Category Archives: Turkey

10 Dreamy Cave Hotels in Cappadocia – Get the Best Balloon Pics 

Terrace, hot air balloons, flowers, cave hotel, Cappadocia Turkey

Cappadocia (Kapadokya) is a small region in Central Anatolia in Turkey. It is known for its dreamy landscape and unique ‘fairy chimneys’ – cone-shaped, towering formations. Göreme and Uçhisa are the most popular towns to stay in as they have many of the best cave hotels in Cappadocia.

One of the coolest things I (Gemma) did in Cappadocia was watching the magical hot air balloon rides at sunrise from my accommodation terrace! Obviously, taking part in a morning ride is a must too. Read on to discover the most popular accommodation in Cappadocia offering comfort, luxury and the most sought after terraces for capturing your Instagram-worthy balloon photos, of course.


√ Top tip » Cave hotels in Cappadocia sell out fast. When you fall in love with one book or be disappointed!
Here is a list of all hotels in Cappadocia


Cave hotels Cappadocia Turkey

Where to Stay in Cappadocia 

Göreme is where most visitors flock to but there are lesser-known areas that have equally as cool hotels such as Uçhisar. Uçhisar is the tallest point in Cappadocia.

Although further out from the tourist heart of Cappadocia, Ayvalı is another popular area for luxury cave hotels. Ürgüp is another less touristy hotel spot. Many of the hotels can book your hot air balloon ride for you so you could literally spend your time just at the secluded hotel and then on a hot air balloon if that is your style of travel. 

There are honestly hundreds of hotels in Cappadocia and the majority of them are built into the caves. Don’t believe me? Check out the full range here.

Remember, you are booking a cave room. There may be some dust, the WiFi probably is not going to be great in the cave hotel room because of the walls and from our experience, the electricity charging takes longer than at home. However, it really is a magical place.

Let’s dive into this guide’s selection of Cappadocia cave suites. I have split the options into areas for ease. You can check availability or book any of the hotels by simply clicking the hotel name or ‘book here’ button. 


» Don’t miss our top things to do in Cappadocia guide


Hot Air Balloon Cappadocia Turkey Valley

Uçhisar Cave Hotels 

Museum Hotel – Most Photographed in Uçhisar $$$

The Museum Hotel is one of the first ‘cave hotels’ in our guide. A cave hotel has rooms carved into Cappadocia’s stone but you can forget living like The Flintstones, The Museum Hotel is luxury. 

The outdoor pool is one of the most photographed Cappadocia’s hotel swimming pools on Instagram. A nice touch is that it is open all year round and it is heated so you can take even a dip when the snow is falling in winter.

We went to Cappadocia in April and believe me, come afternoon, a swim will be welcomed to get out of the hot Turkish heat. 

Essential to the Cappadocia experience is a terrace and The Museum Hotel’s patio offers panoramic views of the valley to get the best balloon pictures, at a price of course. This is one of the most expensive hotels in Cappadocia but 90% of guests are happy with their experience. 

The stone or cave unit rooms are fully equipped with air conditioning, TVs, minibar, kettle, safety deposit box, and free wifi. The ensuite also includes a spa bath for ultimate relaxation.

The Museum Hotel provides a daily buffet breakfast with fruit and vegetables grown from their own eco-garden.

Lil’a Restaurant on site serves classic Turkish dishes such as köfte (a form of meatloaf). The hotel also offers cooking lessons for people interested in learning how to make tasty Turkish cuisine.


  • Free parking is available and the hotel offers an airport shuttle too.
  • Pros: Guests state it is very clean and comfortable with great coffee!
  • Cons: Children are not permitted at the hotel.
  • Best for couples and solo travel lovers.
  • Museum Hotel Address: Tekeli Mah. No:1, 50240 Uchisar.

Traveling together? You’ll need a tripod. Check out the reliable Manfrotto range US / UK. It can withstand wind, has levels to ensure that your images are straight, it has never let us down. 

» » Book here « «

Girl, bath, wine, Museum Cave Hotel Cappadocia

Woman, white dress, swimming pool, hot air balloons, sunrise, Cappadocia Museum Hotel

Argos In Cappadocia – Award-Winning Hotel $$

The Argos is a former monastery with several natural stone buildings, only a few minutes walk from the heart of Uchisar. 

Although a hotel with historic importance, the decor is very modern. The rooms are spacious, designed well and have an open fireplace. Some of the rooms are accessed by an underground tunnel and have vaulted ceilings for a real historic feel. Each room has its own private bathroom.

Some of the rooms offer a scenic view of Pigeon Valley.

What’s more romantic than dinking outside with Güvercinlik Vallet and Erciyes Mountain as the backdrop? This is possible at The Argos. Incredibly, the hotel has its own vineyard and the wine is stored in an underground cellar.

The hotel offers airport shuttle services for an additional fee. Guests can arrange hot air balloon rides, as well as quad and horse riding tours with the hotel.


