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The Mysterious Land of Fairy Chimneys: Cappadocia Travel Guide


The Mysterious Land of Fairy Chimneys: Cappadocia Travel Guide

Nevşehir, Cappadocia travel guide: Where are the fairy chimneys? Must-see places in Cappadocia. How many days does it take to visit Cappadocia? Where to go, what to do, what to eat, what to buy in Cappadocia? How much are Cappadocia hot air balloon tour prices? Where is the best place to watch the sunrise in Cappadocia?..

Lava, ash, rain, wind and ice! These unique artists of nature have cooperated flawlessly for millions of years to shape this natural wonder region in Turkey. Cappadocia, with its endless valleys with fairy chimneys up to 45 meters tall, mysterious underground cities and unique historical texture, has been at the top of my travel list for a long time.

Kapadokya gezi rehberi.
Güvercinlik Valley at sunrise. You, like me, can enjoy the balloon view from the terrace of Very Peri Cappadocia Hotel. – Photo: Sahra Gülal

I have special travel recommendations and tips for those who will visit for the first time this national treasure, which took its current appearance with the unity of both nature and humanity. If we are ready, we are starting a long-term Cappadocia Travel Guide that will amaze you with its magical atmosphere:

Headings in the Article

Routes I’ve Visited and My Favorite Places in Cappadocia, the Land of Beautiful Horses

Warning: All the experiences I shared throughout my article and the prices and entrance fees I stated are dated May 2024. Positive and negative developments may change over time. Although entrances to museums and historical sites are usually paid, this is valid in most places. Museum card (60 TL) You can easily switch with . In places where Museum cards are not accepted, it would be useful to have cash or a credit card with you. If you like taking photos and being photographed like me, do not forget to take your equipment with you such as charger, power bank, spare battery and batteries, flash memory, USB – Type-C converters. Since light sources are scarce in underground cities, you can buy external LED lights to get quality photos. Note: You can watch the details of my Cappadocia trip in the reels video on my @fotokusagi Instagram page. Don’t forget to follow my page, like and share my content. 😇

Red Valley with Balloon View at Sunrise
Pigeon Valley

Kapadokya gezi rehberi.
Güvercinlik Valley (Red Valley) / Cappadocia – Photo: Sahra Gülal

Located on a four-kilometer route stretching from Uçhisar to Göreme, Güvercinlik Valley takes its name from the pigeon nests carved into the rocks. The people of the region kept pigeons until the 9th century, and used their manure in vineyards and their eggs in the plasters of frescoes. Do not return without visiting this valley to see the pigeon nests and discover the natural beauties of the region. A 15 meter high waterfall falling from high rocks awaits you in the valley. You should also definitely watch the feast created in the sky by the hot air balloons that are prepared and take flight between 04.30 and 05.30 in the morning. Cappadocia travel guide.

Best Hotel Recommendation with Balloon View for Romantic Couples
Very Peri Cappadocia Hotel

Very Peri Cappadocia Hotel – Photo by Sahra Gulal

Very Peri with its open and closed bathtubs in cave and stone rooms, its interior design that respects the historical texture, its unique view opening to Güvercinlik Valley, its friendly service quality, its breakfast with local products and very special handmade delicacies (you should definitely try the milk jam 🤤). Cappadocia Hotel may be indispensable for a holiday alone with your lover. This hotel, which will also be loved by honeymoon couples, also offers paid special services such as car rental with driver, airport transfer and photographer.

