This is part 2 of a 5 part series on planning for a specific number of days in Cappadocia. To see all the possibilities check out the Series Introduction.
You have 2 days in Cappadocia, how are you going to spend them? 48 hours quickly ticking away, with what will you fill them? Are you feeling stressed? Rushed?
Uçhisar has ONE tall rock tower + ONE Camel = 2 Days in Cappadocia.
You have come to the right place. Let’s relax and walk through a schedule that will maximize the time.
OPTION 1 – Relax and let others take care of you – Guided Cappadocia Tours
5:30 – 9:00am Cappadocia Hot-Air Balloon & Breakfast
Our Hot-Air Balloon Information Page will help you learn most of what you need to know to book a balloon.
More balloon rides occur in Cappadocia than anywhere else in the world (at least that is what they say, and I believe them). My wife and I get up early on most mornings and walk around Çavuşin. Daily we see on average 60-70 balloons in the air. However, balloons are cancelled a few days per month due to windy conditions. For this reason I recommend booking your trip on day one. This way if the weather is bad, you will still have a chance the next day. At this point I do not have the experience to say which company is best although I am working to change that. I have heard that Royal and Kapadokya have the best reputations. At the same time everyone I meet says they enjoyed their balloon trip. To book your trip you can go through your hotel or easily find something online.
[PRICE = 100-150 EURO]
9:30am – 5:30pm – Tour – Red, Green, Blue, and other colorful Cappadocia Tours
Here is an example of one or you can book it in person or through your hotel. The van will pick you up at your hotel and return you to the same spot. The tour usually includes transportation, a guide, and lunch. This is probably the best way to see as much as possible in a short time.
[PRICE = 70TL per person - as of February 2012]
5:30pm – 7:00pm – Sunset/Hike/Shop/Tea/Rest
Depending on the season and the weather you will have some time between the tour and dinner that can be spent outside. Only you know what you can handle at this point.
Here are some good options:
* Go take pictures of the sunset from the cliffs overlooking Göreme.
* Pick one of the valleys (Red, Pigeon, Love, and Devrent) and go for a hike. Make sure to check which valleys are included in your tours so you pick one you will not see on day 2. Where you are staying will play a role in this as well since transportation can be a problem. If you are in Göreme or Çavuşin, this is not a problem.
* This is a good time to do some shopping around your hotel if you were not able to shop enough on your tour.
* After a long day of touring you may want to rest before the big night. In this case you can either sit in your hotel lobby/courtyard and have some tea or take a nap.
[PRICELESS unless you buy something shopping.]
7:30pm – 10:30pm – Turkish Culture Night- Dinner and a show
Some places highlight the Whirling Dervishes while others, like Evranos in Avanos, do a total culture night inlcuding belly dancing and Whirling Dervishes as well folk dancing from many different regions of Turkey. [Note: I have not experienced these "Nights" yet so cannot say much about them from personal experience. The people I know who have attended have been pleased.]
[PRICE = 20-40 EURO]
Sunrise – 9am – Morning hike & Breakfast
Since you are not ballooning you can sleep in or you can take advantage of the beautiful, quiet mornings and go for a walk/hike. As I said above I can speak from firsthand experience about this. Besides the balloonists only the dogs are up early in Cappadocia. The scenery is truly captivating as the first rays of sunlight hit the rock formations and the serenity is peace giving. This is a wonderful opportunity to prepare your soul for the day ahead. Of course, if everyone does this, than it will not be so peaceful and serene! But I do not think we need to worry about that.
9:30am – 5:30pm – Tour
Same as above, just a different tour.
5:30pm – 7:00pm – Sunset/Hike/Shop/Tea/Rest
Same as above; you decide what is best for you.
7:00pm – Bedtime – Dinner and Debrief
If you truly love watching Whirling Dervishes and did not get enough at the Turkish Night, then you can go see more. However, since most of you will not fall into this category, I would recommend that you pick a nice Cappadocian restaurant close to your hotel (here and here are some excellent options) and debrief your trip. Talk about your highs and lows, what you would do differently, how glad you are that you read CaptivatingCappadocia.Com and the 5 people to whom you want to give the link, what you would recommend to someone else, and what 5 things you want to remember. This will provide some closure before you head off to your next adventure and cement the best memories in your mind.