  • Pros: Very central location with amazing views.
  • Cons: Reports of breakfast being quite basic.
  • Best for couples and families.
  • Argos In Cappadocia Address: Kayabasi Sokak, 50240 Uchisar.

» » Book here « «

Argos Hotel indoor pool, cave hotel Cappadocia_


Taskonaklar Hotel – Top Pick for Uchisar $$

The stunning renovated buildings of Taskonarklar Hotel are situated in one of the most scenic valleys of Cappadocia, Pigeon Valley. This is the perfect honeymoon hotel as the Royal Suites have their own private jacuzzi hot tub and terraces. Yes, private terraces. This isn’t just a hotel, it is a hotel complex. 

The smaller rooms are not lesser! The deluxe suites also have their own terraces as do some of the cave hotel rooms. Every room as the expected modern amenities, kettle, TV, deposit box safe, towels and linen. 

The hotel has a restaurant and a bar with free wifi available.

The hotel can help you with guided tours to the famous fairy chimneys, trekking, horseback riding and taking a hot air balloon ride.

 
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bvvb27SAxW8/


  • Pros: Great breakfast and fantastic views.
  • Cons: WiFi isn’t always reliable.
  • Best for couples and families.
  • Taskonaklar Hotel Address: Gedik Sokak No:8 Nevsehir, 50240 Uchisar.

» » Book here « «


Göreme Cave Hotels

Mirtha Cave Hotel – Top Pick in Göreme $$$

You won’t be surprised to hear that Mirtha Cave Hotel is one of the most photographed cave hotels on Instagram and thus, one of the most popular cave hotels in Cappadocia!

Terrace with cushions? Check! Cute dog? Check! Breakfast of kings? Check. Mirtha Cave Hotel ticks off all the Cappadocia bucket list items but visitor reviews say it is more than just a pretty picture set up. 

The staff are friendly and speak great English, the breakfast is extensive and delicious and the rooms are clean. The location in Göreme is also ideal for food, things to do and tours. 

Like most of the cave suites in Göreme and beyond, rooms are decorated in traditional items. They include a TV, safety deposit boxes, kettle and complimentary toiletries. There is free wifi on site. 

  • Pros: Location, staff, clean, views.
  • Cons: WiFi inconsistent, staff can be pushy with tours sales. 
  • Best for: Couples, families.
  • Mirtha Cave Hotel address: Aydınlı Mahallesi Akgül Sokak No:10 Göreme, 50180.

» » Book here « «


Sultan Cave Suites – Ultimate Instagram Pictures $$

This is the terrace with the ‘table of fruit’, cushions and dogs. The one you see in the Insta-couples pictures! 

Sultan Cave Suites is really popular with couples posing for Instagram and even more popular with groups of girlfriends in flowing dresses. So much so, staff have to police the area during sunrise to make sure that only guests are using the terrace for their photoshoots. 

I’m going to let you into a secret. That breakfast table is just a setup! Do you think this is clever or cringe? Guests line up to sit at the table with fruit and antique kettle while the hot air balloons magically float up in the background. Remember the hot air balloon rides take off at sunrise so it is unlikely you want to eat your breakfast at this time anyway. 

During the day the terrace is pretty empty, a really nice spot to enjoy the sun and a glass of tea, beer or wine. There is a rooftop bar where you can put your order on a tab. 

The rooms are spacious and cool, the breakfast buffet is incredible and the staff are friendly. 

There is an in-house restaurant serving traditional Turkish food but there are many restaurants nearby in Göreme. 

The hotel can arrange local excursions such as hiking and hot air balloon flights. Free WiFi is available, albeit a little slow. 

A free shuttle bus awaits from the bus station and the hotel can arrange airport transfers for a small fee.


  • Pros: Very clean and comfortable hotel.  
  • Cons: WiFi is slow. Type of clientele might not be for everyone. 
  • Best for couples.
  • Sultan Cave Suites Address: Aydinli Mah. Aydinli Sok. No:40, 50180 Göreme.

» » Book here « «

Sultan Caves Suites Cappadocia Turkey

Cave Room Cappadocia, Bed, Sultan Cave Suites

Cappadocia Inn Cave Hotel – Value for Money $$

Cappadocia Inn Cave Hotel is located in Göreme National Park. Love Valley and Zemi Valley are within walking distance.  

The hotel’s terrace offers panoramic views of the local area’s stunning landscapes. The hotel also has a large garden to relax in.

The hotel has stone or cave rooms with air conditioning, minibar and a kettle. You will find a spa bath in some of the rooms for a little extra luxury. Free wifi is also available.

Enjoy your open buffet breakfast (included in the price) on the terrace watching the hot air balloons fly over the valleys. Although please consider that the balloons fly at sunrise so you might not actually want to dine at that time. A novel romantic idea but in reality, not for everyone! The hotel can also arrange hot air balloon rides for you, hassle-free. 


