We travelled everywhere in three days in Cappadocia. It was fascinating whole chimney houses, underground cities, rock castle, red river, valleys, snow.. Fairy chimneys were unreal. Hot air balloons were my favourite. It was, well, like a fairy land. or a place popped from a video game.
Let’s jump into our amazing memories. It was unbelievable, being in the middle of fairy chimes and caves. Best birthday with him between fairy chimneys⠀⠀⠀
I was born in Istanbul, Turkey and I live in Turkey still. But I never have had a chance to travel Cappadocia before. Last month we decided with Mert, we were going to Cappadocia in 3 weeks, on 8 February 2017. The idea came from him actually. On 10th of February it was my birthday also. So it was a kind of a birthday journey for us. 🙂
I will tell you every detail to give you ultimate advices.
⠀8 Things To Do In Cappadocia
1. Sleep in a Cave: Chelebi Cave House
how we get Cappadocia; We directly flied from Istanbul Atatürk Airport to Kapadokya (Göreme) Airport. We landed to Cappadocia airport in 1 hour. There were our bus to take us to Chelebi Hotel.
Tip 1 – There are Busses for Airport -Hotel transportation. Before 2 days, I called and told them Chelebi Cavehouse we want to use a bus to reach the hotel. So they took us. If you don’t know how to go, you should definitely inform them so they can leave you to the hotel.
When we arrived our hotel it was looking amazing. All hotel rooms were looking like a cave room. It was originally a cave house.
Turkish Breakfast at Chelebi Cave House
The BREAKFAST was also included to our booking at Chelebi Cave House. I must say that we never expected that much variety of foods in a breakfast like this. It was so colourful: tomato omelettes, salads, olive oils, at least 4 kinds of cheese, many kinds of jam and marmalade, fresh fruits, tea and coffee, french fries, butter, simit (turkish bread shaped as a circle covered with sesames), whole grain bread
and many many more I can only remember this much haha 😀
If you are looking a cave hotel to stay in Cappadocia: Chelebi Cave House
Little Info about Hotel:
Chelebi Cave House is located in the heart of Cappadocia in the small town of Goreme. The hotel is situated in an old Greek house, on one of the small winding streets that lead up out of the centre of town.
Chelebi has 3 cave rooms, 3 rooms containing the original Greek stone architecture of Cappadocia. All rooms have their own private bathrooms as well as central heating. The natural stone structure of the rooms keeps them cool during the hot summer months, and preserves the heat during winter.
On the top floor of The hotel there is an indoor common room and restaurant as well as two outdoor terraces. From all of these areas there are panoramic views of the village below, and the surrounding landscapes of bizarre rock formations.
At night when we were taking time lapse videos, hotel offered us tea and blankets. We were at outdoor terrace and it was so cold but that tea made us feel so warm and at home. We want to thank again here.
The place is run by a local man and his japanese wife who offer their guests a clean, comfortable and friendly place to stay. You will be provided with all the desired information on Cappadocia, including the best hiking routes and lesser known places of interest in the area. You will love it.
2. Underground Cities :
We explored the largest one, Derinkuyu Underground City
Imagining how people lived under the ground cities for a life time and more, that’s making me think what made them live under the ground but not in the high mountains or somewhere. We thought maybe there were a strong cold storm so they sheltered under there..
Are you claustrophobic? WOULD YOU ever enter in an underground city?
Up there is a diagram of what they think the city looked like in its fullest. It is almost 80 meters deep. The lowest place you can go is almost half of it, that the Turkish Government will current let the public go (only a small portion of the city is actually open for tourists)
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Derinkuyu is an ancient multi-level underground city that was large enough to hold & house over 20,000-30,000 people–along with their livestock and food. These cities included schools, chapels, wineries and pretty much any other space needed to live. Literally, these people were living underground for long long time.
I learned there were 36 underground cities.
And looks like they all are CONNECTED.
Derinkuyu is just one of many underground cities found in the area. Scholars believe that it served as a refuge for the early Christians who were being persecuted for their beliefs.
