8 of the Most Beautiful Sunrise and Sunset Spots in Cappadocia

Cappadocia is one of the most beautiful places we have ever visited, a truly magical landscape which will wow you at ever turn. Getting up for at least one sunrise in this region is pretty much mandatory for the chance to watch hundreds of hot air balloons take to the skies.

If you’re not an early riser you’ll be happy to know that there are also lots of fantastic sunset spots too, it’s one of the best things to do in Cappadocia.

We spent a couple of weeks in Cappadocia and saw a sunrise or sunset almost daily. Here are our absolute favourites.

The view from the landing point in Rose Valley


Sunrise spots in Cappadocia

1. Sunset Hill, Goreme

If you only have the time or inclination for one sunrise in Cappadocia make it this one. Not only do you have the most incredible panoramic views of the area but the balloons fly incredibly close and it makes for some for the most amazing photos.

It’s a huge space too so even if it’s busy it won’t feel overcrowded - although we recommend getting there around 45-60 minutes before sunrise to stake your claim at the best spot. For the best view in our opinion you want to walk along the path for around ten minutes.

Best places for sunrise in Cappadocia - Sunset Hill

Getting to Sunset Hill

Sunset Hill is one of the easiest sunrise places to get to, you don’t even need a car or taxi if you’re staying in Goreme! Just walk up the hill (the exact location is marked on the map below). Find the road to Ascension Suites on Google Maps, keep going and you’ll be at the top.

 


2. From a cave hotel rooftop

Whilst Sultan Cave Suites has the most famous terrace for watching the sunrise, there are actually loads of fabulous cave hotels which offer similar views and set ups - and most are a lot cheaper! We think some good rivals to Sultan are Koza and Mithra hotels, amongst others.

Museum hotel in Uchisar also has fabulous sunrise views but the balloons will be much further away than in Goreme so it depends if that matters to you. The top cave hotel terraces are for guests only and they get very busy so prepare yourself for that. You’ll want to come down at least 40 minutes before sunrise.

Sunrise spots in Cappadocia - From a cave hotel terrace

3. Rose Valley

This is another really popular sunrise site and a place where some balloons land too depending on weather conditions. You can get extremely close to the balloons and the views are terrific, although in our opinion not quite as good as at Sunset Hill.

You can drive straight up to this one though, no walking involved at all, a popular photo seemed to be driving one of the vintage cars right up to the cliff edge and posing in that! As with Sunset Hill there is plenty of space so it doesn’t feel crowded.

Sunrise spots in Cappadocia - Rose Valley

Getting to Rose Valley

The top spot to see the ballons land at sunrise is just by the spot marked “sunset spot” in Rose Valley on Google Maps (see exact location below). The road here is a bit bumpy and gnarly, but you can park and walk a few minutes if you don’t like it.

Just make sure you don’t ask Google Maps for directions, it will take you on a major detour!

 


4. Balloon take off site

There are a few different balloon take off areas around Goreme and you could choose any one of them but we went for the site just in front of Hot Air Balloon Cappadocia (see on the map below). We’d seen it before from Sunset Hill and thought it provided a chance to get even closer to the balloons.

It definitely did and there was something very special about being that close to so many huge balloons. It was also the quietest site we visited by far. It required around a 5-10 minute walk from the small parking area. You’ll see the balloon all firing up before take off and you can just choose your favourite spot to wait. Make sure you are here in good time as once they have taken off they drift along the valley and you will miss the special bit.

Getting to the take-off area

This is just one of several areas, so feel free to ask one of the balloon companies the day before where they are taking off from. We chose the site in front of Hot Air Balloon Cappadocia. You can park in a small area and then hike along the ridges to be in the middle of the action.

 

Sunset spots in Cappadocia

Red Valley

This was our favourite sunset spot in Cappadocia, so good we went twice! The light turns the whole of the valley a deep red and the result is utterly spectacular.

