Looking for advice on hidden/ off the beaten track activities and places to visit in Cappadoccia in high winter.
Also, anyone havve recommendations for a good ballooning company. Essentially looking for smaller balloons (less people) and a great safety record.
You'll have a blast in Cappadocia, especially in the winter. We were there last December and had an amazing time. There were comparatively few tourists, no one bothered you or tried to sell you anything, and the weather was still fairly mild. I would definitely recommend doing some hikes (Rose/Red Valley, Love, and Pigeon Valley are all great), visit the Göreme Open Air Museum (I've heard it sucks in the high season, but it was almost empty when we were there and it was absolutely great), and check out a couple cities - each has their own character (Goreme, UchisarÇavuşin, Ortahisar, etc.).
Captivating Cappadocia (who I'm pretty sure is not affiliated with any places) did a number of posts on balloon companies (linked below). We used Butterfly Balloons based on talking with our hosts. They asked us if we knew who we wanted to go with and we told them we had done a little research but hadn't settled on anyone in particular. They gave us a number of options and told us a little about the pros and cons of each...based on their recommendation and what we read, we settled on Butterfly. Our guide was awesome, we were one of the first up in the sky, we had an amazing ride, and it was something we will never forget.
The Captivating Cappadocia site also has some great hikes, walking routes, suggestions on things to do, etc. - we found it very useful in planning.
Here's a link to our site, in case you want to see photos of the places I spoke about - http://haveblogwilltravel.org/category/turkey/cappadocia
...and the Captivating Cappadocia site - http://www.captivatingcappadocia.com/cappadocia-hot-air-balloon-company/
Hope you have an awesome time...what city are you staying in by the way? I don't know if any one is better than the others, but it might affect which company you use or which places you go to.
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There's a really cool market in Avanos where you can buy all kinds of interesting local crafts, food, etc. I believe it's only on Fridays, so plan accordingly.
Also, you haven't lived until you've been to the hair museum at Chez Galip Çömlek Atölyesi. Yes, you did read that correctly -- it's a hair museum! If you're in the mood you can even make your own "donation" to the museum.