Cappadocia is one of the most famous tourist attractions with its fairy chimneys, hot air balloons, and spectacular views in the Nevsehir province of Turkey. Cappadocia broke its record with 3.7 million visitors in 2019 and entered the Times “The 25 Wonders of the World” list at fifth place.
There is no other place in the world that you can see fairy chimneys so intensively. The formation of these fairy chimneys had started 60 million years ago. Volcanic eruptions covered the region with ashes, and the ashes turned into soft volcanic rocks. In the millions of years, the wind and water erosions wept away the soft materials and shaped the fairy chimneys. Nowadays, you can explore and experience its spectacular views in the hot air balloons during the sunrise.
Before we get into the list of things to do in Cappadocia, let us first find out how you can get to Cappadocia if you are in Istanbul already.
How to Get There From Istanbul
You can easily travel by bus or plane to Nevsehir from Istanbul, but it takes almost 12 hours to get there by bus. In order to gain time, we strongly suggest you book a flight ticket from Istanbul (any airport) to Nevsehir Kapadokya Airport. It takes 45 minutes by flight and is easy to reach from the airport to Cappadocia. The average bus ticket price is 120 TL, and the flight ticket is 400 TL.
Things to do in Cappadocia
Hot-Air Balloon Tour
The hot-air balloon tour is the most popular activity in Cappadocia, and probably, it will be one of the most beautiful adventures in your life. Watching the sunrise and spectacular views of Cappadocia and fairy chimneys from the sky will be one of your life’s most memorable experiences. Considering the beauty of this place, many people propose to their loved ones at this magical place.
There are usually two hot-air balloon flights in a day. The first one is in the early hours of the day, so try to book this to view the sunrise. The average price is USD 80 per person. Keep in mind that the registration will be done with passports, so always carry your passports with you. Generally, the balloon owners pick up their guests from their hotels and serve breakfast while they are preparing the balloon for the flight. Enjoy your day in the sky!
Jeep Safari Tours
In Cappadocia, safari tours with off-road vehicles are the second most popular activity. If you want to experience the natural beauties of Cappadocia, you should definitely take one of these tours. Safari tours take up to 4 hours to complete, and each off-road vehicle has a maximum capacity of five people. The average price for a vehicle is 80 to 100 USD. As in the hot-air balloon tours, you will be picked up from your hotel and the journey begins. The destinations of safari tours vary but the most popular destinations you will likely see are Ask Valley, Guvercinlikli Valley, Goreme, Göreçeli Valley, Gullu Dere Valley, and Ortahisar.
Visit the Underground Cities of Cappadocia
Since the Cappadocians faced constant raids and looting, they found the solution to dig a second village under their village where they could take shelter. All the civilizations that came here, from the Hittites (1650-1200 BC) to the Byzantines, maintained and developed this order. Later, these underground villages transformed into underground cities by connecting them with tunnels. Thirty-six of them have been discovered so far. It is estimated that there are still undiscovered 200 underground cities. The most interesting aspects of these cities are that they have a very developed city planning system. There are ventilation, irrigation, heating, sewage systems, various public institutions from hospitals to churches in those underground cities.
Visit the Open-Air Museums of Cappadocia
Visiting Zelve and Goreme open-air museums are one of the most popular things to do in Cappadocia for tourists. In Zelve, you will see the churches and mosques in the middle of fairy chimneys, built by two communities with different beliefs in the same place and at the same time, and how they lived together with the understanding and tolerance towards each other. Goreme is the first place where monastery education has started. There is a monastery complex consisting of churches, cemeteries, chapel, dining halls, and wine cellar. One or two hours will be enough to see around in Goreme Open-Air Museum.
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