  • Pros: Friendly staff and great location with free parking.
  • Cons: Guests report spa facilities not always working.
  • Best for couples and small families.  
  • Cappadocia Inn Cave Hotel Address: Orta Mah. Ayvaz Efendi Sok. No:16, 50180 Göreme.

» » Book here « «


Kelebek Special Cave Hotel – Unforgettable Views $$

Kelebek Special Cave Hotel is situated in the heart of the historic village of Göreme. The hotel offers a traditional Turkish bath and a much appreciated outdoor swimming pool.

The suites inside feature a fireplace and private balconies where you can appreciate the stunning views of Uchisar and Cavusin.

Each suite is decorated with traditional fabrics and furnishings and includes air conditioning and satellite TV. The suite bathrooms have marble features and include a bathtub.

There is an onsite restaurant serving local Cappadocia cuisine. Kelebek also has a sauna and spa with a professional masseur for massages.

Enjoy the terrace and pretty gardens with dreamy Fairy Chimney views. Breakfast is included.

The hotel offers free pick-up from Göreme Bus Station.


  • Pros: Free parking and ideal location for being central.
  • Cons: Slow wifi.
  • Best for couples.  
  • Kelebek Special Cave Hotel Address: Aydinli Mah. Yavuz Sok. No:1 Goreme, 50180 Goreme.

» » Book here « «

Terrace, hot air balloons, flowers, cave hotel, Cappadocia Turkey

Aydinli Cave Hotel – Booked Frequently $

Aydinli Cave Hotel, a family-run hotel in Cappadocia, offers picturesque views over Göreme as the hotel is situated on a hillside. The traditional Turkish buffet breakfast on the rooftop terrace is popular with visitors. Have you tried a Turkish breakfast yet? Expect multiple plates full of cheese, meats, cream and bread. 

The cave rooms are beautifully decorated with simple and natural features. Each room has a fireplace with a seating area to snuggle in. There are baths in the renovated bathrooms for ultimate relaxation.

The owners of the hotel are happy to assist with any inquiries and can arrange day trips during your stay. This is one of the most booked cave hotels according to Booking. 


  • Pros: Free parking and exceptional breakfast.
  • Cons: Some guests would prefer a local shop close by.
  • Best for couples and families. 
  • Aydinli Cave Hotel Address: Aydinli Mah. Aydinli Sok. No: 12, 50200 Göreme.

» » Book here « «


Cave Hotels in Ayvalı

Gamirasu Hotel Cappadocia – Ultimate Luxury $$

Hot tub party! The Gamirasu Hotel cave hotel not only has balconies overlooking its rose gardens in some of its suites it also has an onsite hot tub dimly lit by mood lighting for guests use only. 

The rooms are built into volcanic rock with vaulted ceilings. Each room has a private bathroom with some having their own spa bath.

The hotel restaurant provides fresh meals using organic products. The breakfast is served as a buffet with local jams, fruit, honey, and cream presented as part of a traditional Turkish breakfast.

There is also a seasonal outdoor pool which is at the base of the hotel, surrounded by the cave suites. A real perk.

Free parking is offered on-site.


  • Pros: Free parking and a lovely pool.
  • Cons: Some guests felt the distance was too far from attractions.
  • Best for couples and families.  
  • Gamirasu Hotel Cappadocia Address: Ayvali Village City, 50400 Ayvalı.

» » Book here « «


Cave Hotels in Ürgüp’s 

MDC Cave Hotel Cappadocia – Ürgüp’s Old Town $

Situated in Ürgüp’s Old Town, MDC Cave Hotel has stupendous panoramic valley views. Each room at the hotel has heated marble floors, arched ceilings and stone fireplaces for comfort. The private bathrooms include bathrobes and slippers for further relaxation.

All rooms include wifi, a minibar, and a balcony.

Guests can enjoy a Cappadocian wine on the sun terrace or enjoy the hotel gardens filled with homegrown fruit plants. The hotel has a restaurant serving local cuisine too.

The hotel is happy to help with arranging tours and trips for their guests.


  • Pros: Superb breakfast.
  • Cons: Some guests felt the location was a little far out.
  • Best for couples and families.  
  • MDC Cave Hotel Cappadocia Address: Karagandere Mahallesi Mese Deresi Sokak No 27, 50400, Ürgüp.

» » Book here « «


Cappadocia Palace Hotel – Budget Cave Hotel

Cappadocia Palace Hotel is in central Ürgüp and Nikolos Monastery is within a ten-minute walk. Göreme Tarihi Milli Park can be reached within a short drive.

The hotel is a renovated 19th-century Greek guesthouse. The rooms are decorated with antiques. Room service is available. Rooms have views of central Ürgüp or the hotel’s garden. Some rooms are set in a traditional Cappadocian cave and have a spa bath.

The hotel offers a restaurant with freshly cooked Turkish cuisine. A buffet breakfast can be enjoyed outdoors on the patio.

Ürgüp’s historic sights are only a ten-minute walk away and staff are happy to arrange bicycle rental, hot air balloon rides or tickets for a local Turkish whirling dervish performance.


