TURKEY'S GEMS, Cappadocia & Instanbul


Handicraft, Grand BazaarLocal Cave House, CappadociaCappadociaSunset Point, CappadociaSultan Carpets, Cappadocia


Last September we had the pleasure of visiting the magical land of Turkey. A country full of life, colour and history.

Despite all the bad press this country has received about being unsafe, we want all our readers and followers to know that we had an unforgettable time and NEVER felt in danger at any point of our trip. The locals were extremely welcoming and always sharing a taste of their culture (usually with a cup of tea).

Turkey is certainly a big country with a wide variety of things to do. This is our little guide on how we spent our time in Istanbul and Cappadocia in 9 days.

Sultan Carpets, Cappadocia, Hagia Sophia, CappadociaSultan Caves


OUR TRIP

We spent our first night in Istanbul and took an early flight out to Kayseri airport, which is the closest airport to Cappadocia.


What we did in Cappadocia:

Day 1:

Arrived in the afternoon, explored a little and planned our next few days.

Enjoyed drinks & sunset from Artemis Cave Suites (Sultan Cave Suits beautiful sister hotel).

Day 2:

5am wake up to watch the balloons take off over the valley from Sultan Cave Suits terrace. For more info on staying with them, please refer to our blog.

Afternoon trip to the desert to enjoy traditional Turkish tea. You can also explore this area on horse back or quad bikes.

Day 3:

Balloons flight with Butterfly Balloons. You can get baskets with 12, 16 or 20 people. Pricing was around €160 depending on the basket size.  

Visited Galeri İkman rug store – iconic & Insta famous bazar in Cappadocia.

Day 4:

5am start to watch the balloons take off from sunset point.

Enjoyed the Local Cave House swimming pool with a view.

Visited Sultan Carpets, another beautiful local carpet shop.

Day 5:

Visited Love Valley & Fairy Chimneys

Caught our flight back to Istanbul in the afternoon.

Sunset Point, CappadociaCappadociaCappadociaCappadocia


What we did in Istanbul:

Day 1:

Early start, breakfast at Seven Hills Hotel, one of the best views from both the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia while enjoying a great meal!

Visited Topkapi Palace. This place is currently under restoration so check what areas are available to visit before booking your ticket.

Visited the iconic Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest and biggest covered markets in the world. This place will blow your mind! Be prepared for an intense but unforgettable experience.

Day 2:

Visited Sultanahmet Camii (Blue Mosque), only from outside as the mosque is under restoration. You can still go in, but instead we decided to explore another beautiful and quieter mosque later.

Visited the Hagia Sophia Museum (outside & inside). Thisplace is also under restoration but it is definitely worth the visit. Truly stunning and full of history!

Took the afternoon to explore the quirky neighborhood of Balatt to check out the beautiful colorful houses in the area.

Visited Halic Café, a cozy small café that offers stunning views of the Galata Tower and the Golden Horn. It is also close to Grand Bazaar and Sueleymaniye Mosque. If you want to avoid the crowds and feel like a local, this is your place.

Day 3:

Early start, again, to visit Suleymaniye Mosque, as stunning as the Blue Mosque but less crowded, with no scaffolding and known to be as one of the best sights of Istanbul.

Enjoyed a traditional Turkish bath

IstanbulSuleymaniye MosqueCappadociaBlue Mosque, IstanbulHalic Cafe, Istanbul


WHERE WE STAYED:

In Cappadocia:

Sultan Cave Suites

Local Cave House

In Istanbul:

Albinas Hotel (Old City)

WHERE TO EAT IN CAPPADOCIA:

Retro Kapadokya (great vegetarian and vegan food)

Artemis Cave Suits (for drinks)

Organic Cave Kitchen (dinner at terrace)

Seten Restaurant, Anatolian Cuisine (Sultan Cave’s restaurant)

Turkish Ravioli Restaurant


WHERE TO EAT IN ISTANBUL:

Karakoy area: drinks & food with a great vibe. This is not just one restaurant, in Karakoy you will find lots of places with different options to choose from.


CappadociaSunset Point, CappadociaSunset Point, CappadociaSultan Caves, Pasabag, Cappadocia, Galerie Ikman, Cappadocia


Food not to miss:

Peravu (turkish ravioli)

Gozleme

Pideler (pizza)

Turkish ice cream

Turkish Tea


USEFUL TIPS:

Travel – Kayseri airport to Cappadocia. You can get a taxi but there are always shuttles waiting outside the airport at an very affordable price (around $5 per person) that take you directly to your hotel.

Cappadocia to Kayseri airport. Every hotel will assist you with a booking of either a taxi or shuttle for returning to the airport. Ps. The airport is tiny so they often will drop you with not much time for checking in – its normal their so don’t stress about it. 

You can buy a SIM card in Cappadocia for 150TL. A 7gig card will cover you for 2 weeks with Vodafone, (better coverage).

Use Uber or walk where you can in Istanbul. The taxi drivers are extremely untrustworthy. We took around 7 taxis and 2 of them didn’t try to overcharge us, take us to another place or pull some sort of scam.

Sultan CavesPasabag, CappadociaBalat, IstanbulCappadocia


If you have enjoyed this blog or have any questions, don't be shy, leave us a comment and we'll get back to you as soon as possible! For travel info, questions or collaboration enquiries drop us a line on youmentheseatravel@gmail.com and don't forget to follow us on Instagram @youmeandthesaltysea.