost you 4 TL.
ENTRY : FREE
ROSE/RED VALLEY : "A perfect sunset viewpoint"
If you have the time and stamina, continue the hike towards the Rose valley and see yourself surrounded by innumerable cones that seemed to have mushroomed everywhere around you.
It is around 3.5 kms from the Love valley. Try and reach there by evening to view the change in color and hue of the rocks as the sun is about to dip. Therefore, making it the best spot for sunset. Believe us, the view is so majestic that you will need a hour or so to take it all in.
FUN FACT :
Sid and I, being the inquisitive kids, hiked for over 15 kms on the very first day itself. Our legs started to hurt by the end of it but honestly we had no complaints after what we saw. We are forever greatful to be able to witness such surreal sights!
ENTRY : FREE
GOREME OPEN AIR MUSEUM: "A UNESCO Heritage Site"
Goreme open Air museum is Cappadocia's principal attraction and is surely the first sight to be visited by any traveler for a good reason.
This museum is famous for it's rock cut churches. It's said to be the birthplace of modern Christianity from around 300-400 AD
It's a gratifying 15 minute walk from Goreme city centre (1.5 kms). Spending 1.5 hours at the museum is about enough to explore it fully along with taking in the gorgeous view.
ENTRY FEE : 45 TL
Timings : 8 am - 6 pm
Try visiting the museum either early morning or late afternoon to avoid the crowd.
It's the busiest between 10 am to 4 pm.
DERINKUYU UNDERGROUND CITY : "An ancient wonder"
Located precisely 30 kms south of Nevsehir and housing up to 20,000 people, is one of the largest underground cities in the world. Back In the 7th century, Christians took refuge in these underground cities and lived in secrecy during the time of Arabia and Sassanid attacks.
It's insane to imagine how years ago, without any machine aid, people managed to build such an architectural marvel that prevented potential invasions, wildlife attacks and extremes of heat in summer and snow in winter.
Yes, they thought about every single detail. They had living rooms with proper ventilation, kitchen, animal room, church, school for kids, wine storage area, water well, grave, and even a torture room. Fascinating, right..?
This underground city has 22 levels in total but, tourists are only allowed up to level 8. It is also believed that this place was once linked with canals to 7 other underground cities in the area.
ENTRY FEE : 35 TL
TIMINGS : Summer (April - October) - 8am - 7pm
Winter (November - March) - 8am - 5 pm
If you are claustrophobic, have limited mobility, we would not recommend as some of the tunnels and passageways are really low and you will have to crouch down every now and then.
It's always better to choose early morning hours to avoid crowds. Imagine a scenario where people are walking through both ends of the tunnel..!
Avoid visiting on weekends and holidays since most of the locals flock here and it gets super crowded.
Do carry a small shawl or a light jacket as it gets super nippy down there.
UCHISAR CASTLE : "Highest point in Cappadocia"
Uchisar Castle is situated at the highest point in Cappadocia and is 5kms from the Goreme city centre.
"We would highly recommend going there to reward yourself with the most surreal panoramic views of the city and the stunning countless fairy chimneys."
HOW TO GET THERE ?
1) Take a bus that runs every half an hour from the Goreme bus station (aka..Goreme Otogar) that costs 3 TL.
It takes about 10 minutes for the bus to drop you at the drop point. From there it's an easy 5 to 7 minute walk to the castle.
2) Take a taxi from Goreme city centre to Uchisar Castle. The drive is for about 5-7 minutes and the driver will charge around 100-120 TL.
3) If you love walking like we do, then I recommend walking through the sandy roads from Goreme to the castle via Pigeon valley.
ENTRY : 9 TL
SELIME MONASTERY : "A step back into the past."
Situated at the end of the Ilhara valley and about 28 kms from Aksaray, this is the biggest religious place in Cappadocia. This massive Star-Wars like rock cut terrain dates back to the 8th & 9th Century, although some of the frescoes are even older!
It houses the biggest Cathedral sized church in Cappadocia (the size is pretty astonishing..!) and we must say that we were really impressed with the fascinating intricate artwork too.
Don't forget to appreciate the large bedrooms, kitchen, churches, stable for mules as you pass through the cave rooms and navigate various tunnels.
ENTRY FEE : 20 TL
TIMINGS : 8am - 6 pm
Consider wearing sneakers or sturdy shoes that won't slip as reaching the top involves a rather steep climb through a narrow path cut in rock face without any handrails or ropes.
ILHARA VALLEY : "A step closer to nature."
Not too far from the tourist infested Goreme, lies a 16 km long Ilahara valley which offers some stunning attractions - Cave Churches, Fading Frescoes, Fairy Chimneys and Melindiz river flowing through the valley.
When you enter the town, follow the directions to 'ILAHARA VADICI' which takes you to the entrance with steps.
ENTRY FEE : 30 TL
TIMINGS : Summer - 8am - 7 pm
Winter - 8am - 5 pm
PIGEON VALLEY : " Nature to the rescue"
Pigeon valley obtained it's name from the many pigeon houses that have been carved into soft volcanic tuff. It's the only place where you can spot the lot of pigeons amidst the gorgeous landscape..!
FACT FILE :
Years ago, pigeons were used as message carriers, and their droppings were used as fertilizer..!
ENTRY : FREE
GOREME PANORAMIC VIEW : "A perfect bird's eye view"
Goreme panoramic view provides stunning panoramic view of the valleys and Goreme city. Go, check it out either during sunrise or sunset and get ready to be taken aback!
ENTRY : FREE
RENT A VINTAGE CAR : "Travel with style."
If trekking and doing day tours is not your jam, then consider renting a vintage car to tickle all your curiosities, in your own time, at your own pace. The biggest advantage is the flexibility it gives you in making all the photo stops your heart desires, when it desires..!
COST : 50 - 80 dollars a day [ haggling is the key, babies ;) ]
We hope you have a great time in Cappadocia! Leave us a comment below if you enjoyed reading this article or if you have any questions about planning a trip to Cappadocia. We will make sure we get back to you asap!