Why does Cappadocia, Turkey feel so downright magical? A must-do guide, compiled by our very own Artleove team.
‘Perhaps mother nature was on LSD when she created Cappadocia’ (Drifter Planet, 2017). Some may find it challenging, in words, to describe exactly the experience of visiting Cappadocia (Kapadokya) in central Turkey, for the first time. So as a team we have tried our best, using our own experiences to give you all the information you need before you go!
A fusion of romance, mysticism and fairytales, the popular tourist destination is famed for its enchanting views, carved stone houses and wine houses. When one pictures Cappadocia, what comes to mind is the panoramic viewpoints, classic hot air balloons and the ubiquitous and unique rock formations – known as the fairy chimney-caves. But there is so much more on offer in the vast, diverse region, such as the underground multi-level city of Derinkuyu, horse-riding, quad bike tours, wine-tasting, hiking and more.
A cluster of towns make up the region of Cappadocia, with each one offering its own unique activities and attractions: One of these is the mystical Uchisar, where visitors can climb Uchisar Castle, and enjoy a fantastical landscape view from the topmost point. This happens to be the highest point of the Nevsehir area – where the stars are close enough to touch and where the sun rises and sets like no other.
The widely visited Guvercinlik Valley – peppered with evil trees decorated with evil eyes and bits of pottery and clay – boasts breathtaking valley views – is also just a stone’s throw away, as is the majestic Erciyes Mountain.
Ortahisar on the other hand, is a small village which stuns with its breathtaking charm and ancient wonder; romantic couples and anyone keen to experience the magic of the Cappadocia region should visit Ortahisar, and a recommended viewpoint is a direct viewpoint of Ortahisar village called: ‘Ethem usta’s place’. Using maps, the same location can be found by searching ‘Ortahisar Panorama’ or ‘Erhem Usta’ with a r.
Let’s not forget Cappadocia is also a well-known destination for equestrian activities: the beautiful intertwining valleys which lie between the villages of Goreme and Cavusin, (another picturesque town surrounding the area, known for its Byzantine churches) have proved a popular spot for visitors to enjoy horse-riding whilst in the region.
Serving as a great base to visit the wonders of Cappadocia, a central area for visitors to buy activities and day-trips from agencies, Goreme has the best to offer in the area. The Goreme historic national park picturesque boutique hotels are dotted around Goreme, many of them adorned with picturesque terraces made for the perfect midnight conversation with a loved one under the stars.
It is difficult to forget how Capadocia makes one feel, on a visceral level. The feeling is described by many as being similar to being ‘on another planet’, and there is no greater way to experience the beauty of the region than by doing the following: taking in a birds-eye view of its magic by hitching a ride in one of the infamous Cappadocia hot air balloons, staying in the company of magical fairy chimneys, overlooking a magnificent starry landscape for your breakfast, all of which prove Cappadocia to be the ultimate Anatolian pearl, making it a ‘must-stay’ for any wanderer.
4 TIPS BEFORE YOU VISIT CAPPADOCIA
Tip 1 – For sunrise, wake up super early for a chance of seeing the famous hot air balloons. Bear in mind that the balloon tours usually start around 5am.
For sunset on the other hand, head to Red Valley for an unreal blend of colors.
Tip 2 – Visit in Spring time! We visited in June, and it was already quite warm. So it would probably be ideal to avoid the peak summer season.
Tip 3 – Don’t leave without buying a hand-made ceramic gift from a local souvenir shop. Many of these are run by local women. If you pass through the town of Urgup, pick from the many flavors of Turkish delight and natural flavor teas to take home with you.Tip 4 – The hot air balloon rides are dependent on weather conditions, and last minute cancellations can happen. So be prepared to change plans, and give yourself enough time in Cappadocia to avoid the chance of missing out on the main attraction!
HOW DID WE BOOK OUR ACTIVITIES?We booked all our activities through a very helpful tour company called ‘Cappadocia Visitor’, who we organized our Quad Safari and Balloon Tours through, as well our car hire for the trip! The Balloon Tour in particular can be quite pricey so make sure to ask a few different tour companies before you settle on a price! These are usually pre-booked before you arrive in Cappadocia. Shoutout to Baris from Cappadocia Visitor for being flexible with pricing.
WHERE DID WE STAY?[We stayed in Ottoman Cave Suites, an architecturally ottoman-inspired gem in Goreme, with a great terrace view and central location. It had a really homely feel, with each room offering its own charm, and the breakfast was great. The terrace had a lovely feel at night, as if we had the whole of Göreme to ourselves! The best part of the Ottoman cave suites was probably the expansive bathrooms, designed in the traditional Hamam style (think Turkish baths). Jacuzzi-rooms were also available. We visited during June 2021]. Did you find this post helpful? Stay tuned as we are hoping to write more travel articles for guys as we embark on our Artleove team world tour real soon.
Bibliography Drifter Planet, 2017. Why Cappadocia in Turkey is the Most Magical Place on Earth – Drifter Planet. [online] Drifter Planet. Available at: <https://drifterplanet.com/cappadocia-is-the-most-magical-place-on-earth/#:~:text=1)%20Cappadocia%20Looks%20Like%20Another,anywhere%20else%20on%20the%20planet.> Lee, Jess, 2021. 16 Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Cappadocia | PlanetWare. [online] Planetware.com. Available at: <https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions-/cappadocia-tr-nv-c.htm>