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Sharing my passion of Oriental Rugs and Handmade Carpets

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The absolute 10 things to do in Cappadocia – Turkey

March 19th, 2010 · 18 Comments · Cappadocia, Photos

Our shop is in Cappadocia (Urgup) located in center of Turkey (350 km East of Ankara). Like other people, I think I’ve understood the beauty of my region once I’ve traveled and lived abroad. I’ve travelled a lot during these years, and lived in France and Ireland, but I recently realized how magical and unique Cappadocia really is.
Volcanic rock used by people as home

Volcanic rock used by people as home

Cappadocia has an incredible volcanic-created landscape of fairy chimneys, natural stone castles and underground dwellings of ancient civilizations and early Christian hideouts. It is one of those unique places on Earth where nature and humans lived in harmony over the years and left over amazing traces of Civilizations and Culture.

What are the absolute 10 things to do in Cappadocia?

  1. Take a ballon trip: this is an unique experience that is worth every penny. You will have to wake up quite early that day, but trust me, it’s an experience you will remember. I think there are few better places to do a ballon trip than Cappadocia – it’s just magical. If you ask my opinion, I would recommend to go with a trusted ballon company that takes on less people and where the experience last long enough (2-3 hours).

    Ballon Trip in Cappadocia

    Ballon Trip in Cappadocia

  2. Visit the Open Air Goreme Museum: you will see amazing 5th, 6th century Christian churches and monasteries with beautiful frescoes.
  3. Visit an Underground city – ideally Derinkuyu underground city. Underground cities are literally cities build underground. Some of them are really huge – 12 stores below. They were used to hide against invadors during war times in history.

    Underground city of Derinkuyu

    Underground city of Derinkuyu

  4. Mountain bike or Motorcycle (Skooter) riding across this mystical landscape. This is good fun – but unless you are a sport addict person, choose the Motorcycle option – as there are lots of hills.
  5. Create your own pottery in Avanos. Go an visit Galip (known also as Chez Galip) where you can see how they do potteries and also try to make one yourself for free. Galip is also known for its women hair museum. I won’t tell much about that – but just go and see it by yourself :)
  6. Meet local people and enjoy local food and wine. Locals are very welcoming and friendly. This is where you can discover the rural Turkish people. Don’t miss the opportunity to speak with these people. If you ever come over, give me a shout, I’d like to drink with you our own amateur production of wine (we don’t sell it but just do it for our own consumption) and play & dance Turkish local music (with a Saz) in our shop.

    Local omlet and beer in Ihlara valley

    Local omlet and beer in Ihlara valley

  7. Walk in the Ihlara valley and enjoy your lunch with local food and a good beer
  8. Watch the sunset in the red valley: you will feel like you landed on Mars as the landscape rocks all becomes pink/red coloured during sunset.
  9. Stay at least 2 nights in a Cave hotel in Urgup or Ortahisar. I insist on staying in Urgup, not because it’s my home town, but because the Cave hotels are really good quality and friendly. Esbelli Evi is a famous Cave Hotel located in Urgup as one of the oldest. You should also definitely consider Hezen Cave Hotel which is in Ortahisar, a beautiful village with a magnificient view. Hezen Cave opened in May 2011, it is a design cave hotel that is cosy, familial but also with a very high quality service level. You need to book it in advace for these two hotels as they are usually fully booked months in advance.
  10. Ride a Horse. You need to try it! It’s safe and it makes you feel like the Cowbows of Anatolia. You can also ride a donkey – or take a photo shoot with a Camel :)
If you are planning to come to Cappadocia, try to come without an organized tour – you will not be rushed and enjoy much more. I would recommend to take the plane from Istanbul (an hour flight) but you also have the option to take a night bus or come by car.
See more pictures of Cappadocia.
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18 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ninfa // Apr 11, 2010 at 5:39 am

    Hello Hakan,
    Thanks for the comment! You do have a wonderful unique region! We did it almost all, except the pottery and horse. We had a brilliant time!

  • 2 AJ Galvez // Apr 11, 2010 at 6:53 am

    Cappadocia is truly a wonderful place. It’s one of the places people should visit before they die. I love the magnificent geological formations of the area, and your blog post adds a good reason why people should come. Thanks for the tour.

  • 3 Erik Van Tongerloo // Apr 11, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Great tips; it is really a wonderful place. I visited this many years ago.

  • 4 Hakan Guzelgoz // Apr 11, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Thank you for your comments!

  • 5 Beautiful Places to Visit // Apr 14, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Great article! If you add a link to my post (http://beautifulplacestovisit.com/regions/cappadocia-turkey/) with the anchor text “Pictures of Cappadocia” in you post I will happily add a link to your post in my post :)

  • 6 Alma-G // Apr 16, 2010 at 9:39 am

    That was a fantastic blog! Cappadocia is really worth visiting. It’s one of the most beautiful places in the world.

