Just back from a recent trip to Cappadocia, Turkey, and I would like to pen down a few thoughts for anyone considering to visit this region.
1) you must try the hotair balloon. If you have to scrimp and save up for this activity, do it. We booked our ride through our innkeeper and the balloon company is "Turkiye". It was €140 per person by cash and €10 more for credit card payment.
Typically the trip would start with balloon company picking you up at your hotel around 5:15am, bringing you to their office for a simple breakfast and making payments. Then you are transported to the site where the balloon is being set up.
You will get to see how the skilled staff would raise the balloon up.
The ride goes for 1 hour in the air. The basket can take up to 24 people (!) and the guide will transport you up very high (we went up to 1800m) and very low, hanging near the valleys.
The sunrise will change the skies throughout the flight. Many other balloons in the air will make a postcard picture come alive right in front of you. It's amazing.
2) if possible, stay in a cave hotel.
The region is full of stone caves and many of them are transformed into hotels. Nothing fancy but still worth the novelty.
3) testi kebab. Pottery is a main staple of economics in the past and tradition has created this dish cooked in a pot. Meat or vegetables are stuffed into the pot, and then sealed and baked for long hours until the meat is soft and flavorful.
We stayed at Goreme town and had testi kebab at this local joint called "Ottoman Kebab" twice. It was delicious, hearty and served with smiles and love. Whether it's the best, we don't know but we were more than satisfied.
4) lentil soup. This is also something special in the region and served in most restaurants. Coming from Asia where soup dishes are in abundance, the lentil soup was a welcomed respite from many days of being deprived. The soup was creamy but not with cream, so it was light at the same time, different restaurants use different types of spices and as such, each has a unique but delicious taste.
5) try the ATV. That's "all terrain vehicle" for the noobs like me. As the Cappadocia region has loads of soft volcanic rocks forming little terrains and mounds here and there, it makes the perfect place to have some fun on the ATV. Costing 120TL for 4 hour rental, we had good fun riding, while making pitstops at some sights as well. Well worth the money.