Things to do in Cappadocia, Turkey

Things to do in Cappadocia

Cappadocia, a land of mysterious beauty and enchanting myths are defiantly high on every traveler’s list for its unique, unearthly landscapes. No trip to Turkey is complete without a visit to Cappadocia and experiencing the wonders of this land in person which are beyond description in words. All thanks to the work of rain and wind over millions of years, the soft layers of volcanic lava and ash erupted from the mountains Erciyes, Hasandag, and Gulludag, has resulted in the current dramatic landscape in this area. We spent a leisurely two nights stay in Goreme, admiring all the rugged beauty around us. So, if you are planning a trip to Turkey here is a list of things you have to experience while you are in Cappadocia

Hot air ballooning over the fairy chimneys

There is no doubt about taking a hot air balloon ride while in Cappadocia as you get to cruise over the stunning valleys and Fairy chimneys at an altitude of 300 to 1,500 meters. The balloons take off just before dawn so that we get to see the stunning Cappadocian landscape as the sun makes its way up the sky throwing all the vibrant colors around. This is the most magical, breathtaking view with hundreds of hot air balloon floating against the mesmerizing backdrop which I have had ever seen and was defiantly awestruck at the sight.

Related post: My Hot air balloon experience in Cappadocia

Things to do in Cappadocia

Things to do in Cappadocia

Things to do in Cappadocia

Things to do in Cappadocia

Explore the unique valleys and open-air museums

Cappadocia is surrounded by many cave dwellings which were mainly used as monasteries and cave churches during the 9th century up until 20th century. The Goreme Open Air Museum was the first site to be declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Turkey. It is quite impossible to believe as you walk through these churches with its impressive frescos and architectural features like the arches and columns that these are actually craved inside a cave. Nonetheless, they are so beautifully preserved that the original colors are still intact. The next best natural wonder to explore is by hiking through the Love Valley, Pigeon Valley and Rose valley of Cappadocia where the giant stone pillar-like structures and pastel-colored valleys won’t seize to fascinate you.

Things to do in CappadociaThings to do in Cappadocia Things to do in Cappadocia

Things to do in Cappadocia

Staying in a Cave Hotel

Having read so much about the ancient cave dwellings of Cappadocia we couldn’t resist our self from booking into a cave hotel in Goreme. We choose to stay at Artemis Cave Suites Hotel which was located at a walkable distance from the town center as well as we had an epic view of the whole of Goreme. Most of the cave hotels have converted the old houses so its one of the kind of experience to stay here. I highly recommend staying in Goreme as most of the places to visit around this region of Cappadocia.

Things to do in Cappadocia

Things to do in Cappadocia

Things to do in Cappadocia

Things to do in Cappadocia

Exploring ancient underground cities

Underneath all the rocky natural terrains of Cappadocia lies its honeycomb-like man-made caves some of which extend up to 8 stories below the ground. These underground cities were so immaculately planned with living quarters, place of worship, stables, storehouses all in all these were a self-sustained complex below the ground. These were carved by the locals to escape from the foreign invaders and find refuge during the recurring threats of invading armies.

Related post:  The Underground City of Kaymakli, Cappadocia 

Things to do in Cappadocia

Things to do in Cappadocia

Dining at Pumpkin Restaurant

With all the natural beauty of Cappadocia wooing me, I didn’t want to get disappointed when it came to relishing on some of the delicious local food here. I knew being a vegetarian my options were limited, but luckily we found this hidden gem named Pumpkin with the help of our hotel manager. Run by a local family, Pumpkin offers set menu meals carefully chosen by the chef for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. I would highly suggest this place as the food was amazingly delicious with a peaceful, homely ambiance. Since the restaurant is small and due to limited tables, you will have to reserve a table prior.

Related post: What I ate in Turkey: A vegetarian’s food guide in the land of Shawarma

Things to do in CappadociaThings to do in CappadociaThings to do in Cappadocia

Have you visited this wonderland of Turkey? Share your experience and other things to do in Cappadocia in the comment box below! Also, do share and subscribe for future updates.

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47 thoughts on “Things to do in Cappadocia, Turkey”

  • Your pictures are absolutely stunning. Didn’t know this side of Turkey. The hot air balloon experience must be great. I will definitely include this in my itinerary when I visit Turkey.

    • Thank you Pooja! If you want to see the real beauty of Cappadocia then you have to visit in person, you won’t be disappointed especially the hot air balloon ride..:)

  • Cappadocia is so beautiful. I’ve never actually been there, but about 7 years ago I applied to go there as a volunteer worker at one of those cave hotels. I never heard back from the hotel, so I guess my application was denied. Hot air ballooning there sounds great. It’s on the list!

