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Maria Asaad
Airlines and routes, Travel tips,


Very few places in the world leave their mark on your memory with their unique landscapes, remarkable scenery and incredible sites. A recent trip to Cappadocia proved to be one of those destinations that left me in awe and will be difficult to forget in a hurry.

I had heard a lot of impressive and exciting things about the Turkish region, but it’s safe to say that my expectations were greatly surpassed by what this tourist hot spot had to offer. Here is a list of everything I got up to in my few days in Cappadocia, that allowed me to really appreciate this exceptional place. 


Hitting new heights in a hot-air balloon

One of the best things to do in Cappadocia to witness all its beauty and glory is to take a hot air balloon ride over its incredible landscapes. It is known for its distinctive tall, cone-shaped rock formations, otherwise known as ‘fairy chimneys,’ clustered in valleys all over the region.

The only painful thing about the experience is the early 4am wake-up call, but once I arrived at the take-off site and was hit with the crisp morning air and incredible views of a hot-air balloon-filled skyline, I was instantly awakened by the incredible scenes around me.

Once up in the air, I was struck by the natural beauty of the area, perfectly covered by the golden sunlight that was filling the sky. Between the gorgeous sunrise and breath-taking rock formations, I couldn’t take in the wonderful views all around me quickly enough.

The experience is sealed with a lovely champagne celebration and commemorative medal and certification (for the mems) once you arrive back on land. I couldn’t recommend booking a hot-air balloon ride in Cappadocia enough. It is the perfect way to capture the natural beauty of this extraordinary place in the most unforgettable way.

I recommend booking a hot air balloon excursion on your first morning, as they can be prone to cancellation due to strong winds or bad weather conditions. So, give yourself a chance to rebook on your remaining days to avoid disappointment! 

Get an aerial view of the distinctive 'fairy chimneys' that make up this amazing Turkish region.

Getting my adrenaline up on an ATV

Another amazing way to explore this remarkable place is on an ATV tour where you can get up close and personal with the natural scenic formations. You can opt to drive your own ATV or get on as a pair if you’re travelling with a friend or other half.

The tour lasts for about 2 hours, and it is a great way to get close and personal to some of the stunning valleys and get some great shots. Depending on what tour you choose, most will take you to Rose Valley, Red Valley, Swords Valley or Love Valley. All offer great views and photo opportunities!

The best thing about the ATV tour for me was that it was during sunset, so I was able to capture some great shots of the surrounding valleys during golden hour, which just added to the natural beauty of the trip. 

Ride solo or as a pair through the gorgeous valleys at sunset on an ATV.

Exploring the unmissable underground city

Cappadocia has 2 main underground cities, Kaymakli and Derinkuyu. The fascinating settlements were mainly to protect inhabitants from foreign invasion. The caves provided Christians with a safe haven during the 14th Century from the threat of Mongolians during the assaults of Timur, and helped people save themselves from persecution during the Ottoman Empire in the 20th Century.

They have been completely abandoned since the early 1920s and are now some of the main tourist attractions in the famous region. Each city has several levels of tunnels, caves and rooms that go well deep underground.

I visited the Kaymalki underground city which was a maze of amazingly carved tunnels that branch off into kitchen areas, living rooms and even churches that people would refuge in during overground conflict. It goes down 3 levels into the ground, so it isn’t as deep or intense as Derinkuyu, which goes down 8 levels.

This is another unmissable experience that I really recommend during a trip to Cappadocia, as it is nothing like I’ve ever experienced before. I felt like a true explorer crawling through the tight spaces to discover each new nook and cranny at every turn.

The only disclaimer is that I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone with fears of tight spaces or claustrophobia, as some of the tunnels are very tight and low. But if you feel up to the adventure, it is a must-do in this incredible region of Turkey!

Kaymalki underground city is a maze of tunnels and rooms deep into the ground, feel like a true explorer as you squeeze through each tight corner!