Off-roading with ATV quads in Cappadocia has been one of my favorite moments of my vagabonding world travels to date.
The hot air balloon rides may be the most spectacular thing to do in Cappadocia but off-roading with ATV’s is the most fun.
Cappadocia is a region of Turkey in Central Anatolia and in it is Göreme National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its exotic landscape.
The table top mountains, volcanic rock formations and fierce valleys in Cappadocia make up a vast area of beauty that can’t effectively be explored by traditional means but by hot air ballooning or ATVing.
I’ve experienced this land by both means.
The hot air balloon was a magnificent albeit short-lived ride with one of the best views of planet Earth.
The ATV quad was the ride of a lifetime that lasted all day and defined the art of adventure travel.
An American backpacker and I arrived in Cappadocia just after sunrise in a night bus from Istanbul.
As we got off the bus, a fleet of hot air balloons passed by above us. We got stoked and booked tickets before checking in to our hostel. But on the way there, we saw ATV’s and motorbikes for rent so we booked those too for after the balloon ride.
The guided tour ATV rides for a full day was quoted at about $100 USD but I usually like exploring on my own terms so we negotiated to ride by ourselves and paid a mere $25 each – gasoline included.
We started off from the ATV rental shop in the middle of the Goreme village, driving along the locals in their cars, horse carriages and motorbikes.
You’re free to roam just about anywhere off-road or on, through the villages, across the highways and over the mountains – if the ATV can physically reach it, than you can ride it. Almost no restrictions.
I’ve been off-roading with quads in the deserts of Nevada, the entirety of Koh Samet Island and the mountains of the Adirondacks but none compares to the extraordinary terrain of Cappadocia.
We loved it so much we did it 2 days in a row.
If your time is limited in Cappadocia or prefer a more structured excursion, ATV tours (small and large groups) are available to ride with a local guide.
While you’ll have a more efficient use of riding time, it will be somewhat dictated by a timed itinerary.
Furthermore, due to insurance limitations, the tour guides may not allow you access to the more dangerous / adventurous / challenging trails.
If I had to recommend the hot air balloon or the ATV tours, it would be the latter – 8 out of 10 times.
Cappadocia is one of the most beautiful and exotic landscapes I have ever seen and the best way to experience it is by all terrain vehicles.
ATVing in Cappadocia.
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