Things to do in Cappadocia, Turkey

Merhaba guys! Finally, here comes the most requested blog post ever from you guys! Cappadocia is one of the most popular provinces when it comes to visiting Turkey. When you are talking about Cappadocia, people always tend to think about hot air balloons. Well, it is not just about hot air balloons. This post will talk about things that you can do when you're visiting Cappadocia.

About Cappadocia

Cappadocia, a semi-arid region in central Turkey, is known for its distinctive “fairy chimneys,” tall, cone-shaped rock formations clustered in Monks Valley, Göreme and elsewhere. Other notable sites include Bronze Age homes carved into valley walls by troglodytes (cave dwellers) and later used as refuges by early Christians. The 100m-deep Ihlara Canyon houses numerous rock-face churches.

Hot Air Balloon

Preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cappadocia is famous for its chimney rocks and hot air balloon trips. According to data compiled by the Anadolu news agency, a total of 437,516 tourists enjoyed hot air balloon tours in Turkey's charming touristic hub, Cappadocia, between January and September.

To be honest, this is my first time taking a hot air balloon ride and the experience is amazing! The view of Goreme valley is beautiful but the hot air balloons are not as many as I expected.

As the ride was quite pricey so I guess this might be my first and last hot air balloon ride lol.

A memorable experience with my mom. As you might don't know, my mom was actually afraid of heights in her life. She supposedly planning not to join the ride, but after several aunties convince her to be yolo, she decided to join eventually.

She was happy that she made the right decision and she even told me the ride is not as high as she expected. I'm happy that she enjoys the ride.

There are so many companies providing hot air balloon rides and the one we had chosen was Goreme Balloons. They are in the game since 1997. They will provide you with the flight certificate after the ride lol.

The cost was about 280 USD per pax.

They also celebrate post-flight with a champagne toast.

We were so grateful that we got to take the ride because my friend told me she had to visit Turkey for the second time just to take the ride. The first time she missed it due to bad weather. So I guess we consider ourselves very lucky.

Ottoman Sultan's Family Costume

Ottoman clothing or Ottoman fashion is the style and design of clothing worn during the Ottoman EmpireWomen's everyday wear was şalvar (trousers), a gömlek (chemise) that came down to the mid-calf or ankle, a short, fitted jacket called a zıbın, and a sash or belt tied at or just below the waist. For formal occasions, such as visiting friends, the woman added an entari or kaftan, a long robe that was cut like the zıbın apart from the length. Both zıbın and kaftan were buttoned to the waist, leaving the skirts open in front.

There are so many different colours for the outfits but I had chosen the red colour as I know it will pop out in the picture.

Fun fact : I was wearing an Ottoman Sultan's family costume and taking some photos with the spectacular views. Suddenly, the owner came to me with her baby and asked us to take a photo together. Coincidentally, the baby is wearing red too. I was very nervous as I'm not a mom yet, I don't know how to carry a baby and I might hurt her. After the mother insisted, I decided to hold the baby and allow them to take the photos. The baby is so cuteee! My mom took some behind the scene photos and this photo is my favourite. One of the reasons that I love Turkey is that the people here are so friendly.

The popular Turkey evil eyeThe Nazar Boncuk symbolizes the jealous and envious look of others, which, according to popular belief, would have the power to cause various misfortunes to a person or his property. Turkish people believe that this amulet protects its holder from the bad energies by absorbing them.

Esentepe Hill

Esentepe Panoramic viewpoint gives an amazing landscape view over the town of Goreme in Cappadocia.

Esentepe Village is located between Uchisar and Goreme. Esentepe offers an amazing collection of natural and cultural marvels. In simply strolling through the Esentepe Village you will be surprised at the peculiar ‘fairy chimney’ rocks that were naturally crafted by the elements.

Pigeon Valley

Guvercinlik Vadisi (Pigeon Valley) earned its name from the countless man-made dovecotes (Pigeon Houses) carved into the soft volcanic tuff. Since ancient times Pigeons have been used in the Cappadocia region for food and fertiliser for the infertile soil.

Location : Aşağı, Adnan Menderes Cd. No:50, 50240 Uçhisar/Nevşehir Merkez/Nevşehir, Turkey.
Business hours : Open 24 hours

Goreme Open Air Museum

One of the top attractions in the region, this outdoor museum contains the remains of many churches carved into the famous Cappadocia stone. A complex of churches was cut into volcanic rock during the Middle Ages and decorated with frescoes. 

This Unesco World Heritage site is an essential stop on any Cappadocian itinerary. First thought to be a Byzantine monastic settlement that housed some 20 monks. A pilgrimage site from the 17th century, this splendid cluster of monastic Byzantine artistry with its rock-cut churches, chapels and monasteries is 1km uphill from Goreme's centre.

Despite I was surrounded by rocks, I was still able to connect to the Internet all thanks to Roamingman. It always gives me a stable connection whenever I'm travelling to any country.

Location : 50180 Göreme/Nevşehir Merkez/Nevşehir, Turkey.

