In most places, it is advised to start a day with a full breakfast. But if you are in Cappadocia, a place that offers you one of the most fantastic views of the world, we suggest you wake up at dawn and see or board one of the hot-air balloons, to view Cappadocia’s magical landscape and its famous fairy chimneys in the light of the rising sun. While the sun is rising, you will be mesmerized by the play of the sun rays around the magical surroundings. After this visual show, you can enjoy a delicious Turkish breakfast for a fuel. Then you will be ready to truly discover Cappadocia!
Uçhisar Castle (Uçhisar Kalesi) is the highest point for a panoramic view of Cappadocia and it is one of the best points for a beginning. This giant natural castle offers you an overview of Göreme, Avanos Çavuşin, Ortahisar and Güvercinlik Valley (Güvercinlik Vadisi) (Piegon Valley) which are among the most popular places to visit.
The next destination is Göreme Open-Air Museum (Göreme Açık Hava Müzesi). The Museum has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1985 and it is famous for carved churches dating back to the early periods of Christianity. You can see so many remnants of the monasteries, frescoes from the Bible and be amazed by the fact that some of these are more than 1.000 years old. Do not forget to visit Karanlık and Tokalı Churches! These are the most famous and well-protected churches of Göreme Open-Air Museum.
You can have your lunch at Avanos with many local options. The testi kebap, soups, pumpkin dessert, halva and local wine. After the lunch, you can visit a pottery atelier and choose a souvenir for yourself or your loved ones. You can even try to make one yourself!
Pasabağ is more commonly known as Monks Valley (Rahipler Vadisi), deserves a visit. There are many magnificent fairy-chimneys here and some of them include a chapel and hermitage cell dedicated to St. Simeon. You can follow the path of faith at Zelve, comprised of three valleys, is an important settlement of 9thand 13th centuries early Christianity period. There are also famous Churches of Üzümlü and Balıklı here. More fairy chimneys wait for you at Devrent Valley (Devrent Vadisi). These ones resemble animal figures and will give you a visual feast with the sunrays.
Your first day is slowly coming to an end. Breathless by the atmosphere and new experiences, now you are ready for the sunset view, dinner and rest at your hotel. Your next day will be wonderful too!
Your second day route is starting at Ürgüp. The most famous fairy chimneys are here and named as the Three Beauties (Üç Güzeller). Named as Osiana or Assiana at Byzantine period and Başhisar at Seljuks and Burgur Castle (Burgur Kalesi) at Ottomans; Ürgüp is an important centre of Cappadocia.
At Ürgüp, you can see Ortahisar Castle (Ortahisar Kalesi) that is a giant fairy chimney itself, beyond being a castle! The settlement has a long history here: dating back to the CE. 1500 Hittites. Still, there are so many traditional architectures around the castle that will send you on a vantage through time. Mustafapaşa Village, ancient Sinassos is a good point to see this kind of architecture and Constantin & Eleni Church (Konstantin & Eleni Kilisesi), Hagia Nicholas Monastery (Aziz Nikola Manastırı) and Bebek Museum (Bebek Müzesi).
After the lunch, where you will explore flavours and dishes that you missed at yesterday’s feast, you are ready to discover the rest of Cappadocia. There are many options: you can visit Red Valley (Kızıl Vadi) and try trekking or horse-riding here. Cappadocia has a very fertile soil that cultivates very delicious pumpkins, grapes, apples, pears, apricots and more. Some of these grapes are used to produce tasty local wines. If you like, you can visit local boutique wine factories and witness the production of the Cappadocia wines.
Options are many. What you shouldn’t miss: The underground cities of Cappadocia! There are almost 300 underground cities here, but since your time has limits: Kaymaklı, Derinkuyu and Özkonak are good options. The first settlers of the underground cities are not known but there are rumours on their reasons for construction: epidemics, harsh climate conditions, military raids, refuge for early Christians so on... But they are magnificent shelters that include storerooms, fermentation rooms, churches, tunnels, kitchens, even graves and barns.
Now your fairy tale is coming to an end, it is time to rest and digest the beauty, history and taste of Cappadocia. Hope to see you again and wish you a safe return with sweet dreams!