Cappadocia Checklist: 6 Unique Activities to Try in Türkiye

Hot air balloons in Cappadocia

Posted by on 23 Jan 2024

Nestled in the heart of the Anatolian region of Türkiye (Turkey), Cappadocia is a mesmerising region that seems plucked from the pages of a fairy tale. Famous for its ethereal landscapes, surreal rock formations and ancient cave dwellings, Cappadocia offers travellers many unique activities that promise to make your holiday in Türkiye truly unforgettable.

Let’s embark on a journey through the most enchanting and distinctive experiences that await you during your Cappadocia holiday.

Best Activities to Do in Türkiye

Ride a Hot Air Balloon

When you think of a Cappadocia holiday, hot air balloon rides are top of mind. Floating over the fairy chimneys and the stranger Martian landscape, these rides are hands down one of the best activities in Türkiye (Turkey).

The best part of this experience is seeing the unusual rock formations as they are touched by the rising sun’s golden light at sunrise. Experienced pilots can take you closer to the rocky cones, allowing you to bask in the nuances of Cappadocia’s surreal landscape.

A hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia offers a bird’s-eye view of the region’s extraordinary natural beauty, with the sun’s illuminating rays and other balloons floating around you. Do note that flights depend on the weather, so cancellations are quite common, especially when there is strong wind, rain or snow.

Photograph Hot Air Balloons

If you fear heights or cannot ride a balloon for some reason, you can always enjoy the view and photograph the spectacular view. After all, several spots are ideal for taking snapshots of the stunning sunrise, such as Love Valley, Rose Valley and Göreme Hill.

Not everyone can ride a hot air balloon in Cappadocia. There is an age limit from 6 to under 90 years old, assuming they are healthy. Individuals with medical conditions, such as heart disease or high blood pressure, must consult their doctor to avoid complications.

Moreover, the cart has no doors and passengers are expected to climb in and out, so disabled passengers may be unable to join. Since you’ll be floating in the air, the balloon must consider the weight of its passengers. The ideal weight is below 120 kilograms; anyone weighing more than that should specifically advise the crew.

Explore a Hiking Trail and Visit Hidden Cave Cafés

Keep your feet firmly planted on the ground and explore hiking trails surrounding Göreme. Countless hidden gems await you, from chic cafes to ancient cave churches.

These routes will take you through Rose Valley and Red Valley, whose namesakes are taken from their distinctive colourings. Their interiors have been carved into churches, with the occasional café where you can rehydrate.

The Red Valley is magnificent as it is confusing. It’s easy to get lost with numerous unclear signs and arrows pointing in multiple directions. However, don’t let the difficult navigation put you off. Instead, enjoy the surroundings as it is one of the best parts of spending a holiday in Türkiye.

Visit Uçhisar Castle

Another must-do activity in Türkiye is to visit Uçhisar Castle, the highest point in the region. This rock structure is formed from the remains of an ancient, carved-out castle unique to Göreme. It is a 60-metre-high tower once home to 1,000 people, and its top gives you the most stunning panoramic views of Cappadocia.

Drop By the Göreme Open Air Museum

Göreme Open Air Museum is just a 1.5-kilometre walk from the city centre. Visiting this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the best activities to do in Türkiye. Christian churches dating between the 10th to 12th centuries are scattered around the museum grounds. Three of which have frescoes that portray scenes from the Bible.

Known as the “crown jewel of Cappadocia’s rich history,” Göreme Open Air Museum is easily one of the most popular tourist attractions in the region. Some must-visit churches include Elmali (Apple Church), Yilanli (Snake Church), Chapel of St. Barbara, Sandal Church and the Dark Church.

We recommend going there early to explore while you have the place to yourself. You should also remember that photography is not allowed inside the churches to preserve the fragile state of the frescoes.

Venture to Underground Cities

Make the most of your Cappadocia holiday and explore the region’s mysterious depths by exploring its ancient underground cities.

The whole region is dotted with them, but only a few are open to travellers, such as Kaymakli and Derinkuyu. These cities are interconnected underground superstructures that were hand-carved, dating back to approximately 6,000 years ago.

Kaymakli descends eight levels into the earth and has around 100 tunnels connecting various subterranean rooms. The floors are dedicated to various purposes. For instance, the first floor contains stables, while the second level is a church.

Derinkuyu, the largest subterranean city in the world, can hold up to 20,000 people, including goods and livestock. It is the better-known of the two cities, so expect it to be more frequented by tourists.

Get a fascinating insight into Cappadocia’s unique geology and how the early tribes used them as you visit these underground cities.

Unearth Cappadocia’s Hidden Gems

Cappadocia has a rich cultural tapestry and numerous surreal landscapes, beckoning travellers to experience the unique activities in Türkiye that go beyond the ordinary.

Whether floating above the fairy chimneys in a hot air balloon or delving into the depths of ancient underground cities, every experience in Cappadocia is unforgettable. Let Cappadocia weave its enchanting spell on your wanderlust-filled heart.

Find more things to do in Türkiye by browsing our selection of Holiday Packages on our website.

When experience matters