GRAND TOTAL = 120-190 EURO + 140TL + Whatever you spent on dinner on day 2 (Note: The total is per person.)
OPTION 2 – You are the ruler of your destiny!
If you are not one to take a guided tour, you would prefer to explore and do your own thing on your own schedule, then let me give you some pointers/guides to help you at least know the key sites, activities, and towns.
DURATION: Flight is 60-90 minutes. Add at least another hour for transportation and waiting.
If you have the money this is a must.
PRICE = 100-150 EURO
Göreme Open Air Museum
DURATION: Give yourself 2 hours with transport.
This fascinating area gives you the opportunity to see beautiful centuries-old religious cave paintings in what was once a thriving community. Unless you are connected to Cro-Magnon man, this will most likely satisfy your need to see caves and paintings.
PRICE = 15TL (Plus optional 5TL for audio tour and 8TL for extra church within the park.)
Hiking – Red, Love, Pigeon, Devrent, and Rose Valleys
DURATION: You could spend all day but at least 2 hours.
Hit as many valleys as you can or take your time meandering through one. Be sure to bring a camera, some water, and good hiking boots. This is not mountain climbing but the ground can be a bit slippery from the sandy stone ground.
Another option is to do this with either a mountain bike, an ATV/Quad or on horseback.
[ATV PRICE = 40TL for 1 hour, 60 TL for 2 hours
BICYCLE PRICE = 5TL for 1 hour, 20TL for the day
HORSE PRICE = I think it is 70TL for 2 hours.
DURATION: Exploring the rooms and tunnels takes 30-45 minutes. Transportation from Göreme is 45-90 minutes.
After lunch head to either Kaymaklı (wider) or Derinkuyu (deeper). If going by public transport, catch the bus to Nevşehir and then transfer to the Derinkuyu bus. If you are not sure what to do, ask your bus driver- just say the name of your chosen destination with a questioning look, and he (or someone on the bus) will direct you (or get detailed instructions from your hotel).
[PRICE = 15TL Entrance + transportation to get there]
DURATION: As much time as you want to/can spend.
Same as above depending on what time you finish and when you plan to eat dinner.
7:00pm – 11:00pm Turkish Cultural Night
A night of either belly dancing and other cultural highlights or Whirling Dervishes. (The time is for the Turkish Night and includes transportation time. If you choose the Whirling Dervish show it starts a little later and only lasts for 60-90 minutes as I understand it.)
[PRICE = 20-40 EURO]
1/2 Day – All Day – Ihlara Valley
Working out the logistics for Ihlara is not easy but worth the effort. One option is to hire a driver and have them drop you off at one end, then meet you at the other end. You are then free to hike through the valley (up to 12km) at your leisure. If you do not have a driver or two cars, then you will need to either hike part of the way and return or do what we did which was to hike halfway, climb out of the valley, and hitchhike back to your car. Whichever method you choose, be ready to enjoy a lovely hike following the river through a lush valley with towering cliffs peppered with caves rising on both sides. If the weather is hot, you may want go for a swim in the stream (it is actually somewhere in between a stream and a river in terms of size). Take your bathing suit if you think you may be tempted.
[PRICE = Transportation (depends) + Lunch]
Sunset/Hike/Shop/Tea/Rest or see more Sites
At this point you can choose to do any of the options as were listed above or, if you have time, you may want to see some more sites.Click on the blue words to find information on Ortahisar, Uçhisar, Çavuşin, Nevşehir and Cappadocia Wine. Other options to consider are Avanos Pottery or seeing Paşabağ and Zelve Open Air Museum.
[PRICELESS unless you go shopping, of course.]
Dinner and Debrief
Same as above – Here and here are some quality Cappadocia restaurants
PRICE = Depends on where you go but probably around 50-60TL per person at a nice place with a glass of wine.
One last note involves hotels. Literally hundreds of great hotels exist to meet every budget and taste. If you do not have any leads on hotels, click here for some recommendations.
And with that 48 hours have flown by and you are trying to catch up on sleep and focus on whatever is next. You will be feeling like you left so much on the table. Do not worry, Cappadocia will patiently await your return visit!
Which option would you personally prefer?
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