Cappadocia in Turkey became known to many of us after vanilla photos on social networks – a girl, a hem of a dress and curls fluttering in the wind, an oriental entourage and THEY. Huge balloons.
I always thought that Cappadocia is far and expensive. Until, going on vacation to Turkey, I went from “thought” to “looked at the map” and found out that the region is literally at Antalya’s side! It was only necessary to drive a little further and book one more hotel – and finally take this photo with balloons.
In this article, all our experience: from flying from Russia to the name of the most delicious cafe in Cappadocia.< /p>
Why do people go to Cappadocia?
You can be “not like everyone else” as much as you like, but you, and I, and a blogger from social networks are going to Cappadocia to fly in a hot air balloon in Turkey. And take pictures of these balloons at dawn – they look so alien.
But even if the world of aeronautics does not attract, or you have flown on balloons so many times that there is nothing to be surprised at, it will still be interesting here.
Because the attractions in Cappadocia are also caves, underground cities, valleys, volcanic landscapes and bizarre rocks.
All that fades against the backdrop of enthusiastic anticipation of flying on a balloon. Everything that you will tell your friends and acquaintances about who never made it to Cappadocia.
We arrived in the town of Goreme after midnight, but still climbed to the nearest observation deck to the hotel. I remember how I froze from the fabulousness of the view – it was as if I put on virtual reality glasses, and the world around me seemed to be painted in Disney. And this, for a moment, without balloons! 🙂
Where is Cappadocia and how to get there?
The fact that balloons have appeared in the profiles of all more or less major bloggers, along with fantastic photo processing, fixed this place in my head as something unattainable and far away.
Meanwhile, Cappadocia is roughly in the middle on the map of Turkey:
- Far from Istanbul – 750 km
- Close enough to our beloved coastal Antalya to take a car or tour and make a dream come true – 500 km
- Not far from the capital, Ankara, – 300 km
- And very close to Kayseri International Airport – 70 km
< p>In general, Cappadocia is a region consisting of small towns. The most famous of them is Goreme. Remember this name, further it will be often mentioned in the text. You can get to Cappadocia by plane, bus or car – let's dwell on this in more detail.
Self-trip to Cappadocia
For starters, when should you plan your trip? How many days do you need for Cappadocia?
We traveled for 3 nights and 2 full days in November – that was enough for the sudden transfer of the balloon flight (which I will discuss below), and to the valleys, and to neighboring towns. It turned out to be an ideal schedule: we saw everything we planned, but at the same time we didn’t get bored from some monotony of landscapes.
You won’t be able to go straight to Cappadocia from Russia – you can’t do without a transfer in one of the cities of Turkey. Usually they fly via Istanbul or Antalya.
- Enter your city in the departure column and the desired airport in the arrival column on Aviasales. From Moscow to Kayseri (an airport in Cappadocia), tickets cost an average of 18,000 rubles one way per person.
Minibuses run from Kayseri Airport to Goreme – the journey time is about an hour, and the cost is about €15 per person. Here you can book your seat in advance using a Russian bank card.
What if you are already in Turkey?
Then transfer to either a means of transportation a) or b).
A) Rented car
It is not necessary to fly directly to Kayseri to get to Cappadocia. For example, we, a company of 4 people, flew to Antalya, picked up a car at the airport – a diesel Fiat, which we booked in advance for a week on the Localrent service – and drove to Goreme on our own.
The road from Antalya to Cappadocia (Goreme) stretches for 500 kilometers and takes an average of 7 hours. I wouldn't say it's fascinating or picturesque. An ordinary highway with good coverage and – plus – divided traffic.
- Of the iconic places along the way, only Konya, a million-plus city will come across, known since the Roman period and at one time was one of the centers of Sufism in Turkey. As a tribute to the mastermind behind the Sufi order, Konya has an extremely popular Mevlana museum. But if for you, as for us, Konya will be interesting only as a stopover point for lunch, then I will suggest a cozy restaurant Somatçi Fihi Ma Fih Restaurant. In addition to him, I remember the city with an unsympathetic fine of 314 liras for speeding at the entrance (they didn’t notice the sign!).
