Today’s #blackbooktravels takes us to a land far, far away… Well, not quite! On a high-dryplateau in south-central Turkey, as if plucked from a whimsical fairytale, lies the beautiful, captivating region of Cappadocia. It is one of the most visually-striking locations in the world, with its distinctively recognisable lunar landscape, peculiar fairy-chimney-like rock formations, cave dwellings, underground cities, subterranean labyrinths and of course, its colourful sky painted with floating hot air balloons. It’s the international capital for hot air balloons but never mind the Earth… we’d say it’s really a place that’s out of this world!
Visiting Cappadocia is almost like visiting another planet. Wonder how it got its unique looks? It’s thanks to the destructive combination of volcanic forces and centuries of erosion, and the contribution of human settlers. The churches, chapels, rock towns and underground cities are the result of millennia of different peoples who left their mark behind. Meanwhile, continuous eruptions covered the area in tufa, a soft rock formed from lava, which was followed by erosive forces which shaped the tufa into cone-shaped hills in colourful shades of yellows, pinks and reds. Rain, wind and snow start to whittle away the cone until eventually, the chimney is completely destroyed.
Cappadocia’s landscape is truly a sight to behold, it’s mother nature’s very own art exhibition.
Where to stay?
There is no doubt that the dreamiest place to stay in this dream-like destination is the Museum Hotel. It’s the most exclusive cave hotel in the region, as enchanting as it is exceptional, and it’s a priceless experience in itself. Experience cave dwelling at the height of luxury – it hasn’t been named “Best Boutique Hotel in Turkey” or “Best Luxury Hotel in Europe” for no reason! The architecture of this supremely stunning hotel is what catches the eye first: it’s built in the former ruins of an ancient village, and is situated semi-underground with cave rooms left bare so that the rich stone walls do all the talking. Of course, its décor brings just the right amount of cosiness with captivating works of art and artefacts. And there’s no shortage of indulgent concierge facilities from horseback riding, to private cocktails with a violinist at sunset. Let yourself get lost in the world of the Museum Hotel.
Where to eat?
Reserved Restaurant and Lounge is a special fine dining experience, worth the extra 10- minute ride out of the main town. A sophisticated, romantic setting serving delicious local and international cuisine – we recommend the colourful Mezze platters. For guaranteed luxury, try the Museum Hotel’s in-house Lil’a. Impeccable service showcasing the rich food culture of Cappadocia for an unforgettable gastronomical experience.
How to get there?
It’s a little difficult via land. The nearest airport is 1 hour away, with daily Turkish Airlines flights heading to Kayseri Erkilet Airport via Istanbul. Catch a shared or private shuttle from there to your hotel.
What to do?
Ride in a hot air balloon, of course! There’s no better place in the world to do it!