15 Things You Should Know Before You Go to Cappadocia
Cappadocia is located in Turkey which is on its way to soon becoming a superpower in terms of energy production in all of Europe. Aside from the progress and development in various industries, Turkey also has a vast tourism industry that flourished throughout the year with tourists arriving here from all over the world.
The distinct landscape of Cappadocia offers numerous scenic benefits to the tourists. From the rocky terrain that surrounds the mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys to the stone-carved city with cave houses, one can go backpacking around the area or can fly in the hot air balloons to behold the magnificence of this place from the sky.
Before you plan your trip to Cappadocia, there are some things and facts you should be aware of to make your journey and vacation pleasantly memorable. Read on to learn about those things that can help you have a fun experience in Cappadocia.
Visiting Cappadocia for the First Time
A trip to Cappadocia can become an unforgettable experience of your life when you’re familiar with various aspects of this place. The culture of Turkey is pretty welcoming and the people are friendlier too yet it’ll benefit you to learn these fifteen things you should know before you go to Cappadocia.
1. Traveling Means
Even if you arrive in Istanbul first, there are multiple ways by which you can visit Cappadocia. However, it’ll be ideal to first check the schedules of local transportation mediums such as flights, trains, and cabs to better plan your vacation. Also, the fact that a global pandemic is rampant in all parts of the world accounts for checking in with the safety guidelines along with travel restrictions provided by the government of Turkey on their official website.
Once you are sorted with means of transportation and have clarity regarding specific restrictions, you should look into getting a travel visa which is known to be pretty simple, especially with digitalization. All eligible applicants whose visas are approved will receive e-Visa which is delivered almost instantly after completing the step-by-step process of application.
3. Historical Importance
Cappadocia is a UNESCO World Heritage Site where any construction is restricted excluding restoration practices. The many caves carved in the hills aren’t permitted to be turned into hotels or homes which is why the tourists and the locals stay nearby at Goreme in hotels and residential buildings. The giant rocks near the caves were built several centuries ago from volcanic ash and minerals along with the caves themselves which were carved to protect orthodox Christian from Roman persecution.
4. Best Time to Visit
Usually, the spring and the autumn are the best time of the year for tourists to visit and behold the wonders of Cappadocia because the summers are the busiest, costly, and pretty humid. The winters, on the other hand, can drop the temperature to a bitingly cold measure but if you love to see a snow-capped landscape then you should visit this place in the days between November to January.
5. Exchanging Currencies
If you plan on carrying your native currency then you must know that there are limited currency exchange centers in Cappadocia. A currency exchange office in Nevşehir is your best option apart from the other official currency exchange centers in Istanbul. Some jewellers do offer similar exchange rates for Turkish Lira but instead, it’ll be best that you contact your bank and obtain an international debit or credit card.
6. Things to do
Cappadocia offers numerous activities and plenty of adventures for enthusiasts who enjoy exploring. These are the five things you to must try among others when you’re visiting Cappadocia:
- Hot Air Balloon Ride
This is a world-famous and perhaps one of the most epic things to do in Cappadocia. You must remember to book these rides in advance, and you get various options too in terms of altitude, capacity, and timings, so you can have an experience of a lifetime.
- Red Tour
This is a planned tour which makes several stops to allow the tourists to explore famous places in North Cappadocia such as Uçhisar Castle, Love Valley, Göreme Open Air Museum, Three Beauties Chimneys, Cavusin Cave Village, and many more.
- Green Tour
This tour takes you to southern parts of Cappadocia where you can hike through a dense valley surrounded by rock-carved houses and churches. You’ll also get to explore an underground city that lies 300ft below the earth’s surface and other fantastic places of interest such as Selime Monastery, Ihlara Valley, Göreme Panorama, and so on.
- Horseback Exploration
The Turkish name of Cappadocia means ‘the land of beautiful horses’ so be sure to hire a few to explore the alienist beautiful landscape on the back of a horse as you traverse through valleys and rocky terrain.
- ATV Rides
You could instead hire ATVs for touring if horseback riding isn’t your thing. These rides offer better manoeuvrability, so you’ll be well sorted to explore the wide terrain as per your desires.
7. Living Options
The two best locations for tourists to stay in Cappadocia are located in Göreme and Ürgüp. Both of these places offer plenty of hotels that can suit every type of budget while also offering scenic views and incredible restaurants. The transportation is also easily available in those areas, so you can relax after a long day.
8. Turkish Culture
The nightlife in Cappadocia is pretty exciting with various options for pubs and restaurants at Göreme and Ürgüp. Experience live music dinners with folk dancing ceremonies at restaurants along with the tradition of free-flowing wine and incredible dining experience in the moonscape.
9. Turkish Food
You can get continental food at luxury hotels in Göreme and Ürgüp but to enjoy local dining options, you can visit local cafes and restaurants that offer piquant delights to appease your taste buds in the most satisfying way.
10. Dining Options
Traditional Turkish cuisine can be both spicy or deliciously tasteful which can be found at cafes and restaurants such as Nazar Börek Cafe, Omurca Art Cave Cafe, and Coffeedocia. Here you can order börek, gözleme, böregi, and güvec which are the popular food items apart from pastries of ottoman cuisine.
11. Other Places of Interest
The other places around Cappadocia that are of either historical importance or offer plenty of picturesque sights are something you shouldn’t miss. These places include Selime Cathedral, Ihlara Valley, Cavusin Castle, Devrent Valley, Goreme Open Air Museum, Esentepe point, Chez Galip point, and so on.
12. Travel Options
Getting around to visit Cappadocia after reaching Turkey is possible from three places among others in terms of a safe and comfortable ride. The cities namely Istanbul, Selçuk, and Pamukkale offer Flights, buses, and train services if you wouldn’t prefer to drive your way around Turkey and Cappadocia in a rental car.
13. Itinerary Planning
Be prepared to plan your vacation for at least two to four days to truly experience every amazing thing Cappadocia has to offer. The two tours could be arranged on two separate days after which a hot air balloon ride on the third day and some horseback exploration on the fourth can satisfy the most enthusiastic wanderlust souls.
Your budgeting depends on the things you’d like to do in Cappadocia but if you want a proper vacation while experiencing all the mentioned things in this guide then 350 euros should be enough per person for two days. Multiply nearly twice the amount if you desire extremely luxurious hotels and top-notch adventure activities.
15. Safety Tips
It is important that you plan your trip with a reliable travel agency and that you book early. Paying cash will be the best way to enjoy the activities in Cappadocia and carrying necessary items such as pocket wifi, safety kit, and photography instruments is a must. Also, tipping should be frowned upon while you also get yourself a proper travel insurance plan for your peace of mind.
Exploring Cappadocia can be fun and a thrilling experience for your life if you plan your trip well. Be careful about your personal belongings and your tipping habits when exploring Cappadocia and you’d return with plenty of pleasant memories.