Cappadocia, meaning “the land of beautiful horses” is a magical place located in Central Anatolia in Turkey. Known for its unique moon-like landscape, houses carved in rock, whimsical fairy chimneys and magical sunrise hot air balloon rides, it’s a must see place if you ever come to Turkey.
Sculpted by millions of years of erosion, the magical volcanic landscapes of Cappadocia had always been top on my list of “things I had to see” while living in Turkey. We finally visited last year for Valentine’s Day and since then we have been back 4 times (with a 5th visit coming up!) as we love the unique area so much!
I’m not a morning person but in Cappadocia i’m always up at the crack of dawn because the tranquil mornings as the sun is slowly rising and all you can hear is the sound of the birds waking and the burner coming from the distant balloons floating around the sky is something pretty special.
Here’s my low-down…
My Top 10 Things to do in Cappadocia
1. Go on a hot air balloon ride at sunrise
2. Visit Göreme open air museum
3. Discover the Underground City of Kaymakli
4. Go horse riding (or hire ATVs if riding isn’t your thing)
5. Explore Pasabag (Monks Valley) where my favourite fairy chimneys are!
6. Hike around Pigeon Valley
7. Watch the sunset from Sunset Point in Göreme
8. Goto Avanos and visit the pottery and ceramics shops
9. Climb the rock castles in Ortahisar and Uçhisar
10. Visit Zelve Open-Air Museum
How to get to Cappadocia
Fly to Kayseri Airport or Nevşehir Airport. Flights from Istanbul are frequent.
When to visit Cappadocia:
My ideal time to visit is in the Winter because I absolutely love Cappadocia when it’s covered in snow – The landscape looks even more magical than usual. Summer is a bit too hot for me with the temperature well into the 40’s. Spring is pleasant with temperatures cooler and less busy.
What to eat:
Testi kebab, a delicious Anatolian speciality prepared in a clay pot. The contents cook slowly in their own juices. After hours of cooking, the clay pot is then smashed open revealing the most delicious casserole.
Manti, Turkish style ravioli and the most famous Turkish manti is from the Kayseri region which you can also find in Cappadocia.