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Planning activities in Cappadocia

Portland, Oregon
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Planning activities in Cappadocia

I plan to spend 2 days in Cappadocia keeping Goreme as my base. I definitely want to go on a hot air balloon ride on one of the days but I am not sure how much time I should allot for that (including wait time). Does it need to be reserved in advance? Where are the best places to book a ride? At what time of the day should this be done?

Day 1:

Either walk and take dolmush or rent a scooter

Head out to Zelve Open Air museum

Visit Cavusin, Uchisar, Pasabag

Visit Goreme open air museum

Day 2:

Visit Kaymakli

Hike around Pigeon, Rose/Red Imagination, Love (any one)

Hot air balloon ride

Does the above itinerary do justice to the important sights? Also, is renting a scooter going to make a big difference when exploring all these areas? If the dolmush and buses are going to be running frequently, would they suffice for inter-location commute?

Thanks!

Delavan, Illinois
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1. Re: Planning activities in Cappadocia

Our trip to Goreme was even shorter than yours. So we didn't get all the things in your are trying to. What we did do was a balloon ride in the morning. The tour company will come to your hotel to get you before dawn. They typically spend an hour aloft. And you will be back to your hotel in time for breakfast.

Balloons go up rain or shine. But they can be cancelled for lightening or high winds. Don't plan your balloon ride the second day and have it cancelled because of weather. Do it the first day, and then you have the second day as a back up, just in case.

Yes, you do need reservations, but if not in high season, you can do it after you arrive in Goreme. Book either through the visitor's bureau or with your hotel. You can also do it directly with the balloon company, but believe it or not you often get a better rate through your hotel. At least I know we did.

All comapnies fly the same air currents over the same valley. In fairly similar balloons. Some baskets hold more, some less. But figure 12-16-20 in a basket is a pretty typical load. I thought that would be crammed like sardines. I was wrong. We had quite a bit of room to move around and change places in order to get the photo we wanted. And this caused no problem to anyone else. You are confined to one section in the basket, so I don't mean to imply that you're running from one side to another. The big difference is the skill of your pilot for getting down into and out of the various valleys combined with the luck of the way the particular stream of wind you are riding, the starting spot on the valley floor, and the quality of the coffee keeping you warm while the balloon is being filled, and the softness of your final landing.

Goreme open air museum is walking distance from most hotels in town. You don't need a scooter for that. Go there first thing in the morning, after your balloon ride and breakfast, and it will give you a good feel for what else you want to explore.

Portland, Oregon
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2. Re: Planning activities in Cappadocia

Thank you for that informative response. I will be arriving in Goreme in the morning after taking a night bus from Izmir (I think there is one but I will find out after I get to Turkey). Since I will be reaching Goreme by 8-9am, I doubt I can do the balloon ride on Day1. It will have to be on Day2 and I will have to take my chances with the weather. However, this is going to happen in a week's time so it looks like we can expect clear, sunny skies in the area then.

I will also make sure I get my reservation done through the hotel to get the best possible rate.

Australia
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3. Re: Planning activities in Cappadocia

Is it better to have 3 nights or is 2 sufficient. We are a bit stretched but don't want to spoil this town because of one night if it is worth the extra day there.

pam

Delavan, Illinois
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4. Re: Planning activities in Cappadocia

You can do a lot in one day, but certainly not everything you're going to want to do. So, if you need three nights to enjoy two days, I would schedule it. But if you already have two nights planned and it actually allows you to have two full days, and then you leave that evening, I think you can make that work.

The question may be are you travelling by plane, bus, or driving when you leave and how far do you have to travel before your next stop? If you need to allow for a day to travel between Cappadocia and your next stop it sounds like you might want to add that extra night, but if you can travel that evening and still be able to enjoy the next stop in your journey, then you're probably fine with your present (but very full) plans.

Australia
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5. Re: Planning activities in Cappadocia

Tha ks very much for your reply. It was really, really helpful and I appreciate it.

Do you think staying in a cave hotel room is worth the extra cost and also is there any area NOT to stay ie too far away from everythng etc....

regards..pam

Brisbane
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6. Re: Planning activities in Cappadocia

I suggest 3 nights if you can squeeze it into your itinerary.

Staying in a cave hotel room is definitely worth it. There are inexpensive hotels with cave rooms. Kebelek cave hotel is recommended here on TA.

My partner and I stayed in suite 1 with jacuzzi (spabath) at Dervish cave house and it was a few minutes walk to the town centre, just as most hotels are. We paid AU$80/night.

Good luck and happy planning!

Aberdeen, Scotland
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7. Re: Planning activities in Cappadocia

Vikramt, while I know there are local buses/ dolmus, I really don't think they are that easy for visitors on a tight schedule to find! If you are comfortable witha scooter, or tours,I think you'd find that a lot easier for your two days.

As the underground city is further away, I'd schedule that as my first stop on the first day and visit Cavusin, Uchisar, Pasabag on your way back.

You're right you will arrive too late for balloon flighte on Day 1, so that will be Day 2 . I would then hike the valleys first because you don'y want to get caught out with it growing dark, followed by Goreme Open Air Museum (and Zelve if you have time).

Aberdeen, Scotland
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8. Re: Planning activities in Cappadocia

Pam, stay 3 nights if you possibly can. This area really merits that length of time.

I'm not sure why youthink a cave hotel is more expensive? Many of them are rather cheap and I absolutely loved staying in them - beautiful, quite unlike any other bog standard hotel I have ever stayed in. I would most definitely choose a cave hotel -and most of them are far better located than large, chain hotels which are too far away in towns like Nevsehir or the big "tour bus" buses in the middle of nowhere.

I would recommend Goreme as it is very conveniently situated, has a good range of shops and restaurants, for the evening and is completely in the centre of the unique "fairy chimney" landscape you have come to see. I have stayed at the Kelebek and the Travellers Cave Hotels, and highly recommend both. Have a look at the reviews section for others.

Australia
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9. Re: Planning activities in Cappadocia

Thank you everyone. You have all been fantastic. We'll do 3 nights for sure and stay in a cave house. Also now know where not to stay which is a great help.

I love the planning stage of our trips and TA is a godsend when at the planning stage.

pam

Aberdeen, Scotland
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10. Re: Planning activities in Cappadocia

Pam, planning is half the fun!

Of course, in my last post I meant to say - "....the big "tour bus" HOTELS in the middle of nowhere."