10 things to do before you leave

Below you can find a list prepared by Halis Aydogan with the experience of 15 years in proffessional tour guiding and hot air ballooning experience.

#1 Stay at the Goreme Mansion Cave Hotel

Stay in a fairy chimney. Sounds interesting?

#2 Hot Air Balloon Rides

Cappadocia is one of the most perfect places on earth, not only for growing wine grapes or its beautiful landscape, but also for soaring peacefully in hot air balloons. The sensation of ballooning is very gentle and it’s calming effect seems to put the world below into perspective. Rock formations and world-famous fairychimneys drift into view, giving you the unmatched feeling of being above it all. Hot-air ballooning is also one of the most popular activities in Cappadocia, I can say from personal experience as a pilot for 9 years, it is a once in a lifetime experience! At Voyager Balloons we will pick you up just before dawn and bring you to the take off site where you can watch the crew inflate your balloon while having coffee, tea and a light snack. I highly recommend you to fly with Cem Dasdelen who is one of our pilots at Voyager Balloons.

#3 Goreme Open Air Museum

The museum where you can see the best preserved churches of Cappadocia. Totally 8 churches. Goreme is one of the oldest towns in Central Anatolia. Primarily an agricultural town, it later became an important center for the early Christians. The valley houses numerous rock hewn churches with frescos. The churches enclosed by the open air museum contain some very well preserved frescos. The Aristocratic churches are covered with impressive Byzantine art. Refectories, kitchens, storage rooms etc. Can also be visited in the museum.

#4 Underground Cities

There are more than one hundred underground cities in Cappadocia. Due to the soft nature of the volcanic rock, early civilizations careved entire cities underground and would retreat to this refuge in times of siege. A huge rock was rolled across the entrance to seal it from the outside. The cities comprised living quarters, cooking areas, places for worship, storage areas and on the first floor below ground were the stables. Water, fresh air and sunlight were also provided. Highly recommended if you are not claustrophobic.

#5 Red Valley

The Red Valley is one of the most spectacular valleys of Cappadocia with its different kind of rock formations in variety colors. The hidden rock-cut churches in the valley surprise the visitors. You can watch hot air balloon early in the morning in this beautiful valley and lots of options for hiking and horseback riding.

#6 Ihlara Valley

Ihlara Valley is a canyon, approximately 14 kms length and up to100 metres deep in places. The sheer walls of the canyon make it almost invisble until you are directly upon it.

#7 Horseback Riding

You can get a feel for the area riding through a full day exploring the fascinating frescoed and rock-carved churches of the Goreme Open Air museum, the fairy chimneys of Pasabag and Devrent Valleys.

#8 Testi (Pottery) Kebab

Basically the ingredients for the kebab are sealed inside a hollow pottery “ball”. It is then baked in an oven or over coals and placed, whole in front of the hungry diner. As a bit of a novelty, the waiter taps along the circumference of the ball with a hammer. If you’re lucky he’ll ask you to give it a whack at a certain spot and crack! the ball breaks in two – so you’re left with a removeable lid, and your stewed kebab sitting in a bowl.

#9 Whirling Derwishes

The Whirling of Dervishes is one method of polishing the human heart, a 700-year old discipline that allows a devotee to experience the immediate…

#10 Uchisar Castle

One of the most imposing landmarks of this region is the hiltop fortress at Uchisar. Out of this natural rock formation a wide variety of rooms and dwellings were carved. Communities lived in this fortress in order to protect themselves from the enemy attack. Nearby Pigeon’s valley contains numerous pigeon houses. In this valley pigeons were traines to deliver messages to towns throughout Central Cappadocia and were essential aid to communication. Also people used the droppings of the pigeons as a guano.