Two days in Urgup gives you enough time to explore both North and South Cappadocia, as well as experiencing local culture. See the fairy chimneys, try Cappadocian cuisine, visit cave dwellings and underground cities, and experience a Whirling Dervish ceremony. Here’s how to get the most out of two days in Urgup.
Day 1: Fairy-Tale Landscapes
Morning: A hot-air-balloon ride is a quintessential Cappadocia experience. Make an early start and watch the sunrise over the otherworldly landscapes as you float overhead. After celebrating your landing with a glass of Champagne, set out on a tour of the valleys, and see the fairy chimneys close up. Love Valley, Pigeon Valley, and Monk’s Valley offer the most photo-worthy views.
Afternoon: The Red Route is one of Cappadocia’s most popular tour routes, and it takes in all the highlights. Learn about the region’s early Christian history on a walking tour of the Goreme Open-Air Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; peek inside the ancient cave dwellings at Cavusin; and climb to the top of the rock-hewn Uchisar Castle for a magnificent view over the fairy chimneys below.
Night: This evening, immerse yourself in Cappadocian culture with a cooking class at a local family home. Learn about traditional home cooking from your host, help make a variety of typical dishes such as bӧrek pastries or sweet baklava, then sit down to enjoy a delicious, 3-course dinner.
Day 2: Ancient Marvels
Morning: Follow the Green Route today to take in the highlights of southern Cappadocia, starting with a visit to an underground city. The Derinkuyu and Kaymakli underground cities are by far the most visited, and it’s worth exploring with a guide to understand the historic context and find out more about these remarkable feats of engineering.
Afternoon: The 2-mile (3-kilometer) hike through the Ihlara Valley is one of the most rewarding in Cappadocia, affording stunning views as you wind through this river canyon renowned for its large concentration of cave churches, some of which date back to the fourth century. The hike starts and ends at different points, so it’s most convenient to visit as part of a tour or arrange transport in advance.
Night: For your final night in Cappadocia, opt for a memorable evening show. Enjoy dinner at an atmospheric cave restaurant accompanied by live entertainment and belly dancing, or attend a Whirling Dervish ceremony and experience the unique spiritual practice that Turkey is famous for.