Thursday, March 3, 2016

Quick Guide: Cappadocia, Turkey.

image via reddit
When travelling to the moon is impossible, travelling to Cappadocia, Turkey is perhaps the best alternative available. The bizarre landscape in Cappadocia is out of this world, you might find yourself wide-eyed-bewildered, repeatedly questioning yourself: "Am I still on the surface of the earth?"

How to travel to Cappadocia?

Travelling to cappadocia is relatively easy from any big cities: 
Istanbul - 12 hours,
Ankara - 5 hours
Bursa - 11 hours
Izmir - 12 hours
Konya - 4 hours
Antalya - 9 hours
Budget travelers should consider travelling on a night bus as it helps you to save on both fare and accommodation.
I traveled from Istanbul on a night bus to Cappadocia, reaching destination at 4 in the morning, just in time for the beautiful sunrise over the peculiar landscape.  

How to get around in Cappadocia?

It is relatively hard getting from places to places without a car. Cappadocia is a big region, the attractions are spread out far away from each other. Your best bet is to rent a car, or hire a local tour.
I hired a tour at my hostel counter. a one full day tour. There are 2 tours available in Cappadocia, depending on which region you wish to cover: North or South, better known as "Red Tour" or "Green Tour". 

Read more: What is Red and Green Tour and which one should I go on? 

What to see in Cappadocia?

courtesy of cappadociatour
If you aren't following a tour, you will need a map, a GOOD map of Cappadocia. Never rely on smartphones in mountain area, don't be surprise if they fail you.
Underground Cities
Göreme Open Air Museum
Dark Church in Goreme Open Air Museum
Zelve Open Air Museum
Ihlara Canyon
Selime Cathedral
Gümüşler Monastery

What is the Must-Do in Cappadocia? 

Photo I took from the mountains.
It really depends on your budget. If budget allows, Cappadocia is one of the best destinations in the world to fly with a hot-air balloon.

  • Hiking: Check with your hostel receptionist for suggested scenic hiking trails. Recommended hike: Pigeon Valley, Rose Valleys.
  • Hot air Balloon: This will probably be the most expensive thing you decided to do, however there will be no regrets. This tour flies you over and between fairy chimneys, over vineyards and valleys, pigeon houses and unique rock formations. Definitely the kind of memories which easily last a life-time, even without a camera. 
  • Watching Sunset and Sunrise: Also a free activity, watching the sun setting down into the midst of bizarre rock formations is just like watching a surrealist painting comes to life. 
  • Star-Gazing: Goreme National Park is the perfect spot for stargazing if you have a car.

How about Food? 

Dried apricots and grapes
Testi Kebap
Pastirmali kuru fasulye

What to buy in Cappadocia? 

Definitely one of the stone carvings. They are unique in Cappadocia.

Where to stay in Cappadocia? 

You will never go wrong staying in either one of the cities in Cappadocia. Nevşehir, Ürgüp, Göreme, Uçhisar. Avanos, Ortahisar and Mustafapaşa are popular choices. But whatever you do, try to stay in a cave hostel, built into fairy chimneys.
MY Recommendation: Dorm Cave by Travelers in Goreme.

Is it safe? 

yes, Yes, YES! Turkey is a suitable destination for solo adventures, and yes, it is suitable for female solo travelers too. People here are very friendly and always eager to help (although they might not be able to conserve in English). Making friends in Turkey is easy, golden rule to it, is having an open heart.
** However, keep your common sense.

Thank You for Reading! 
This post is based on my opinion and personal experience. 
 Feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below!


Natasha Amar said...

I love Cappadocia! Maybe one of the most beautiful places I have hiked in. Great guide by the way.

Josh Henry said...

Great guide. Hot Air Ballooning here is just out of this world eh!