Unforgettable Travel Company

Whilst the name of Cappadocia might not ring a bell in travelers’ minds, the vision of desert landscapes dotted with fairy chimneys and hot air balloon-filled skies just might. Situated in Central Anatolia, a popular holiday destination in Turkey, this historical region is brimming with a fascinating culture and a deep-rooted timeline unlike anywhere else in the world.

This is likely why the region has gained popularity in recent decades alongside, of course, its spectacular natural landscapes. With unique rock formations, vast underground cities, and breathtaking national parks, Cappadocia is a natural marvel that is well deserving of the attention of every type of traveler. 

Whether you’re a keen adventurer, a history buff, a lover of all things unique, or are simply in search of something that offers a ‘wow’ factor, Cappadocia has it all. This is exactly why our team here at Unforgettable Travel has explored the top 10 things to do in Cappadocia for every mood, occasion, time of year, and budget. 

So, if you’re in search of inspiration for what to do in Cappadocia if this region has truly caught your eye, read on to see what we have in store to pique your interest.

Dining in Avanos
Cave Hotel

Things to Do in Cappadocia at Night

Dine in Avanos 

Avanos is a beautiful town in Cappadocia’s landscapes. Nestled in the Nevsehir Province, the town is only small but for what it lacks in size it certainly makes up for in character. In fact, it’s just this character that has gained Avanos its reputation across Turkey and the world, which is authentic to Turkish living and culture. Alongside this, the region has developed a reputation for its perfect pottery which is handcrafted across the town and dates back centuries, but also it is renowned for its unique gastronomic scene.

Avanos is one of the best destinations in Cappadocia to sample the best of Turkish cuisine. Whether you’re in search of a gourmet culinary experience, or somewhere to savor the simple pleasures of Turkey’s traditional dishes, Avanos’ range of eateries can offer something for every palette and preference. 

Sleep in a Cave Hotel 

Cappadocia’s vast landscape is home to volcanic towers, valleys filled with impressive rock formations, and an expansive underground tunnel complex dating back to Islamic and Byzantine times. So, over the years, residents have found new ways to live and reside in these mesmeric landscapes. 

Cave hotels are a particularly popular form of accommodation across Cappadocia. Built into existing cave systems or created by carving structures and systems out of volcanic rock, visitors can spend their time in their unique, and in most cases luxurious, chambers. 

From offering rooftop views of the stretching Cappadocia landscape to pools and first-class dining facilities, these cave hotels offer an unrivaled atmosphere alongside unparalleled amenities. These accommodations offer guests the opportunity to connect with the natural scapes of this region for a truly magical experience.

Cappadocia Balloon 780 e1682606866512
Ortahisar

Fun Things to Do in Cappadocia

Go On a Hot Air Balloon Ride

One of the most fun things to do in Cappadocia, and arguably the most famous of all Cappadocia activities, is to venture on a hot air balloon ride. 

Many keen travelers have undoubtedly seen the colorful hot air balloons of Cappadocia on the pages of travel magazines across the globe, but seeing them in person is an entirely different, and ethereal, experience that many could only dream of.

Cappadocia is one of the most popular destinations for hot-air balloon rides in the world. This is entirely down to its ideal weather conditions, which remain largely stable and unchanging year round, and its extraordinary landscapes which are perfect for hot-air balloon trips.

Hot air ballooning happens year-round in the region which means that, regardless of what time of year you’re planning to visit Cappadocia, you can live out this bucket list dream. 

Visit the Citadel Carved into Rock

Ortahisar is one of Cappadocia’s most memorable and popular towns. Found in the Nevsehir Province, with a name translating to “middle castle” in Turkish, Ortahisar’s landscape is composed of hundreds of rock homes carved into the steadily sloping rocky landscape at the foothills of its castle. 

This citadel is thriving now, which attracts visitors from far and wide due to its truly unique landscape carved into the rock, formed millions of years ago thanks to volcanic activity. 

Ortahisar itself is home to plenty of restaurants, places to stay, and, of course, its famed castle. Built amongst tunnels and caves, this impressive rock fortress is phenomenal and offers a panoramic view over Ortahisar, alongside other fairy chimneys.

Uchisar Castle
Goreme open air museum

Things to Do in Cappadocia with Family

Visit Uchisar Castle

Visiting Uchisar Castle is one of the top things to do in Cappadocia, as this landmark is one of the symbols of the region. Offering some of the best panoramic views, the castle is an awe-inspiring location allowing visitors to soak in the sheer scale of Cappadocia’s spectacular landscapes. 

Whilst little is truly known about the castle’s history, that doesn’t make it any less impressive. It is one of the most iconic castles in Cappadocia and had been hollowed out to produce a series of caves, tunnels, and systems in which people once lived.

Tourists can still go inside the castle, despite some of its areas and passages being damaged over time. This site is Ideal for young ones to run around and explore this mysterious part of ancient Cappadocia firsthand.

