As parents we also need time to nurture ourselves and relive our romance once we have kids. The husband or partner also plays an important part in the family and as the father of our children, they also need and deserve the attention from our 1000 open tabs we have in our busy mummy brains.
So a weekend getaway is the best remedy for some quality time while discovering a new country.
With social media, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter its no surprise that its sometimes where we get inspired to visit new places. Cappadocia has been on my ‘to visit list’ for a while and the time had finally come. Grand parents were there to take care of the little ones, so we could escape for a long weekend to the magical city of Cappadocia.
Cappadocia is located in central Turkey, and its meaning comes from Persian origin meaning “the land/country of beautiful horses”. It is a world-renowned touristic region known for its fairy chimneys and hot air balloons.
We took a direct flight from Istanbul to Nevsehir and stayed in the town of Ortahisar situated at about 43 Km from Nevsehir Kapadokya airport.
We booked our stay via www.booking.com at Elika Cave suites which had excellent reviews and even won Luxury Travel Guide 2016. We were in for an adventure and a little treat.
All of day tours were booked via Andy the Marketing and PR relations at Elika Cave Suites, who was very helpful. She asked us what we wanted to get out of our stay in Cappadocia and then recommended a few tours which could be tailored to our interest. Andy was very professional, friendly and spoke very good English so it was easy for us to make our choices and do the booking.
DAY 1 – ATV Tour
Since we arrived early morning to Cappadocia we decided to relax at the hotel and drink some tea.
In the afternoon, we booked a 2 hours ATV tour which included visiting
- Rose valley
- White valley (sword valley)
- Love valley
- Ladies monastery
DAY 2 – Hot Air Ballon & Red Tour
Hot Air Ballon
We had booked this online prior to arriving to Cappadocia and had read good reviews about Royal Balloons. Our experience was magical, from pick up to drop off to the Hotel, our guides were informative at all times. We had an early wake up call from the Hotel at around 4.30am and pick up was at 5.10am to make it in time for the sunrise hot air balloons overlooking panoramic views of the city of Genome city in Cappadocia. We had breakfast upon arrival and then were given bus number to go to that will take us to our destination drop off points. We had to wait for the Turkish aviation to give us the go ahead before embarking on our much awaited adventure. This is due to weather conditions which make is feasible to use a Hot Air Balloons. There are guidelines to follow, which makes things more secure for us the passengers. We got the green lights and were ready to go. Our mini van took us to our drop off point.
Our captain was Suat, and we were 4 in the cabin of the Royal hot air balloon. Before heading up, Suat explained a bit about the tour, its duration and what we will. He also explained a few steps to take upon landing the hot air balloon back on the ground. Within minutes and while chatting to the other couple, we were off the ground and I was all smiles. The views are indescribable; you can see for yourself from the unfiltered images below. Make sure you also watch our review on Youtube so you get to see what I am talking about. In total there were over 50 hot Air Balloons up in the air all at the same time. When visiting Cappadocia, going into a hot air Balloon is a must (unless you are afraid of heights). The experience was magical and the view you see from the view from the top is just breath-taking, especially at sunrise.
Kleos Red Tour
When we got back to the hotel from our Hot air balloon ride, we rested a bit and had another breakfast at the hotel. Our second for the day. In the afternoon we booked the “red tour” as its called. This was booked via the Hotel with Kleos Tourism. We were with Zeki Tutak our tour guide for the next few days. Zeki is a father of one and has over 13 years experience as a tourist guide in Turkey and knew a lot about the region, its history and knowledge of the surrounding area. We booked a private tour which meant we could stop at various locations without any time limitation and go on our own pace throughout the day with no rush to a restricted itinerary or plans.
1 First stop was Göreme panorama (esentepe). This is definitely one one of the best place to see the landscapes, beauties of fairy chimneys and enjoy with the view of Göreme village as the hart of the region
2 Pigeon valley : in Uchisar next to castle where is famous for rock-cut houses and natural nest of pigeons and decorated with the evil eye tree with full of wishes of people.
3 Göreme open air museum: where you can see Rock-Cut Churches which are carved by early cristian monks. And the Churches of Cappadocia are also unique because of frescoes are still intact.
4 Lunch in Avanos town Bizim Ev Restaurant . Town is located on the banks of Red River (Kızılırmak) which is the longest river in Turkey.
5 Paşabag valley: where spectacular mushroom-shaped rock formations can be seen. Paşabag is also called Monks Valley because of the Chapel of Saint Simeon which is located in the valley.
6 Devrent valley: (imagination valley ) Valley contains many animal shaped rocks which are mostly in red colour. Camel is one of the symbol of the valley.
Kleos Green Tour
On Day 3 prior to us returning home we decided to continue the discovery of Cappadocia and booked a Green Tour to visit the South west part of the region. The itinerary included:
7 Derinkuyu underground city: Derinkuyu was inhabited by the seventh century, which makes it the oldest underground city. It has between 18 and 20 floors and about 40 meters deep where we can find stables, wineries, and rooms that communicate with each other forming a kind of labyrinth – a perfect place to amaze and entertain kids.
8 Ihlara Valley: The Canyon of Turkey, long of approximately 8 kilometres. It starts at Ihlara and ends at Selime. It is crossed by the Melendez river and surrounded by tombs and chapels carved in the cliffs’ rocks.
9 Selime Monastery: Small village where we can find houses dug into the rock, fairy chimneys, a cathedral of rock. It is said that the site was used for filming some scenes from the Star Wars movie.
Thanks to Zeki and our assigned driver Fatih we managed to discover amazing Cappadocia, take loads of beautiful pictures and learn few things about the history of this region dated back to the Hittite or early 4th century Christianity.