What else do you need to know about car rental in Turkey? >>
If you have a license (standard Russian “plastic”) and know how to drive a car, I would advise you to think about renting a car. And this is not only about a comfortable road to Cappadocia. If you want to see the balls and at the same time really explore Cappadocia, get to know all the sights (and there are many), a car is necessary. Otherwise, you will have to book excursions on the spot, because public transport works only for long-distance traffic.
But a car can also cause inconvenience: Göreme is a small, but hilly town with narrow winding streets, where sometimes you need « circle” to find a parking spot (and preferably not at an extreme slope).
B) Excursion to Cappadocia from Turkey.
Excursion to Cappadocia is one of the most popular in Turkey. But it is also one of the most difficult: it lasts two days, and the bus ride takes up to 8 hours one way. It is actively offered in the resorts of Antalya (Side, Belek, Alanya, Kemer), because it is “relatively” not far from them.
And tourists actively take it, because everyone wants to see balloons, and the tour is very attractive – the amount of €60-€90 includes an overnight stay at the hotel, and guide services, and all the main attractions, and a balloon show, transfer, food. But balloon flight is not included, pay attention to this. It is paid separately if you wish and if the weather permits (read more in the Hot Air Balloon section), €200-€250 per person.
I usually choose tours online. Negotiations on the street, especially in Turkey, drive me into stress 🙂 For any idea that can be implemented as a tour, I open two sites:
- Tripster< /li>
These are the main search engines for excursions in Russian in any corner of the world. In Turkey, they have grown sooo much in the last two years, and now everything from a hammam to a trip to Pamukkale and Cappadocia can now be booked online. Having chosen a date convenient for you in advance and – importantly – after reading the reviews of tourists. There are many about excursions to Cappadocia ⬇️
You can go from Kemer, Antalya, Side, Belek, Alanya. The cost does not differ and ranges from €60 promotional offer to €95 per person. What's more, contrary to my – and perhaps your – ideas, in Cappadocia they fly in hot air balloons all year round! Not only in summer.
You can also take a tour from Istanbul. True, it will cost an order of magnitude more expensive – from € 350 – because the program includes a flight, not a bus. But tourists who stay at the resorts of the Aegean Sea in Turkey do not like to be taken to Cappadocia – too far. So take this opportunity if you have bought a tour to the Antalya region.
Where to stay and what hotel to choose in Cappadocia?
It is impossible to do without an explanatory paragraph why choosing a hotel in Cappadocia should be approached with knowledge and inspiration. The fact is that by staying here in a certain type of accommodation, you can already join the cultural program.
- Cappadocia is a unique place that arose on earth thanks to volcanic eruptions + shrinkage of ash, lava and everything that accompanies this process into “soft” tuff rocks + painstaking work of wind and water to give these rocks an unusual look.
- Göreme – from €50 per night
- Kayseri – from €40
- Uchisar – from €70
- Avanos – from €70
- Urgup – from €50
- Chavushin — from €80
- Guven Cave Hotel is the cheapest cave hotel in Goreme; the cost of a night in the peak season is from 3,500 rubles.
- Helen Cave Suites – since we went in the cold season, in mid-November, I evaluated hotels according to several criteria – what would be in the rock, beautiful, warm and with a bathroom. Everything came together here! It is also a hotel that has an observation deck (terrace) where you can see the launch of balloons.
- 3* Karadut Cave Hotel – the interior is not for whimsical tourists, but tourists say that, at least in the rooms very clean. The main plus of the hotel: an observation deck where you can see how the balloons take off in the morning. You don't have to go anywhere for this!
- Rox Goreme is a cave hotel in the building next to Helen Cave Suites. This means that according to the location, everything is with him (both a lookout at the balls, and parking, and cafe-restaurants), but at the same time it costs half as much.
- Olivia Cave Hotel is a hotel that, as it were, in cave, but with enough natural light and space not to feel claustrophobic. Room décor is chic-shine-beauty with carved ceilings, and unlike many Goreme hotels, there are family rooms for four.
