Have you ever been in a place and felt that you belonged there? To fall in love at first sight? Want to wake up there every morning? I felt something like these as soon as I arrived in Cappadocia.
Our flight from Istanbul was with Pegasus Airlines from the Asian’s side of the city, Sabina Gökçen Airport. We landed on Kayseri Erkillet Airport. There is also the Nevsehir Airport, but we chose the first one.
Our hotel was in Göreme. We booked transportation from the airport to the hotel and it costed 50 Turkish lira per person (around 8€). It’s a affordable solution, while the route is around one hour and the public transport there is almost non-existent. Imagine going to a village. This way you will understand how complicated is the movement.
First of all Cappadocia is an area, like Epirus, and not a specific city. It’s one of the largest regions of Asia Minor. It consisted of small villages such as Göreme, Nevsehir and Ürgü. “Cappadocia” means the “horses land”, which fully represents the area, since everywhere there are ranches and stables with horses. There are horses everywhere even on the main roads.
Quick history lesson: Christian Orthodox Greeks lived in Cappadocia, until they were forced to leave, which is why there are countless small churches with frescoes, many of still preserved today. In fact, Cappadocia had a majority Christian population until the 12th century AD. It then maintained a Christian minority until the population exchange in 1923 afters the Treaty of Lausanne.
We stayed at Göreme, which in conjunction with the monolithic churches of Cappadocia was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.
Where to stay
Falcon Cave Suites
This hotel is a family business. Kadir with his family are amazing people and really helpful. Breakfast was served in a small wooden dining room. It feels like waking up in your grandma’s home and you eat breakfast from hers hands. I really loved this hospitality.
Our room was a wonderful cave, which was also very modern and comfortable. It has even a private jacuzzi in out bathroom. It was a unique experience to sleep into a luxury cave and I can’t wait to visit again this place. Undoubtedly it’s a special feature of most hotels in Cappadocia.
Henna Hotel is an attraction in itself. Stone with oriental elements. In addition, its terrace will enchant you. It’s paved with traditional rugs and pillows and it’s the ideal place to wake up early in the morning and admire the hot air balloons that flood the sky. The view is extraordinary. The morning I went up to the roof I was enchanted.
The pink sky is unbelievable, especially when the sun rises high in the sky and slowly pink takes its place in warm orange shades. The sunrise on combination with the hundreds of coloured balloons in the sky is a scenery that you must see once in a lifetime. It’s no coincidence that people from all over the world visits this place, just to admire this landscape.
Where to eat
Turkish Ravioli Restaurant
On the beautiful terrace of the restaurant we enjoyed traditional Turkish food, while gazing at the view and the stone peaks of the Göreme mountains.
We tried Chicken Pottery Kebap, which is one of the most famous dishes in Göreme. They serve you a clay pot and the meat is inside, which it still boiling in its sauce and accompanied by a plate with rice. Of course we also tries their kebabs.
One Way Café – Restaurant
We visited this restaurant on our first night in the area, after settling into the hotel. The restaurant is divided into two. On one side is has huge pillows and large shisha lounge, while on the other side is the dinning area.
The best part was the live music. It was a nice experience. It doesn’t have many differences from greek taverns which have also live music.
We tried Turkish pancakes and they’re not like pancakes you have on your mind. It’s much more like cheese pie with thin dough, like the one we use for pancakes. We chose one with cheese and one with minced meat to try both of them. My favourite was with the one with the cheese.
These pies were almost at every Turkish restaurant. At many places some ladies kneaded them in front of you, on the one side of the restaurant, and then they baked them in wood ovens.
Activities to do in Göreme
You can’t visit Cappadocia and not explore the amazing valleys. A unique way to explore them is with a horse. We chose Moonlight Horse Ranch and to be more specific, the “Sunset Tout” which lasts two hours. The owners are very polite and they provide you a real western adventure.
We cross Göreme and we went to the valleys. The best part of our walk was the sunset point. By the time the sun went down, we reaches Love Valley snd the sky had turned purple. The sun was touching the peaks of the peculiar mountains of the area and we made a stop to gaze at the sunset.
Göreme Open Museum
Göreme Open Museum is one of the most popular attractions in Cappadocia. It’s very close to the center of Göreme and we walked to reach the museum. It was about 10-15 minutes. You can also use a taxi, but in my opinion it’s not worth it because you will enjoy a nice short route and save some money.
The entrance ticket costs 40 Turkish liras, about 7€ and it has more than thirty churches to see. At the same time you are able to see the caves, where people used to live and specifically the Greeks who hid from the Ottomans.
Hot Air Balloon Tour
You shouldn’t leave from Cappadocia without boarding into a hot air balloon. It’s an unique and unrepeatable experience that you have to live! But be prepared for very cold weather, since the tours are done at dawn so you can see the sunrise.
Cappadocia generally has cold temperatures, so as you can see when you are on the hot air balloon, the cold is quite bitter.
You should have booked your tour before your arrival, because it will be very difficult to find an available balloon when you’ll be already in Cappadocia. You should also book your tour the first few days of your trip, because if the weather is bad and the balloon is not able to fly, they can arrange a tour the next day. Hot air balloon rides costs about 160-250€ per person.
Cappadocia is the most Instagrammable place I have ever visit. When I first landed there I really felt like home. I believe that it’s the absolute happiness to wake up every morning and see this view. The tranquility of this place and nature attracts you to stay close to it, to love this place and take care of it.
Visit Cappadocia at least one time in your life and you will remember my words. This place is unique.
What you need to know before plan a trip to Cappadocia:
- If you are travel from Greece you don’t need a passport, just a new ID.
- The currency of Turkey is Turkish lira (1€ = about 6.50 Turkish liras)
- You should have cash with you, because many shops don’t accept cards.
- In Cappadocia the temperatures are lower than Instanbul. It’s a good idea to have with you a sweater or a cardigan, especially early in the morning and in the afternoon, as soon as the sun goes down.
- Keep in mind that your data may work in Greece and European countries but not in Turkey. But there is free Wi-Fi everywhere and we didn’t have no problem at all.
- Many apps such as Booking.com are forbidden in Turkey and they blocked as soon as you arrive in Turkey. Make sure that you’ll have already managed all your bookings.
If you want to see more photographs and video from my trip, find them in my profile on Instagram!
Have you ever been to Cappadocia? Let me know in the comments!