Visiting Turkey would not be complete without stepping foot in this extraordinarily unique landscape. A veritable must-see. I reached Cappadocia via public bus from Pamukkale.
Recommended Stay: At least 3 days.
Day 1: Cappadocia: Goreme & Hiking the Red and Rose Valleys
The bus that I was on attempted to drop us off at Nevsehir, which was about 30 minutes away from Goreme. The other tourists and I complained about this so the bus begrudgingly caved into our request to be taken straight to the center of Goreme town. I arrived at around 5am. I had a glimpse of hot air balloons ascending into the air space surrounding Goreme. Breathtaking.
I stayed at Rock Valley Hostel. I was extremely satisfied with the place. It has a pool and the rock formations as its backyard. Incredibly stunning. After depositing my luggage at the hotel, I quickly went on an independent hike along the Red and Rose Valleys. I was pretty impressed with how I finished the hike all by myself especially that there were virtually no one else on the trails, except for occasional encounters with a few hikers.
At the end of the hike was the small town of Cavusin. I finished the hike late afternoon so there were no public buses available anymore. Thankfully, I was able to hitchhike back to Goreme. Before sunset, I hiked up a very famous viewpoint in the center of Goreme. It was about a 5-minute walk from the main drag, and an excellent way to view the surrounding towns with a marvelous sunset as its backdrop. Breathtakingly spectacular.
Day 2: Cappadocia: Hot Air Balloon & Goreme Open Air Museum
Weather permitting, the hot air balloon ride is the ultimate unmissable experience in Cappadocia. Departing early in the morning daily, this is the best vantage point to capture a magnificent wide-view lens of this unique Turkish landscape.
After the balloon ride, I independently explored the Goreme Open Air Museum which boasts astonishingly well-preserved frescoes from the 10th-12th centuries housed inside monasteries carved from the mountains.
Day 3: Cappadocia: Green Tour
The Green Tour is one of the most popular day trips originating from Goreme. It includes the following sites:
- Derinkuyu Underground City
- Ihlara Valley
- Selime Monastery
- Pigeon Valley vista point
After visiting Cappadocia, I continued eastward towards Mt. Nemrut and eventually Kurdistan.