Hiking Through Cappadocia and the Best Place to See Hot Air Balloons
Hiking Through Cappadocia and the Best Place to See Hot Air Balloons
– not an actual city but rather a majestic region in central Turkey. It has
unique and distinctive landscape full of wonderful little towns including,
marvelous valleys, cone-shaped rock formations and many caves inside beautiful
is most famous for hot air balloon flight in the morning of a beautiful day and
spooky underground cities. As well as, handmade vintage Turkish carpets.
In this article we want to share our incredible adventurous hike through out most beautiful places of Cappadocia. We passed by castles, caves or even cave towns, valleys, mountains, villages and just majestic landscapes. We hiked until we reached our camping spot where we got to enjoy a magnificent sunset in the evening and breathtaking view of hot air balloon flight in the early morning.
Hitchhiking from Nevsehir to Uchisar
started in Nevsehir town. We woke up early in the morning, had little
breakfast, left our host house and headed to the road. It is possible to walk
from Nevsehir to Uchisar without high difficulty as the distance between these
towns is only 9 kilometers. However, we wanted to have as much time to spend in
the region of Cappadocia as we could possibly have. Catching a ride was quick
and easy, we reached Uchisar in a blink of an eye.
Exploring Uchisar Castle and its Old town
Castle and ruins of whole cave town around it is something incredible! For us
it was something unique and never seen before. We enjoyed every minute we were
able to spend there.
to the Castle there is charming and bright Old town which is nice to get lost
in. A lot of small restaurants and hotels from which rooftops there is a
possibility to witness hot air balloon flight in the morning. The city is being
constantly reconstructed and renewed, however, if you walk out off the beaten
path, you can still find authentic cave houses where people live till nowadays.
Hiking through Pigeon valley
from Uchisar to Goreme we visited a truly inimitable place! One of the valleys is
dedicated to pigeons and even called – Pigeon Valley. Differently than today in
ancient times Pigeons have been used in the Cappadocia region for food and
fertilizer for the infertile soil. Locals valued birds and even carved
dovecotes (Pigeon Houses) into soft volcanic tuff.
though this strangely shaped canyon made us feel like in a different part of
the world. Volcanic rock dotted with pink flowers and hundreds of evil eyes
swinging in the air makes the place look magical and mysterious.
The center of Cappadocia – Goreme town
arrived Goreme seemed like a beating heart of the region with so many tourists
and grand hotels around that you can even forget where you are. Nevertheless,
this city is close to everything including Goreme Open Air Museum, with cave
churches and frescoes from the 10th to 12th centuries, handful of marvelous
valleys and other tourist attractions. Here you will be able to book a hotel
from which you can see the famous hot air balloon flight in the morning or
spend a night in an actual cave room which was carved into a rock.
One of our
goals inside this town was to witness how they are making unique, handmade and vintage
Turkish carpets. We went through many different carpet shops and were
astonished with the carpet making techniques, accuracy, quality and price ratio
we can bargain here.
Lunch break at Goreme
already afternoon when we finished our venture through the town. We understood
that after this we are going to hike through various canyons in order to reach
our campsite and no restaurants will be available there. Thus, we had to fill
our bellies full of delicious and hot food here and now.
In the center
of the town we found this lovely local restaurant called – “Firin Express”. We
had an amazing lunch with a dish prepared in a clay pot which was opened
(broken) on our table with a sword. If that is not special, then we do not know
what is! That was local Cappadocian dish of vegetables and meet, tasty and
Hike from Goreme to our camping spot
and pleased with our lunch, we started our hike to the camping spot. We knew
there will be multiple marvelous valleys on our way, and we could not hold our
excitement. First, was a Sword Valley which is actually not so far from the
city and is one of the smaller ones in Cappadocia but has the longest tunnel
instead. Nearby we found a horse farm with many differently colored horses
running around. It is quite popular to take a horse ride around valleys in
Cappadocia, especially between those who have difficulties with longer distance
led us to colorful and unique Red Valley. Exploring the colors and astonishing
structure of Red Valley rock formations was an amazing experience. We enjoyed
strolling around the massive walls of rock, going inside narrow paths winding
through mountains where you do not know where you could end up. We came across
local household where the entrance to their home was situated in a height of 10 meters on a vertical wall, only reachable with a ladder.
Enjoying a majestic sunset
also had to use multiple ladders to climb some of the huge walls in order to
get onto the mountain and successfully reach our camping spot. Reaching the top
was rewarding as we had a chance to witness most stunning sunset in our whole
trip until that point. Keep in mind that most wonderful and vibrant colors of
Cappadocia show up only during the sunrise or the sunset when the sun is low
and not direct.
Stargazing from our five billion stars hotel
sun drowned into horizon, we started to build our portable house. We were on a
mountain top, completely alone, surrounded by cluster of brightly shining stars
appearing one after another. The wind was blowing lightly but constantly, and
weather started to get a bit chilly outside. Whatsoever, it did not stop us
from watching the night sky from our five billion stars hotel.
Incredible sight of flying hot air balloons
We had our
alarm clock ready to wake us up in order not to miss the hot air balloon
flight. The whole day of hiking and exploring the region had its toll on us –
we were completely wasted. We wanted to rest badly. However, hot air balloons
were the reason we decided to camp in this exact spot in the first place. Thus,
we had woken up multiple times to check whether they are already in the sky. We
wondered “maybe today the conditions are bad to fly?” before quickly falling
back to sleep.
we woke up, not because of our alarm clock but due to hearing a loud and very
unfamiliar popping noise. Until we looked out of our tent, we did not
understand what it is, however, deep down inside both of us wanted it to be the
hot air balloons flying in the air. And it was!
dressed up and got out of the tent, sky was half full of the incredible number
of hot air balloons. More and more hot air balloons started rising from every
corner until it filled the whole sky around us. Some of which were going
through canyons, some went high up in the sky and some were just strolling
above the mountains.
was unbelievable! Everything happened just in front of us, some of the balloons
went past us in less than 100 meters distance as we were situated on a perfect
spot on top of a mountain.
making tons of photos and videos we sat down and enjoyed the moment. After being
able to have this unique experience alone we believe that Cappadocia is
definitely one of the main reasons why you should visit Turkey!
How to get to Cappadocia?
To get to Cappadocia you can use car, bus, train or plane which ever you think is more convenient for you. This region is highly visited by tourists where to get around best is on foot exploring wild nature! Other best option is 4-wheeler, a horse or personal car. Sometimes taxi might be a quick option as well. However, if you live in either city inside the region of Cappadocia we highly recommend walking around! Lovely walks through the area will reveal true beauty of this marvelous region!
Best of luck planning your holidays in Cappadocia!
Hi! We are Pijus and Ieva, two digital nomads who have left their corporate careers to pursue their dream to travel the world. Through our blog Wander Spot Explore, we share discoveries, travel tips and inspiring photography from our travels.
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