If you are planning a trip to Turkey, or anywhere near Turkey, Cappadocia should definitely be on your list of places to see. Located in the Nevsehir province, this popular tourist destination boasts beautiful geological formations and landscapes, providing the perfect getaway for an adventurous, curious traveler. In addition to breathtaking views, the region of Goreme (a smaller town within Nevsehir), also hosts ancient churches, with frescoes dating back to the 9th century. If you have already planned a trip to Istanbul, this could provide you and your traveling companions with a great getaway outside the hustles and bustles of beautiful, but busy Istanbul. I have provided some tips on where to stay in Goreme and how to get there from any major Turkish city.
If you are in Istanbul or Ankara, you can travel by bus or air to Nevsehir at an affordable price. I recommend buying either type of ticket once you actually get to Turkey. Flights will usually be cheaper if you book them through a Turkish travel agent or directly through airline ticket desks at an airport or commercial airline offices. Cheap domestic airline companies in the region are Pegasus Airlines and Turkish Airlines. You can get a rough estimate of prices through the respective company websites.
If you are willing to take a longer route, I would definitely recommend taking a bus instead of an airplane. Bus travel in Turkey is especially luxurious, and you can find tickets from Istanbul/Ankara to Nevisehir for less than 50 TL each way. That converts to about $63 round trip. Two of my favorite bus companies operating in Turkey are Ulusoy and Kamil Koc. Ankara to Nevsehir is about a 7 hour bus ride, and Istanbul to Nevsehir is about 9-10 hour bus ride. That may seem daunting, but the trip is definitely worth it. Both Kamil Koc and Ulusoy buses are incredibly comfortable and offer great scenic routes for passengers. When I lived in Turkey, I would take a night bus from Istanbul and arrive in Cappadocia by morning.
Once you get off the bus in Nevsehir, there are plenty of shuttles and small buses that take you to Goreme. Goreme is about an hour outside the city, and the ride is definitely worth it. Out of all the regions of Cappadocia, Goreme has been rated the preferred destination. It provides great historical sites, food, and the most amazing views of the geological formations.
When to Go
Cappadocia offers different scenes and activities in the winter and spring. If you are looking for scenes and an escape resembling a winter wonderland, I recommend visiting in the winter. The spring is beautiful too, and it may be a better time to enjoy the great outdoors. You may even want to use Google Images to get an idea of the formations in the winter versus the spring.
Where to Stay
Goreme has a variety of options for lodging, based on your budget and preferences. You can stay in a beautiful boutique hotel (5 stars) or a convenient hostel, which will still provide you with the amenities you need. I recommend using trip advisor to find a luxury hotel. You definitely need to book a room for a nice hotel beforehand. However, if you are going to stay in a hostel, it may be best to negotiate a price once you get there. Send an email to the hostel owner to let them know you will be arriving. If you are willing to negotiate, it may be a good idea to shop around. Prices are never set in stone in Turkey!
By Lauren Bailey