During my sublime stay at the Carus Cappadocia Hotel in Göreme, Turkey, I had the immense pleasure to deeply discover the region, thanks to their amazing activities/excursions! It is indeed a great chance to have a hotel that organizes all these activities, because Cappadocia truly has a lot to offer, not only the magical hot air balloons! 😉 The majority of tourists, indeed, associate -only- this Turkish region with the balloons above the valleys and the towns (which is by the way a VERY spectacular activity), but it actually has much more to offer! I will show you here the best moments of my tour around Cappadocia, like the most romantic breathtaking sunset in the following picture!
HOT AIR BALLOONS BY CARUS CAPPADOCIA
First of all, I can’t deny that I have been dreaming of flying on a hot air balloon above the Cappadocian Valleys for years! In fact, it has been the very first activity I wanted to do… I couldn’t wait any longer!
IMPORTANT NOTE: keep in mind that all the dreamy pictures you see online are always taken during the SUNRISE! The balloons fly ONLY during the sunrise, for safety reasons due to the wind-conditions.
VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: it is NOT guaranteed that the balloons fly every day. Sometimes the flights get canceled for safety reasons, due to the weather conditions. I would suggest to spend a minimum of 3-4 days in Cappadocia, so if your flight gets canceled, you will have a few more days to get the chance to fly. It is a pity visiting this Turkish region without experiencing this magical activity!
When I flew with Carus Cappadocia above the valleys, it was my 4th time on a hot air balloon in my life. Among all of them, I can guarantee you that this time has been the most spectacular and breathtaking one! The incredible thing is that you experience exactly what you see on the pictures/videos online: without Photoshop or any filter, it really looks like a dream! I was astonished indeed! 😉
Normally, the pick up from the hotel is around 5:30 AM, and the balloons start to fly around 6 AM. The flight lasts 1 hour -more or less- during which you are able to fully enjoy the sunrise from the hot air balloon. It is so convenient that Carus Cappadocia Hotel itself owns a few hot air balloons companies, so they organize everything for you!
HORSE BACK RIDING IN THE CAPPADOCIAN VALLEYS
After the Hot Air Balloons magical experience, I have to admit that I’ve been dreaming a lot of horse back riding around the Cappadocian Valleys for a solid while! The landscapes there are absolutely breathtaking and so unique! I couldn’t believe my eyes. Seriously: A Dream Come True!
I would hugely recommend to do this activity while you visit Cappadocia, and Carus Cappadocia Hotel can organize it for you! How amazing!
Another great – and unexpected! – activity with Carus Cappadocia has been doing Turkish Pottery! I know it sounds so odd, but in this region they have a long pottery tradition and you can find some incredible spots to learn more about it.
Thanks to the Carus Cappadocia staff, I visited KYBELE Boutique Ceramic, where I learnt more about their pottery traditions and also… I tried to it myself! 🙂 Unfortunately, with my long nails… I haven’t been able to do a great job, but surely I had so much fun!!!
After my ridiculous attempt to do pottery, the owner gave me a tour of their store. There are so many beautiful ceramics, a pleasure for your eyes! This room was my favorite, because all the ceramics become fluorescent in the dark! It was magical – as everything in Cappadocia! 🙂
I would definitely recommend a visit to KYBELE Boutique Ceramics while you visit Cappadocia!
PRIVATE GUIDED TOUR AROUND CAPPADOCIA
Together with the single activities that you can choose, Carus Cappadocia Hotel offers also private tours around the region. I really enjoyed having one because with my private guide (Mr. Cem, a legend over there!) I learnt so much about the historical background, the geography, the local traditions, and so many beautiful stories of Cappadocia!
CLIMBING THE FAMOUS “FAIRY CHIMNEYS” IN THE MONKS’ VALLEY
Together with the hot air balloons, the “Fairy Chimneys” are surely the most famous attraction of Cappadocia. Most of them have are formed of heavy rock bodies, which consist of tuffite, volcanic ash and tuff, while the hat parts consist of hard rocks such as ignimbrite.
Together with Mr. Cem, my private guide, I went to the Monks’ Valley (aka Pasabag), where we climbed the chimneys!
In this specific valley, several monks have been living here for a while. That’s why it is called “Monk’s Valley”. While climbing them, Mr. Cem explained to me how they lived and how was the life in the chimneys – incredible stories. Surely something very unique to do while you travel to Turkey!
GÖREME OPEN AIR MUSEUM
Another interesting place to visit while in Cappadocia is surely the “Göreme Open Air Museum”. It is such a distinctive experience to do, as it will help you to better understand the history of this region from different perspectives.
With Mr. Cem, I learnt so much not only about the historical and religious background, but also many interesting insights about the ‘life in the caves’.
One of the most interesting aspects for me was the presence of many Christian Cave-Cathedrals, despite Turkey is a Muslim country.
UNDERGROUND CITIES IN CAPPADOCIA
A “borderline-experience’ for me – as I am claustrophobic! – has been visiting the “Underground Cities”. Thanks to Mr. Cem’s professionalism and kindness (and patience!) I made it through the tiny tunnels underground! It hasn’t been easy, but I am happy I did it!
It is surreal for me realizing that people in the past actually lived underground – even for months… But surely a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the local history!
HIKING AROUND GÖREME
Göreme is the most famous Cappadocian town, and it is beautifully surrounded by hills where you can easily go for a hike. From Carus Cappadocia Hotel, I walked for about 20 minutes up to the hill, and from there I enjoyed a breathtaking sunset, overlooking the valley, the “Fairy Chimneys”, and Göreme town when turns on all the lights after the sunset. SO BEAUTIFUL BEYOND WORDS!
This was my very first sunset in Cappadocia, and I couldn’t believe my eyes! Definitely an ‘extra-warm welcome’! 😉
This trip to Cappadocia has been one of the most marvelous of my entire life! I firmly believe that everyone must visit this Turkish region at least once in a lifetime!
And you… Are you lusting for the sublime?