- Narcissos Cave Hotel – It's hard for me to explain why you should stay in Urgup and not Goreme, but it's not hard to find one of the best local hotels at a good price.
- At the height of the tourist season, the price of a hot air balloon flight in Cappadocia “Walks” from €220 to €350 per person. The cost depends on the popularity of the company and the availability of additional “goodies” in the form of champagne, breakfast, and so on. However, both the cheapest and the most luxurious option involve flying with a group of 15 or more people.
- Because you can't take off if the wind speed is more than 10 meters per second.
- a balloon costs 1.5 million euros;
- up to 150 balloons can fly over Cappadocia at the same time ;
- the pilot ONLY controls the balloon up and down, everything else is the responsibility of the wind;
- and the region's fame dates back to the 90s, when Malcolm Forbes flew over Cappadocia in a hot air balloon (son of the founder of the magazine):)
- Göreme Open Air Museum
- Göreme village
- Pigeon Valley
- The underground cities of Kaymakli and Derinkuyu (Kaymakli & Derinkuyu)
- Ihlara Valley
- City of Cavusin (Çavuşin)
- Love Valley
- Pashabag or Fairy Chimneys
- Tripster or Sputnik tours of Cappadocia8
- Red route – which shows the main attractions near Goreme
- Green route – covers distant locations, such as underground cities and the Ihlara Valley
- Blue route – which I learned about in the process of writing the text and which locations I had not even heard of (can be viewed in the program at the link)
- We booked a car on Localrent – paid an “advance” of 15% with a Russian card and gave the rest to the manager in cash upon receipt of the car. We chose a diesel car (for economical consumption), without a deposit and with a hull. Here are all the details.
- Gurme kebab restaurant – here for kebabs and the whole range of Turkish cuisine; I liked the clear menu with pictures. My constant choice is lentil soup (70 lire), adana kebab (215 lire) and tea (25 lire). There is also testi kebab for 325–395 lira.
- King’s Coffee Shop— a coffee shop with an incredibly friendly owner and the best (but not specialty) coffee in Goreme! There are desserts and simple breakfasts. Cappuccino, americano – 50 lira. Here I first tried pistachio salep – a Turkish drink based on orchid flowers – and I still remember it with a kind word … Worth all my 95 lira.
- Café Safak – simple homemade food from Turkish hostesses in cozy interiors. Kebabs in rolls, gozleme cakes and the divine dessert kunef (115 lira).
- Turkish Ravioli Restaurant — I love pinky finger-sized Turkish “manti” and they were really good here (240 lire). I also tried pasta – not Italian, of course, but normal (230 lira).
- Soffy’s Kitchen – to drink local wine with Turkish snacks in the evening! There are several wineries in Cappadocia whose products you can try in this restaurant.
- If you have a license, rent a car so you can get as much coverage as possible. Our friends did not have such an opportunity, so they had to take as many as four excursions (balloon, survey, horseback riding, quad bikes).
- Two full days and the morning of the third is enough for Cappadocia.
- If you are not afraid of dark and enclosed spaces, choose a cave hotel in Goreme. Often they come with a terrace overlooking the balls. Where else can you find something like this?
- Book a flight on a balloon in advance – at least two weeks in advance, but in a good way – a month in advance. The best offer with a lot of reviews is here on Tripster.
- Other interesting activities include quad biking in one of the valleys and spending the evening with a glass of wine (or salep) on the terrace.
- Take warm clothes even on a summer trip, and thoroughly warm yourself in autumn and winter. Otherwise, you will have to ask for blankets at the hotel. In June, +25 in the daytime, and +10 at dawn!
- In the valleys, near the rocks, and everywhere in places where tourists gather, when someone wants water, tea, a light snack, prices break through the ceiling. Juice for 70 lira, tea for 30 lira – a classic.
This is how the general landscape of Cappadocia was formed. And the “zest” was brought by the monks, who, back in the 3rd century AD, decided that there was no better place to observe hermitage than a cave, which you could easily gouge according to your own taste and desire in a pliable rock.
