Cappadocia, “the land of beautiful horses”. When I visited Cappadocia I had already done my homework, so I knew I was going to a beautiful region with so much to offer. This just increased my curiosity about this gorgeous area and find out what are the best things to do in Cappadocia.
Scientists believe the entire city is a result of volcanic eruptions that happened millions of years ago. The human habitat of this remarkable lunar landscape that attracts thousands of tourists from across the world dates back to the 4th century. But alongside admiring the stunning landscape, what are the top places to visit in Cappadocia? Here are some of our suggestions.
What to do in Cappadocia – Table of Content
Best things to do in Cappadocia, Turkey
1. Hike the Red and Rose Valleys, what to do in Cappadocia for some adventure
After days in Cappadocia, we thought we had gotten used to natural beauty. But our Rose Valley and Red Valley hike revealed a never-ending surprise. Our adventure was probably the most satisfying for the eye and the most awe-inspiring, albeit pretty challenging.
One of the must-see Cappadocia attractions, the Red and Rose valleys take their name from the red/rose/ochre shades that vary depending on several factors such as the season, the weather, the time and the light. When we hiked the Red and Rose valleys it was May, pretty hot but the light was fantastic. The blue sky and shining sun allowed us to enjoy fantastic views.
TIP: The best way to enjoy the hike is to book a tour with a local. Click here to check a full-day tour through Cappadocia’s main highlights.
2. Goreme open-air museum, Uchisar Castle, and the Pigeon Valley
Wherever you turn your gaze in Cappadocia you are confronted with overwhelming natural beauty. We stayed in Göreme for the night, in the lovely Star Cave Hotel, and we started exploring the region from Göreme open-air museum, Uçhisar for its castle and a breathtaking view on Pigeon Valley.
One of the first places to visit in Cappadocia, Göreme open-air museum is a large monastic complex where the churches carved out of the rock display beautiful frescoes.
After Göreme museum, head to Uçhisar to visit its castle and to enjoy a beautiful view of these rock formations and the Pigeon Valley.
TIP: Book a guided tour to the Goreme museum and other historic sites in Cappadocia to learn more about them.
3. Visit the Ihlara Valley, Selime Monastery and Cappadocia underground city
If you are still wondering what to do in Cappadocia, don’t miss the Ihlara Valley. We took a guided tour and we were very happy about it. By ourselves, I don’t think we would have been able to see all the historic sites.
During the whole day, we trekked in the Ihlara Valley, visited some of the most beautiful churches and monasteries, including Selime, and some of the best underground cities in Cappadocia such as Derinkuyu.
TIP: Book a full-day trekking tour to the Ihlara Valley and discover the ancient monasteries, villages and the famous Derinkuyu Underground City.
4. Making Gozleme traditional style in Cappadocia, Turkey
Towards the end of our tour along the Ilhara Valley, my friends and I started feeling hungry and, although we were approaching lunchtime and restaurant, when we stopped for a short break we couldn’t resist the temptation of sampling some traditional food. We were happy to find local women making the traditional Gozleme filled with fresh cheese and veggies.
READ MORE: Check out our post about making and enjoying Gozleme in Cappadocia
5. Booking a Cappadocia hot air balloon ride
One of the best things to do in Cappadocia is flying with hot air balloons. It’s an excellent experience I couldn’t enjoy due to the bad weather.
There are many tour companies providing daily rides and fly throughout Cappadocia. More balloon flights are made in Cappadocia than probably anywhere else.
Click here to see the prices and availability for Hot Air Balloon tours in Cappadocia
6. Turkish nights and Whirling Dervishes
One of the things to do in Cappadocia is experiencing their eye-catching and spiritual dance. The last night we spent in Cappadocia was devoted to partying, namely to appreciate Turkish spirituality and dances, from the Sufi whirling dervishes inspired by Islam’s mystic and poet Rumi, to the inevitable belly dancer.
Even though we were exhausted after our excursion to the Red Valley and Rose Valley, I didn’t really want to leave Turkey this time too without seeing the famous whirling dervishes.
Click here for more information on prices and availability for night tours and traditional shows in Cappadocia.
Below is a photo sequence of another traditional Turkish dance in a show, definitely one of the things to see in Cappadocia. The dancer was excellent, she kept turning around for what felt like half an hour, her dress changing shape and finally colours. We were all enchanted.
7. Booking a Cappadocia hiking tour
With such a huge natural landscape being the main attraction, booking a hiking tour is definitely what to do in Cappadocia for nature and adventure lovers. There are several trekking and hiking tours that you can book and with a local guide you will reach that alone you probably won’t find and you will also have the chance to explore more places such as underground cities and cave churches.
Where to stay in Goreme, best Cappadocia hotels
Like every other region in Turkey, Cappadocia has all sorts of accommodations. The most famous ones are the fascinating cave suites that give you the chance to stay in buildings carved out of their rock formations. If you are thinking about staying in this region of Turkey, here is a list of top Cappadocia Cave Suites.
Cappadocia Cave Suites
Located in the central Goreme offers deluxe cave rooms and suites, WiFi, breakfast, private bathrooms and Jacuzzi. The property organizes hot air balloon rides, Turkish nights, Whirling dervish shows and few other tours. It’s top-rated for its services, location, and view.
Click here to see the latest prices for Cappadocia Cave Suites
Aren Cave Hotel
This Cave Hotel is located in Goreme Center run by people who like what they do. The rooms are equipped with WiFi, AC, kettle, soundproofing, TV, etc. Banks, local bus terminal, cafe, and restaurants are within walking distance of the Cave Hotel. They also offer free shuttle service from Goreme Bust station to the property. This property is rated exceptional for staff, location, rooms, and breakfast.
Click here to see the latest prices for Aren Cave Hotel
Amber Cave Suites
This beautiful cave hotel is rated top for the panoramic views of Goreme, the heart of Cappadocia. Amber Cave Suites offer everything you need for a suite, from free shuttle services, WiFi, breakfast to 24/7 front desk. It’s rated exceptional on booking both for helpful staff, cleanness, location, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Click here to see the current prices and more details about Amber Cave Suites
Aydinli Cave Hotel
This is a traditional Cave hotel located on a hillside that offers one of the best views over Goreme, WiFi, breakfast, and everything else you need in Cave hotel. The owner arranges day tours and other tours
Click here to see the current prices and more details about Aydinli Cave Hotel
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