  • Pros: Friendly staff and lots to do in the local area.
  • Cons: Not quite an Insta-terrace cave hotel if that’s your thing. 
  • Best for couples and families.
  • Cappadocia Palace Hotel Address: Dutlu Camii Mah Dar Sokak No 3, 50300 Urgup.

» » Book here « «

Hot air balloons lighting up Cappadocia Turkey sunrise

Essential Information 

How to get to Cappadocia 

Cappadocia is just over 730 km from Istanbul and 285 km from the capital city, Ankara.

The best way to get to Cappadocia is to fly into Istanbul then to take an internal flight to Nevşehir’s very compact airport.

From there you can book a minibus taxi (your hotel in Cappadocia can arrange this for you) or, for total freedom, you can rent a car. I wish I had done the latter. 

How Many Days in Cappadocia?

I would recommend no less than three days in Cappadocia.

  • One day to discover the museums, spas and a short hike then watch the sunset.
  • A day to take a hot air balloon ride (one of the best things I’ve done in my life!)
  • A final day to get up at sunrise and watch the balloons fill the sky.

Honestly, there are not many places I dream about returning to but Cappadocia is one of them. 

Cave Hotel Terrace Cappadocia Turkey Valley_

Final Words

This guide has shown you some of the best hotels in Göreme and more specifically the best 5-star hotels in Cappadocia too. We hope you enjoy all that Cappadocia hotels and Cappadocia accommodations have to offer.

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» Read next | The most romantic places in Europe


 

Things To Do In Magical Cappadocia – First Timers’ Guide

Hot air balloons Cappadocia

Bright hot air balloons float above pastel sunrises, while cute girls stare whimsically at the fairy chimneys below. Doting lovers stare longingly at each other over a breakfast table perfectly placed on a red patterned rug. If you’ve been an avid user of Instagram over the past year you know what I (Gemma, the travelling Scot) am talking about.

The magical land of Cappadocia in Turkey is home to daily basket rides and that Insta-famous sun terrace but there are many things The Grid fails to tell you about Cappadocia. Here is the lowdown on reality versus expectation, recommendations on things to do in Cappadocia and an honest review of the popular Sultan Caves Suites hotel.

What Is Cappadocia And Where Is It?

Cappadocia is a small region in Central Anatolia, over 730 kilometres from Turkey’s Istanbul and 285 kilometres from the capital, Ankara.

The main town where visitors stay is Göreme (pronounced Gehr-oh-mie) but other areas of interest include the less touristy Nevşehir, Uçhisar (tallest point in Cappadocia), Ürgüp, and Avanos (by the Red River).

This historical area of Turkey is home to many beautiful valleys including Pigeon Valley and White Valley but that’s not the main attraction; the cave hotels are, and the most sought after mode of transport thrives in the sky; the hot air balloon!  


» Don’t miss our top cave hotel picks for Cappadocia 


How To Get To Cappadocia 

Istanbul To Cappadocia By Plane 

The most efficient way to get to Cappadocia from Istanbul is by plane then minibus (or car hire).

Turkish Airlines offer flights to Cappadocia from Istanbul (to Nevşehir-Kapadokya Airport NEV – one of the smallest airports I’ve flown in to) every day. Pegasus Air also has flights during peak season.

The minibus journey at the other end takes around 30 minutes (Ürgüp) to 40 minutes (Göreme and Avanos) depending on your destination. In reality, we weren’t on the bus for longer than 25 minutes. You can organise the bus ride through your accommodation for 25-35 Lira/$6-8.30 (one way).

We flew with Turkish Airlines and the internal flight took 1 hour and 15 minutes. You are literally up in the air, fed a sandwich then descending.

Kayseri’s Erkilet Airport (ASR) is the main Cappadocia airport.

The journey to the towns is longer at around 1 hour. This makes Nevşehir-Kapadokya the closest airport to Cappadocia, hence the most popular.

If you are serious about taking photos in Cappadocia, I recommend hiring a car which you can do at Cappadocia airport.

This would give you more flexibility for sunrise shots around the valleys.

Nevsehir Cappadocia

How Many Days In Cappadocia?

I visited in April with friends, this was not a press trip, I paid for it out of my own pocket for 2 nights/2.5 days.

If I was to go again (and I hope I do!) I would stay for 3 nights to maximise my chances of seeing the sunrise. I wish I knew what I am about to share now.

What To Do In Cappadocia

Take A Hot Air Balloon Ride

This was my first time in a hot air balloon and the ride lived up to expectations!

The experience started at 4:50 over a very rushed breakfast, then after a quick bus ride, we were at the flight point where a handful of balloons were gearing up to take flight.

The noise of the flame is intimidating but very exciting! Floating in the air is truly one of the most serene things I’ve done.

It’s seriously peaceful up there amongst the fairy chimneys. The only noise coming from the quiet chat of customers, the pilot’s adlibs and the skoosh of the flame.

