In the heart of Central Anatolia in Türkiye lies the historically important region of Cappadocia. The region boasts of rich culinary heritage, mesmerizing natural wonders, awe-inspiring scenery and many more. It is popular as the land of fairy tales and only once you visit will you be truly able to understand, why. Below is an interesting read on the top 7 things to do in Cappadocia and also the reasons for the region’s popularity.
Things To Do In Cappadocia – Top 7
Breakfast With A View
One of the top most things to do in Cappadocia is enjoying a scrumptious Turkish breakfast with views out of a fairytale. The breathtaking view of multiple hot air balloons taking to the sky right at the crack of dawn is an affair like none other. Capture the view while enjoying a hearty Turkish breakfast at the several rooftop cafes and restaurants spread across the city.
Highlights: Haruna Restaurant at Carus Cappadocia Hotel, Mithra Terrace at Mithra Cave Hotel, Lil’a at Museum Hotel, Rox Cappadocia and Doors Of Cappadocia are a few of the popular rooftop restaurants in Cappadocia.
The Courtyard Of Tapestry
On the list of things to do in Cappadocia, a visit to Carpet Street is a must. The shops here are popular for Turkish rugs woven by local artisans. The setup helps to promote Turkish culture and allows the local artisans to earn a living.
Over the years this part of Cappadocia has become popular for capturing the cultural beauty of Cappadocia. You will find many shop owners with drones and special areas meant for capturing the nostalgic essence of the region with you in it. However, this might cost you a little extra as you might have to make a purchase before clicking pictures. Which is a decent bargain considering the shopkeeper still needs to pay rent.
Highlights: Dowry Carpet, Cappadocia Rug Collection, Tribal Collections Nomadic Rugs are a few popular carpet shops in Cappadocia’s carpet street.
Step Into A Fairyland
Next, on the list of exciting things to do in Cappadocia is to plan a visit to the fairy chimneys. The chimneys are ancient porous volcanic rock formations that took shape millions of years ago. The unique cone shape is due to volcanic ash settling in the region and eventually getting covered by basalt. Over eons the weight of the deposit resulted in something known as the ‘tuff’. Over the centuries these mounds of volcanic ash and sand were further carved to perfection by naturally eroding elements.
A closer observation of these tuffs unravel numerous windows, airways and doors dug out in these cone-shape rock formations. Because during the Roman era mistreated Christians fled to the town of Gerome, now Cappadocia. They came to a realization that the tuff is malleable and can be put to a better use. Soon the new inhabitants set about building a network of living quarters, tunnels, animal shelters, prayer halls and other community-related structures.
Highlights: A hot air balloon tour over the fairy chimneys is the best way of unravelling the beauty of these ancient wonders.
‘Testi kebab’ or pottery Kebab is one of the most unique dishes to try in Cappadocia. The dish is cooks in an Avanos pot that comes from the Avanos Village of Cappadocia. The village is famous as the “pottery village” of Cappadocia and lies on the banks of the Red River.
The dish includes ingredients like beef, onions, tomato paste, capsicum, garlic, chili pepper paste and a mixture of herbs. The ingredients are sealed in an Avanos pot with dough and left over burning coal for two hours or more. What comes out of the pot is juicy, scrumptious and heart-warming chunks of beef simmered in its own juices and veggies.
Highlights: Dibek, Top Deck and Cafe Sanak are few popular restaurants to enjoy this sensational dish.
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Another popular Turkish delicacy, a must try when planning a trip to Cappadocia is ‘Manti’. It is popular as the Turkish ravioli among tourists and comes with a variety of stuffing’s. However, the most popular one is, minced lamb served with a sauce consisting of yoghurt and tomato chili oil.
Highlights: Turkish Ravioli Restaurant, Old Cappadocia and Dibek are a few places in Cappadocia popular for serving the best Manti in town.
The fruit of the Gilbaru rose is a popular flowering plant in Cappadocia that blooms in the spring season. The fruit is known to have several health benefits. However, according to the locals, its direct consumption may cause vomiting and diarrhea. Hence, the fruit is first soaked in water until the sour taste disappears. Then it’s run through a cold press, and the resulting juice is an excellent source of Vitamin C, with benefits for the kidney. You may even procure a bottled version of this berry plant during the season.
Highlights: Spring season is the best time to enjoy a glass of Guelder Rose juice in Cappadocia.
The final activity on the list of things to do in Cappadocia is to spend a night at the city’s famous cave hotels. As the name suggests these lodging facilities are cave-dwelling spaces refurbished into luxurious hotels. These are the same caves that were dug out by the Christian refugees fleeing the Romans. These refugees made the ancient Cappadocian tuffs their living abodes. A few of them ventured away from Gerome and carved out these massive caves by hand.
Highlights: Phocas Cave Suites, Museum Hotel Cappadocia and Travellers Cave Pension are some popular cave hotels in Cappadocia.