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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.