    • You need to try now once again going there, not to work in a cave hotel but enjoy the beautiful landscape and its rich history…:‚

  • Ohhh how I loved Cappadocia! Such a beautiful, must-visit place in Turkey. I had no idea that the Goreme Open Air Museum was the first UNESCO site in Turkey. I totally missed stayed in a Cave Hotel, but what an experience it would have been! And ahhh the hot air balloon is a total must – I loved the colors of the sunrise over the fairy chimneys. Such an amazing experience!

  • Cappadocia is on my wishlist during those hot air balloon festival. I would love to stay in cave hotel as it looks very authentic and unique place to stay in. Open Air museums are also worth visiting. Taking the tour of Ancient Underground Cities is also looking wonderful. Thanks for sharing detailed information!

    • Thank you Yukti! Hope you found this post useful. Do they have a hot air balloon festival there? That sounds amazing,…

  • I’ve not yet been to Turkey, but have seen many beautiful photos of Cappadocia. The hot air balloons are probably the most iconic, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bad photo of them in the sky! Pumpkin restaurant sounds like a good choice, and I love the look of the cave hotel, it’s so unique!

    • Yes, these pictures itself inspired us to go to Cappadocia and I felt the pictures do not do justice to the beauty of this place! Do plan a trip to Cappadocia soon…:)

  • I loved our experience of staying in a cave hotel when we went to Cappadocia. Also, exploring the underground cities was pretty amazing. We rented a quad bike and drove around the Love Valley and other interesting such places with unique landscape. Cappadocia is one of the most unique cities I have been to in my life! We did not do the hot air balloon but we did wake up during sunrise to capture wonderful pictures from the balcony of our cave hotel 🙂

  • Turkey is on my bucket list and top of my itinerary wishlist is hot air ballooning in Cappadocia! Wow, it looks like such a beautiful experience! But now I know there are so many more amazing things to experience in Cappadocia, one of the coolest being staying a cave hotel. I absolutely HAVE to do this when I visit!

  • I loved this post. As an archeologist, I love exploring caves and everything is underground! The Goreme Open Air Museum is among the places I want to check. I never thought about sleeping in a Cave hotel; what a brilliant inspiration you gave me!

  • I knew that Cappadocia is a region worth visiting, but your pictures are showing me that it is a must. I’d love to stay at a cave hotel, too. As soon as things change for the better politically, I absolutely want to go back to Turkey – it’s a beautiful country with very nice people. Türkiye, görüsürüz!

    • Yes, the whole of Turkey is pretty amazing. I guess now the things are stable and it is safe enough to visit Turkey…

  • We are just back from turkey and tried all the things you mentioned.. what a beautiful place.. how was the weather for you ? For us it was quite cloudy

    • That’s good to hear Ritika. As we had been during the fall it was rainy and cold in Istanbul but we had an amazing weather in Antalya and Cappadocia…

  • I always associated Cappadocia with hot air balloons, did not know that they had so many caves. You got me there. I would love to explore those. The cave monasteries and churches look so amazing. And that underground cave, right up my alley. Your post has given a very mystic aura to the place.

    • Thank you so much Ami! Yes, we often see pictures of only the hot air balloons in Cappadocia but not much of these historic sites…

  • Ahhhh Cappadocia is so high on my bucket list!!! I’ve always wanted to stay in a cave hotel there but had no idea they could look so posh! I’m mostly vegetarian too and will definitely try Pumpkin restaurant! Your post just made me get so excited to start planning our trip!!!

  • Oh wow that hotel room looks fabulous
    How amazing to stay in somewhere so unique. Who would have thought there were so many facilities in caves.
    This place is definitely on my bucket list

  • Underground settlements almost 8 stories below sound so interesting. That was a great way to escape foreign threats. I wonder how did they maintain the place and what about the air circulation there. Cappadocia looks so beautiful from the balloon ride. It is like a dream destination. I also wonder what those blue things hanging from the tree branches are!

    • Yes Amrita, those underground cities are very spectacular and makes us wonder about some things! The blue things are the evil eye which the locals hang to keep the bad spirits away..

  • The cave experience sure would feel dreamy. The open museum is a yes yes for me. No restrictions whatsoever in appreciating the beautiful landscape of Cappadocia. I love your pictures of Cappadocia. Thanks for sharing!

  • I have always wanted to go to Cappadocia ever since I saw hot air balloons over the fairy chimneys. Now that I know I can stay in a cave hotel and explore the underground city I really really want to go. That is just so cool. Great post.

  • OMG the fairy chimneys look otherworldy! It must have been quite an experience to fly over them! Staying in a cave hotel seems like a once in a lifetime experience you can’t miss!

  • I always want to visit Turkey and prove that it is safe to travel to that destination, unlike what the mainstream medias keep on telling us. That cave hotel for example is something I want to experience. Its gorgeous and unique experience I bet its cold inside 😀

    • Although we had visited Turkey when the main riot had broken we didn’t face any problem in traveling around the country.. You must consider going there 🙂

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