WHERE TO STAY
Cappadocia is served by flights and buses from Istanbul daily. Flying is the easiest and fastest option. We flew to Nevşehir (40 min from Göreme) from Istanbul. Return flights are cheap as well (under 80 euros). Prior to your arrival, book a shuttle with your hotel from the airport.
We stayed at Rox Cappadocia located in Uchisar, the highest point in Cappadocia. You can enjoy the views from their rooftop, which is one of the best in the area. Their terrace has a beautiful setting with a wicker chair and two bears that you can seat in at sunrise as you watch the hot air balloons float in the sky. Breakfast is enough to get you through the day – all traditional turkish, a lot of cheese, home made jams and organic products.
If you really want the “staying in a real cave” experience, Rox Cappadocia is the right place for you. The bedrooms are real caves hollowed from stone, with a lack of natural light. Although we visited during winter, the rooms are heated. It felt so nice being tangled up in the sheets drinking turkish tea.
Just a warning: water and flakes of stone may fall off the ceiling, especially if the air is too humidified.
WHAT TO SEE
WATCH THE SUNRISE
The best thing to do in Cappadocia (probably why you booked or want to book this trip) is watching the sunrise with hundreds of balloons filling up the sky. If you’re going during winter, like us, you don’t have to wake up at 5AM, because the sun rises later (and trust us, it’s even better seeing everything covered in snow).
One of the best spots to watch is from our hotel’s terrace – Rox Cappadocia. It has only a few rooms so it never gets crowded.
RIDE A HOT AIR BALLOON
Floating over the fairy chimneys and rock formations covered in blankets of snow during sunrise…We flew with Brothers Balloon and it was the highlight of our stay! We were so lucky it wasn’t cancelled because it had been snowing every day. They picked us up at the hotel at 6:30AM, prepared breakfast near the fire to warm up, gave us a safety briefing and then we took off at 7am (please keep in mind that take off time depends during season). The flight took about an hour. After landing we were served champagne and everyone got a flight certificate.
You can book with the company or at the hotel you’re staying at. Flights depend on the weather conditions so book it for your first day. If your balloon ride gets canceled, you’ll be moved to the next day and hopefully you’ll fly.
Prices can range between 80 and 220 euros per person. The price also varies based on the season you are visiting (high vs. low), and who you are buying from.
Our top spots in Cappadocia are:
- UÇHISAR (the tallest point in Cappadocia)
- RED VALLEY (if you go for sunset, there is a small entrance fee of 2 tl = 0,50 euro, but if you visit during the daytime it is free)
- LOVE VALLEY (the funny shaped rock formations)
- FAIRY CHIMNEYS (one of the most popular spots in Göreme)
- PIGEON VALLEY (cave dwellings, ancient paintings, earth pillars and pigeons).
WHERE TO EAT
Drink Çay (tea), and be ready to eat a lot of turkish food. We loved a local restaurant Reserved. One more restaurant worth checking out: Elai. The prices are very affordable, lower than the Western European standards.
WHAT TO BRING
- Bring your camera gear and drone (if you have one).
- If you’re coming during winter, bring warm coats, cozy socks, gloves and a scarf. Even during summer, it’s chilly in the morning.
- Sneakers or comfy boots for hiking and long walks.