Uchisar Castle

Uchisar Castle is a stunning landmark in the interesting town of Uchisar. History has taught us that Uchisar Castle was always the main point of defence for the Cappadocia region. It provides the most magnificent, panoramic view of the surrounding towns and endless magical fairy chimneys.

Okay, some brief of the Uchisar History. This tower has been home to several empires. Dating back to the Hittites in the 12th Century BC. Uchisar has been governed by Persians, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks and Ottomans. As it linked the east and west along the Silk Road for years gone by, so today Uchisar is uniting the world.

I always have a thing when I saw a Turkey evil eye tree. It was pretty and you didn't see this in my country lol (of course). Thus, whenever I saw one I will just take pictures with it as a memory.

Location : Tekelli, 50240 Uçhisar/Nevşehir Merkez/Nevşehir, Turkey.
Business hours : Daily (7.30am - 8.00pm)

Chez Galip

Ceramic master, known throughout the Cappadocia region is the host and owner of Chez Galip - CEC Pottery. His knowledge stems from his youth as he was born and grew up in Avanos where he and his 3 brothers learned the craft from his father. Chez Galip's pottery has been a family business for six generations.

Also, he looks like Albert Einstein and he said many people said that to him too lol.

Educated in Nevsehir and Ankara his art has developed a unique quality. Besides his international reputation with his workshops and lectures, Galip become famous for his unique "hair museum" (Guinness Book of Records) with which he gained the 6th place of peculiar museums in the world. (ABC News). CEC Pottery, which takes its name from the nearby CEC Tumulus, is a working ceramic atelier and is located at a commanding height just outside of Avanos both old and new. Of special interest is the view of the Cappadocia region's largest volcanic mountain (Erciyes) Wich is a special treat at sunset.

CEC Pottery is a massive stone carved structure and is divided into two sections :
  • Production is where one can observe the creative process of ceramic art and artisans trained in the ceramic tradition of Avanos heritage.
  • Showrooms where the CEC Pottery collections, traditional, antique and contemporary are displayed for viewing and sales. Purchased goods are packed next to the customer in a way so that they can be carried home safely, or they can be shipped with full insurance to the customer's address, by paying the extra costs for the shipping. In the production and sales galleries, you are accompanied by friendly and knowledgeable staff who can give you explanations in many languages. Payment can be made in any way (cash, traveller's cheque, credit cards, etc)

They had chosen me and another tourist to play a small game and he gave me a small bowl with his own signature on it as a gift. Love the brown marble print, so beautifully done.

They both (Dutch artist Lilian) devoted themselves to the culture of ceramic art and share their knowledge with guests about their pottery by offering workshops (upon request) and arranging courses for the new generation to preserve this beautiful handcraft for future generations.

Location : Yeni Mahalle, Kızılırmak Cd. 401. Sokak D:No:91, 50500 Avanos/Nevşehir, Turkey.
Business hours : Daily (9.30am - 6.00pm)

Uranos Sarikaya

When you're visiting Cappadocia, of course, you gonna visit at least one underground restaurant. It is a must-do. Uranos Sarikaya is a beautiful underground restaurant.

This cave restaurant is so aesthetically beautiful! You can just be having your lunch or dinner here while enjoying the interior.

One of the weak points of this place would be I personally think my rice was undercooked. Well, not just me actually, some of the tourists think the same as well.

At night, they will be having a night show, well, a belly dance show to be exact.

The restaurant would be packed with groups of tourists so early reservation is encouraged.

Location : akbel mevkii ikinci taş köprü karşısı, Gülşehir Cd., 50500 Avanos/Nevşehir, Turkey.
Business hours : Mon - Sat (8.30am - 11.30pm) ; Sun (8.30am - 11.00pm)

Kalsedon Cave Suites

Kalsedon Cave Suites, located on an area of 30,000 m2 by combining two neighbourhoods and 80 dwellings in the Cat region, the hidden treasure and new favourite of Cappadocia, is waiting for you to explore the most delightful moments from the most mysterious pages of history.

In Cappadocia, home to thousands of years old historical civilizations such as the Hittites, Romans, and Byzantines, fairy chimneys, a wonder of unique geography, on the outskirts of the Valley, where the rivers meet. There are 77 individual rooms in these fairy chimneys, each of which has been restored in keeping with the texture of the region.

You will find a peaceful and unique holiday in Kalsedon Cave Suites, where you can relax with its rock-carved cave and stone rooms, large and comfortable usage areas, authentic texture, and warm atmosphere. At Kalsedon Cave Suites, the only hotel with a balloon departure from its courtyard, you can get a bird's-eye view of Cappadocia with hot air balloons in the early hours of the day, sip your wine with your warm fireplace during the day, or take in the view of the Cat Valley from the window of your room or from the viewing terrace like a painting.

I and my mom love this cave hotel so much! It is so spectacular and cosy. The staff there are friendly. To me, this place is like Turkey's version of Santorini. So romantic. I strongly suggest you guys stay here for your next visit.

Location : Cumhuriyet Neighborhood. 50th year Street No: 3 Çat Town / Nevşehir, Cappadocia.

That's all for "Shini In Cappadocia" yo~ I will try my best to blog about other provinces soonest. Stay tuned!

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