CAPPADOCIA: LAND OF BEAUTIFUL HORSES AND SO MUCH MORE
After incredible days in Istanbul, we flew to Cappadocia. The route from the airport to the hotel seemed normal until the end of a curve, when an unspeakable landscape came across us. Wow! What a magic place!?
And WOW was the most used expression during the 4 days that we stayed in Goreme - main town of the region.
In an extraordinary meeting of nature's artistic splendor and humankind's resourcefulness, Cappadocia is one of those rare places that must be experienced at least once in a lifetime. With soaring rock formations, uniquely-rippled landscapes, splendid walking trails, mysterious underground cities and rock-cut churches, it is a magnificent place to see in Turkey.
We stayed at Sultan Cave Suites and it was a awesome experience. I can't say enough good things about this place and its staff. The hotel itself is fantastic. It is ancient and has the feel of staying in a medieval era. The rooms are charming caves with a terrace that mainly at night becomes magic.
And what about the staff and the service? They are unsurpassed. It is a family-run hotel and we were so warm welcome that we felt as friends. The brothers Mustafa and Hasan are perfect hosts. They gave great advice about where to go, they booked all our tours, they accompanied us in wine or tea and on our last day, as we departed before breakfast they prepared delicious sandwiches to go. So kind! Hasan personally drove us to the Goreme Open Air Museum and showed us the city.
At the hotel is the best restaurant of Goreme, Seten Restaurant. And it is the best place to live the Anatolian cuisine experience!
One of the highlights of our trip was for sure the ballon flight. OMG, it was speechless. It was incredible and magic. The landscape, the sunrise, the colors, the atmosphere, all together caused an unspeakable explosion of peace and love. There are many ballon companies that do the flight. We chose Butterfly Ballons, super safe and reliable. Our captain was Cap. Eftal, enthusiastic and really experienced. The ride began at 5am when a van picked us up at the hotel and took us to a breakfast. After breakfast, we went to the place of departure. We follow the balloon filling. And that was amazing! The tour duration was 1h, enough to become unforgettable! And on landing the crew received us with champagne to celebrate the moment! Magic!
We also did the Cappadocia Undiscovered Tour, with Heritage Travel. It was one day rich in history, breathtaking views and emotion. We walked around historic cities like Mustafapasa, with spectacular architecture. We also explored the Pigeon Valley one of the most beautiful sights in the Cappadocia area. The fairy chimneys were studded with holes for pigeons to roost. A most ancient area in Cappadocia. There, we founded the cave churches of Cappadocia, including Saint George’s Church.
We went to Sobessos Excavation Site. This site is currently being excavated and we saw the Roman bath, tombs, temple and beautiful mosaics already unearthed.
The tour ended in Derinkuyu Underground City. It was one of the biggest settlements in Cappadocia and its 8 level underground city is the deepest of the region today. We explored the caves of this interesting city and learned about the way of life there.
Other interesting place to know in Goreme is the Open Air Museum. It contains the finest of the rock-cut churches, with beautiful wall paintings whose colors still retain all their original freshness. It also presents unique examples of rock hewn architecture and fresco technique. The Museum has been a member of UNESCO World Heritage List since 1984, and was one of the first two UNESCO sites in Turkey.
Goreme itself is stunning, and is one of the most amazing places I've visited in the world. The cave homes, the natural beauty of the many valleys, the underground cities, the deep and fascinating history of the region - they all add up to an unforgettable and very unique experience. I want to go back there a thousand times!