A bit of teamwork is required to land, be prepared to go down on your hunches and pull a little but you will be rewarded with a champagne treat! Expect to be back at your hotel at around 8:30. 

Not all hot air balloon rides are created equal so be careful when choosing a company. Naturally, prices vary too, from 120-200 Euros.

The number of people in the hot air balloon basket is dictated by the price – the smaller the basket, the more expensive the ride (2-28 people).

We opted for a 16-person basket, but there were only 3 people in each basket slot. I wouldn’t go any bigger than this for comfort reasons.

The length of time of the ride also impacts on the cost. You can choose between 60or 90 minutes. 60 minutes was enough for my first-time experience.

Please see below for more details on other aspects that social media doesn’t tell you Cappadocia balloons.

Sunrise hot air balloon rides Turkey

Hiking In Cappadocia

Cappadocia has lovely hikes. We took an afternoon walk starting at Pigeon Valley through to White Valley and ending at Love Valley (3.5 hours, download Maps.me app, setting the Göreme map before you leave WiFi).

There are a few coffee/tea stops along the way, you’ll hear the local men asking if you would like some tea and asking where you are from.

I love Turkish banter. 

Quick side story: one of the Turkish men who owns a shop in Göreme was ecstatic that we were visiting from the UK.

He said they have mainly had visits from the skinny South Americans and not the ‘round’ Brits. We asked if he was calling us chubby and he happily stated yes. We laughed!

Hikes in Cappadocia

Love Valley 

Love Valley is where you will giggle at the rocks that are very pleased to see you.

The phallic-looking rocks caused by a volcanic eruption stand proud surrounded by trees in the deep valley.

It can get cool down there which is pleasant in the afternoon sun.

If you are around for 3 days in Cappadocia, make an effort to watch the hot air balloon over Love Valley.


ATV Rides In Cappadocia 

If hiking isn’t your thing, why not take a quad tour of Sword, Love and Rose Valley for two hours?

This cheap activity also takes you off-road to Cavusin Old Greek Village.

This is a super popular tour in Cappadocia, we saw two groups riding and giggling as we returned from our hike. 

You can choose from a variety of times throughout the day. If riding in summer, remember sunscreen and a hat. 

It doesn’t matter if you’ve never taken a quad bike tour before because the guides collect you from your hotel and drop you off at the meeting point where the team go over safety instructions. 

As always, make sure you have travel insurance. We use True Traveller, other people like World Nomads. You can read our comparison guide here.

Turkish Baths Time 

A new addition to Göreme is the Katpatuka Camur Maharasi baths.

This place will take your breath away, literally, as you walk through the door because it is hot!

There’s a three-step process to the baths. Step one involves a foot devouring by small fish, two is bathing in 37-40 degrees water then the fun part – the mud bath!

Finally, you need to shower in a private cubicle next to the mud bath – warning, this is your only chance to shower before changing so rinse out your swimsuit too. Lockers, towels, flip-flops and hairnets are provided.

  • Get there: Ask your hotel to book the shuttle
  • Price: 166 Lira/$40/€33

Göreme Open Air Museum

Culture hunters may want to swing by one of the most popular Cappadocia activities, the open-air museum, to take a look at the fresco wall paintings inside the rocks.

This open-air museum was one of Turkey’s first UNESCO World Heritage Sites. During summer, the area is busy with bus tours. On the way, check out the nazar boncuğu/evil eye tree which is laden with the beautiful blue eye pendants (and the plastic bag tree too which is strange).

  • Get there: 15-minute walk from Göreme town
  • Price: 30 Lira/$76
  • Note: photography is not allowed inside the caves 

Open air museum Cappadocia

Evil Eyed Tree Cappadocia

Kaymakli Cappadocia Underground City 

Over 100 tunnels make up the underground city in Cappadocia.

Visitors can walk through the stables, church, kitchen and wine cellar of the four opened floors of Derinkuyu Underground City.

8 Things Instagram Doesn’t tell you about Cappadocia

I’ve set the scene for why I think Cappadocia is one of the coolest places in the world and I hope you get the vibe that I really like this region in Turkey. Now I’m going to dispel some social media fantasies because one of the most frequent comments I get about Two Scots Abroad is that readers like our honesty.

1. There Are Very Early Rises 

Above I recommended staying in Cappadocia for three nights, so you can wake up to three sunrises. Why three sunrises?

Sunrise is the only time to see Cappadocia’s hot air balloons, so your trip involves early nights and bleary-eyed mornings.

One of the three mornings should be spent in a basket doing a magical balloon ride and the other mornings could be spent taking photos of the balloons in flight.

I recommend that one morning at a hotel sun terrace and the next at a viewing point like Sunrise Point or a valley.

Don’t forget your tripod, remote, or a friend to take photos for you. 

2. Not All Hot Air Balloons Take Flight

Instagram shows off the balloons in their element, but it doesn’t explain where, when and how much.

