With its arid plains, canyons, and sculpture-like fairy-chimney rock formations, Cappadocia is blessed with a truly unique landscape. This otherworldly topography serves as the backdrop for all kinds of outdoor adventures, from the gentle to the high-octane. Here are a few must-try outdoor adventures in Cappadocia.
A hot-air-balloon ride is the ultimate Cappadocia experience, offering a magnificent perspective on its fairy chimneys, rock spires, and canyons. Most tours set off at sunrise as a golden glow hangs in the air, casting an attractive light over the shrinking cones and formations below.
For high-speed thrills in Cappadocia, take the wheel of an all-terrain vehicle, or join a tour as a passenger. Kick up dust as you roll through the valleys, visiting sites unreachable by buses and regular cars, as well stopping at small towns and fresco-adorned rock churches.
One of the best ways to get familiar with the rural landscapes and lifestyles of this part of central Turkey is to go trekking. Set off on a trail through the Ihlara Valley, home to tens of rock-carved Byzantine churches, which date back as far as the 11th century. Other hiking routes pass through the Uzengi Valley, where abandoned rock dwellings have been transformed into pigeon houses.
Horseback riding in Cappadocia is a serene and peaceful experience that allows visitors to get to off-the-radar viewpoints inaccessible to bigger tour groups. Set off in the saddle early in the morning to watch the sun rise over the sweeping valley.