It was December and Dana and I were brainstorming what to get as a B-day present to Alexandra who was turning 30. With the change of prefix it had to be something awesome, memorable so that it will stay in her memory forever. We realized in the last years, that more and more we tend to appreciate experiences with family and friends rather than gifts as presents and so it came to me one day scrolling through the Instagram feed: CAPPADOCIA. The rest is history ;-)
This turned out to be a perfect trip, where everything went as planned and everyone was extremely happy at the end.
For most of the countries you will require a Visa for entering Turkey. I recommend you to check the website of the Ministry of Foreign affairs of the Republic of Turkey to see if you need or not a Visa. The best way to apply for your visa is online. As highlighted in the Ministry of Foreign affairs website you can use the https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/ website to purchase your visa.
Please remember to print it.
Cash vs Cards
In Turkey they use Lira as their currency, but the Euro brings you a long way. It is advisable to have some Lira with you (you can exchange it in the city where you will be based) so that you can buy local things cheaper, but most of the places do accept Euro.
We could also pay by card in several locations like restaurants - we are using Revolut but VISA is also ok (have no experience on MasterCard)
You have 2 airports around the region:
Once at the airport, the best way to get to your accommodation is by a pre-arranged mini bus. We had this arranged with our hotel and I think that most of the people are doing the same.
How to pick your accommodation is always a challenge especially when we are talking about a region not just a city. You have several towns to choose from, with the best historic mansions and cave houses for tourist staying in Urgup, Goreme, Guzelyurt and Uchisar.
We decided to make our base & so the location of the accommodation in Goreme. We booked our accomodation at Cappadocia Cave Land Hotel. You can find them on booking.com and I have to say that everything was PERFECT.
On top of the rooms & the breakfast we could also arrange everything else via Ibrahim who is extremely friendly and helpful (as is the rest of the people working there).
To be fair, in the end, the most important thing you need to think of is the balloon flight itself, as this is why you are here.
Before you book your flight (plane) to come to Cappadocia, bare in mind that the balloons only fly out if they receive approval (so if the weather is ok for flying), so might be good o have some buffer time.
After again some checking on the internet, I wanted to book the balloon flight with Turkiye Balloon company, but as I was requesting the advice of the hotel, they recommended to let them handle this and book with Urgup Balloon. So i don't know how the other company would have been, but I can only highly recommend Urgup Balloon. I leave you here the link to their TripAdvisor .
We paid 165 Euro per person in a what they call a small basket.
Red, Green & Blue Tours
There are 3 main tours you can pick from, which will bring you to discover the region are:
The Red Tour (approx. 30 Euro/pers)
The Green Tour (approx. 35 Euro/pers)
The Blue Tour
I was completely lost in all the tours, but Ibrahim explained the difference and as we were 8 we decided to go for a private tour and make a mix of all of this. I'll guide you through it in a separate post.
Traditional Turkish Night
For 30 Euro you get a lot of food, drinks (incl. alcoholic) and several traditional dances. Watch out, there is no dessert. To be honest, I was not really that impressed of this. It's not bad, maybe even interesting to discover but did not convince me.
How we did it all:
Day 1: we landed at 2AM in Kayseri and went directly for the balloon flight. After the flight we went to sleep till about 9:30 and went for breakfast. After breakfast we planned the rest of the days (we had a mini storm so had the time for it). Later on we went through Goreme to visit around and buy some souvenirs. In the evening we did the Turkish Traditional Night.
Day 2: we booked private tour with a guide to which we added the sunset tour in the Rose Valley. We had dinner and at midnight we had a van waiting for us to bring us to the airport.