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?
- 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).
- Visit the Open Air Goreme Museum: you will see amazing 5th, 6th century Christian churches and monasteries with beautiful frescoes.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Walk in the Ihlara valley and enjoy your lunch with local food and a good beer
- 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.
- 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.
- 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