As mentioned above, the hot air balloon rides take flight at sunrise which was around 6:00 for me in April. Any balloons you see in the afternoon are practice rides.

Unfortunately, weather dictates whether rides go ahead.

Those who visited the week before me had very little luck as the wind and rain was against them, flights were cancelled. Some companies will try to accommodate if flights are cancelled many days in a row by setting off in the afternoon. 

The weather also controls the flight path of the hot air balloon ride. Little wind makes flights more difficult but too much wind prevents dips into the valleys between the striking fairy chimneys.

Hot air balloon rides vary in price from 120 – 200+ Euros, basket size and length of the ride also differ (60 minutes or 90 minutes). Some companies provide a discount for booking online or with American Express.

Hotels also have an affiliation with some companies, so they may offer you a special rate. Prices increase in April. 

3. Choosing A Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Company Is Tough 

Don’t be lured in by a cheap ride, your safety is paramount, and you want the experience to be worth the money.

Enquire if your prospective company uses English speaking pilots; you want them to be able to point out what you are seeing and to share their charming jokes.

Also, ask how many years’ experience the pilot has; it’s just you, the pilot, the other passengers and a flame up there!

Most baskets have compartments, you don’t want to be sharing it with more than two people, so you can manoeuvre about to allow each other to get the best shots. Some baskets hold 28 people in total, the smaller the basket, the more expensive the ride is. 

Also, ask if the pilot takes the balloons into the valleys. One flew above us at Sultan Cave Suites! Crazy! 

Finally, for the best hot air balloon flight experience, request for a slot one flight (flies first), avoiding slot two (flies after slot one).

According to our walking tour guide in Istanbul, 10-15 companies are now regulated by one large one who enjoys a relationship with the government. It’ll be obvious who the main players are when you start to research. We flew with Royal Balloon.

4. Cappadocia Is Juxtaposition – Noisy Yet Peaceful 

Cappadocia is insanely peaceful from up in the sky. There’s a beautifully eerie feel to floating.

This is a stark contrast to Göreme at times. Dogs bark, the call for prayers fill the air from 5:00 and cave hotel doors creak. 

5. Cappadocia Cave Hotels Are Unique! 

Hot air balloons and fairy chimneys are not the only dreamy features, staying in a cave hotel in Cappadocia is another fun thing to do.

There are heaps of hotels carved into caves but the most Insta-famous is Sultan Caves Suites. 

The brainchild of a businessman with a very clever marketing strategy, Sultan Caves Suites is the most sought-after stay. Why?

Check out the hashtag #sultancavesuites to see the babes that have photographed themselves with the balloon backdrop at sunrise, most notably DoYouTravel with Gypsea Lust and Travel in her Shoes.

Sultan Cave Suites 

My friends and I booked one night at Sultan Cave Suites and first impressions were positive. The staff are super friendly and accommodating, we were offered Turkish coffee on arrival and a lift to the open-air museum in the afternoon.

The terrace lives up to its reputation, the views really are as stunning as Instagram portrays.

There’s a bar which serves wine and beer (20 Lira, 5 Lira mark-up from town bars) and shisha. The local barman with the topknot had great chat.

The cave rooms are large, some rooms have windows whereas others don’t which may be an issue if you are claustrophobic. The WiFi was patchy but enough to message home and upload an image to social media.

Bloggers, I was on a digital detox so can’t comment on the strength for work, step away from the laptop and enjoy the terrace!

The electrical current running through the hotel was slower than home (which is typical of Turkey), mobiles took an hour longer to charge so bear this in mind when charging batteries. 

Breakfast in Turkey is a big deal! Sultan Caves Suites breakfast buffet is extensive – expect meats, cheese, fruit, salad, eggs, bread, French toast, pancakes and banana.

This delightful buffet served downstairs and not on the terrace-like Instagram would lead you to believe.

♥ Dreaming of a cave hotel stay? Click to read our hotel guide

Sultan Caves Suites Cappadocia Turkey

6. Breakfast Is Not Served

I recently watched an interview where the lovely DoYouTravel explained that when they were photographing in Cappadocia they asked if they could move the cushions to the terrace and have breakfast while watching the balloons and now they’ve changed the way that hotels in Cappadocia serve breakfast.

While this may be the case in other Cappadocia accommodation, breakfast is not served at ‘that’ table on the terrace at Sultan Cave Suites.

But wait, there’s a picture of you with a platter of food on the terrace? Correct! This table is set up purely for your Instagram needs! Clever or cringe?

We surveyed our IG followers via Stories and the majority voted for cool and those who private messaged me said they would definitely still pose with the non-edible plums (they are edible, they’ve just been sitting out for a good while).

Personally, I think it’s a stroke of genius and it serves well (boom boom) the type of customers Sultan Caves Suites attracts.

Plus, who wants to eat that extensive breakfast at 6:00 while watching the balloons? 8:00 please, busy taking pics.

