There are so many ways to enjoy the captivating landscapes of Cappadocia, Turkey. This region, situated in the rugged plateau of the Taurus mountains of central Turkey is a wonderland of rocks, underground cities, and cultural sites. Whether hiking on land or floating in the air, the views of Cappadocia are exhilarating. The options for adventure are many in this historical region, but we narrowed it down to just a few that you must do while on your Turkish holiday.
Balloons at Dawn
Sunset Point in Göreme is the best place to go for a view of the region's famous hot air balloons. Set your alarm for dawn so get a glimpse of the more than 100 hot air balloons that float above the Cappadocia scenery. The sight of the balloons, their colors magnified by the first splashes of sunlight, are guaranteed to wake you up. Talk about an Instagram-worthy picture!
The best time to catch this magnificent view is about a half-hour after dawn but check with your hotel staff the night before to make sure the balloons will be flying. Weather conditions can impact flight viability.
Hike and See
You might get a little lost hiking in the Red and Rose Valleys — the signage is unclear — but the scenery will be worth it. You will be enchanted by the natural beauty of blue skies, green valleys, and red and white rock, with some graffiti, sprinkled in between. You’ll be tired, but in a good way, after exploring these beautiful paths. You can start from Göreme or from Meskendir Valley. Summers in the region can be very hot. Spring and Fall are the best times to visit. If you are hiking in the summer, start early and make sure to bring plenty of water.
Rocking in the Valley
Another great hike is through the popular Pigeon Valley, Uchisar Castle, and White Valley region. You’ll be treated to the sight of phallic rock formations, cave dwellings, ancient paintings, and of course, pigeons. One of the highlights is an area called Love Valley, so named for its popularity as a site for marriage proposals. Rock columns dot the landscape, and the massive structures are breathtaking. Be sure to bring your camera!
You will also want to explore the peaceful, green Ihlara Valley. Commune with the birds and frogs in this stunning gorge that was created by the river that runs through it. Hundreds of ancient churches are dotted throughout the valley and there is even a waterfall, a surprise in such an arid region ass Cappadocia. But the real treat is the rest stop that offers a place for you to sit and enjoy the scenery. And the family that operates it even serves Turkish tea! It's delicious!
Get the best views over the Rose Valley at Panorama Point. There are friendly vendors here selling fruits and souvenirs, as well as comfy seats on the valley's edge for you to sit back, eat your fruit and sip a drink while watching the sunset. What more could you ask for?
You’ve watched the balloons, now ride them
You must take a balloon ride. Again, this is an experience best done at dawn. A minibus will take you from your hotel to the boarding spot, where you’ll hop on a balloon with more than a dozen other passengers. Start your day gliding past treetops and canyon walls. It will be one of the highlights of your trip and an experience to remember.
Cappadocia well deserves its listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. When you are ready to begin your Turkish adventure, contact me so we can begin planning.