Sunset locations in Cappadocia - Rose Valley

There are a couple of good options, either by following the walking path from the car park for around 5 - 10 minutes and finding a spot to sit and watch or by grabbing a table at Crazy Ali’s cafe - it is one of the most Instagrammable spots in Cappadocia.

If you pick the Crazy Ali option and you want THE best seat in the whole place - right on the edge of the cliff - then plan on arriving at least one and a half hours before sunset.

The best seat in the house at Crazy Ali’s

The best seat in the house at Crazy Ali’s

Getting to Red Valley

The only way to these viewpoints is either by car or hiking all the way from Rose Valley! The easiest is to drive via Ortahisar and it should take about 10 minutes from Goreme.

 

2. Sunset Hill, Goreme

Easily the most popular sunset site in the area, for it’s panoramic views and the fact that it is accessible right from town. It’s a fairly steep albeit short climb or you can drive to the top. It’s a huge area and the views of both the town and surrounding mountains and fairy chimneys is fantastic.

The sunset itself takes place over the town, although the soft colours around the mountains on the other side also make for some lovely photos. You can walk from the parking area to a place to watch the sunset in just a few minutes.

Sunset spots in Cappadocia - Sunset hill in Goreme

Getting to Sunset Hill

Sunset Hill is one of the easiest sunset places to get to, you don’t even need a car or taxi if you’re staying in Goreme! Just walk up the hill (the exact location is marked on the map below). Find the road to Ascension suites on Google Maps, keep going and you’ll be at the top.

 


3. Uchisar Castle

The top of the castle makes for an excellent sunset spot in Uchisar. Save this one for when you have a half hour to also explore the castle as you will have to pay the castle entrance fee to reach this one. Once you’ve explored head up the staircases to the top of the castle and grab a spot to watch the sunset over Goreme and the fairy chimneys.

The view from the top of Uchisar Castle

This is not a massively popular spot but there isn’t too much room at the top so plan on arriving at least 45 minutes before sunset to grab a good place to sit. The climb to the top is not difficult, we’d say it was about a five minute puff but you can stop to admire the views at each level : )

The view from lower down

Getting to Uchisar Castle

Uchisar Castle is a five minute drive from Goreme and has ample parking. You’ll have to pay 8 liras ($1.50 USD) if you want to go inside and see the sunset from the top of the castle, but the bottom area just outside the castle is free.

 

4. Sunset Point, Rose Valley

This is a pretty spot to watch sunset but only if you have already been to the other places on this list. The view itself of the valley is excellent and it doesn’t see too many people on the hill itself but unfortunately it is just above a main thoroughfare for quad bikers which rather spoils the atmosphere.

The quads also kick up lots of dust which is pretty unpleasant. From the parking area it is just a few minutes walk up a small hill to the viewpoint.

Getting to Rose Valley

The road here is a bit bumpy and gnarly, but you can park and walk the rest of the way.

Just make sure you don’t ask Google Maps for directions, it will take you on a major detour!

 

Where to stay in Cappadocia

Getting your head around the hundreds of places to stay in Cappadocia can be hard, so we’ve got a couple suggestions below.


Local Cave House - Goreme

Instagrammer’s favourite and truly unique, Local Cave House has it all. As the name suggests, all the rooms are caves in a fairy chimney, meaning you will have a quintessential Cappadocian experience. The rooms are nicely furnished with local touches and despite being in the middle of Goreme, it is really quiet.

There’s a picturesque pool for when it gets hot outside and the views from here are spectacular (but they aren’t of the balloons). It’s also one of the best value hotels in the whole area.

Booking.com

Duven Hotel - Uchisar

Duven House flies under the radar of most travellers, which means this gem is also lovely and quiet. Although it isn’t a cave hotel, Duven makes up for this with a spectacular view of Uchisar Castle which is only 50 metres away!

The rooms are big, comfortable and come with a tasty breakfast included, making it superb value.

Booking.com
Booking.com


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Are you planning a trip to Cappadocia? Do you know a brilliant sunrise or sunset spot we haven’t mentioned? Let us know in the comments below!


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