Turkey has many things to offer, including beautiful beaches, incredible weather and lots of history. So you will without a doubt experience something different every time you visit. But one of our favourite things to do is to take a hot air balloon flight over the chimneys of Cappadocia.
Located in Anatolia, in the arid centre of Turkey, it is a vast and scarcely populated plateau. Just eight hours drive from Istanbul, this is the perfect place to start your Turkish adventure!
You may have heard how magical Cappadocia is but nothing can prepare you for it. This is a place Mother Nature has clearly enjoyed making her mark. And indeed, the complex rock formations, rippled landscape, ancient ruins and underground cities are like nothing else on earth. If you can imagine a film set for the perfect Utopian city, this might very well be it!
Drenched in history, the city of Cappadocia was a hiding place for Christians when the region came under invasion over several centuries. And the underground dwellings are still intact. The cleverly designed, hidden metropolis consists of a maze of usable tunnels and caves. Visitors are welcome to journey 85-metres below ground to explore them.
And above ground is just as impressive. You cannot fail to appreciate the vibrant pink, green and yellow obelisks which appear to be growing out of the mountains. Volcanic eruptions created this surreal moonscape. Lava flows formed tuff rock which were sculpted into sinuous valleys with curvy pointy obelisks by wind and rain. This is what we now know as ‘fairy chimneys’.
Take the time to explore the region further! You can see evidence of complete troglodyte villages with the remains of a traditional human habitat dating back to the 4th century. As well as original byzantine art which has been preserved in the open-air museum.
But the best way to enjoy the area is by hot air balloon. Floating above the rippled landscape is the most surreal experience you can have. Take in the incredible nature and get a bird’s eye view of the mountains, rocks, faraway cities and dramatic landscape. And you make the best images and memories of your own fairy tale!
If you are staying for more than one night, which is highly recommended, the cave hotel in the village of Yunak Evleri is definitely a treat. With houses built into the rocks, dating back to 5th and 6th centuries, this is the perfect base to explore the rest of Cappadocia by horseback.
With hot, dry summers and cold, sometimes snowy, winters, the perfect time to visit is April- June or Sept- Dec, for a peaceful and zen-like break.