The caves have survived to this day, but under the pressure of tourism, they have partially transformed into a peculiar phenomenon called “cave hotels”. Where to stay in Cappadocia to start collecting must-have travel checkmarks. Of course, modern housing in the rocks is no longer harsh monastic cells, but full-fledged hotel rooms with a king-size bed and crisp sheets, but at the same time not without an oriental atmosphere. Yes, what to describe, see the photos! 🙂
Who definitely does not like living in a “cave”: those who psychologically do not get along with limited space, who do not like the lack of light and tuff periodically crumbling onto the bed. Fortunately, there are many classic hotels in Cappadocia with snow-white ceilings and a spacious area.
Which city to choose for an overnight stay?
I say Goreme! The main sights of Cappadocia are concentrated around it, and all the photos in the style of “a girl drinking tea on a terrace, and balloons around her” are taken in Göreme.
Travelers with, ahem, experience snort at the idea of being based here. They say that there are better places, less “pop”. But excuse me if I only have one or three days in Cappadocia, I want to live in the very center of life, albeit a tourist one.
It would be possible to consider neighboring towns to save on housing, but the difference will be eaten by gasoline, which, by the way, is not so cheap in Turkey, or spending on minibuses. Yes, and there is almost no difference, in Göreme you can find accommodation for any budget.
Here are the minimum prices for hotels in Cappadocia in the summer of 2023:
A hotel in Cappadocia can be booked without any problems on the search engines Islet or Hotellook. A Russian bank card will pass both there and there, and if you have a foreign one, then Hotellook will select an option for it.
It is much more efficient to save money on a trip to Cappadocia if you go during the low season – from November to April. Prices in Goreme are dropping dramatically, and not just for housing. For example, in summer a cave hotel costs from €70 per night, and in late autumn it starts from €50. The most popular hotels, whose names are passed from mouth to mouth, change the price tag from €120 in summer to €80 in winter. But traveling out of season has its downsides, which will be discussed below.
Time for hotel recommendations!
What to see in Cappadocia?
Lovers of rocky terrain, caves and canyons will love Cappadocia, but more on that later. First, about the main entertainment of the area.
The reason why tourists go to Cappadocia in the first place is to fly on the famous balloons. Everyone, as one, says that you get this kind of emotions only once in your life. And I completely agree with them! You fly in an unknown “car”, which you have dreamed about so many times while reading adventure novels, and admire the alien valleys of Cappadocia in the gentle rays of the dawn sun.
Where to book?
The cheapest flight on a balloon (€180) can be found on the foreign tour site Viator, but you need a non-Russian bank card to pay.
You can book a flight with a Russian bank card on the Tripster service (€210 now €165 !) — more than 3,000 tourists have already flown with them in Cappadocia. It almost always comes out cheaper or at the same level as foreign services offer. The price also includes a transfer from the hotel, you don’t need to worry about it.
How to find a cheaper flight?
There is only one way – to choose the period from November to April for a trip to Cappadocia. In the middle of November we flew for €210 for two with the same organizer on Tripster! So watch, wait, as soon as the discount appears, book:
What you need to know?
1. First things first, always keep in mind in your plan that the hot air balloon tour in Cappadocia may… not take place! Yes, the flight can be canceled an hour or two before leaving the hotel – due to fog, rain or wind – and rescheduled for the next morning (free of charge). The latter is the most common cause of balloon-free skies over Cappadocia.
We knew about this feature of Cappadocia, and therefore booked a hotel for 3 nights (so that we had two mornings in reserve). And it was not in vain that we insured ourselves – on the very first night we learned that the fulfillment of the dream would have to be postponed: the wind was raging, and all the flights of the next one – like those of the past! – day banned. Thank the wind gods that on the second morning everything worked out as it should, and the town of Göreme literally drowned in countless balloons that had accumulated over two no-fly days.
Such “bad luck” happens more often between November and March – this is the price of the low season and cheap flights. And at this time it is corny cold: in mid-November it dropped to -2 at night, which is why I often remembered my winter down jacket. He would have come in handy more than ever. But I do not regret anything – we saw everything the same as in the summer, but without crowds of tourists, and we rode the ball twice as cheap.
