Whenever you see gorgeous hot air balloons , hanging like a chandelier in the sky, in a video, it’s mostly probably from Cappadocia. A cave city in the heart of Turkey, Cappadocia is one city that you should definitely keep in your bucket list. It’s also known as Kapadokya (the Land of the Beautiful horses). This is attributed to the city’s stunning backdrop of outback settings, formed with large chimney shaped cave structures. Find below, Cappadocia Travel guide and everything you need to know about it.
History of Cappadocia
A region that dates back to Paleolithic era (and the era of the first man), Cappadocia is believed to have been formed 60 million years ago. Mount Erciyes ‘s volcano rained ashes over the entire region of Cappadocia . These ashes and lava was slowly affected by soil erosion , which created chimney like cave structures across the region.
People began to start living inside them, to protect themselves from wild animals and other invaders. Till date, the whole region is still kept in its original condition.
Cappadocia travel guide : What are the Things to do?
The world famous heritage city is primarily known for its chimneys , hot air balloons & last but not the least : Food!
Here are some of things you can do while in Cappadocia :
Hot Air Balloons :
The world’s #1 place for hot air balloons, ensure the time of visit is suitable for a nice trip in the skies through the gorgeous hot air balloons. Pro Tip : Prebook with your hotel operator, book a 20 seater balloon (as against a 24 seater for a better comfort & view).
Chimneys and Valleys
Cappadocia is filled with valleys having large pointed chimneys , that got formed from the soil erosion from Volcanic ash deposits. Famous spots to visit include : Devrent Valley, Pasabag – Monks Valley, Uchisar Castle, Love Valley, Ilhara Valley & Imagination Valley.
Whirling Dervishes :
Witness the sacred dance form of the Whirling Dervishes (a dance form that traces its roots to this part of the region) . With a Master and his several disciples, get transcended into a journey of blissful Sufi style music as the dancers move into the whirling rhythm. A must do activity ! Your hotel can help you book a slot with a pickup option as well.
Derinkuyu Underground city
One of the most jaw dropping locations in the Goreme region is the Derinkuyu Underground city. A multi level city , completely built underground, the entire community of Hitites used to live in thousands, underneath. They had their own cattle rearing place, worship centers, small schools, well and even a prison , all in the underground city. Walking through these tunnels in these underground cities can definitely give you an amazing experience.
Pottery Town of Avanos
A town famous for its hand crafted pottery & terracotta, Avanos is in the Nevsehir Province. This is in the Central Anatolia region of Turkey , near Cappadocia. The city is very popular among the tour operators.
Cappadocia travel guide & Itinerary
You need min of 2 days in this city to experience the magical city of Cappadocia. The region is primarily divided into the South & North . Find below a Day wise itinerary for Cappadocia.
Arrive at Cappadocia & Check-in to a Cave Hotel
8AM – Red Tour (North Cappadocia) – Includes Lunch
- Uchisar castle
- Goreme Open Air Museum
- Love Valley
- Pasabag Monks Valley
- Devrent Valley
- Urgup Fairy Chimneys
7PM : Whirling Dervishes
5AM – 7AM – Hot Air Balloon Ride
8AM – Green Tour (Southern Cappadocia) – Includes Lunch
- Ihlara Valley – Involves a Long trekking walk of 3Kms
- Derinkuyu Underground City – Min walk of 1.5kms underground
- Pigeon Valley
- Crate Lake
- Goreme Panorama Views
Where to Stay in Cappadocia
There are plenty of Cave Hotels offering amazing cave suites with temperature controlled rooms. One of the most popular ones is Stone House Cave Hotel. The hotel runs most of the tours in Cappadocia with a much cheaper rate. Cost of Cave Room Suite was 4500 / night for 2 ppl.
Cappadocia Travel Costs
- Flight from Istanbul to Cappadocia – 20 Euros
- Red Tour & Green Tour : 35 Euros for each tour for one person
- Hot Air Balloon : 160-170 Euros
- Cave Hotel Rooms : 50 Euros/night for 2people
For my entire Turkey Tour costs, do check out my Turkey tour itinerary
Must Things to buy in Cappadocia
- Hot Air Balloon Souvenir
- Leather Diaries
Do check out my post on Istanbul 3 days itinerary
Please do let me know your thoughts & comments on the Cappadocia travel guide.