Cappadocia is a place that should be on every travellers bucket list. It’s scenery is like no other and even when you’re there, it’s weird and wonderful landscape is hardly believable. These rather odd looking geological formations are otherwise known as ‘Fairy Chimneys’ and at night, you can even sleep inside one.
How to Get There
A popular way to get to Cappadocia is from Istanbul. We considered the option of 2 trains via Ankara and we even considered a night bus, no matter the journey I really wanted to fit Cappadocia into our itinerary.
I then realised surprisingly that the cheapest option was actually to fly. We booked our flights for approx. £15 return with Pegasus Airlines. The flight was from Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen into Kayseri Airport. Sabiha Gokcen Airport is on the Asian side of Istanbul, we found the best way to get there is via minibus transfer which we arranged in Sultanahmet for 10 euro’s each.
There are 2 possible airports to fly into when travelling to Cappadocia: Neveshir and Kayseri. It was around 1 hour via mini bus from Kayseri Airport to Goreme village in Cappadocia (Nevsehir airport is slightly closer to Goreme, but it was more expensive for us to fly into there). The airport transfer can be arranged through whoever you book your accommodation with, our transfer cost us approx. £5 each.
Cheap Things To Do In Cappadocia
The Goreme Open Air Museum
The Goreme Open Air Museum is a must see for any traveller in Cappadocia. It is located a beautiful mile long walk from Goreme village and the entrance fee costs 24 Turkish Lira. It is a complex of monasteries and historical churches located inside the caves, which amazingly date back to the 10th, 11th and 12th centuries. Plus, as you walk around the site you get to experience some of the most amazing views of the local landscape.
Visit Sunset Point
If you hike up the steep path behind Goreme village and up to the sunset point view, it offers wonderful views of Goreme at all times of the day but especially at sunrise and sunset. It’s also a good spot to check out ready for sunrise so you know where you’re going if you choose to watch the hot air balloons from here like we did.
Go walking in the Love Valley
Need I say any more? The formations at this odd looking valley sure make an interesting hike, it’s not too far from Goreme Village, plus it’s free!
Watch the Hot Air Balloons Rise at Sunrise
For a much cheaper alternative to actually flying in a hot air balloon, set your alarm for sunrise then hike up to ‘Sunset Point’ for the best view over the village. I didn’t feel like we missed out by not going in a balloon, it was still such a wonderful moment watching the balloons rise up into the colourful sky, plus it was totally free and we could roll back into bed afterwards and go back to sleep. If you do want to do a hot air balloon ride, I did notice that it is cheaper than normal at the moment due to Turkey experiencing a drop in tourism.
Visit a Turkish Bath
After a long day trekking, you might find that you ache a bit and fancy a traditional Turkish Bath. The guest house we were staying in recommended the local ‘Elis Haman’. Although I’m not sure it was my favourite thing in the world, I still really loved trying the experience. This one wasn’t too expensive and it felt very traditional. To read more about our experience at Elis Haman, check out my guide on what to expect at a Turkish Haman.
Where to Sleep
We booked into ‘Dream Cave Hotel’ for £18 a night including breakfast. However at our time of visiting, this hotel was doing some renovations so we actually got moved next door into Goreme Valley Cave House and for the same price we were put into a huge family cave room with ensuite. The hotel was wonderful and it also had a rooftop restaurant where a traditional buffet style breakfast was served. On our last day, the grandmother was so sweet and gave us Fairy Chimney ornaments as gifts and postcards to take home. I would highly recommend Goreme Valley Cave House and it’s also much cheaper than other hotels in the area.
Where to Eat & Drink
As recommended by Goreme Valley Cave House, we ate at ‘Viewpoint Café Restaurant’ and this was our favourite restaurant in Goreme Village. It wasn’t the cheapest place in town, but it was still great value for money with fantastic quality food, plus it has the best view in town! (Particularly at sunset). We recommend trying their Chicken Turkish Pottery Kebab and also the Stir fry! For drinks afterwards, head down to ‘Fat Boys Bar’, a really popular place to hang out and eat/ drink.
Cappadocia is a place like no other. If I had to relate it to anything, I would say it feels a bit like you’ve arrived at the set of The Flintstones. Or, like you’re on another planet. Even when you’re there it’s so cool you keep thinking this place can’t possibly be real. That’s why it feels like a land of Fairy Tales.
Have you been to Cappadocia? Do you have any other budget travel tips for travelling here? Do you want to go but looking for further advice? Share your thoughts in the comments below!