Thanks to the hotel’s central location, you can do many activities such as paragliding, ATV, safari, horseback riding, hiking, and easily visit tourist spots. Very Peri Cappadocia Hotel became my favorite as it hosts the impressive view of hot air balloons rising from the valley on its left and the majestic peak of Mount Erciyes on its right. You can easily include this place among the hotels where you will stay. Address:Asagi, Kavas Çıkmazı No:1, 50240 Uçhisar/Nevşehir Merkez/Nevşehir, Türkiye

Panoramic Fairy Chimney Visible from Everywhere in Cappadocia
Uchisar Castle

Kapadokya gezi rehberi.
Uçhisar Castle / Cappadocia – Photo: Sahra Gülal

When you look from the top of the castle, which has been carved since the Roman period and has many rooms, houses, shelters, warehouses, cisterns, graves and cellars, and is an important defense point against Arab raids, all the valleys from Güvercinlik Valley to Avanos (Ortahisar Castle, Göreme, Göreme Open Air Museum, Kılıçlar Vadisi, Kızılçukur, Güllüdere, Çavuşin, Boztepe, Aktepe, Avanos) that is, the whole of Cappadocia is at your feet. In addition, the castle is the only place where Erciyes and Hasan Mountain can be seen together. Consisting of two adjacent pointed fairy chimneys, the larger one is called “Aga’s Castle” and the smaller one is called “Sergeant’s Castle” among the people. I think the last word about this place would be “A trip to Cappadocia is incomplete without going to Uçhisar Castle.”

The Rock Settlement Shedding Light on the History of Christianity
Goreme Open Air Museum

Kapadokya gezi rehberi.
Göreme Open Air Museum / Cappadocia – Photo: Sahra Gülal

Exploring this place is like jumping into a time machine and going back to IV AD. century to XIII. It was like going on a journey spanning centuries. This historical place is a rock settlement where the heart of monastic life beats. In the valley, rock blocks were carved and churches, chapels, dining halls and seating areas were built. The geometric decorations and frescoes on the walls of the churches in Göreme Valley, which is considered to be the place where the monastery education system was started, depict Biblical scenes from the early periods of Christianity and the Prophet Muhammad. It includes narratives about the life of Jesus. Within the museum area, there are important buildings such as the Girls and Boys Monastery, St. Basileus Church, Elmalı Church, St. Barbara Church, Yılanlı Church, Dark Church, Çarıklı Church and Tokalı Church. Göreme Open Air Museum has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1985. I’m sure you’ll capture unique shots from different angles here. You can also take an authentic photo by riding the camels at the museum entrance. Museum Card is valid for Turkish citizens.

A Place Full of Unsolved Mysteries Like the Egyptian Pyramids
Derinkuyu Underground City

Kapadokya gezi rehberi.
Explore Derinkuyu Underground City, the deepest underground city of Cappadocia, and get lost in the labyrinths of this mysterious underground world. – Image: Derinkuyu Municipality Promotion Booklet

Its bar is the largest and most navigable underground city in the world. Derinkuyu, which is known to have no settlement above ground until the 1830s, was discovered by chance and opened to visitors in the 1960s. Derinkuyu Underground City, named after 52 drinking water wells located at a depth of 60-70 meters, bears traces from the Assyrian Colonies as well as II. It hosted the first Christians who escaped from Roman oppression in the 16th century and took refuge in Kayseri via Mesopotamia and then in Cappadocia. To date, only 2.5 square kilometers, 8 floors of the 4 square kilometer area, has been cleaned and opened to visitors. The depth of the floors that can currently be visited in Derinkuyu is 50 meters. However, when all floors are cleaned, it is estimated that the depth will reach 85 meters and the number of floors will increase to 12-13. It is truly a mind-boggling situation that approximately 50 thousand people live here at these depths for a long time without any connection with the outside world. The narrow passages, the sometimes compressed air, the ground that makes climbing and descending difficult, and the dark atmosphere make you feel in your bones that you are among the people who lived there at that time. Museum Card is valid for Turkish citizens.

