Cappadocia is a place taken from the postcards of aliens. Believe me, when I say, the moment you reach the place, no matter how well-traveled you are, you will feel someone brought you to another world. The fairy chimneys, the mysterious caves spread throughout the region, and the dunes – they all combine to give Cappadocia the magical feel it is famous for. A very few people, at first, know that Cappadocia is not just one city or town but an entire region with multiple towns and cities, each different than the other. From Goreme where you see those Cappadocia hot-air balloons flying to Uchisar, which is a very calm and peaceful valley, this place is a miracle on Earth. If you are planning to visit Turkey, there is no way you should be missing out on this piece of another world on Earth. This is why this Cappadocia Travel Guide will help you plan your trip from any other city in Turkey.
Let’s hop on to the Cappadocia trip plan adventure especially if you are a beginner or a solo traveler in 2021 and beyond!
CAPPADOCIA TRAVEL GUIDE – DURATION & THE BEST TIME TO VISIT
Cappadocia is a beautiful place, which requires you to take a break from your hectic vacation routine to enjoy it. In terms of how long you will be staying here, the personal preference can vary for those who want to chill a bit more. But the right time to explore the region would be 2 to 3 days max. You will be able to relax as well as explore the area within this time too.
Coming to the best months to visit for Cappadocia Travel Guide, the Spring season spanning from March to May is generous on the region. There aren’t so many tourists and the weather is good as well, so you can swing by accommodations and activities for cheap. Similarly, for those who would like to visit when the weather is a bit on the cold side, the Autumn season-spanning October to November is a great time as well. I went in November and the weather was 3-degrees at night. But, all the while, I think this was the perfect time to be in Cappadocia.
Cappadocia can be a little expensive, especially if you want to enjoy the activities and take all the tours that the city has to offer. If you skip those, then there will only be just relaxing and walking around, but I wouldn’t suggest you mind that either because you will definitely enjoy that as well. For a decent budget, you should keep at least $50 to $80 in your mind for a day in Cappadocia.
The budget can vary depending on what you decide to do and what you let go of, but with tours and a bit of Safari-ing around, this budget will be good to take you places.
WHERE TO STAY? – CAPPADOCIA TRAVEL GUIDE
Cappadocia is divided into three different regions – Goreme, Uchisar, and Urgup. The most popular of these three places in Goreme, because this is where those hot air balloons fly from. So, from the break of the dawn till afternoon the entire town is surrounded by colorful flying balloons and that is a sight in itself. I will also recommend staying in Goreme because it is the cheapest of all. You must already know about the cave hotels spread throughout the city because Cappadocia is a cave city. Hence, some of these hotels are made-up while the others are actual caves. You can find yourself a cave room or a hostel for as low as $10 here.
Uchisar is another good place to stay in, because it is at the highest point of the region, from where you can look below at all the marvel that Cappadocia is. However, it will be expensive, and it might be a little difficult to find accommodation on a budget here and in Urgup as well.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN CAPPADOCIA
Cappadocia is a magical land where you feel you have teleported to the old times. To get the real feel of that, you have to visit the area to the fullest. So, here are some of the things you should do when in Cappadocia. None of them is in a specific order, as the likings can change from person to person:
Take A Hot Air Balloon Ride
Is that even something I should be telling you? Riding a hot air balloon over the majestic landscape of Cappadocia is the most beautiful thing you will ever do. Though it isn’t cheap and will cost you around 160 – 180 Dollars, it will definitely be a lifetime kind of experience for you. There are hot air balloon operators on every corner of the street, so you can just ask around and go for the cheapest option.
The best slot will be to get the first one, so you can see the dawn while flying past the mountains. You will get a hotel pick and drop alongside an open-air breakfast before your ride as well.
Take A Red Tour
As I mentioned, most of your sightseeing in Cappadocia is done through various tours. With the Red Tour, you can visit the highlights of the region within 7 to 8 hours only. This tour takes you through the Northern Cappadocian spots, so you can know more about the beauty this place has to offer.