7. Hot Air Balloons Can Bring Out One’s Bad Side

I commented on how quiet the terrace was in the afternoon and was forewarned this would not be the case at sunrise. As the sun comes up and the hot air balloons float into the horizon, the beautiful terrace brings out the ugly in some guests.

For some (not all), manners are thrown to the wind as guests in prom dresses hog the purposively placed breakfast table and bitch their friend for not getting them in the rule of thirds (a genuine unpleasant conversation I heard). Staff are on hand to chase away guests who are not staying at the Suites (a group tried, twice!)  

Other hotel guests are kind, wait patiently and help each other get the best shots.

How To Get The Best Instagram Shots 

Step away from the terrace! Take a look around the hotel for other spots, the balloons kick around for over an hour, so you have plenty of opportunities to capture them in the changing light

Check out the valley over the road from the Suites, the balloons come down pretty close.

Invest in a camera with an app. I recommend a camera that has a remote option like my Canon M50 US / UK then you can craft your shots without falling out with your friends. 

Be nice. Offer to take someone’s shot and they’ll most likely do the same for you.

Suntan Cave Suites Terrace sunrise

Other Cappadocia Cave Hotels Exist 

There are lots of other options, none of which have a terrace quite like Sultan Caves Suites but do have terraces in their own right.

SoS Cave, Göreme

SOS Cave overlooks Pigeon Valley and Uçhisar Castle. Breakfast is served on the seated terrace (tables and chairs). WiFi is available in public areas. Request a cave hotel room for the authentic Cappadocia experience. Click here to check the best rates and availability.

Harman Cave Hotel, Göreme

Harman Cave Hotel is a larger complex just five minutes walk from the town centre. Free parking is available, and bikes can be hired from here.

The Ottoman-style rooms are plush and feature LED TV. There is extensive terrace space and a small cushioned area to take your Instagram worthy pictures. Click here to check today’s rates and availability.

Kaya Hotel, Göreme

For a more modern twist to the cave hotels of Göreme, check out Kaya Hotel. The hotel also has a terrace (tables and chairs) and uniquely an indoor swimming pool and spa. Check here to see today’s rates and availability.

Mithra Cave Hotel, Göreme 

One of the most popular Göreme cave hotels and rightfully so, Mithra Cave Hotel dominates with its multiple terraces which have uninterrupted views of the valleys. Like most of the cave accommodation in Cappadocia, the rooms are decorated with authentic textiles, unlike all hotels WiFi is available in the rooms.

An extensive breakfast is served on the terrace and they also have a decorative breakfast for your Instagram images of Cappadocia. Book now, click here.

Üchisar Cave Hotels

Museum Hotel, Üchisar

The Museum Hotel also features heavily on Instagram, it has a swimming pool which is a big appeal. Afternoon temperatures were creeping up to 20s for us so a dip would be appealing.

This Cappadocia cave hotel is not in Göreme remember but the Museum Hotel is one of those types of accommodations you could spend a few days at without doing anything else. R&R to the max. Check the best rates, here.

Rox Cappadocia, Üchisar

Seen the wooden tulip-shaped chair on social media? Yeah, that’s from Rox Cappadocia. Another really cool option in Üchisar which boasts of striking views of the valleys and hot air balloons at sunrise. Click here for prices.

Helike Inn Cappadocia, Üchisar

Helike Inn has a cute terrace-like Sultan Cave Suites as well as rooms with patio and garden views. Some rooms have a terrace too.

8. Cappadocia Has Sunsets Too 

The region is not just about sunrises! You will see the masses flock to Sunset Point at the top of the hill as the sun sets. Another recommended spot is the top of Love Valley. You won’t see any balloons at this stage remember.

Cappadocia Restaurants 

Turkish food is all about cheese, bread and pottery meals.

A pottery meal is cooked on the dish and cracked open at your table in a cool spectacle. Kebabs are also popular.

Sweet-toothed visitors should try the pastry-based baklava which is often served with ice cream. 

Topdeck Cave Restaurant 

Topdeck was recommended to us by hotel staff, it’s the place to eat! Like most restaurants in Turkey, the food is plentiful, and the service is cheery.

For mains we had meat, salad and rice, bread was provided for the table. Naturally, we polished it down with baklava and ice cream (total 160 Lira for 3 meals). Customers can choose to sit at the table or on the floor.

  • Tip: there are only 10 tables so book or arrive early

Cheap Eats 

For food on the go, pick up some borek at Nazar Borek. Try the mince, potato or cheese/spinach borek, or all three!


What To Pack for Cappadocia 

If you are super keen on taking Instagram shots you will want to prioritise electronics and dresses (one male guest was suited and booted!)

Electronics

  • Mobile phone
  • Camera
  • Additional battery 
  • Additional SD card
  • Tripod
  • GoPro with remote
  • GoPro selfie stick
  • Cables
  • A universal plug like Skross US / UK
  • Lots of charged capacitors, we use Anker packs US / UK

There’s more advice on what to pack for the country overall in this guide to Turkey tips.