Watchman of the City with a Rock-Carved Underground Settlement Discovered by ChanceKayaşehir and Nevşehir Castle

In Kayaşehir, a rock-carved historical underground settlement discovered by chance during urban transformation works in 2014, there is a 13th-century Byzantine rock church, multi-storey tombs, gathering areas for religious ceremonies, workshops, stables, tunnels and waterways, a room with a cross. There are areas such as Kaya Mosque, Black Mosque, Greek Bath, Virgin Mary Church, Damat İbrahim Pasha Social Complex. In addition, you can also see Nevşehir Castle, which was used as a stop/police station to protect the old Roman road and the Baghdad Silk Road, closely and capture magnificent images. The only thing I see as negative is; The view you will see across the street is, unfortunately, ‘today’s commercial modern houses’, which are not suitable for the historical and geological texture of the city. Cappadocia travel guide.

Settlement Where Priests Retreat
Pasabag Valley

Paşabağlar Ruins / Cappadocia – Image:

The region, which was previously called Priests Valley or Monks Valley, is today known as Paşabağları. The region was given this name because the vineyards in the valley were donated by the state to a retired pasha after the War of Independence. In Paşabağları, a place famous for its unique fairy chimneys, it is possible to see interesting single, double and triple fairy chimneys, as well as mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys that have not yet formed, have completed their formation and are in the process of extinction. On the other hand, the valley, together with the Zelve ruins, was an important settlement and religious center for the monks who preferred a secluded life during the early Christian period (XVI.-IX. centuries). For this reason, there are many chapels and monk cells built inside the fairy chimneys in the valley. Museum Card is valid for Turkish citizens.

The Center of the Pottery Tradition from the Hittite Times

You can’t come to Nevşehir without visiting Avanos. You ask why? Because; passing through Kızılırmak Riverconnecting the two banks of the river drawbridge, hundreds of ducks waiting to be fed by your hands, the historical old houses of Avanos, workshops where pottery shaped with red clay specific to the region is made, ceramic ornaments that you can make or buy from red clay. Güray MuseumIt is among the must-see places. Cappadocia travel guide.

Meral Sultan Kayseri Cuisine / Cappadocia – Photo: Sahra Gülal

After a full day Meral Sultan Kayseri Cuisine Don’t forget to taste local delicacies in . In this place, which I went to upon recommendation and I especially love the oil, you can experience the famous Kayseri manti and many local dishes from Meral Hanım’s recipe. Just before going to the venue definitelyCall and find out availability You need to create a reservation. (Contact: 0552 735 38 38)

Places You Must See in Cappadocia

In addition to all the places I mentioned above, you can include the following routes in your travel list.

  1. Three Beauties
  2. Ihlara Valley
  3. Ortahisar Castle
  4. Devrent Valley
  5. Kaymaklı Underground City
  6. Underground Bazaar and Hidden Cave
  7. Çavuşin Church
  8. Urgup
  9. Asmali Konak
  10. Love Valley (Bağlıdere Valley)
  11. Acıgöl
  12. Hasan Mountain
  13. Mustafapasa Village
  14. Temenni Hill
  15. Soganli Valley
  16. Red Church
  17. Valley of Swords
  18. Gomeda Valley
  19. Mushroom Rock Fairy Chimney
  20. Al Nazar Church
What to Do in Cappadocia? Here’s a Short To-Do List
You can come across camels and horses in almost every corner of Cappadocia. For example, you can ride the camels at the entrance of Göreme Open Air Museum and take photos. (Average price 200-300 TL.) – Photo: Sahra Gülal
  • Greet the earth from the sky by participating in Hot Air Balloon tours.
  • Photograph the balloons rising into the sky at sunrise.
  • Relive history in the mysterious atmosphere of underground cities.
  • Buy pottery from Avanos and attend a pottery making workshop.
  • Taste Testi Kebab. Buy ceramic ornaments made of Onyx stone or red earth clay for your loved ones.
  • Watch the region panoramically from Temenni Hill and Uçhisar Castle.
  • Explore the valleys with ATV and horse safari tours. Or go hiking or camping.
  • Take a gondola and canoe tour on Kızılırmak. Climb the suspension bridge.
  • Watch the Mapping Show projected onto the fairy chimneys.
  • See the Hair Museum, voted one of the strangest museums in the world.
How Many Days Are Required for Cappadocia Trip?