2. To fly in a hot air balloon, you need to get up early – around 4:00 in the morning. Balloons take off half an hour before dawn. Before that, your group (of 15–20 people) is collected from hotels and taken to the scene. They complete the flight half an hour after dawn – in total, spend about an hour in the air.
3. It is better to book places on the ball in advance. Both in summer (during the “heyday” of Cappadocia), and in autumn-winter (due to possible cancellations and transfers of flights). Sometimes there are no places already a week before the date you need. Tourist reviews of Cappadocia in 2023 have been marked by a special hype and large groups of tourists since May.
4. The best place to watch the balloons from the ground is the Sunrise Point observation deck (as it is called on Googlemaps). On one side, you can see the launch of balloons in the valley, and on the other, photogenic Goreme, over which the balloons “hang”, filling the entire sky. By the way, it is impossible to fly and take pictures against the background of balloons (from the ground) on the same day – it takes two mornings.
5. Is it scary to fly in a hot air balloon? No, it's much scarier to land 🙂 Seriously, it's a little scary, but then everything is overshadowed by a feeling of delight and fulfillment of a dream. By the way, a balloon pilot must fly MINIMUM 400 hours before entertaining tourists.
6. Well, little things, the facts that I was interested to google before the flight:
Main attractions of Cappadocia
In addition to the balls, the main feature of Cappadocia is the rock of varying degrees of noteworthiness and colors. Red, pink, polished, wavy, in the form of mushrooms, human figures, phalluses and so on. They were all created by the sudden mood swings of volcanoes and the hard work of wind and water.
The Open Air Museum is located 15 minutes from the center of Goreme. This is such Cappadocia “in miniature”: an open large area where you can walk and admire – here you can find unique Cappadocian cave houses, and the rocky valleys of Goreme Park, and churches with temples that were built even before our era. The hyperpopularity of this place is explained by one fact: Goreme National Park is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
But to be honest… we were a bit bored here. Having traveled to other sights, I would say that the museum park is suitable for those who are very interested in churches and frescoes, and for those who find themselves in Cappadocia without a car or a guide. Everything is compact and in one place. Can be reached on foot from the city (uphill).
Prices: parking for cars – 25 lire; entrance to the park – 300 lira; audio guide optional – 100 lira; entrance to the Dark Church (where most of the frescoes are preserved) – 100 lira.
Göreme has already been mentioned so many times, and I will be happy to remind you of it again! Be sure to take a walk around this cute town (it’s hard to call it a village). It will be hilly, your feet will scream from the climbs, and you will be delighted.
Hotels in caves, rocks that look like bitten ice cream cones, narrow streets, cozy cafes, restaurants and coffee houses, shops with unusual souvenirs, carpets, clothes – these are the sights of Goreme. Despite the “pop”, it was one of my most vivid impressions of Cappadocia.
And how beautiful Goreme is after sunset! When the multi-colored backlight turns on and the soft yellow, pink, bluish light of the lanterns smooths out sharp corners and dilutes the monotony of the sand color. I advise you to climb the Sunrise point at least once after sunset – and find yourself in the scenery for the Disney cartoon.
The most beautiful and atmospheric city after Goreme. Here are the same cave houses, but they look more interesting: with many stairs and passages. Uchisar cannot be confused with any other city nearby. It will immediately be “given away” by its most noticeable part (visible already from Goreme) – the Uchisar fortress. She seems to be standing on square houses, folded like building blocks.
On the way from Uchisar to Göreme, do not miss the lookout for the curious lone rocks that resemble the figures of nuns – right next to the Göreme Panorama cafe. And about the best lookout for the hero of this section – the next paragraph.
Prices: a ticket to the castle is 120 lire, but the reviews say that it's not worth it, so we didn't go in, just took a picture nearby; parking is 10 lira.
They say when in Cappadocia non-flying weather, pigeons are launched instead of balloons (here I laugh in my fist from this joke of my own composition). But really, look at these pictures! And no, I didn't photoshop the doves.