Among the other places offered in the Red Tour, you go to Uchisar Castle, which is a Rock Castle that offers the best panoramic view of the entire region. The second stop usually is Love Valley, named the mentioned because of the fairy chimneys erotically shaped. Then you visit the Goreme Open Air Museum, which is the most popular and one of the most ancient attractions of Cappadocia. You also visit Three Beauties, a collection of fairy chimneys, Devrent Valley with animal-shaped rocks and lunar landscape, and Pasabag Valley, again famous for the striking fairy chimneys. Finally, the tour generally ends with the visit to Cavusin Cave Village, which is an ancient village built into the soft volcanic rocks of the region.
The Red Tour costs around 32 Dollars, but if there is only one tour that you should be taking being on a budget, it should be this one.
Take A Green Tour
Similar to the last one, this second popular Green Tour takes tourists to the southern side of Cappadocia. This tour is the most popular for its visit to the Derinkyun Underground City, which is a multi-level underground city dating back to centuries old. Another highlight of this tour is the hiking through the beautiful Ihlara Valley, which will leave you equal parts amazed, and equal parts stunned. You also visit Pigeon Valley, which is a long valley with captivating rock formations, and Goreme Panorama with a panoramic view of the landscape of the region. There is also a visit to the largest religious structure of Cappadocia which is a rock-cut monastery called Selime Monastery.
The Green Tour will cost around $39 but will definitely be worth it. If you are on a budget, you might have to skip it, but you can try hitchhiking to a few of the mentioned places.
Take An Adventurous ATV Ride
Cruising around the beautiful fairy chimneys of Cappadocia on ATVs is one of the most fun things you can do in the region. Otherwise relaxing, ATV is the only major excitement you can get in the region. Many tour operators in the region are booking ATV tours where one or two people together can rent an ATV and go on an adventurous tour around the region. Believe me, it was my highlight of the Cappadocia trip. I might be negating with many, but I enjoyed it more than I enjoyed the hot air balloon ride.
Hop-On A Horse!
If ATV isn’t your thing and you want to enjoy the landscape of Cappadocia without worrying about jamming into someone, take a horseback tour. Cappadocia means ‘land of the beautiful horses’, so you can imagine how mighty the horses will be in the region when the entire place is named after them.
They will be a bit cheaper than ATV and you will be able to cover the same region just sprawled across the horseback and slowly taking in everything that this beautiful region has to offer.
Enjoy Turkish Nights
While Istanbul’s Turkish nights are happening, Cappadocia’s nights are filled with Turkish culture, music, and dance. There will be a whirling dervish ceremony, belly dance, folk dances, and a lot of music. For those who are wine addicts, it will be free-flowing over the dinner as well. The Turkish night will cost you around $40 with every expense covered within it.
HOW TO GO AROUND?
Cappadocia is a small town, so it isn’t big on public transport. Unlike the other big cities, there is no proper transport network here. Hence, you will hardly see a bus or even a cab at times to go around. The alternative would be to hitchhike and ask lift from locals, which I am sure you must be prepared for since you are on a budget. The locals are very friendly and help a lot as well, so that would not be an issue.
As for exploring the city, there are multiple tours available like Red Tour, Blue Tour, Green Tour, which take you around the city’s touristy spots one by one like the Underground City, the famous caves of old times, etc. These tours are readily available with your accommodation management and are cheap as well.
WHAT TO EAT?
Is that even a question? If you are following our Istanbul Travel Guide, Antalya Travel Guide, and now Cappadocia Travel Guide, you should know that Turkish food is one of the bests in the world and Cappadocia is going to provide a lot of it in the right quality too. You can spend a day eating your share for as low as $10.
Among other things, you should try Borek, Govec, and the Segafredo coffee most of the cafes in Cappadocia will offer. You will definitely enjoy eating your food with the view of the caves and the fairy chimneys.