I definitely recommend you allocate a travel time of 4-5 days to visit Cappadocia, where every point is like an open-air museum. If you have limited time, you can visit most of the region in 2-3 days by making good planning.

Are the fairy chimneys in Ürgüp or Göreme?

You can see fairy chimneys in many parts of Cappadocia. However, if you are asking about The Three Beauties, who are known by everyone and deserve this fame to the fullest; They are located within the borders of Ürgüp. Cappadocia travel guide.

How Much Are Balloon Tour Prices in Cappadocia?
Cappadocia / Cappadocia Turkey

Balloon tour prices; It varies depending on the season, the valley you will ride in and the tour company you will choose. Balloon tour prices are on average between 200-280 Euros during the busy season, and around 150-200 Euros in the off-season. While prices are higher in popular valleys such as Göreme and Uçhisar, prices may be more affordable in valleys such as Paşabağ and Zelve. Since each tour company has its own pricing policy and different services, it will be beneficial to compare offers from different companies and choose the option that suits you best. Cappadocia travel guide.

What to Pay Attention to and What to Wear When Boarding a Balloon?
Güvercinlik Valley Cappadocia – Photo: Sahra Gülal

I strongly recommend that you wear clothes suitable for the season in which you will go on tour. Even in the spring and summer months, it will be inevitable for you to get cold in the balloons that are prepared and take off between 04.30 and 05.00 in the morning. Thin long-sleeved knitwear will be useful. Don’t forget to dress comfortably and carry sunscreen, a hat and water. Additionally, since you will be standing for about 1 hour during the flight, it will be useful to wear flat-soled shoes.

Although balloon tour prices are predetermined, do not hesitate to bargain. Book your balloon tour in advance, especially if you are traveling during peak season. Confirm whether the weather conditions are suitable for the balloon tour.

When to Go to Cappadocia, What to Wear?
If you, like me, think that red will suit the authentic atmosphere of Cappadocia, you can choose such a comfortable dress. After leaving Derinkuyu Underground City, you can buy souvenirs at Galeri Baba or immortalize the moment like me. – Photo: Sahra Gülal

Since Cappadocia is a region that receives heavy and sudden rainfall in spring and autumn, I strongly recommend that you take a raincoat, umbrella and waterproof shoes with you. I say this without exaggeration, as someone who has experienced it directly, you can see all 4 seasons at the same time in one day. On the other hand, summers were extremely hot and winters were harshly cold. However, seeing the region with its snow-covered view can be completely different.

Beanies, scarves, thick coats, thick safari pants, sweaters, woolen underwear, socks and boots will be very savior items for the winter months. Walking shoes are a must on valley walks that require climbing and descending. In spring and summer, especially for female travellers, red, orange, yellow and white colored dresses, minimal suits, a head-to-toe western or bohemian style, and linen clothes are among the ones that will look best here. There is no doubt that you will look like you stepped out of a fashion magazine in the photos and videos.

What is Cappadocia famous for? What to Buy?

The underground cities of Cappadocia, which stands out with its world-famous fairy chimneys, are another of the famous structures that make it special. As for food, Çömlek kebab, dried clotted cream, testi kebab and pumpkin seeds are among the famous ones. In addition, red earth clay and pottery made with this clay are among the famous souvenirs of Cappadocia.

Where is the Best Place to Watch the Sunrise in Cappadocia?

There are many places to watch the sunrise in Cappadocia. But the most beautiful spots to watch from these places are Uçhisar Castle and Aşıklar Hill. Apart from these, Ortahisar Castle, Güvercinlik Valley (Red Valley) and Kızılçukur Valley, which I have personally experienced, are also among the most beautiful sunrise viewing points. Cappadocia travel guide.


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