  • 7 CrossRoads // Jun 2, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Cool post, very well written and quite informative!

  • 8 sneha // Jul 16, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    it indeed is a truly mesmerizing..its my 1st day here and its been breathtaking..
    the post is really helpful.
    thank you so much

  • 9 Alejandro // Sep 13, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Hi hakan, I will be traveling today to Capadoccia, from istanbul. will follow the most about your tips when I reach the place. Thanks. Is there a way I could contact you as you posted on the blog. Interested in the home wine offer… :)

  • 10 Mayur // Oct 2, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Hi hakan. Me and my wife,Coming over this thursday. Would love that local food plus wine trip.how to gt in touch

  • 11 Hakan Guzelgoz // Oct 5, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Dear Mayur,
    We would be happy to meet you. Please simply come to our shop in the town of Urgup.
    The address is
    Le Bazaar d’Orient
    Kayseri Cad. No 32
    Urgup – Cappadocia
    You may ask for myself or my dad Murat Guzelgoz over there! and enjoy the local wine! :)
    Kind regards,
    Hakan Guzelgoz

  • 12 Hakan Guzelgoz // Oct 5, 2011 at 11:03 am

    You may also contact us from +90 384 341 7262.
    Finally, you may be interested in our hotel – Hezen Cave Hotel (http://www.hezenhotel.com) while you visit Cappadocia.
    Look forward meeting you.
    Best regards,
    Hakan Guzelgoz

  • 13 navira // May 23, 2012 at 2:06 am

    Hi Hakan,
    Thank you for posting such helpful information.
    We are coming to your town in August. We would love to meet you! Will you be around during that month?

    Regards,
    Navira

  • 14 Hakan Guzelgoz // May 23, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    Dear Navira,
    Thank you for your comment. Yes indeed, I will be in Cappadocia in August. I would be very happy to meet you at Hezen Cave Hotel (http://www.hezenhotel.com) where I love to spend some time…
    Kind regards,
    Hakan Guzelgoz

  • 15 Elaine // Jun 17, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Great info, thanks. What is the shortest possible time we could spend in Cappadocia and still see the main sites? Should we rent a car or are all these sites near each other? If we take a car to the red valley, would we have to walk 5 km and then turn around and walk 5 km back? Thanks so much.

  • 16 Hakan Guzelgoz // Jun 18, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Thank you for your comment!
    Cappadocia is a region where all major highlights are spread from each other by 3-5 miles, so it is a good idea to rent a car – it is also easy to drive in the region.
    Alternatively, you may also go on private or group tours arranged by local agencies – but they tend to bring clients to shopping spots and may not customize the way you want. So the best is either to rent a car or rent a daily taxi. Taxis in the region can drive you on different locations and would ask for a fixed payment for the day. They are a sort of customized tour – and the advantage of it is that when you visit, for example, the Ihlara valley, they will drop you at one point of the valley and then re-collect you at the other exit, so you won’t have to come back the same way.
    At our lovely cave hotel J – Hezen Cave Hotel, we have arrangements with some taxi drivers and they go on daily tours at a much cheaper rate than what the taximeter would be.
    Regarding your question about the shortest time to spend – I think you should stay at least 2 nights, ideally 3 nights. 1 night stay is a waste of time in my opinion, as you would spend anyway 2-3 hours to get and come back from there with the plane (1 hour flight + airport etc..). There are so much to do and see in Cappadocia that you could easily stay 5 or 6 nights. With it’s landscape, history and local people, it is a MUST see location in Turkey. If you plan to visit Istanbul first, it will be very relaxing after the busy city ;)
    Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need further information.
    Kind regards,
    Hakan

  • 17 Dominique // Jun 19, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    Hi Hakan!
    Great blog!
    Which of all the activities would you recommend if you arrive at Kayseri airport at 21:25 and have to leave the next day at 21:50.
    Thank you :)
    Kind regards,
    Dominique

  • 18 Hakan Guzelgoz // Jun 19, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Dear Dominique,
    Thank you for your comment and question. Actually it will be difficult to do all these things in 1 day – but if you can, I would definitely recommend
    1. Hot Air Balloon tour in the morning (they would pick you early morning and you should be back by 8.30 am).
    2. Open air museum – the Goreme national museum is interesting, and you may skip some churches, but definitely do the dark church (by paying an extra). You may also have a drink in Uchisar and take some pictures on the pigeon valley as it is close to Goreme museum.
    3. If you have time do one underground city – Kaymakli one is slightly smaller than Derinkuyu.
    4. Stay in a cave hotel – I am biased regarding Hezen Cave Hotel as owner ;) but Esbelli is also a good alternative.
    5. Red Valley hiking – or sunset spot.
    For the rest, I am afraid, you may not have enough time. I hope I could be helpful!
    Kind regards,
    Hakan Guzelgoz

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