Cappadocia: What to do when you can’t fly

(April 2016)

And while we continue living in Istanbul we have decided to take advantage of it and explore as much as possible this huge and amazing country of Turkey. We are becoming advanced users of Skyscanner finding cheap flights to travel during the weekends. This time, we went to Cappadocia, one of the top places to visit in Turkey especially known for the hot-air balloon flights and the stunning landscape with its rocky chimneys.

The closest airport is in Nevşehir and from there it takes around half an hour by car to get to Göreme. There are few villages in the valley where you can stay and visit the region and you can choose to stay from the most luxury cave-hotels to backpackers hostels depending your preference and budget.

As soon as we arrived at our hotel, Cappadocia View Hotel (nice, clean and great treatment), they informed us that the balloon flights had been cancelled for Saturday due to the weather conditions. No problem! The balloon company said that we would try it on Sunday. In Cappadocia, there is kind of an authority that depending on the wind forecast allows or cancel the all the balloon flights.

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On Saturday beside our cancelled balloon, we had planned a full day trip (Green tour) that included the Derinkuyu Underground City, Ihlara Valley hike (4km), Selime Monastery and Pigeon Valley and cost us 110 TL per person including transportation, tour Guide, lunch and entry fees.

The tour is worth it. The Derinkuyu Underground city is one of the best-conserved underground cities where you can go down to the 7th floor (total of 18) at 85 metres deep. It is amazing to think how they excavated and built an entire city with hundreds of rooms, churches, stables, wine cellars and corridors about 1000 years ago.

Selime Monastery is as well quite impressive all built in the rock and definitely transports you to some of the scenes of Star Wars. Even though there are some people saying that some parts of Star Wars were filmed here, that is false. What seems to be true is that some of the sceneries of the film are inspired in Selime after the director visited Cappadocia.

The hiking through the Ihlara Valley visiting some of the churches built into the rocks and the nice view from the Pigeon valley completed a great first day in Cappadocia. And to finish the day a Nargile (water pipe), beers and some delicious Turkish food.

Sunday morning, we woke up very early, 5.30am to be transferred to the balloon company base to prepare ourselves to the much-desired flight. Unfortunately, the weather conditions again did not want us to fly. So, back to the hotel and after a nice breakfast at the hotel’s terrace, we continued exploring Goreme. First ,we walk up to the Sunset Point, a hill with and spectacular view of the valley. We continued by visiting the Goreme Open Air Museum, which is also very nice but it gets very crowded. It is basically a showcase of the Cappadocia houses built into the rocks. However, there are two churches (that you have to pay extra 10TL) that are very well conserved but you cannot take pictures inside, but you shouldn’t miss it.

As we did not have our doses of adrenaline, we did a 2 hours tour by quad where we could enjoy the Love Valley and their suggesting chimneys riding in these 4-wheels motorbikes.

So, Cappadocia is pretty spectacular even without flying in a hot air balloon. Having said that, we are already checking Skyscanner to fly back and get in one of this balloons.

All the pictures and videos of Turkey are in the Gallery and you can check other sights of the country in our Turkey section

 

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