Cappadocia, Turkey. Where do I even begin! This region of Turkey has got to be by far the most surreal landscape I have seen (mind you I’ve only traveled to 20 countries). It’s so rich in history and I’m truly amazed at it’s evolvement. To think that the earliest record of time here dates back to the late 6th century BC.
Aside from its interesting history, Cappadocia is largely known for it’s underground cities (where Christians used to hide when Christianity wasn’t yet accepted) and for its impressive rock formations/pillars.
Many tourists usually stay in Cappadocia for only a few days, but some have gotten sucked in and have stayed for 2-3 weeks, as a friend did just that. The go-to city to stay in is Göreme, which has plentiful cave hotels/hostels and cafes/restaurants to choose from. Do yourself a favor and indulge in the clay pot dishes (which take hours to cook) and the wine that will surely surprise you. (I had quite a few mediocre wines but there were definitely some exceptional ones.) My favorite wine is Öküzgözü, which is grown in Nevşehir (it’s also grown in other Turkish regions). It’s a perfect medium bodied wine with plenty of floral and fruity flavors. I prefer to drink this on its own but it also goes well with meat or smoked dishes.
One thing that I absolutely recommend doing is doing the hot-air balloon ride. Sure you can do balloon rides anywhere in the world, but not over a landscape such as you get in Cappadocia. It costs over 100 Euros but it is well worth it. The rides are done in the crack of dawn so you can have an even better experience whilst seeing the sunrise.
You can do plenty of guided tours here, but some are good to do on your own. I did the Red Valley as a guided tour, and did the Rose & Pigeon Valley on my own. The Rose Valley took me a few steady hours and snacked on grapes that were growing along the path. Nomnomnom.
And as for the Love Valley, well, why is it called Love Valley to begin with? Just take a look at one of these pictures and see for yourself. And if it still goes over your head and you don’t get it, I’ll be explicit…the pillars are shaped like penises, except their like a million times bigger.