⠀3. Hot Air Balloons
Luckily at our first day sky was so OPEN, there were no clouds at all. At 2nd day it got foggy, didn’t vanished until evening. We cathed stars have shot time-lapses two days along. Watched friends (tv series) at the hotel’s roof.⠀
We woke up so early for hot air balloons, at 6 AM. One ride takes approximately 1 hour and it costs 100 Euros. We flied with Turkey balloons, I can recommend you them actually. A private car transports you to the breakfast house at 6:30 AM. At 07.00 the car leaves you to at the valley ⠀⠀⠀⠀
and in 5-10 minutes the ballon is ready.
You fly high high high. It goes up like 1000 meters. We were lucky it was a calm morning, there were mot a cloud in the sky. Comparing to a winter day we were so so lucky.
I took this photograph when the sun started shining behind the mountains.
4. Take a polaroid picture
While flying. We did it YES. We always take a polaroid while travelling. It is our tradition with Mert actually.
How amazing it is. I still can’t believe we made it. I am saying that again, Hot air balloon is have to be on your to do list when you go to Cappadocia.
Without a doubt, riding a hot air balloon over this alien landscape is the most epic thing you can do in Cappadocia. If you enjoy taking photographs, you will fall in love with the landscapes.
The last day of our trip in Göreme, it was so foggy. The sky cleared at almost 5 PM. We did not catch the sun rise at all fog did not allow us to see. Although we walked to the top of a valley near göreme museum, and took some photographs.
Some History Lessons for you
A bunch of million years ago (approximation) ancient volcanos covered this wild land in a layer of ash with harder stone on top. Eventually it was eroded and carved away by wind and water, creating the unique valleys, and cones you can see today.
- Cappadocia (/kæpəˈdoʊʃə/; also Capadocia; Turkish: Kapadokya, Greek: Καππαδοκία Kappadokía, from Ancient Greek: Καππαδοκία,
- The earliest record of the name of Cappadocia dates from the late 6th century BC,
- It’s name was probably derived from Katpatuka, land of the beautiful horses,
There are many places to “must see” in Cappadocia like; Fairy Chimneys,Göreme Valley National Park and rock churches, underground cities of Kaymakli, Derinkuyu or Ozkonak, Zelve Valley and Pasabag, Avanos with its pottery and carpets, Uçhisar rock fortress, Ortahisar rock fortress, Ürgüp,Ihlara valley, Soganli, Sinasos and Hacibektas. In the summer (from May to November) several alternative tours can be arranged: Hot air balloon trip over the chimneys, trekking, walking, horse riding, motorbike or mountain biking around the valleys.
5. Tours : Horse Riding/Bikes/ATV
If horseback riding isn’t your thing, then you may want to go on an ATV ride instead. We didn’t do this but cruising around on ATVs is another popular activity in Cappadocia.
We rented A Car
The ground was covered with snow, it was a foggy day. Instead of horse riding tours because the weather was so muddy and it was so cold. We thought it was better for us to rent a car and discover around. And yes, We made our own snacks while driving, peanut butter and BANANAS ☺️
6. Visit Göreme Open Air Museum
Visiting Göreme Open Air museum worths your time and money. We walked and discovered these houses for almost one hour. Every detail is fascinating.
From being an important Byzantine monastic settlement that housed monks, to a pilgrimage site from the 17th century, the Goreme Open Air Museum houses some of the finest rock cut churches. These are beautifully painted from inside with murals dating from 900-1200 AD. Even today these wall frescoes retain their original freshness.
7. Buy yourself a little fairy chimney!
Or buy it for your family and friends. Such a great souveneir. it was so cheap by the way, you can’t miss it!
8. You have to eat Pottery Kebab
When we got tired from wandering around we got more hungry. We searched internet for what to eat in Cappadocia sections. And yes erryone says taste that pottery kebab. Sure we did:
Our hotel suggested us a cozy turkish restaurant: Dibek. You can eat you dinner there, I would like to suggest you the same. They also make their own wines, you can taste variations.
Mert tasted grape juice made with sour grapes. He liked it a lot. Then we have searched the whole town but we could not find sour grape juice.. If you find please let us know by commenting 🙂
8. See Red River
There were so many river ducks. You can walk by the river and upon it. We liked the hanging bridge there. As you walk it swings a bit.
Our Photography/Videography Gear
These are some of the things we brought with us to Cappadocia. We mostly shoot with 10-22mm, for details I use 50 mm. Also for time lapse photography, our tripod is essential.
(Canon 80 D , Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Lens , canon 50 mm lens, Manfrotto 055PROB Tripod)