Dreaming of an exotic honeymoon with wineries, hot-air balloons, hikes, and spa treatments? Look no further than a Cappadocia honeymoon. Cappadocia, located a 90-minute flight from Istanbul, feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of the Turkish capital. And with its unique rock formations, called fairy chimneys, it often looks like another planet altogether. Most of the activities in the region center on the incredible landscape—there’s horseback riding, hiking, and hot-air ballooning—but there’s more to Cappadocia than than its surreal surroundings.
What to do:
The big draws of Cappadocia are outdoors (which means the best times to visit are April to June and September to November). Hot-air-balloon rides offer a bird’s-eye view of the fairy chimneys that reach for the sky like misshapen fingers, while hikes (guided or independent) give you the chance to see inside caves that were once used as houses. Horseback riding, cooking class, spa treatments, and ATV rides are among other diversions offered throughout the region.
What to eat:
Cappadocia has been making wine for more than 7,000 years; the reds are rich and intense and pair perfectly with hearty local specialities like manti (a meat-filled pasta in a creamy yogurt sauce), testi kebab (a meat stew that is cooked in a ceramic pot, which is broken open at the table), and pide (a flatbread topped with meat, cheese, and sometimes an egg). This is Turkish food at its finest, whether you’re eating at a casual cafe, indulging in a decadent meal at a fancy restaurant, or learning how to make it yourself in a cooking class held at a local home.
Where to stay:
For a truly honeymoon-worthy stay, book a room at Argos in Cappadocia, a 53-room hotel that bills itself as “the village with a reception desk.” The rooms are spread throughout six mansions carved into rock; there’s a bar and restaurant, a 2,000-year-old chapel, and a wine cellar. Breakfast is served each morning, and the hotel offers Turkish wine tastings, airport transfers, and tours of the property, including some of the underground tunnels (of which there are more than three miles).
The rooms themselves are styled after traditional cave houses—albeit with several upgrades, like beautiful marble bathrooms, comfy king beds, minifridges, and Wi-Fi. Argos is set in the town of Uchisar, home to the Uchisar castle and located a short, scenic hike from the town of Göreme, which puts it in the perfect spot for exploring the best of this beautiful region.