BUCKET LIST GOALS!
I have had Cappadocia on my bucket list for YEARS! It just didn't seem like a real place... a fairytale that only exists on dream travel pages. I finally had a trip planned in March of 2020. And what do you know, sh*t really hit the fan the week of my trip and my flight got cancelled. Of course, that was not the worst thing that could have happened during this time, but it was a shock then and very disappointing to say the least. Fast forward to 2022, I am on my #26for26 birthday trip in Europe. I didn't book a return flight, I was just traveling solo throughout Europe. I was in Croatia (my 7th country of the trip) and one of my travel blogger friends reached out to me saying that she wasn't going to Africa anymore, she was actually going to travel Europe if we wanted to meet up. I asked her if she wanted to go to Cappadocia with me! It turns out, she was already meeting a friend there later on in the week. It was PERFECT! We never met in real life and ended up meeting here, and we had the best time! I am so happy we met, and we clicked right off the bat. Make sure you follow her here!
Where We Stayed
One thing that is really unique about Cappadocia, is that most of the hotels are in caves. I knew that this was because the rock here is easily cartable, but I did some research online and found this to be very interesting:
"Born out of necessity and convenience, the caves are the stone embodiment of form following function. In a landscape tortured by its location, in the crosshairs of every one of the regionâs passing empires â from the Hittites to the Romans to the Ottomans â as early as the fourth century that function was as a place to hide. Early Christians, fleeing their enemies, carved their way into the rock for shelter from invaders, creating vast networks of self sufficient, underground cave cities to retreat to in times of danger." - The Agenda
You may find it confusing when searching hotels that nothing comes up under Cappadocia. You may see Neveshir, Goreme. Urgup. These are all in the right area, but I would highly recommend staying in Goreme. Goreme has one of the best views of the balloons in the morning, and it is where the little town center is located. Everything is walkable here, where you can find many restaurants, gift shops, excursions, and more. Some of the other popular cave hotels, including the famous Museum Hotel, are located at a higher elevation in Neveshir. There is a stunning view of the balloons here with it being higher up, but you have to get a driver every time to drive into town. I LOVED our view in the morning of the balloons from where we stayed in Goreme. â
Caftan Cave Suites
A friend of mine recommended Caftan Cave Suites, where she stayed for her honeymoon, and I couldn't have been more happy with this hotel. I really wanted to stay in a nice cave hotel that had a good terrace view of the balloons in the morning. This was the PERFECT one. Not only did it have a beautiful terrace with a great view, but the hotel and staff felt like family. They were so kind and attentive. They cook breakfast in the morning on the terrace right in front of you, as if you were in someone's home kitchen. I loved the atmosphere! We wanted to do a photoshoot in the morning with breakfast watching the balloons, and the hotel staff woke up at 4 AM to prepare a breakfast and the terrace for us. It was so nice and made the whole experience unforgettable.
âBook your stay at Caftan here.
Cave Suite Room Tour
There is no direct flight right into Cappadocia so getting there can seem a little complicated and hard to plan- which is why I think more people don't visit this destination. To get to Cappadocia, you must fly into the Kayseri Airport and then it is a little over an hour drive to get to Cappadocia. I flew Turkish Airlines into Istanbul, and then again to Kayseri. I stayed a day in Istanbul (see my mini vlog below) and took the early flight out in the morning to Kayseri. Turkish Airlines does have options to connect from Istanbul to Kayseri in one trip, I just chose to do a layover! I arranged for my hotel to send me the airport pick up, which I highly recommend doing!
MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN TRAVELING TO TURKEY
You will need a visa to enter Turkey, and I highly recommend doing this online instead of at the Istanbul Airport. You can apply for your tourist visa for Turkey here. I had planned ahead and had everything ready to go with my e-visa on my phone when I got to the Istanbul Airport to avoid long lines and scams. However, my stupid azz got the visa for one day too late. I messed up the dates and they didn't let me enter, I had to buy a whole new one. It is $30, but they were cash only. I went to the ATM to get cash and it was broken. So then I had to go to the currency exchange. You had to take out a minimum of $400, charging me an extra $100 "commission fee." WHAT A SCAM. So I take out my cash in Turkish Lira and go back to the visa counter and wait in line... AGAIN. Then this guy tells me in has to be in USD. B*tch why didn't you say that before?! So then I had to take out $400 again, and they take another $100. And I wait in line again. These people scammed me out of $200. Plus, it took up another hour of my time. So long story short.... bring cash, and make sure you get your e-visa for the right dates. â
The reason Cappadocia is such a popular destinations is of course the balloons. It is one of the most beautiful and magical sights to see all of the balloons fly in the morning!
PHOTOSHOOT w/ Balloons & Camels
I would HIGHLY recommend scheduling a professional shoot while you are here! We decided to shoot with Hakanerenler Photography and honestly it's the best decision we made! They took us to shoot at different spots in Love Valley when the balloons took off, and since they were local they were able to give us the best secret locations! After shooting with the balloons we shot with a camel that we decided to rent. They picked us up from our hotel in the morning and drove us to all the locations throughout the day. We stopped for tea in between sets as we had to wait for our camel time. We really enjoyed chatting and spending the morning with them! I also recommend working with this company because they gave our photos back right away! My biggest fear this trip was coming all the way to Cappadocia for my dream trip and a photographer holding the photos hostage, LOL! You can book Hakanerenler Photography by messaging them on Instagram, What's App, or send an email inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dress Rental Recommendation
I also recommend renting dresses for your photoshoot in Cappadocia. What was especially great about this service is that I didn't plan on coming to Cappadocia until the very end of my trip, so I had absolutely nothing to wear. The dresses look absolutely stunning in photos and videos. Here are some companies I recommend that we used:
HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE
The Hot Air Balloon ride in Cappadocia is on just about everyone's bucket list. Crossing this off of my list was the best thing ever. This is one of the best experiences of my life and you can't miss it! Book your balloon ride first thing when you get to Cappadocia (there are many kiosks or you can book from your hotel) to reserve your spot, because they do sell out. You can also book in advance online. There are dozens of ballon companies, as over 100 balloons fly daily from the Valley. The balloon ride is sooo smooth, it feels like you are just gliding in the air! They will pick you up from your hotel before sunrise, and then you head to the balloon location. Most balloon tours serve breakfast, and "champagne" at the end as a long lived tradition. The flight is about an hour long! It is so amazing. Since the balloons fly so early, I was actually able to do it the morning of my flight! We finished and got back to the hotel around 7 am. :)
Thanks for Reading!
Thank you so much for reading! Please ask me any questions in the comments! Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow me on Instagram!