8. Cappadocia: Hot Air Balloon Flight and Day Tour
Begin your day with a pickup from your accommodation in Cappadocia at dawn and travel to the hot air balloon launch site. Enjoy a light breakfast then board your piloted balloon. Ascend above Cappadocia’s lunar-like landscapes. Absorb the incredible views of the sculpted valleys below. Capture them on camera as the sun illuminates them in soft reds and pinks. After at least an hour in the air, touch down and celebrate your experience with a glass of champagne. Then, be transferred back to your accommodation for breakfast and two or three hours of free time.
Your second pickup will be in an air-conditioned vehicle to kick off your tour of the highlights of Cappadocia. Your professional tour guide will help you get acquainted with this unique area.
Visit Avanos town, which is famous for its production of earthenware pottery. The ceramic trade in this district, and the countless pottery factories, date back to the Hittites. The ceramic clay from the red silt in the Kizilirmak River has always been used. Watch a pottery demonstration of the Hittite technique. Explore Çavusin. This is one of the oldest settlements in Cappadocia, dating back to the 5th-century. It is an old village where people still live in rock-cut dwellings and stone houses. The Church of St. John the Baptist in Çavuşin village dates back to the 5th-century and the paintings date back to the 6th, 7th, and 8th centuries. The church offers a spectacular panoramic view of the village.
Devrent Valley, also known as Imagination Valley, is famous for a lunar landscape, with unique rock formations that look like particular animals, including a camel, an alligator, snakes, and seals. There are also rocks that resemble people as they dance or pray and one that appears to be St. Mary. Goreme Open-Air Museum is a UNESCO site with rock-cut churches and monasteries dating back to the 5th and 13th centuries. There are over 400 churches in Goreme and most of the beautiful frescoes have retained their original color and freshness. Visit the Apple Church, the St. Barbara Church, the Church of the Serpent, and the Dark Church.
Pasabag Valley has the best collection of fairy chimneys in Cappadocia. These rock formations with twin and even triple rock caps are known as the mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys. The valley is also known as Monk's Valley because monks used to take refuge here. A chapel dedicated to St. Simeon and a hermit’s shelter are built into one of the fairy chimneys with three caps. It is possible to visit the inside and climb to the top of it. Uchisar Rock Castle is the highest point in Cappadocia. There is a magnificent panoramic view of the area, and the Erciyes mountain in the distance, from the top of the castle. Rooms in this multi-level castle are connected to each other with stairs, tunnels, and passages. Urgup is a heart of Cappadocia and it is famous for the Three Beauties and wine production. Before returning to your accommodation, visit a winery to sample some local wines.