Cappadocia – the Jewel in Turkey’s Crown

Ballooning over Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia, the district of the painted churches and fantastic geology, is the second most popular tourist destination in Turkey, after Istanbul. Last year around 2.5 million tourists visited Cappadocia, and for good reason. The variety of experience here is incredible, with cave hotels, other-worldly landscapes, and delicious food to discover. Getting around the region is easy too, with services like fattaxi.com/nevsehir/nevsehir-kapadokya-airport-taxi/ making transfers a breeze. This is an area where you can easily travel independently, although tours are available too if you’d like a stress-free holiday.

The Cappadocia region, between the cities of Kaisery and Nevsehir and about 500 km from Antalya, is quite remote but making the effort to get there is worth it.  A dizzying wonderland of rock cliffs, caves, underground caves and unique landscapes, Cappadocia is somewhere that you won’t forget in a hurry. The village of Uchisar, 7 kms from Novashir, is often the first stop on a tour of Cappadocia. It sits at the head of Pigeon Valley, and has plenty of cave hotels and scenic places to explore. Walking along the valley and seeing the ancient pigeon caves is one of the most beautiful and famous trails in the area.

Pigeon Valley

The Cappadocia region in central Turkey is one of the most beautiful in the world, with landscapes created over millions of years by wind, water and volcanoes. The most unique landforms are the ‘fairy chimneys’, which exist nowhere else on the planet. These cone-shaped rocks come in different shapes and sizes, standing proud throughout valleys like ‘Love Valley’ across the region. 

In other valleys, like Soganli, the soft rocks have been and still are used by the residential Cappadocians. Here the first Christians dug churches, dozens of which are decorated with murals and paintings and are today part of an ‘open museum’. There are several underground cities which were once used as a place of refuge by the communities here, in times of war and persecution.

Derinkuyu underground city

Sunrise Yoga

You may have practiced yoga in beautiful locations before, but  doing it in the Cappadocia valleys is a real treat. This place has a completely different energy. It is now so demanding that a small yoga community has started to form here in recent years. Whether it’s against the sunrise or beneath floating groups of hot air balloons as rise one by one, this is a great place to try yoga in Turkey. Yoga schools and camps are great for travellers. In addition, for those who want to do yoga with group lessons, not alone,  Kapadokyayoga offers valley walks and yoga. 

Hot Air Balloon Rides

The colourful balloons that start to rise at intervals give you a wonderful perspective of the landscape. It is an incredible pleasure to watch those who hang in the air after taking off, those who pass by you suddenly, those who light up the darkness of the morning with their flames. Be sure to take a hot air balloon ride, after all, isn’t that why you have some to Cappadocia? Balloons have many different take-off points and you can watch them from many places such as Ürgüp, Göreme, Uçhisar, Avanos. Göreme is one of the places where you can have the chance to watch very closely. You can try the departure point on the way to the Sunset Point or Open Air Museum, as you can watch from the terraces of many hotels in Göreme. 

Ballooning over Cappadocia, Turkey

Hot Air Ballooning over Cappadocia

How much is it to fly in a balloon?

The ballooning business is huge in Cappadocia and it brings in a lot of income to the residents who are involved. However, it is a very costly job. Pilots, the team that prepares the balloons, a vehicle for each balloon, a trailer, the team that transports passengers, there are many factors that increase costs and therefore the prices are very high. Flight prices vary between 150 – 250 Euros per person.

Is it safe?

Security is one of the questions that many people have in mind, Balloon flights are subject to very strict controls. It is not possible for a company without a flight license to lift a balloon, and pilots must already be certified by the Civil Aviation organization. Again, the Civil Aviation institution determines that the air is suitable for flight.  According to the weather information updated every hour, companies make their flights that day. Each balloon has a pilot place in the middle and two basket areas for participants on both sides. Baskets can hold 10 or 20 people, depending on their size, and children under the age of 6 are not allowed on flights so that should be noted. 

Walking

Cappadocia is a paradise for hikers. Many natural tracks have been formed along the valleys that are interesting, beautiful and distinct from each other. Some of these are not a marked path yet it’s perfectly okay to explore these areas too. Red Valley (KızılÇukur) is one of the most beautiful places to walk with its appearance resembling different worlds. There are several marked paths on the valley and these paths can be walked by entering from Çavuşin or Göreme direction. When you go to the top of the valley, a perfect view awaits you. One of the best activities to do here is to visit a few churches, fairy chimneys, and walk through vineyards and fields. 

Love Valley

Walking routes:

  • Bağdere (Love Valley) – It starts from Uçhisar and ends at Çavuşin.
  • Güllüdere Valley – starts from Çavuşin and leads to Kızılçukur Cruise Point.
  • Güvercinlik Vadisi – starts from Göreme and ends in Uçhisar.
  • On the way to Kılıçlar Vadisi – Göreme Open Air Museum. 
  • Kızılçukur Valley (Red Valley) – It starts under Göreme Open Air Museum and stretches all the way to Çavuşin.
  • Zemi Valley – starts near Uçhisar and ends below Göreme Open Air Museum. 

Cappadocia is waiting! 

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