The secret is simple: a dovecote hid somewhere here (very roomy, apparently). From which pigeons periodically fly out, making a circle of honor for the cameras of tourists. Against the backdrop, the Uchhisar fortress looms beautifully, and next to it, nazars (amulets from the evil eye), with which the local lonely tree is strewn, tinkle melodiously in the wind.
From the Valley of Pigeons, going down to the lowland, you can make a popular hike from Ukhchisar in Goreme, which is called Pigeon Valley Hike. I would advise you to put the Valley of the Pigeons in the first place in the list of “what to watch today” – to fully get the wow effect.
Prices: parking – free of charge; viewing is also free. There is a souvenir shop on site, where we stocked up on all the Cappadocian things, deciding not to waste time on this after. Cappadocian things are, of course, ceramic miniatures of balloons, magnets with them and “oriental” lamps.
Going to Cappadocia and not visiting the underground city is a big mistake. The most famous of these are Derinkuyu and Kaymakli, located 10 minutes by car from each other and 40 minutes by car from Goreme.
We chose the underground city of Derinkuyu, it is a little more popular and deeper (literally). It has eight floors! Scientists say that Derinkuyu was built before our era. It was interesting to look at the levels – dwellings, passages, stairs, but it was a little scary to go down to the eighth tier – into increasingly dense darkness and unpleasant cold. In such a place, it is extremely easy to panic from the narrowness of the aisles – both in width and in height (sometimes you crawl on your haunches). We spent about half an hour here and were VERY glad to see the light at the end of the tunnel again 🙂
Prices: entrance ticket to the underground city – 250 lire; parking – 10 lire. It is convenient to call here on the way back to Antalya. Or trust the organizational skills of the tour guide ⬇️
90 kilometers from Goreme, and you will find yourself in an incredibly popular place for hiking – in the Ihlara river valley. It is better to indulge in walks in nature in the summer, when everything is green and colorful, and the stream of the river fervently murmurs. In late autumn and winter, the landscapes are too lifeless and do not cause a desire to spend time.
And you can spend many hours – the whole route stretches for 7 kilometers in one direction. But most tourists are limited to 1.5–3 kilometer stretches. People come here to look at the volcanic canyon – such a Turkish mixture of the Grand Canyon and Yosemite Park.
Prices: entrance – 200 lire; parking – 25 lira. Set aside a separate day for Ihlara, or stop by on your way to Antalya after Derinkuyu. Between them, you can fit the lake in the crater of the volcano (Narligol Crater Lake) – it sounds big, but in reality it’s an ordinary lake, you definitely shouldn’t go separately.
< p>I confess that after Göreme and Uchhisar, I would like to describe Cavusin as another-cave-beige-city.
We planned to look into the local fortress-church (Çavuşin Castle), but it turned out that it had been several years old. closed for renovation. In order to somehow justify the stop, we went along the path that runs to the left of the building, and went out to an unnamed lookout overlooking – what? – a ridge of rocks from which “hats” are about to fall.
In addition, in Cavusin there is an open-air museum Zelve. There are the same rocky houses as in Goreme, so I advise you to choose one of the two. There is simply no point in visiting both places.
Prices: entrance to the Zelve Museum – 150 liras; parking is 15 TL
Attraction, at the sight of which everyone giggles like youngsters. Because the Valley of Love is nothing but separate phallic rocks. They can be photographed from above, but you can also go down to the foothills and walk around or take a quad bike tour. If the first half of the tourists choose a rock above Goreme to watch balloons at dawn, then the second – the Valley of Love.
Prices: parking – 20 lire; quad bike €35–€40 per person
No matter how beautiful Cappadocia is, after the fifth stop, all the valleys, rocks and caves will merge into one. If you have more than enough, then here are three more famous locations:
– Three Beauties in Urgup; believe me, there is nothing but three rocks there
– Rose Valley – so called because of the unusual pinkish color of the rocks
– Red Valley – … yes, reddish rocks
Even after Cavushin, Uchhisar , Rose Valley, Goreme Museum and Pigeon Valley, this place aroused great interest in me. Probably, the effect of fabulousness affects – first you see a rock in the form of a toadstool, from which someone plucked off a piece, and then – real houses from cartoons! It seems that the Tinker Bell fairy is about to fly out and shower with pollen. Or an angry dwarf will jump out.
