Cappadocia is one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in Turkey. Fairytale charm, traditional cuisine, offbeat places and heavenly beauty of the landscapes make this place a favorite among avid travelers.
However, most people miss out on lesser known but extremely consequential places in Cappadocia. They either don’t know which places to visit in and around Cappadocia or they don’t plan their trip well enough.
Let’s take a look at this catalogue of things to do in Cappadocia which will enrich your experience tenfold.
1. On A Hot-Air Balloon
a. Indulge in Hot-Air Ballooning and enjoy the view of rock formations from the top
Hot-air Ballooning is, undoubtedly, the top thing to in Cappadocia. The surreal bird’s eye view of this fairytale place will be an experience to remember. With spectacular formations of fairy chimneys, novelty of rock figures, orchards, differently colored valleys, vineyards and ravines, a ride above Cappadocia feels like being on top of a vivid world.
- You can only enjoy the Hot-Air Balloon rides in the wee hours of the morning, usually before sunrise.
- Children younger than 7 yrs are not allowed on the ballooning tour.
- Plan your ride here.
2. Hike Your Way
a. Hike to Pigeon Valley
Follow the path along the scenic valleys and get to know the history of this natural habitat dating back to 4th century. You will find several round-about trails of packed dirt, sand and rocks that maintain a constant elevation along the beautiful valleys, which make hiking one of the best things to do in Cappadocia.
b. Hike to Rose Valley
You could take a hike to the famous Güvercinlik (Pigeon) Valley, which boasts of a moderate 4km trail full of beautiful views and enchanting landscapes. Also, the Rose Valley (from Çavuşin, Ortahisar and Kızılçukur) is a must visit place in Cappadocia. When visiting this beautiful green valley don’t miss out on the magical Kale Church.
3. Trek to the Heights
a. Trek to Ihlara Valley
If you have time at hand and are wondering what to do in Cappadocia, a trek to Ihlara Valley, the most famous Cappadocia attraction, is suggested. This rock valley is the biggest Canyon in the region and the trek is not very arduous. Along this 16 km trek, you get to experience the best sceneries of the region.
b. Must visit Cave Churches in Monastery Valley
You can also go for a short trek of 4.5 km to the Monastery Valley in Güzelyurt. Go and have an eye-full of famous rock Cave Churches – the famous Cappadocia attraction. The Cave Churches, that feel like travelling back in time, are the best things to see in Cappadocia.
Suggested Read: Top 10 Unforgettable Cappadocia Nightlife Experiences
4. Sight for your sore eyes
a. Stay in underground cities and cave hotels
You cannot tell anyone that you went to Cappadocia and didn’t visit the illustrious underground city of Kaymaklı and Derinkuyu. Or that you didn’t see the old Greek houses in Sinasos. Trust me, it would be a crime in itself. To roam around under the city roads and experience the charm of rock and dirt rooms in Cappadocia is ethereal.
b. Visit the Dark Church in Göreme
Must Visit: The Göreme Open Air Museum, Ihlara Canyon, Dark Church in Göreme, Zelve Open Air Museum, Mustafapaşa — The Ottoman Empire and Gaziemir Underground City; every sight will leave you spellbound.
5. Feel To Your Heart’s Content
a. Feel the rustic nature of underground cities of Kaymaklı, Derinkuyu, Gaziemir, Özkonak and Mazıköy; most of which are now converted to underground hotels.
b. Feel the calmness of Gümüşler Monastery or of Selime Monastery and the soothing aura of Cave Churches.
c. Feel the magic and thoughtfulness behind every rock sculpted church or cave.
6. Please your taste buds
One of the major Cappadocia attractions is the food. The ancestral recipes, passed down from generations, have an old-world charm to them. Add in the subtle flavors, organic herbs, traditional preparations and aged wines to make even a simple meal delightful. The best thing to do in Cappadocia while relaxing is to try the traditional cuisine. Some of the must try dishes and beverages are:
Mantı — A kind of ravioli with minced meat served with yoghurt and garlic sauce.
b. Testi Kebap (jug kebap) — Meat and vegetables cooked in a clay pot sealed with bread dough and is broken when ready to serve.
c. Local wines — Cappadocia is one of the biggest wine producing regions in Turkey and thus have many wineries in the region.
d. Dried apricots and grapes with a certain home-made concoction
e. Ballı Padişah Ekmeği also known as Sultan Honey Bread — Served only at one place in Cappadocia, this sweet dish is a real delight to your taste buds. The base is prepared of crusted dough and then baked with eggs, honey and walnuts on it.
7. Golf The Ball in Cappadocia
Another one among the best things to do in Cappadocia is to play golf in the middle of fairy chimneys, fascinating rock formations and the unique landscapes of the city. Cross Golf, a national park of Cappadocia uses the natural features of the landscapes to challenge even the most experienced of golfers and has to be a must do in every golfer’s list. If you are wondering of a really unique experience in Cappadocia, this is your answer to it!
So which of these is your favourite thing to do in Cappadocia? If this gives you enough reasons to visit Cappadocia, please share the post among your friends and family.
Further Read: 9 Exotic And Unexplored Honeymoon Destinations In Turkey