9 Top Tips for Cappadocia ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ท

On a trip to Turkey, the region of Cappadocia is a must do.  Don’t miss out on the magical view of watching the hot air balloons rise over this alien landscape.

During the Roman period, persecuted Christians fled to the Cappadocia area, and quickly realised that the volcanic rock was soft enough to carve. They had soon built a whole network of caves, living areas, churches, stables, and storehouses, all carved out of the pliable earth.

1. Red Valley

This valley offers a stunning view across the mountains with a mobile coffee bar making it a perfect place to enjoy both the view and your coffee!  These rock formations look great both during the day and at sunset. Hence the name, Red Valley is famous for the red-rose colour of the rocks. It is one of the most popular hiking spots in Cappadocia and you can also horse ride through it (experienced riders only!). To check out horseback tours, click here.

Top Tip: If taking a tour, try and make this the last stop so you can spend extra time here to enjoy it

Red Valley, Cappadocia

2. Sunset Point (Goreme) 

This point offers a stunning view across Goreme with the town in one direction and the mountains and fairy chimneys in the other.  Pictures don’t do it justice! This is best viewed during the day and at sunset but beware, it is a steep, short (10 minute) hike along partly cobbled streets.  There is an entry fee, which is a couple of Turkish Lira.

Top Tip: Wear trainers and make sure you have cash for the entry fee

Sunset Point, Cappadocia

3. Pigeon Valley 

A lovely view looking across the valley where all the pigeons seem to gather.  In Turkey, the pigeon is a sacred bird and there is grain for you to feed them. The name came from the countless man-made dovecotes that have been carved into the soft volcanic rock. The pigeons no longer play such an important role in the valley but their rocky homes have been well maintained by the locals. There are also some good hikes in this area, giving you ample opportunity to admire the stunning views. For more information on hiking trails, click here.

Pigeon Valley, Cappadocia

4. Fairy Chimneys

These are weird and wonderfully formed rocks, where in some places people used to live in them.  I found the best view to be on the left of Goreme Panoramic Point.

The fairy chimneys have been formed due to a geological process that began millions of years ago. Volcanic eruptions covered the area in thick ash, which then later solidified into a soft rock called โ€˜tuffโ€™. Wind and rain eroded the rock leaving behind the harder elements which formed the fairy chimneys that can be seen today.

Fairy Chimneys, Cappadocia

5. Uchisar Castle 

This is a castle like no another!

You will be amazed by the view.  Look from the front but also ask your guide to take you to the back where you can see the valley behind the castle. 

The castle mountain is 60 metres high and is a warren of numerous underground passageways and rooms. Unfortunately, most of these are now blocked or impassable. During the Byzantine times they served as cloisters and residential areas. Originally about 1000 people lived in the castle but it is uninhabited now. In the centre of Uchisar town is an underground passage of 100 metres in length. It is thought that this served as a link from the castle to the outside world and also protected their water supply.

Castle, Cappadocia

6. Galeri Ikman

If you’re staying in Goreme, then why not check out this amazing carpet shop, complete with a fairy chimney? If you’re in need of a new rug or carpet then where better to shop than Galerie Ikman?!

Top Tip: If you want to take a picture inside the shop you will be charged (approximately $5)

Carpet Shop, Cappadocia
Carpet Shop, Cappadocia

7. Pasabag 

This is also known as Monks Valley.  There are huge fairy chimneys, which people used to live inside and near the site entrance is a working police station, housed inside its very own fairy chimney! Best to go early morning or late afternoon as it can get very busy.

Cappadocia hermits would distance themselves from the world by cutting into these fairy chimneys and hollowing them out from the bottom to the top, thus creating rooms at 10 – 15 metres high!

Top Tip: Wear trainers

Pasabag, Cappadocia

8. Love Valley 

The name is self-explanatory, once you have seen the shape of the rock formations!

Love Valley, Cappadocia

9. Avanos

This is a pottery town with the Red River flowing through it.  There is a shop near the bridge with pottery outside. Very instagrammable!

The red clay from the banks of the Red River (named for the red clay) is used for traditional household pottery as as well as building blocks and roof tiles. Most tours will include a stop in this town and usually consist of visiting a pottery factory and watching a demonstration. It is also possible to have a pottery lesson in some places, so if you fancy that speak to your tour operator before hand.

Avanos, Cappadocia
Pottery, Cappadocia
Others:

Forgotten monasteries, underground villages (beware, these are not for those with claustrophobia!), open air museums and imagination valley.

Tours: 

There are all sorts of different tours available.  Number one is the hot air balloons, but there are also quad bikes to be hired, horse riding trips and photography tours to name a few! I took two tours on my visit; one was a group tour, very cheap and good. The other was a photography tour, rather expensive but definitely the better option!

What to Eat:

Your taste buds will love Turkish cuisine.  

In Cappadocia a must try dish is a pottery kebab.  This can only be found in Cappadocia and is a speciality of the region.  This can be made with either lamb, beef, chicken or vegetables.

It is cooked in the clay pot, the pot is sealed with bread dough and then it is left to simmer for several hours in its own juices.

Once ready, the pot will be brought out and cracked in front of you while it is a still bubbling.  You may even be offered the chance to crack it yourself as I was.

Very tasty and fun to eat!  These can be found in most restaurants.

Keba, Cappadocia
Lamb Pottery Kebab

A top restaurant in Goreme is Sedef.  There is both indoor and outdoor seating on a small and very pleasant terrace with cats for company.  

The service was great and the food was fantastic.  At ยฃ6 per head I had no complaints!  

There is a wide selection of choice on the menu, ranging from Turkish cuisine, to international dishes, to salad and pizza.

I can recommend the Boston Kebap, which was superb!

Boston Kebap
Boston Kebap

For dessert, the best choice on a warm evening is Turkish ice cream.  Not all restaurants have this, but don’t worry as there are plenty of ice cream stands about!

Where to Stay:

Cappadocia offers so many cave hotels, but I think its much better to stay in one with a high terrace so you can get that picture perfect view of the valley. Even in the middle of summer the naturally air-conditioned cave rooms are at a nice, cool temperature.
I stayed at the Apex Cave Hotel in Goreme and would rate this 10 out of 10! The staff were so friendly and helpful, the location was great, wonderful food and an amazing view!

Goreme is a very nice town, easily accessible from all the hotels (about a 10 minute walk from ours), although quite steep in parts. If you are still thinking about a tour, there are plenty of tour offices to help you choose. As well as Turkish restaurants, Goreme also offers Chinese, Korean, American and fast food if you’re struggling to decide.
There are plenty of cafes for you to have that lovely Turkish coffee, and several situated by a little river running through the centre of the town for you to enjoy them by.

C.King

Brit girl on a bummel. A solo female traveller accompanied by her camera, aiming to see as much of the world as possible and sharing what she's learnt along the way!

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