And of course, I want to explore every cave, walk near every “house” and climb every hill to get a better look at the world around us. and Chimneys.
Prices: entrance – 150 lire; parking is free.
You can see Cappadocia either on your own by car or on a guided tour. The local minibuses are not the most reliable friends of a tourist. Getting to many places without a car is either unrealistic or time consuming. Therefore, excursions are very developed in Cappadocia.
There are even three main types:
They take a whole day, cost between €70–€80 per person. Many tourists take the Green Route to visit the underground city, the valleys, and the most beautiful viewpoints. Because the Red route can somehow be done without a car by one's own efforts, and the Blue route can be skipped.
In order not to look for offers with a Russian-speaking guide on the spot (and Cappadocia is not Antalya, it is a very international region), book online on the aforementioned Russian services. There you can read reviews and see photos.
In addition to similar views and balloon tours in Cappadocia in 2023, the following is also popular:
Rent a car in Turkey
Cappadocia in Turkey in 2023 still favors cars. If you have a license, I strongly advise you to rent a car: this way you can not only drive around all of Cappadocia, but also spend as much time as you want on the sights.
Localrent is backed by Russian-speaking developers, and the principle of their business is to cooperate with local, small rental offices with more attractive prices. After Cappadocia, we rented a car in Turkey on this site 3 more times, and each time we were happy with the Russian-speaking managers and new cars (there is even such a filter by the “age” of the car).
You can take a car at Kayseri, Nevsehir, Uchisar airports, but more expensive than at Antalya airport – 45 euros against 30 euros per day. For gasoline, you will have to pay about 20 lira (80 rubles) per liter. Well, you need to get used to the peculiarities of driving in Turkey: the locals do not turn on the turn signals and drive quite brazenly.
Where to eat? Cafes and restaurants in Cappadocia
In Cappadocia, typical Turkish cuisine is a lot of meat and vegetable dishes. Kebabs, falafel, lentil soup, salads, meat and vegetables in pots. Vegans and vegetarians will not disappear. Of the truly local delicacies, only “testi kebab” stands out – a kebab in a clay pot that spectacularly burns in front of you on a tray (but then goes out and becomes usable).
Atmospheric bars and cafes abound, especially in Goreme. But the prices … the prices are on the level. It will not work out at all on a budget: it is too touristy, but at the same time a small region without large supermarkets. Take a hotel with breakfast – it will help a lot.
Here are my mini-recommendations for places in Göreme:
(1 lira = 4 rubles)
My Cappadocia Review and Tips
Cappadocia in Turkey collects reviews from all over the world. More letters than about the cave region, probably write only about Istanbul.
A balloon flight in Cappadocia is definitely one hour long, which will pop up as a pleasant memory for a lifetime. Perhaps I would even repeat this experience in ten years, having children. But the rocky sights of the region… are a bit overrated. Or they are too overpopulated. It's hard to admire the same thing ten stops in a row.
Tips in a nutshell:
How much money to take with you? I can only give our budget for basic expenses for two (we rested in Cappadocia in 2022), adjusted for the increased prices in Cappadocia and Turkey:
– rent a car for 4 days = €140
– petrol = €50
– hotel for 3 nights with breakfast = €400
– balloon flight = €210
– entrance fees, parking = €70
Add food, souvenirs, some purchases – and it comes out under 1000 euros for everything-pro-everything without air tickets.
When is the best time to go to Cappadocia?
Yes, when it comes to your mind – and the opportunity will turn up – then go. You can adapt to any weather conditions, and balloons fly all year round. We went in November, having decided to unite Antalya and Cappadocia.
What to prepare for? From November to March – to frost. I would throw warm pajamas, a windproof jacket and a hat into my suitcase. Plus, there is a risk that balloon flights will be cancelled. In summer, it’s also not to say that it’s ideal: the weather during the day reaches +30 degrees, and walking in open areas in such heat is not very comfortable. The golden period is October, April, May.