The Land of Fairy Chimneys
“…Some 60 million years ago the volcanic mountain of Erciyes, Hasandag, and Golludag erupted for many millennia and covering the entire region with a thick layer of volcanic ash and lava. Throughout time the natural erosion shaped the region into a fairyland..” — Arif Yaşa
No matter what you’re looking for in a surreal region, you can find, feel, taste it here. Located in Nevşehir Province, in the geographical region of Central Anatolia, Turkey, your most enduring memory of Cappadocia is likely to be its cave cities and hot air balloon.
At least once in your lifetime, you should experience this world’s fourth best place of Fairytale Destinations in the world.
Getting there (Göreme, Cappadocia)
Self experience :
Istanbul (Sabiha Gökcen Airport) - Kayseri (Kayseri Airport) , +/- US$ 90 on AnadoluJet (August, 2011)
Two hours flight flying from Istanbul to Kayseri, it was quite cheap with good service. Without sacrificing your enjoyment you should be aware that cheap travel comes with certain precautions to consider, in this case: taking more miles (please note that there are no direct buses to Göreme from Kayseri Airport) so you must either take a taxi or shuttle bus to get to Nevşehir bus station to catch a bus to Göreme afterwards.
Kayseri Airport - Nevşehir Bus Station taxi service, +/- US$ 30 (August 2011)
Once you get to Nevşehir bus station, you will find bus services to anywhere in Cappadocia (Göreme, Urgup, Selime, Avanos, etc) please beware of ticket touts, pickpockets, hassle and other unpleasant things. To avoid them, go straight into the bus station building and purchase the bus tickets directly at its front desk agent. There are neither trained officers to conduct you to the bus nor the exact info signs / authority to guide you whatsoever, so don’t be easily persuaded when a suspicious-looking guy asks you to go with him saying that his bus will take you to Göreme, otherwise you’ll become another victim to an unscrupulous tourist trap.
Oh, if you need to book your bus tickets beforehand, just in case: Bus Tickets in Turkey
Things to Do
General Info : New Goreme Tour - Travel Agency
Self experience :
Hot Air Balloon Flight (1 hr) , +/- US$ 200
An unforgettable ballooning experience with spectacular views of fairy chimneys, floating above the cave cities, it evoked our feeling of being on a fairytale set, and sure…Cappadocia is exactly the best place on earth for hot air balloon flight!
The sun has just risen, the east was tinged with the golden light, the morning was quiet and the air was at its calmest when the company shuttle picked us up from Nomad Cave Hostel (where we stayed), transferring us to the take-off site.
We had our buffet breakfast and snacks that had been served for us while watching the pre-flight preparation on the ground. The balloons begun to fly right around sunrise.
Cheerio! We also had our champagne toast and flight certificate upon our landing!
Cappadocia Green Tour (all day long), +/-US$ 55 (August 2011)
Walk through miles of underground tunnels which connect Kaymakli and Derinkuyu underground city; find and explore more than sixty Byzantine cave churches, monasteries, and caves with less survived beautiful murals in Ihlara Valley, plus, don’t forget to splash around in the crystal water of Melendiz river under the wooden bridge that flows through the valley among the Pistachio trees..heaven on earth that draped across a series of volcanic rock!
This one day tour will also highlight some other ancient sights in Cappadocia such as Yaprakhisar in Aksaray, and Pigeon Valley—another ‘must-see’ historic sites.
Ah, I should have captured a group of ducks that swam in a circle!
Had lunch with this Mediterranean style, a very special setting by the river of Melendiz!
Still.. with so many things left unexplored, I know this is the place I will return to someday.
(photos were mostly taken by Putri Viona)
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