Ever since high school, I have been interested in different cultures, countries and languages. These passions pushed me in the direction of studying tourism at university. My first travel experience was to France with the Erasmus Programme. After that, I felt like I was born again as a person.
Today I have been to 200 cities in Europe, travelled to six countries and 15 cities in Asia, and now my dream is to visit South America. I was always interested in photography but my life changed after being introduced to GoPro. I started with a GoPro 3 and have now received 12 awards by GoPro.
I became an official family member of GoPro after my Turkish ice cream video clocked up more than 18 million views on YouTube. I love creating content not only overseas but in my home country of Turkey as well. One of the most spectacular destinations in Turkey is of course Cappadocia.
Otherworldly Landscapes of Cappadocia
Cappadocia is pure magic as the landscape resembles something like a “moonscape”. This region of Turkey is so otherworldly. Most people will never get the chance to visit another planet but a trip to Cappadocia actually feels like you’ve left earth and arrived on a totally different planet.
Everyone thinks the most amazing thing to do in Cappadocia is to fly in balloons but as a photographer I always prefer to watch the balloons from the many incredible locations around Cappadocia and take unique photos.
There are so many wonderful hotels with amazing views but my favourite places are in nature. Love Valley, for example, is a hidden gem of the region and offers unique rock formations (phallic shaped rocks). Yes, these rocks essentially resemble manhood but they are anything but man-made!
At Love Valley you can hike to the base of these massive structures or venture up to a viewpoint which is perfect for sunset photos. The hiking here is relatively easy. You’ll experience the pure magic of Cappadocia.
10 Essential Things To Do in Cappadocia
Cappadocia is a dream destination for all types of travellers including backpackers, couples, families and small groups. It has a unique natural landscape that is unlike anything else on earth. Below you will find my top 10 must-do experiences in Cappadocia that I recommend for everyone.
1. Go Hot Air Ballooning in Cappadocia
Despite its popularity, there’s no doubt that hot air ballooning is one of the best experiences in Cappadocia. You can take a hot air balloon trip all year round, even in winter when the landscapes are covered in white snow. Prepare for an early morning wake up call at 5:30am for this epic activity.
2. Wake up at Sunrise to Watch the Balloons
Another experience which is just as magical as hot air ballooning is waking up at sunrise and watching the balloons all rise to the sky. You can scope out a few different locations across Cappadocia which you think might be the best spots. If you’re into photography, then this is an absolute must-do.
3. Stay at a Dreamy Cave Hotel in Cappadocia
Goreme and Uchisar are the two most popular places to stay as they have the best cave hotels. Many of these hotels offer stunning views of the surrounding landscapes and hot air balloons from their terraces.
4. Shop for Rugs at Sultan Carpets
Sultan Carpets is located in Goreme and is one of the best shops to find fantastic Turkish carpets, rugs and embroidery. This shop has been around since 1989 and is famous for its quality and value with the local community. Everything is handmade with love at Sultan Carpets in Cappadocia!
5. Explore the Tastes of Cappadocian Cuisine
Since Cappadocia is such a touristy destination it can seem hard to find authentic Turkish cuisine. However, there are a couple of really fantastic restaurants that every visitor should experience. Pottery Kebabs is one of the best and serves popular dishes such as Testi Kebab (clay pot dinner).
6. Join an ATV Quad Bike Tour and Go Exploring
This is one of the best ways to experience the landscapes of Cappadocia without hiking for miles. There are several companies which offer ATV tours – either half day or full day tours. Explore the beautiful hills, valleys, dunes and trails of the most unique landscape in the world.
7. Hike through the Fairytale Landscapes
Cappadocia is a fantastic hiking destination. Home to many walking trails that bring you to valleys surrounded by moon-like landscapes, fairy chimneys and hidden caves, and epic castle-like rock formations such as Ortahisar. One place I suggest is Rose Valley which is stunningly beautiful.
8. Venture Down to the Underground Cities
Cappadocia is home to 36 underground cities which were excavated and expanded during times of invasion so locals had a hiding place. The widest underground city is Kaymakli village and the deepest is Derinkuyu city. You can visit both of these destinations with the guidance of tour companies.
9. Get Lost in the Goreme Open-Air Museum
The Goreme Open-Air Museum is an absolute must-do in Cappadocia. You can choose to go on an audio-tour which tells you all about the historic churches, monasteries, cave houses and ancient paintings from many centuries in the past. You can walk here from the Goreme city-center.
10. Meet the Wonderful Locals of Cappadocia
The people of Cappadocia are so welcoming and hospitable. They have been welcoming tourists here forever and never tire of meeting new people. Almost the entire region works in tourism – whether it be in hotels, tours, souvenirs, restaurants, etc. A warm smile is the key to their hearts!
Need to Know Before you Go
I would say that 3-5 days is enough time to get a great little taste of Cappadocia. Of course, if you have more time that would be even better but obviously there’s a lot more to see in Turkey than just Cappadocia.
A couple of things you might want to book in advance are your hotel accommodation and hot air balloon tour. There are two different airports in Cappadocia – Nevsehir and Kayseri – so you can book flights from both.
Looking back on my travels, I believe that moments become unique when you share experiences with people. My favourite memory of Cappadocia was watching the sunrise and balloons from Love Valley with my girlfriend. It was a moment to savour forever. Thanks for reading!