Go to Göreme Open Air Museum

A UNESCO-Listed Site, Göreme Open Air Museum is one of the Cappadocia attractions that you can’t miss on your next Turkish adventure. This towering complex composed of chapels, monasteries, and rock-carved churches is a fantastic example of Cappadocian history. 

The museum was originally thought to have been a settlement for Byzantine monks, in which the structure housed around 20. Whilst its exteriors are impressive, what lies within the museum is what is likely to leave visitors in awe.

The interiors of the museum are lined with ancient Byzantine frescoes illustrating biblical scenes, which are spread across the many churches that compose the complex, acting as a truly unique display of Christian history. Here, adults and children alike will love to learn about the religious and ancient history of the region in this visual manner.

cooking class
Derinkuyu

Things to Do in Cappadocia in Winter

Get Your Hands Dirty in a Turkish Cooking Class 

Turkey has eclectic cuisine that is grounded in heritage and history. Descended largely from the Ottoman Empire, it also incorporates elements from, and fusions with, Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and Asia. This is due to its geographical position and cultural influence over many centuries. 

Therefore, Turkish cuisine is one of the most interesting, and unique, on the planet, and one in which visitors can expect to sink their teeth into sweet pastries, juicy cuts of seasoned meats, varied mezes, and fluffy bread. 

For those who consider themselves to be real gastronomes, Cappadocia offers a range of cooking classes throughout its landscapes where visitors can really get their hands dirty in learning the culinary traditions and cooking techniques of the country. Some of these lessons can take place in residents’ homes, cooking alongside families to create handcrafted local dishes from scratch. This also offers the opportunity to learn of the heritage of these locals firsthand to truly ground your cookery experience in the living culture of Cappadocia.

Discover the Underground City of Derinkuyu

Whilst a lot of what fascinates travelers who are visiting Cappadocia lies on top of its desert plains, there’s much that travelers can discover below ground that will equally intrigue them. 

The ancient city of Derinkuyu, formally known as Eelengubu, is buried more than 85m below the famed fairy chimneys of the Cappadocian landscape. Once thriving, the city is composed of 18 levels of tunnels, and, for thousands of years, these were consistently used by different historic empires, including the Byzantines and Persians. 

Visitors can explore what life was like underground for those living in this ancient subterranean system and venture through the labyrinth of corridors and hallways into rooms and past pillars, which will really get the imagination racing for what life was once like in this ancient dwelling.

Red valley cappadocia
Goreme national park

Free Things to Do in Cappadocia

Visit the Valleys

Within Cappadocia’s surreal landscapes, there are an array of valleys. Cut through the geographical scapes, each valley has its own unique and wonderful characteristics that make it stand out from the next. Travelers, therefore, should never be finished with their trip until they visit at least a handful of these valleys to understand the sheer extent to which Cappadocia’s landscapes change drastically. 

The Red Valley, for example, is thought to be one of Cappadocia’s most exceptional natural sights. Composed of vivid red and pink-hued rocks that ripple through the landscape in huge formations, visitors can hike around the area to immerse themselves fully in these colorful surroundings. 

And the Devrent Valley, which is also known as the ‘Imagination Valley’, is an equally fantastic landscape that looks otherworldly. In fact, its fairy chimneys are so unique that it looks like a giant being has crafted them themselves, almost with a chisel and hammer, as they resemble humans and animals. 

Hike in Göreme National Park

Göreme’s valley is home to some of the most picturesque areas of Cappadocia, but its national park truly takes the cake. Appearing as its own self-sufficient oasis, Göreme National Park has birthed river valleys and Cappadocia mountains, alongside beautiful fairy chimneys, ancient underground settlements, and historic churches. 

The National Park itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and visitors can easily get lost during a day out exploring its diverse landscapes. We would recommend winding through its towering fairy chimneys, delving deep into its network of underground caverns, once inhabited by powerful empires, or simply indulging in the unique flora and fauna of its landscape. 

This makes for a great day out during the spring and summer months when the natural landscapes of Cappadocia can be admired at their best when the weather conditions are more favorable, making for one of the best things to do in Cappadocia for nature lovers.

Summary

Offering adventure in its natural landscapes, an enticing culture, and a fascinating historical timeline, the Cappadocia region is a corner of the world that can’t be missed from any avid traveler’s bucket list. From delving into its underground systems to taking to new heights in a hot air balloon, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to figuring out exactly what you want to do in Cappadocia during your next Turkish adventure. 

Many travelers combine their trips to Cappadocia with visiting some of Turkey’s most historically and culturally significant locations, such as the likes of Istanbul, the country’s thriving capital. This is exactly why we crafted our ‘Week in Istanbul and Cappadocia’ tour, to offer guests the opportunity to explore some of the best of Turkey’s magic in its most popular sights, for a true taste of what the country has in store. 

Here at, Unforgettable Travel we know exactly how much time and effort can go into planning your dream getaway. This is exactly why our team of experts is on hand when you need us to impart our knowledge and expertise to craft the very best travel experience for you. 

So, why not call Ally, our Europe specialist, now at +44 208 004 2345, or contact our team of experts to take your first step in planning your picture-perfect Turkish getaway now? 

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