6 reasons to visit Cappadocia
With its mix of naturally formed rounded and jagged rock, hill, valley, and chimney formations in hues ranging from clays to pinks, Cappadocia looks like it could only exist in a fairy tale. The heart of Turkey’s Anatolia region, Cappadocia encompasses hamlets in the Nevşehir Province including Göreme, Urgüp, and Selime. Despite its relative small size, the region is one of Turkey’s tourism capitals. History buffs are drawn here for its storied past, it is relevant to the origins of Christianity, and outdoorsy types for its extensive network of trails and activities offered. Beyond that, though, many come just to see the seemingly unbelievable place with their own eyes, whether from the ground or more than a thousand feet in the air. Here are six reasons for you to go.
Go for the Ride of Your Life
The best way to see Cappadocia and its surrealistic landscape is without a doubt from way up in the air. Every morning before sunrise, hundreds of hot air balloons are fired up across Cappadocia, each taking off with about a dozen passengers for an hour or so of dawn-time hot air balloon travel, floating above and around the rock formations. In fact, Cappadocia is one of the world’s most popular destinations for hot air balloon riding. Passengers have their choice of companies, but the companies that charge on the higher end tend to employ the more experienced pilots, or pack fewer riders into the basket. Kapadokya Balloons and Urgup Balloons are two of many well-regarded companies.
Stay in One-of-A-Kind Digs
At times the surroundings in Cappadocia are evocative of a fairy tale, other times a lunar landscape, and then, when peering up the caves, the Flintstones. Proprietors in Cappadocia have made the most of the area’s natural resources, updating carved-out cave dwellings from caveman to contemporary. And these cave dwellings get outfitted with all the top amenities from high-end to hostel, so visitors on all budgets can access an earthy abode.
Where to stay
Taşkonaklar Hotel is definitely a gorgeous place where to stay. It offers a luxury ambiance combined with a very authentic accommodation experience and surely you won’t go back at home so easily. Cappadocia is so magic and the Taşkonaklar Hotel is the perfect companion to discover this enchanting part of Turkey. The highest quality in comfort, service and location are perfectly combined with the heritage of the original dwellings.
Taşkonaklar Hotel is ideally situated in Uçhisar and it is ideal for both business and leisure travel although it offers a truly out of the ordinary travel experience considering that it is a property brought to life from an ancient mix of cave settlements and several details throughout the hotel, such as ancient frescoes found in the original dwellings remind you of the hotels origins.
Taşkonaklar Hotel provides 18 rooms including suites with Jacuzzi on their balcony or luxury rooms with balconies or terraces and much more. However each room is definitely spacious and some of them are more apartments than just hotel’s rooms. Elegant spaces, comfortable lounges and lovely details such as antique fire places and authentic and original furnishings which render these rooms a truly experience to live all. The restaurant of Taşkonaklar Hotel is always open for breakfast while for the dinner is availabile only on request. The breakfast served at Taşkonaklar Hotel is varied and it offers several choice of delicacies as well as local products and homemade Turkish specialities. The hotel has a comfortable lobby with an romantic open fire where you can relax after a long day aroung the beauty of Cappadocia or otherwise you can enjoy the gorgeous view from the several terraces of Taşkonaklar Hotel.
Tasting Locals Delicacies
One of the most beloved foods in Turkey is kebab, which is the name for skewered meat, or sometimes more generally used to refer to flame-cooked meat. A variety of kebabs exist, and the specialty in Cappadocia is the testi kebab. Testi kebab is a stew of meat and vegetables baked in a fire and served in a clay pot, with bread or foil covering the opening.
The region also is one of Turkey’s wine capitals, with vineyards nestled into the region’s many valleys. The practice of winemaking here dates back thousands of years and the area’s indigenous grapes are Kalecik Karasi, Bogazkere, and Öküzgözü (red) and Emir and Narince (white). Visit the winery Kocabag or schedule a multi-stop tour with Vinotolia.
Experience Ultimate Relaxation
Cappadocia’s tranquil landscape, unhurried pace, and temperate weather make it the ideal backdrop for unplugging. People spend hours lounging on outdoor terraces or in the caves, especially when the day starts with a balloon ride in the wee hours of the morning.
For pampering and relaxation in true Turkish fashion, schedule a trip to the hammam, or Turkish bath. Turkish baths are a historic tradition and central element of Turkish culture. At a hammam, it’s all about the business of cleansing and relaxing. Men and women have separate facilities and are tended to by people of their same sex. Bath packages often include a mud mask, access to the sauna, pools, showers, and a quiet room, and an attentive scrub-down cleansings and massage.
Hammams aren’t just for tourists, locals frequent them, too, so feel free to ask around to see which places people prefer. Elis Hamam in Göreme is centrally located and reputable.
“Cappadocia,” or “Kapadokya” in Turkish, actually means “land of the beautiful horses.” You can catch a glimpse of long-mane horses galloping or grazing on the countryside, and horseback riding is one of the many outdoors activities, there’s also bird watching, for example, for exploring the countryside.
Many people choose to strike out in Cappadocia on their own, picking a hiking trail and following it up and around the towns. Each town also has its own caves open for visitors to hike up, into, and around. The Goreme Open Air Museum is one of the region’s top attractions and includes a system of more than 30 churches and chapels, many of which include frescoes, still intact, dating back through the 9th to 11th centuries. Another popular, and also religion-linked, excursion is to Cappadocia’s underground cities, constructed and utilized by Christians escaped persecution in Roman times.
For those looking to stay aboveground and outdoors, it is easy to pick and follow a trail for a couple hours to a full day of hiking in Cappadocia. The trails in Love Valley, which runs along a sheath of exposed pinkish rock, are a favorite. (Fun fact: The name “Love Valley” is said to allude to the phallic-looking rocks prevalent in the area.)