Penne 4 Your Thoughts

Penne Cole's thoughts on food, travel and more

Cappadocia Part 1: Fairy chimneys

Goreme panorama, by Penne Cole

Located roughly in the middle of Turkey, Cappadocia is renowned for the natural rock formations that were formed as a result of three simultaneous volcanic eruptions a few millennia ago. The eruptions left behind three layers of sedimentation: the hardened lava at the bottom, the soft tuff in the middle, and the hardest basalt on top. Over the years, time and water have sculpted the landscape into craggy cliffs and some rather phallic fairy chimneys.

These rock formations have become a major tourist attraction, and one of the best ways to see them is via a hot air balloon ride at sunrise. On any given day, between 90 and 100 multi-coloured balloons can be seen riding the winds.

Hot air ballooning, by Penne Cole

Hot air ballooning, by Penne Cole

There are several hot air balloon companies in Goreme, with prices ranging from a 100 Euro “local’s” price for a basic flight to more than 200 Euros for a flight with the works, including champagne. The travel agent we spoke to in Goreme recommended Rainbow Balloons. If possible, try to book early as, depending on availability, you may be able to get a smaller basket with a 4-person capacity. Larger baskets take up to 20 passengers.

Hot air ballooning, by Penne Cole

If you prefer to get up close and personal, Love Valley is within walking distance of Goreme. You will have to walk along a highway to get there, but it is safe, particularly if you do it in broad daylight. Do remember to bring lots of water with you. It is possible to hike to Uchisar via Love Valley. However, the trails are poorly marked so it may be best to return to Goreme. We did the round trip from Goreme to the Love Valley and back within 3 hours, although at least half an hour of that was spent trying to find the trail to Uchisar.

Fairy chimneys, by Penne Cole

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This entry was posted on November 13, 2012 by in Asia, Travel, Turkey and tagged , , , , .
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