Cappadocia – one of the most surreal places in the world! It is located in the Anatolian region of central Turkey and home to beautiful valleys, canyons and bizarre-looking rock formations made from volcanic eruptions that are know as “fairy chimneys”. It is no surprise that this unique place is included in the UNESCO World Heritage list. If you are planning on traveling to Cappadocia, you can’t miss the following things mentioned in the guide!
What To Do
The best time to travel to Cappadocia is during the warmer months of the year. Visitors have the choice of numerous outdoor activities to explore the otherworldly landscape. The highlight is the hot air balloon flight overlooking the fairy chimneys during the sunrise.
Visit the Uchisar Castle
The Uchisar Castle is located on the highest point of Cappadocia. Although you can’t really explore the insides of the castle, you will have an amazing panoramic view over the valley when hiking all the way to the top. Definitely worth-it for a quick visit.
Fly in a Hot Air Balloon
A highlight of my trip to Cappadocia was to experience hot air ballooning over the amazing scenery of Cappadocia. It is one of these once-in-a-lifetime things that will take your breath away. The otherworldly landscaped combined with the beautiful colors of a sunrise is an indescribable view.
Explore the Valleys of Cappadocia
There are several unique valleys in the area of Cappadocia. The Pigeon Valley with the pigeon houses, Rose Valley that reflects a rose-redish color or Love Valley with the oddly looking fairy chimneys. There are a few ways to explore them: on the back of a horse, by bike or simply by putting on your hiking boots.
The Göreme Open Air Museum
This is a must visit! The museum used to be an important Byzantine monastic settlement, after becoming an pilgrimage site from the 17th century. Inside you find rock cut churches that still contain beautiful paintings on their walls.
Quick Tip: If you are traveling to Cappadocia during the season, then visit the museum early in the morning to avoid long lines of tourist in front of the chapels.
Watch the incredible Sunrise
Another classical activity in Cappadocia is to watch the hot air balloons slowly drifting during sunrise. You will get the best view from a high point. If you are staying near or in Uchisar, go up the hill and enjoy the incredible view from there.
Other popular activities that we were not able to experience are visiting the labyrinthine underground city Derinkuyu and the other open-air museum called Zelve.
What To Eat
Almost all restaurants that you will encounter in the Cappadocia region offer this one local speciality: the testi kebab, which translates into pottery kebab. This dish is prepared in a homemade clay pot and can be ordered with meat or with vegetables only. Basically, it can be described as a slowly cooked casserole. The bread on top of the pot serves as a lid and is soft and delicious.
Where To Stay
During my four-day trip to Cappadocia, I stayed in the beautiful Kale Konak Cave Hotel, which is located only a few steps away from the Uchisar Castle. It is a luxurious cave hotel that will take you back in time. It’s the ideal accommodation to complete your Cappadocia travel experience. You can read my review about the Kale Konak Hotel here!
How To Get There
The easiest way to arrive in Cappadocia is by plane. There are two airports located near Cappadocia. The bigger one called Kayseri and the nearest one is in Nevsehir. You can also arrive by bus (I would recommend you to take an overnight bus) or train from all bigger Turkish cities.
Have you ever visited Cappadocia or are you planning on traveling there?