Outfits and Accessories 

  • Hats
  • Glasses
  • Dresses
  • Poncho/scarves/throws
  • Layers for the evening
  • Hiking gear (although I hiked in trainers and a dress)
  • Sunscreen if Spring/Summer

Essential Travel Information 

Currency and Budget 

Turkey uses the Turkish Lira (TL). Most hotels, restaurants and tours in Cappadocia accept credit cards. There are ATMs in the town too. Check out the exchange rate here.

Over 2.5 days I spent 1484 Lira/£257/$348/291 Euro in Cappadocia. The biggest expense was the hot air balloon ride followed by one night at Sultan Cave Suites.

Those on a budget may want to forego the Turkish baths experience and opt for a cheaper hotel like the Jasmine House (54 Lira) where we stayed on the first night. The owners make a killer breakfast! 

Turkish Visa (UK)

UK nationals have to purchase a Turkish visa before entering the country. This cost $20.70 USD and is sent via email for you to print out. You should present it to passport control on your arrival. 

Getting Around Cappadocia 

There are plenty of taxis in Cappadocia. Please agree on a price before you drive, I was ripped off in Istanbul by 50 Lira ($12).

Uber does not operate in Cappadocia, however, does in Istanbul with a ride to the airport from the city centre costing 50-100/$24-50 Lira.

Vocab 

It’s always polite to try and speak a little of the local language. Here are the two essentials and when in doubt, a big smile goes a long way:

  •  Hello – Merhaba/Selam
  • Thank you -Teşekkür ederim

Sidenote: Girisl means entrance, I kept seeing the word ‘girls’ and wondered why women had to go through a separate area!

The Best Time to Visit Cappadocia

As mentioned above, the Cappadocia weather dictates if hot air balloons take off. March/April-May (Spring) is recommended to avoid the heat and crowds of Summer but as mentioned above, the week before we arrived saw lots of balloon cancellations. We had the perfect weather during the second week in April. 

The Autumn/Fall months of September and November are also recommended as they are not as cold as winter. However, those snowy valleys look awesome on Instagram!

Check the local sunset and sunrise times too.

Like it? Pin it for later!

Cappadocia Turkey - the magical land of hot air balloons, caves hotels and that rooftop from Insta! Click the post to find out how to get the best photos of Cappadocia.

Final Thoughts

Taking a hot air balloon in Cappadocia has been a bucket list item for me for a long time now and I am over the moon that I had the chance not only to fly in one but also take shots of the baskets in the air! Cappadocia truly is a magical experience and I highly recommend a trip to ride, hike and take a mud bath but remember your sharp elbows to get in on those best photo opportunities!


» Read next: our bucket list inspiration


 

Turkey Tips

Evil Eyed Tree Cappadocia

Turkey! Grilled meats, haggling, and Troy. Turkey is a beautiful and friendly country which thousands of holidaymakers flock to each year. Here are some Turkey Tips to help with holiday survival!

Turkey Tips

1. Turkish Money

Like in Scotland during the Independence Referendum, the British pound is in demand. Lots of shops will change your pound (jewellery and other types of genuine fake shops) for Lira. Be careful of the shops that boast an extremely high rate, locals advised us they play a game and before you know it you are ripped off.

2. Dolmus or Not Dolmus, That is the Question

Do it! The Dolmus is a local minibus and some of the turns it attempts are questionable but as with every holiday I advise you to do it like a local. A run into the local town of Altinkum from the Venosa Beach was 2 Lira. Get off at Linekers for the start of the beach and take a ride on a Saturday to visit the market.

3. Genuine Fakes

If pleather ‘Channel’ or leather ‘Mike Kors’ is your bag (getit?) then Turkey is the place to be. The Dolphin Square shopping area of Altinkum had many shops selling cheap, to quite cheap to actually quite expensive bags. I stocked up on ‘fakebans’ for America. Fakeys bought in Thailand have not stood the test of time or handbag rummages…

Turkey Tips Markets

3. What the Effe? The Local Beer 

The local beer is called Efes and it’s pretty tasty. The vodka tasted decent for local too and the bartenders were keen to put raki on fire for us.

4. Hammam Scrubs aka Violation 

This is a popular recreational activity. Stage one – sauna. Stage two – exfoliating mit. Stage 3 – soap sud wash. Stage 4 – washdown. This is supposed to be useful before you start tanning so do it on day one if possible. You need to be comfortable or at least accepting of a man touching you!

5. Turkish Phrases

Tee-she-kur=ederim: thanks
Loot-ven: please
Hi-ear: no
Evet: yes

Or so we think anyway! I am definitely keen to return to Turkey especially to witness the hot air balloons of Cappadocia, maybe not so much Geocache in Cappadocia which I am happy to leave to Will from The Broke Backpacker.

Finally, the water at the airport is daylight robbery. I am looking forward to purchasing a filtering bottle just to put two fingers up to the prices of airport bottled water. Infuriating when it is ‘free’ at the hotel.

 

What tips do you have for visiting foreign countries?

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