We’ve featured articles about Cappadocia in the past written by readers who have gone there on organised tours. Finally one of the Fethiye Times team has visited the area independently and, we hope, these articles may inspire some readers to follow our lead.
Firstly, you really need to pick the right time to go. April is perfect as tourists are thin(ner) on the ground and it isn’t too hot.
September and October are also recommended with summer months to be avoided at all costs: an average of 5,000 people per day visit Göreme Open Air Museum in the summer.
Outside of Istanbul Cappadocia is possibly the only place in Turkey that does have year-round tourism.
Winters are cold but the balloon flights are said to be more spectacular in the sharp winter air, with early morning mists adding an eerie element to the views across the lunar landscape.
Let’s face it, if you live in Turkey you can choose to go when you want.
These days a ‘must’ thing to do in Cappadocia is to stay in a cave hotel. We stayed in Göreme in a spectacular cave room and you can find loads of them at a range of prices via Google.
Ours was Canyon View and cost 80TL per night for bed and breakfast for two. Here is a partial picture of our bedroom (note sitting area carved out of the wall) the bathroom was very spacious and had a Jacuzzi.
Cappadocia is very spread out. From the Ihlara Valley in the west to the most eastern town of Ürgüp is around 100km; whilst it is around 60km from Avanos in the north to Soğanlı in the south. Getting around can be a problem.
We hired a car for one day (90TL for a 2009 Clio), but next time intend to take a one-day guided tour. These cost 50 – 60TL and take you on various routes one of which is:
visit to an underground city;
drive to Ihlara Valley for lunch followed by short walk visiting cave churches en route;
visit to the Monastery of Selime;
sunset at Pigeon Valley;
onyx factory (Cappadocia’s equivalent of carpet workshops).
The ticket price includes all entry fees and lunch and there are loads of agencies in Göreme offering the tours, or your hotel will organise it for you.
It is a recommended way of seeing a lot in a little time and, as we said above, there are several alternative routes to choose from.
As you will see if you continue to read this series, we also took the Göreme Belediye buses which get you around in a limited fashion very cheaply.
Finally you have to take a hot air balloon trip and we’ll be telling you all about that as well.
All photos used in Cappadocia articles courtesy of Leyla Temiz