Cappadocia, Turkey – Tips, Views & Quads!

Cappadocia is quite an unknown place to us here in the UK, I hadn’t heard of it nor know anyone else who has visited; however now I have visited it is one of the most beautiful places I have been on earth.

We were travelling from Ankara, Turkey’s capital city, which is a few hours high speed train away from Istanbul. From Ankara they have tours and coaches to the Cappadocia region everyday from Ankara’s huge coach station where hundreds of companies are fighting for your custom. However, the coaches all stop at Nevsehir (the nearest big city) and you will need to catch a minibus to get to Goreme or Ugrup which are the main villages in Cappadocia. Once we arrived at Nevsehir, the next minibus was a 2 & a half hour wait, I don’t know if this was because it was off peak season or this is the norm, but after asking a couple of people we decided it would be quicker to get a bus to Nevsehir town centre and get a direct bus from there. TIP! – We late found out that Kamil Koc (a more premium coach operator) provides a free minibus connecting with the coach directly to Goreme, so I would suggest this option to make your journey quicker and less stressful!

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We finally arrived in Goreme via a short journey past the Cappadocia’s iconic Uchisar castle and I was amazed by the surroundings – giant rocks, caves and hotels buried within them and valleys that seemed to be go on for miles. We checked in to our very central Yusuf Bey hotel which was a fabulous budget option, ultra clean, had everything you need, fresh buffet breakfast included and lovely owners. If you are after the real Cappadocia experience, there are lots of cave hotels built into the limestone rocks and formations themselves, but to me sleeping in a cave with cold walls and not many windows doesn’t sound very attractive to me but I am sure some people would love the idea!

We had Turkish pizza and casserole for dinner at Old Cappadocia restaurant then spent the evening wandering the winding hilly streets surrounded by spectacular rock formations. Even found a spot on Sunset point to take amazing photos of the surrounding valleys and fairy chimneys (pointed rock formations with little caves where the fairies live!) This where we just watched the day end. The next morning as I opened the curtains we had a great view of around 8 Hot air balloons flying above the valleys. In peak season there is hundreds as a quick search on Instagram will show you; we were tempted to take the skies but we thought we would stick to a tour on the ground as it was cold.

A short 15 min walk away was UNESCO World Heritage site – Goreme Open Air Museum, this was our first stop of the day. 54tl which gets you into an area which transports you to the past as you explore rock-cut churches, chapels and monastries adorned with vivid wall paintings largely untouched dating from the 10th to 12th centries. Buckle Church is probably the finest, which is a 50 metre walk away separate to the museum, featuring an underground tunnel and restored décor of Christ’s life. There is also an opportunity to try Turkish coffee, cooked traditionally on hot sand in one of the beautifully decorated caves.

All that walking deserved a good filling lunch so what better to have that the regions most famous dishes – The well named Cappadocia Kebap! Also known as a pottery kebap as the meat and vegetables are cooked in their own juices in a clay pot for around 4 hours before being cracked open in front of hungry guests. We went to Cappadocian Cuisine where the waiter left the theatre to us and let us break our own pot. The restaurant was empty (because of the lack of tourists!) so I am sure they were precooked and heated for customers, so if you want the true freshly prepared kebap then I would advise making a reservation.IMG_20200112_133736

We had booked a quad bike tour in the afternoon, so we were slightly regretting the feast we had just stuffed, but after a quick relax back in our room we were raring to go! We got picked up in a minibus at the office we booked at and were dropped off at quad bike hq where hundreds of bikes were stored for the busy summers! We were given a helmet, told how to accelerate and break and we were off, before we knew it we were speeding through the heart of the valleys over rough terrain, splashing through water and hurtling into steep drops. The guide ahead did always make sure we were ok but did challenge us with some off route trails!

Every 20/30 minutes we stopped at some of the best viewing areas in Cappadocia for a quick drink and photo opportunities, our tour stopped at Cavusin, Love valley and Red valley. There was plenty of time to get some photos at the “insta photo spots” as I like to call them and buy a couple of souvenirs from the cave shops. All in all, it was the best thing we did in Cappadocia, as the main sights are spread about, I would recommend it to anyone visiting for a great way to see the main highlights while also getting the exhilarating biking experience too.

We were cold and seemed to be out of energy after the thrilling tour so for the rest of the afternoon we put our feet up with a hot chocolate and Turkish delight before heading back. Cappadocia is a beautiful place which I would love to return to in a different season and explore the rest as we still missed a lot of icons. It is quite in the middle of nowhere but the effort to get there is really worth it, Let me know if you have been or planning to visit!
More from my Turkish Travels:

Istanbul – Days 1-3

Pammukale – The Cotton Candy Castle

Antalya – History & Fantasy

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