4 Days in Wonderland – Complete Guide to Cappadocia
Cappadocia is a true fairytale destination. Hundreds of hot air balloons lift up in the sky over the ancient town of Göreme every morning at dawn, right for sunrise. Watching this magical spectacle both from the basket of the balloon, as well as from a stunning rooftop in one of the cave hotels, is an unforgettable experience. However, do not forget that there is way more to do in Cappadocia. The area is known for incredible church caves and dwellings, as well as whole cities carved into the mountains. Make sure to hike the unreal valleys that surround the region of Cappadocia. And watch the sunset at the breathtaking Red Valley with its impressive sharp sandstone rocks reflecting a beautiful shade of red as the sun sets into the unique landscape at the end of the day. Cappadocia is truly one of a kind and at least once-in-a-life-time experience. We wrote a complete guide for you with a plan on how to spend 4 days in this wonderful location Cappadocia.
Arrive to Cappadocia with one of the morning flights from Istanbul. It takes around 1h to get to Goreme from Kayseri Airport and 40min from Nevsehir.
The van will take you straight from the airport and drop you of at your cave hotel in Cappadocia.
↬ TIP : Try to stay at least one night at the incredible Local Cave House.
Before lunch visit the Goreme Open Air Museum. Climb into the impressive churches carved into the mountain. The frescos inside are original from the 11th century!
↬ Read : Discover Ancient Cave Churches in Göreme Open Air Museum
In the afternoon visit the Love Valley. Hike the short trail to the interesting rock formations and then walk around to the sunset spot.
↬ Read : Love Valley – Best for Sunset and Sunrise
Start your day by making a dream come true: flying in the hot air balloon at sunrise. The car will pick you up at around 5AM and you will return to the hotel for breakfast at around 8AM.
↬ Read : The Magical Hot Air Balloon Experience of Cappadocia
After breakfast, grab a taxi or try hitchhiking to Zelve Open Air Museum. This whole city carved into the mountain was inhabited until 1950′. The community had to leave due to rock erosion and risk of collapsing. Reserve 2-3 hours to visit the whole site.
↬ TIP : Grab a light lunch at the restaurant in front of the site. Try the Turkish delicacy called ‘gozleme’, a crepe with either vegetable or meet filling.
Make your way to Fairy Chimneys, a wonderful site with some of the most impressive fairy chimneys in Cappadocia with twin and even triple rock caps.
↬ Read : Zelve Open Air Museum and Fairy Chimneys Guide – Cappadocia
Next on your agenda today is visiting a cute town of Cavusin. To get there you can either take a taxi, hitchhike or walk across the Cavisin Valley from Fairy Chimneys.
Once in Cavusin, climb The Castle for amazing views of the surrounding area.
↬ Read : Visit Cavusin Town, Castle and Valley
Come back to Goreme and have dinner at one of the restaurants serving typical, Turkish food.
Wake up before sunrise and watch the balloons fly over the town from rooftop of your hotel. Those views can be the sole reason of visiting Cappadocia.
After breakfast, head to Uchisar via Pigeon Valley. It’s a nice and an easy trail, taking only 1.5h. Once in Uchisar, visit the Castle which is the highest point of the Cappadocia region.
↬ Read : Hiking Pigeon Valley and Visiting the Stunning Uchisar Castle in Cappadocia
Have lunch at one of many beautiful restaurants, before heading to Love Valley. This place is world-famous for for intriguing rock formations that took penis-like shapes.
↬ Read : Hiking the Love Valley from Uchisar Town
Get a ride back to Göreme and head to Lovers Hill for sunset. It’s just 5 min from the town centre. Note that there is a 3 TRY entrance fee per person.
Wake up early and get a taxi to Love Valley viewpoint before sunrise. It’s the spot from where all the hot air balloons take off. Watch this an amazing show and don’t forget to snap few very instagramable pictures! Return to your hotel for breakfast.
↬ Read : Love Valley – Best for Sunset and Sunrise
In the late morning head for the most amazing hike Cappadocia has to offer. The ultimate hiking experience covers 3 valleys: Meskendir, Rose and Red Valley.
↬ Read : Hike the Meskendir, Rose and Red Valley – Guide to the Ultimate Hiking Experience in Cappadocia
Red Valley is specially amazing during the late afternoon hours, when the sharp sandstone rocks reflect a beautiful shade of red as the sun sets into the unique landscape at the end of the day. The trail to Rose & Red Valley can be confusing as many signs point into the wrong directions. Make sure to read our detailed guide before the hike. Download also the hiking trail on google maps so you don’t get lost.
↬ Read : Detailed Guide of Rose & Red Valley Hike in Cappadocia
↬ TIP : Red Valley is the best point to watch the sunset from in Cappadocia
Return to Göreme and have your last dinner at Dibek restaurant. It’s a cute place that serves great Turkish dishes. Make sure to reserve the table at least a day before and ask for the speciality: Pottery Kebab. It must be ordered before as it takes 3h to prepare!
Leave with the morning flight back to Istanbul and from there head back home.
↬ Read : 12 h Layover in Istanbul – What to Visit in a Day
If you have one more day to spend in Cappadocia you can choose to visit Derinkuyu Underground City located 30km from Goreme. Or hike The Ihlara Valley trail with an incredible gorge with a stunning river, or Imaginary (Devrent) Valley with unique rock formations.
↬ Read : Guide to Experience a Fairytale Moment in Cappadocia in Turkey