Cappadocia is a place taken from the postcards of aliens. Believe me, when I say the moment you reach the site, no matter how well-travelled you are, you will feel someone brought you to another world. The fairy chimneys, the mysterious caves spread throughout the region, and the dunes combine to give Cappadocia the magical feel it is famous for. 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 from the other. From Goreme, where you see those Cappadocia hot-air balloons flying, to Uchisar, a quiet and peaceful valley, this place is a miracle on Earth. If you plan to visit Turkey, there is no way you should miss 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 traveller in 2021 and beyond!
CAPPADOCIA TRAVEL GUIDE – DURATION & THE BEST TIME TO VISIT
Cappadocia is a beautiful place requiring you to take a break from your hectic vacation routine to enjoy it. Regarding 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 can relax and 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 many tourists, and the weather is good so that you can swing by accommodations and activities cheaply. Similarly, for those who would like to visit when the weather is a bit cold, the Autumn season-spanning October to November is also a great time. 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 city’s tours. If you skip those, there will only be relaxing and walking around, but I wouldn’t suggest you mind that either because you will 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 some Safari-ing around, this budget will be reasonable to take you places.
WHERE TO STAY? – CAPPADOCIA TRAVEL GUIDE
Cappadocia is divided into three regions – Goreme, Uchisar, and Urgup. The most popular of these three places is Goreme because this is where those hot air balloons fly from. So, from dawn till afternoon, the entire town is surrounded by colourful flying balloons, which is a sight. I will also recommend staying in Goreme because it is the cheapest. You must know about the cave hotels spread throughout the city because Cappadocia is a cave city. Hence, some hotels are made up of, while others are actual caves. You can find 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 marvels of Cappadocia. However, it will be expensive, and finding accommodation on a budget might be a little tricky here and in Urgup.
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 natural feel, you must visit the area fully. 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 be a lifetime kind of experience for you. There are hot air balloon operators on every corner of the street, so you can 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 also get a hotel pick and drop alongside an open-air breakfast before your ride.
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 region’s highlights within 7 to 8 hours only. This tour takes you through the Northern Cappadocian spots so that you can learn more about this place’s beauty.
Among the other places offered in the Red Tour, you go to Uchisar Castle, which is a Rock Castle that provides the best panoramic view of the entire region. The second stop usually is Love Valley, mentioned because the fairy chimneys are erotically shaped. Then you visit the Goreme Open Air Museum, 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 its striking fairy chimneys. Finally, the tour generally ends with a visit to Cavusin Cave Village, 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 you should be taking on a budget, it should be this one.
Take A Green Tour
Like the last one, this second famous Green Tour takes tourists to the southern side of Cappadocia. This tour is the most popular for its visit to the Derinkyun Underground City, a multi-level underground city dating back centuries. Another highlight of this tour is the hiking through the beautiful Ihlara Valley, which will leave you amazed and stunned. You also visit Pigeon Valley, a long valley with stunning rock formations, and Goreme Panorama, with a panoramic view of the region’s landscape. There is also a visit to Cappadocia’s most significant religious structure, a rock-cut monastery called Selime Monastery.
The Green Tour will cost around $39 but will be worth it. If you are on a budget, you might have to skip it, but you can try hitchhiking to a few places mentioned.
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 significant excitement you can get in the area. Many tour operators are booking ATV tours where one or two people can rent an ATV and go on an adventurous tour around the room. It was my highlight of the Cappadocia trip. I might be negating with many, but I enjoyed it more than 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 whole place is named after them.
They will be a bit cheaper than ATVs, and you can cover the same region just sprawled across the horseback and slowly taking in everything this beautiful region offers.
Enjoy Turkish Nights
While Istanbul’s Turkish nights are happening, Cappadocia’s are filled with Turkish culture, music, and dance. There will be a whirling dervish ceremony, belly dance, folk dances, and 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, covering every expense.
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 amiable and help immensely, so that would not be an issue.
As for exploring the city, multiple tours are available, like the Red Tour, Blue Tour, and 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? Suppose you follow our Istanbul Travel Guide, Antalya Travel Guide, and Cappadocia Travel Guide. In that case, you should know that Turkish food is one of the bests in the world, and Cappadocia will provide a lot of it in excellent 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 enjoy eating your food with the view of the caves and the fairy chimneys.
Is Cappadocia safe for solo female travellers?
Yes, it is!