Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride
Few things are worth waking up for at 4:30 am, but if you want to get a spectacular birds eye view of Cappadocia’s otherworldly rock formations and fairy chimneys, set your alarm clock. At the take-off site, you’ll see the sky turn from black to purple to light blue as the pilot skillfully tests the wind direction and begins to inflate your balloon. Once your ride is fully fired up, you’ll jump into the basket and drift up and away, looking out on a lunar landscape– and an entire sky filled with other hot air balloons!
We arranged our ride through Voyager Balloons and had a great experience. After about an hour, they float you back down to safety, pop open a bottle of champagne for a celebratory toast and give you a very official-looking certificate of completion.
*Note to families — kids must be at least 6 years old and 4’6” tall to fly with you.
Visit the Open Air Museum
Since you’re up anyway, head straight to the Goreme Open Air Museum before the crowds arrive. At this UNESCO site, you can see the best preserved churches in the area – eight altogether, many with beautiful frescoes.
Go on a Horseback Ride through Love Valley
Neither our guide nor our horses spoke any English at all, yet miraculously with no prior experience under our belts, we managed to stay on our saddles at all times. The ride is really beautiful — trails wind through apple, apricot and walnut orchards and up through volcanic stone hills. A wonderful way to enjoy the unique landscapes all around you.
Stop for Lunch in Goreme
By now you’re probably hungry, so grab a borek (white cheese stuffed between paper thin pastry sheets and baked) at Nazar Börek Cafe in Göreme village, or a doner kebab from one of the other cafes in the village.
Climb to the Top of Uchisar Castle
Uchisar Castle sits on the highest point in Cappadocia and a stunning panaromic view of the entire region waits for you at the top. Don’t forget to wear your walking shoes — you’ll have to duck through hollowed out rock rooms that are connected to each other by stairs, tunnels and passages to get to the peak.
Relax at your Cave Hotel
We stayed at Anatolian Houses, which is an impressive boutique hotel that has been carved into the hillside of Göreme. We loved the underground swimming pool and were very curious about the wine fountain (yes – it spurts out both red and white.) Some suites come with terraces – perfect for a glass of wine with a view as the sun sets.
Go to Ziggys for Dinner
The best restaurant in the area, with a lovely rooftop space where you can eat under the stars.
Start with a delicious variety of mezzes – eggplant, phyllo pastry rolls stuffed with cheese and vegetables, and fava bean stew are good choices. The atmosphere is cozy, with terrific jazz in the background – ideal for scoring your table-side recap of all you have accomplished in a perfect day here.
We traveled to Cappadocia before our son was born — but it’s one of the places I am most excited to go back to with him one day. What could be more fun than flying over a valley of fairy chimneys in a hot air balloon? Perhaps the perfect birthday present for my little man’s 6th birthday (which is over 4 years from now, but something to look forward to…)
Gaferli Mah, Goreme -Nevsehir
Open Air Museum
1 mile from Goreme village center
Yunak Mah., Tevfik Fikret Caddesi
No. 24 Urgup – Nevsehir
Phone: +90 (384) 341 7107