Have you ever wondered yourselves where does all those romantic photos in air balloon above the valley come from? Here’s your answer – nestled right in the heart of Anatolia region in Turkey, Cappadocia is, despite its small size, one of the country’s touristic capitals. And that’s for a reason – the place is like a fairy tale. Hills, valley, chimney formations in charming colors and all kinds of rocks show traces of history which today provide grounds for fantastic activities far away from hustle and bustle of big cities. If you need any suggestions for a relaxing getaway, get ready to become convinced why Cappadocia is the right choice for you!
1) Cave accommodation
Built into the natural geographical scenery, locals have made turned caves into their rock homes for centuries. And they made the most of it by updating the cave dwellings from caveman to contemporary modern. Maybe the coolest accommodation choice in the world offers accommodation for visitors on all budgets, from hostel to luxury suites. Each hotel offers a different experience and ambiance, but some are always more preferred than others, so make sure to choose one of the following:
- Anitya Cave House – only two cozy units located in the small village of Ortahisar
- Museum Hotel – 30 rooms in Uchisar each of which acts as a museum preserving the Cappadocia’s history
- Hezen Cave Hotel – this modern twist to the traditional cave hotel offers interesting activities in the area, such as the underground city of Derinkuyu
2) Traditional Turkish cuisine
A trip to anywhere Turkey cannot be complete without tasting some of the traditional dishes, especially those which contain historic and cultural heritage of the Anatolia region. Every day should start with a good and rich breakfast, so choose one (or few) of the following: hot bazlama (gözleme) served with local home-made butter, honey, dried yoghurt, eggs fried in butter, sucuk (hot, spicy sausages) or pastırma (dried meat with a spicy coating), cheese made by locals, which goes perfectly with some fresh juice. Lunch or dinner are quite bigger and more difficult to choose from, so hear us out and try to decide for only one (if you can!): yaprak sarması (stuffed vine leaves), dolma mantı (minced meat parcels similar to ravioli), sulu köfte (boiled meatballs in a tomato sauce), bamya (okra), tasty kebab with various additions, patates salatası (potato salad), and many, many more. Following your meal, enjoy a Turkish coffee or nargile (water pipe) of different flavours while listening to classical Turkish music.
3) Breathtaking landscape views
The lunar landscapes of Cappadocia are a must when visiting the area. They are covered by natural columns and peaks which stretch more than one hundred feet in the air. Bizarre yet breathtaking at the same time, this landscape offers something for everyone’s taste, from unforgettable hot air balloon flights to the preserved Byzantine art. The area ‘owes’ this unique landscape to historic volcanic eruptions and long-term erosion, which, after having stripped the land, created a series of cliffs, spears, cones and fairy chimneys. Exactly these wonders of nature, combined with human cave craftsmanship, makes one of the most beautiful settings in the world. It gets even better when we tell that 9 million years ago the area was full of lakes and streams (of which you cannot find a single trace today), doesn’t it? All this creates a perfect background for a photo (or a selfie) taken in the middle of this moon-like fairytale!
4) Hot air balloon rides
Cappadocia is know as one of the best places in the world to be explored from a hot air balloon. The landscape we talked about a minute ago together with fantastic flying conditions allow the balloons to gently go over and between chimneys, pigeon houses nestled into rock formations and vineyards. Impressive valleys and even more impressive colors and features of the area really offer a once-in-a-lifetime experience, which you should prepare for:
- Standard balloon tour – 1 hour, the price is 175 Euro per person and includes transfers from/to hotel, a light breakfast, champagne celebration, insurance and flight certificates, up to 20 people in the basket
- Deluxe balloon tour – 1,5 hours, groups are no bigger than 6 – 12 people, includes transfers from/to hotel, a light breakfast, champagne celebration and flight certificates as well
- VIP Balloon tour – 1,5 hours, only 2 persons in a small balloon, offers all services VIP, including a private transfer from your hotel to the launch site, special drinks and refreshments on the launch site, champagne and refreshments after landing, then transfer from the landing site back to your hotel, as well as souvenirs of the flight and personalized flight Certificates.
5) Super-fun and exciting activities
‘Cappadocia’ means ‘land of the beautiful horses’ in Turkish, and here’s why: you can catch a glimpse of long-mane horses galloping across the countryside, and horseback riding is one of the favorite outdoor activities in the region. You can also enjoy bird watching or visit the Goreme Open Air Museum, one of Anatolia’s most popular attractions which includes a system of over 30 churches and chapels dating back to the 9th and 11th centuries. Another good idea is the excursion to Cappadocia’s underground cities, formed and used in Roman times, but if you prefer to stay in nature, have a full day of hiking along one of the trails in Love Valley, favorite both among locals and tourists.