The Travel experience 

Cappadocia Itinerary : Exploring Fairytale Chimneys and Hot Air Balloon Ride

Cappadocia, with its magical rock formations and cave dwellings, has captivated travelers for centuries. And just recently, I joined the ranks of the entranced! Arriving at Nevsehir Airport at 11 AM, I snagged a budget-friendly €10 bus ride to the Grand Elite Hotel.

  • Cappadocia Location : Central Anatolia, Turkey.
  • Cappadocia From Istanbul: 725 km
  • By Flight : Istanbul Airport To Nevsehir Airport / Kayseri Airport (€ 40-50 onside) and then bus to Göreme (€ 10), Total Duration 2-3 hours.
  • By Bus : Istanbul To Göreme (€ 30), Total Duration 8-9 Hours.

Eagerly anticipating a hot air balloon ride booked for the next morning at a reasonable €180, excitement filled the air. However, upon reaching the hotel, concerns arose as we discovered the balloon rides hadn't operated due to adverse weather conditions for the past few days, leaving us slightly apprehensive. Fingers crossed, I decided to delve into the charm of Göreme, the region's central town.

Seeking to make the most of our day, we ventured out to explore the lively streets of the Local Göreme Market in the evening. Every corner oozed character, from handcrafted souvenirs to wafts of enticing spices. Curiosity piqued, I checked prices for the famed Cappadocia Red and Green tours, discovering they ranged from €45 to €55. Each promised a deep dive into the region's history and landscapes – decisions, decisions!

Finally, satiating my travel-weary tummy, I opted for a delicious Indian feast at one of the many restaurants lining the streets. As the day drew to a close, the anticipation for Cappadocia's wonders, both aerial and terrestrial, crackled in the air.


  • Hotel Name: Grand Elite Cave Suites (€40)
  • Hotel Rating: 3/5

At 5 AM, our hot air balloon adventure began. Greeted by the agency, we were whisked away to the launch site. Picture this: Snacks in hand, hundreds of hot air balloons, in every color imaginable, gently inflating like giant, happy bubbles against the soft pink dawn.

Boarding our balloon alongside 28 other thrill-seekers, we soared high, capturing breathtaking views of Cappadocia's unique landscape. Other balloons danced around us, a breathtaking aerial waltz that made us laugh out loud with pure joy. We skimmed past rocky hills, close enough to touch the rugged beauty, then soared higher, feeling like birds on the wind.

Champagne popped as we touched down, celebrating the end of this once-in-a-lifetime experience. The balloon ride, although costly, was an experience beyond compare.

Returning to our hotel by 8 AM, we refreshed with breakfast before embarking on the Red Tour at 9 AM. A full-day adventure awaited, spanning from 9:30 AM to 5 PM. Our tour featured captivating sites:

  • Uchisar Castle
  • Derinkuyu Underground City
  • Love Valley
  • Zelve Open Air Museum

From the mighty Uchisar Castle to the mind-blowing Derinkuyu Underground City, a honeycomb of ancient homes and tunnels, each stop felt like stepping into a forgotten adventure novel. Love Valley, with its whimsical rock formations, offered a sweet interlude, while the Zelve Open Air Museum whispered tales of cave dwellers from another era.

Despite the fatigue from the extensive walking, exploring these historical marvels was rewarding. The Derinkuyu Underground City, a personal favorite, left an indelible mark, offering a glimpse into Cappadocia's rich history.

We explored the Göreme market in the night and discovered the balloon chase opportunity, an instant booking for picturesque moments. With this exciting plan in place, we retired for the night, cherishing the memories of the day's incredible adventures.


  • Hot Balloon Ride: € 180
  • Red Tour: € 45
  • Hotel Name: Kookaburra Pension (€40)
  • Hotel Rating: 2.5/5

Chasing the Sunrise: A Magical Morning

A car fetched us from our hotel at 5 AM, whisking us away to the balloon take-off site. The scene was pure enchantment: hundreds of vibrant balloons inflating like giant, hopeful dreams, ready to paint the sky. We snapped breathtaking pictures, capturing the first touches of light on the fairy chimneys and the ethereal glow of the balloons.

Next, Love Valley beckoned. The spot was abuzz with people gathered to witness the sunrise and the floating balloons. you know. It was a photographer's paradise, with pre-wedding shoots adding a touch of romance to the air. It was the perfect spot to soak in the beauty and snap some enviable Instagram-worthy pictures.

A Wholesome Adventure: The Green Tour

Returning to our hotel at 8 AM, we fueled up with breakfast, contemplating whether to embark on the Green Tour. Despite initial hesitations about its duration and tiredness, we embraced spontaneity and decided to seize the day without overthinking.

Joining the tour group at 9 AM, the tour would become the highlight of our trip! Our guide, a charismatic storyteller, and a mix of fellow travelers from different corners of the world created an instant camaraderie. From 9:30 AM to 5 PM, we laughed, explored, and discovered hidden gems of Cappadocia.

During the Green Tour (9:30 AM - 5 PM), we explored captivating spots:

  • Pigeon Valley
  • Ihlara Valley
  • Devrent Valley
  • Pasabag
  • Kocabag Winery

Pigeon Valley, a breathtaking gorge buzzing with feathered residents, led us to Ihlara Valley, a green oasis carved by a winding river. Devrent Valley, with its whimsical mushroom-shaped rocks, tickled our imaginations, while Pasabag, with its ancient rock-cut churches, whispered tales of the past. Kocabag winery capped off the day with a delicious tipple, leaving us buzzing with new experiences and friendships.

The Green Tour turned out to be a delightful journey. We cherished every moment, mingling with wonderful people and creating lasting memories. Returning to the hotel, our hearts brimmed with experiences that would linger on.

Exhausted, but with hearts full of joy and cameras crammed with memories, we returned to our hotel, already planning our next move. And yes, we even managed to switch hotels at 6 PM, proving that even on vacation, we could juggle schedules and adventures with ease.


  • Green Tour: € 45
  • Hotel Name: Artemis Cave Suites (€100)
  • Hotel Rating: 4/5

Waking up to a beautiful morning at Artemis Cave Suites felt like a dream. The view was nothing short of spectacular—a sunrise painted the sky while hundreds of vibrant hot air balloons adorned the horizon. Everywhere we looked, there were picture-perfect spots, offering us the chance to capture these mesmerizing moments forever. It was a breathtaking panorama, etched forever in my memory, the perfect goodbye to this enchanting land.

Breakfast on the terrace, with the aroma of fresh pastries mixing with the crisp morning air, was the perfect way to fuel our final day.

Our journey back to Kayseri airport was bittersweet. Leaving Cappadocia felt like saying goodbye to a newfound friend, a place that had held us spellbound with its fairy chimneys, underground cities, and vibrant culture. As I bid farewell, I made a silent promise to return to Cappadocia one day. The memories made here are too precious to forget, and I long to relive this captivating experience again.

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