Cappadocia in 3 Days
Currency: Turkish Lira & Euro
Visa: Yes, On arrival $30
5.25 TL = $1
Visit Again? Yes
Cappadocia (originally Kappadokyo) has got to be in my Top 5 for favorite cities. I didn’t know what to expect before my trip because I didn’t know anyone who have visited. My initial plan was to only stay 1.5- 2 days here but I ended up staying 4 days!As I interacted with locals and other travelers I quickly feel in LOVE with this place. Turkey is inexpensive and welcoming making it a bomb ass place to go solo (which I did). You get to have great experiences without breaking the bank IF you stay within your budget. I would recommend at least 3 days in Cappadocia. Cappadocia is made up of a several villages, Göreme is the popular place to be. There are only accommodations and restaurants here. There aren’t much families and the few that are there are elder. Families and children live in the outside towns such as Uchisar and Avanos. What makes Göreme such an attraction is the incredible geological make up of distinctive “fairy chimneys” rock formation from volcanoes millions of years ago. Today, the entire village is full of hundreds of cave hotels and restaurants that you can choose from. Driving through this region feels like you’re on a different planet. Star Wars even filmed some of their scenes here.
I flew to Cappadocia from Istanbul with Turkish airline for only $20 and booked my ticket just the day before. I then flew back to Istanbul with Pegasus airlines for only $17, also purchasing my ticket the day before. There are two airports that you can fly into Kayseri (ASR) and Neveshir (NAV). I flew into Kayseri (ASR) airport which is about 1.5 hours away and $6 in a minivan arranged by your hotel, a taxi would’ve cost $30. Nevsehir airport is 1 hour from Cappadocia.
Goreme is a small village so it really doesn’t matter where you stay. Everywhere is within walking distance, taking a cab is optional but not necessary. Sleeping in a cave hotel is always on everyone’s bucket list when they visit Cappadocia. There are a LOT to choose from and a 5- star cave hotel can average $90 which is damn good. If you are on a budget there are even cave hotels like Sato Cave Hotel that offers a bed in a dormitory for $7! I stayed at Mithra Cave Hotel (see my review here).
It is best to just book a tour with your hotel. Mithra Cave Hotel did a fantastic job booking my Red Tour. It hits so many pivotal landmarks that I wanted to visit. There is also a green tour, but it didn’t hit as many places that I wanted to see. My tour was perfectly paced and my tour guide was so happy to take my million and one pics. Pick up time was 9 am and I was back by 5 pm.The highlights of this tour are:
Goreme Open Air Museum
Pasabaglari or Monks Valley
Dervent Valley, also called as imagination Valley
Urgup to see three beautiful sister chimneys
Clay & Pottery ateliers
Price: 25 Euros ($28) includes lunch (lunch review here)
Many tourists attend the Turkish Nights dinner. This show highlights traditional dances from diffferent regions of Turkey. Complete with beautiful costumes gyrating belly dancers, and music. I was going to this but the time was overlapping so I decided to try a local restaurant. You can also ditch that and opt for a cozy Turkish dinner at a local restaurant for a quarter of the price.
Turkish Nights: 50 Euro
Dinner at Sac Tava: $8
Hot Air Balloon
Ride in a hot air balloon amongst over a hundred as the sun rises for 1-1.5 hours. It is suggested to book this tour when you get there because this is a weather based activity. The wind MPH can not be over 10% in order for the balloons to fly Pick ranges between 4 am and 6 am depending on the season. This is about the most expensive activity, you can always just watch for free. Sidebar: I rode in a hot air balloon for $40 in Egypt.
Price: From $160
Watching from a view point: FREE
Cappadocia means land of beautiful horses, so of course there are many tours that offer horse riding. For two or more hours you can gallop through this beautiful landscape on a horse.
Price: 45 Euros /2 hr
ATV or quad bike tours are popular. Being that this is offered all over the world I would definitely sit this one out for a more exclusive experience. It you’re a quad lover then go for it.
Price: 35 Euro/ 2 hr
A Turkish Bath or Hamam is a must-do in Turkey. There are many to choose from. I went to Heybe Spa and it was well worth it. Check out my review here.
Price: 80 Euro
Take their inexpensive bus to another town in Goreme. I decided to go to Uchisar because it was close by. The bus was 3.5 TL which is only. Being that this is like their city, where everyone live, things are very inexpensive. There are 2 main big malls with tons of shops. There are tons of bakeries and shops everywhere you walk. Try some street food and eat Baklava. Keep in mind you may walk into a shop where English isn’t spoken. Be sure to find out the bus schedule, the bus runs every half hours and there are gaps where it doesn’t run for two hours.
Price: 7 TL ($1.50)
Between Uchisar and Goreme you can find a bunch of pieces to buy. Key staples of visiting turkey are evil eye bracelets, carpets, apple tea, and ceramics.
Turkey is known for their carpets. They brag about their double knots while other countries only do a single knot. Galerie Ikman is a shop that sells jewelry, carpet, souvenirs and more. It is very eye catching for their lanterns and carpets. They do charge a fee to take pictures if you do not buy anything.
Price: 20 TL for a picture
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