Cappadocia, a little paradise in the middle of Turkey just awaiting your visit. The well-known region is just a short, and very cheap flight from Istanbul.
Sadly Turkey has been suffering from some bad press over the last few years, but Cappadocia has remained pretty peaceful.
The area is best visited on a two to three days trip. The best way is simply to fly in one of the two local airports and rent a car to explore. The roads are in excellent conditions and renting a car is pretty easy affair. Tourists here arrive with a wide range of budget, so do the accommodation on offer.
We settled for a dream place, the Museum Hotel. The hotel is part of the famous Relais & Chateaux brand. Here, the highlight is not what you will find in your plate for dinner, but the few amazing rooms on offer. Each room is different, and some of them are simply sumptuous. Imagine, a cave room with an amazing bathroom, and the local wine is even on tap in the privacy of your suite.
My advice would be to stay here for few nights, and to ask to change room each night. Some rooms have amazing views, others have a dream bathroom. Changing room every night, is just living a different dream every night, and the staff will be more than happy to pack for you!
One morning, you will have to wake up very early, to enjoy the world famous balloon ride over Cappadocia. Early rise by 4 am for a light breakfast before getting to your balloon just before sunrise. Imagine over 40 balloons rising together with the sun. No crowds for the moment in Turkey means we had only forty balloons around…but this number was rising well above hundred balloons each morning few years ago.
You will be back at your hotel by 9am for a nice breakfast with an amazing view. By staying more than a single night at the Museum Hotel, next morning, you will also enjoy the other perspective of the balloons from your gourmet breakfast table.
Days will be spent exploring the troglodytes around the region, or drinking the local wine by the swimming pool. Here, it is just the point to find the right balance between discovering the region, and spending time relaxing in a truly wonderful retreat.
Take it easy!
Photos and text: Pierre-Alexandre Van De Walle