Ok, let's face it, instagram made the hot air balloons became the main tourism draw of Cappadocia, but in truth there is so much more to see! From the surreal landscape with its unique rock formations or fairy chimneys, to cave dwelling and underground city, to beautifully adorned trees & shops... Cappadocia is all that and more.
Below I will enumerate my favorite spots that we found gallivanting on our own. We have opted out of taking the red, green or blue tour, as we preferred to explore on our own terms and without time restrictions. Of course, this means seeing less than what the tours offers as we would take our time and savour every moment in every spot we go. On the other hand, it means exploring on a luxurious pace and taking photos without the crowd.
If you prefer to explore independently like us, there are several transportation option: you could take a bus to some places, rent a scooter or a car. For us we explore mainly via walking and took a cab one time because we didn't want to miss the sunset.
Henna Hotel Breakfast Room
Address: Orta Mahalle, Konak Sokak no:2/A Merkez Nevsehir
The Henna Hotel have a beautiful room with insane details that dates back to 1826. Hotel guests use it as breakfast room and can access it anytime. I loved watching and taking photos of the hot air balloon from this area. Non-guests are allowed entry from 10:00 – 2:00 pm! But if I were you though, just book with Henna Hotel.
Address: 50180 Goreme, Nevsehir Merkez
As this is part of the red tour, this place (as in other spots in Cappadocia) can be congested one moment and then empty the next. So if you see a lot of people, be patient they will leave eventually. There are a lot of spots here where you can take a photo – the Panoramic view of the Valley as your backdrop, photo with the Anti- Evil eye tree, with the hot air balloon tree, the lamp adorned tree and so much more.
Address: Ortahisar Kasabasi Kizil Vadi 50650 Ortahisar, Nevsehir
Who doesn't love sunset?! Painters, writers, poets created some of their best work with sunset as the subject or the inspiration. When you find sunset spot with a view to boot then you know you hit the jackpot. The Red Valley is that place, and people know it, so locals and tourists alike flock to this place during the golden hour. So my advice, come early, secure a spot, order a drink from one of the cafes.
Address: Hakki Pasa, Roma Kalesi, Yani 50180 Nevsehir
Hours: 8:00 am - 11:00 pm
This is certainly the place that you can channel an Alladin/Pincess Jasmine moment. Located at the center of Goreme, this carpet store is one of the most popular IG spots in Cappadocia.I cannot blame the owners for charging photo takers here(unless you are going to purchase something), this is a place of business after all. Drone photoshoot are also being offered by the owner for a fee.
Lamp Store by Ikman Hediyelik
Address: Hakki Pasa, Roma Kalesi, Yani 50180 Nevsehir
Adjacent to the Carpet Shop of Galerie Ikman, is this beautiful lamp store! I’d suggest taking photo here at night, as the lamp light pops up more. There is also a minimal charge, and be respectful. While we were there somebody wanted to bypass this with the excuse that she is a blogger, the owner said that he is a blogger too. Awkward! The owners are honestly the kindest people and the fee is totally understandable… there was a time when they were not asking for a fee, but as I'm sure it has started disrupting their business, they needed some sort of a control.. and a fee is really a good compromise. I don’t really like it when I go to stores and the are ‘no photos’ sign or I get told off. At least here, you know the deal, and it's up to you if you will take it or not.
Address: 50180 Goreme/Nevsehir Merkez/Nevsehir
Remember that there is a difference between the Panoramic View of the Valley or the ‘Valley’ itself. The Valleys is where you get up close and personal with the Chimneys. The Panoramic View is the lookout point, usually lined up with cafes and souvenir shops. The Panoramic View caters to tourist who wants to chill. The valley is normally for the hikers/walkers. If you are taking a cab or have a chauffer, specify which one it is you wanted to go. Don’t just say ‘love valley’, because the tendency is to take you to the Panaromic View where everyone wanted to go. Also because cars can only reach up to a certain point towards the valley, you will have to hike/walk through to get to this area.
Among all the valleys, Love Valley is probably the most interesting because of its naughty connotations. The Phallic Shapes of the chimneys where the love valley name is derived from.
Pot Tree at the Dalton Brothers
Though not exactly located at the Dalton Brothers, it is the best reference for this spot.
I love these decorated trees you can see around Cappadocia. And this pot tree is one of my favorites. Easily accessible from the town, and easily seen from the road.
For a beautiful panoramic view of Goreme, this is the place to be. It can get really crowded as this is one of the favorite spots for sunrise, balloon watching and sunset. But we went there just after sunset, and very few people stayed. People raved about Cappadocia in the morning, but at night it can be just as enchanting. You’d get a beautiful view of Goreme with all the city lights on, and believe me it emits an enchanting romantic vibe.
Some Random Stops
Walking around in Cappadocia will reward you with beautiful photo spots. So, have that day without any stringent itinerary and just walk around, for sure you will find gems that you would want to take photos of or of with.
The hotel premises also have beautiful views and spots where you can take countless of photos.
Check out some some more beautiful photo locations for hot air ballooning in my previous blog post here.
Sure, there are plenty of places that we missed, but some trips like this one, we want to take slow and we would take our time enjoying the views. Plus, mornings in Cappadocia starts really early, for the rest of the day we just want to chill... and like how i normally end my post.. leave something for next time.