Cappadocia is wonderful with so much to see and incredibly rich in history and culture. While most of what you see is within proximity it would be difficult to rent a car and embark on this on your own.
The car service pick-ups/drop-offs in Istanbul and Cappadocia were all effortless.
The guides for both days were very different. The first day our guide spent every waking moment on his phone! He would provide a blurb in the bus en route about what we were going to see and once we arrived, we were all on our own for x-minutes to explore and to meet back at the bus. Then, he would get on his phone while we wandered alone and without any additional historical info or the ability to ask questions. The first day each time we returned to the bus it was hot as our driver started the bus upon our arrival back. After wandering in the hot sun, no clouds or shade this was particularly frustrating.
The second day our guide was fantastic, clearly very knowledgeable, friendly, and fun. Each time we returned to the bus it was always cool because our guide alerted him to our immediate return and the driver turned the a/c to allow for a more comfortable ride.
The tour started late on the second day due to a delay in the transfer of folks from the airport arriving that morning. I found out later that not only were they late arriving but they checked-in and freshened up!!! This cut into our time on tour, as we had to get back because I was leaving that afternoon. No one told them they couldn’t. I got up early (after a long day of travel and touring myself the day before) to be ready at my appointed pick-up time only to wait around until they arrived 45 minutes late. I had already checked out of my room and so I sat in the courtyard waiting as the sun began to rise and the heat rise.
The tours are back-to-back and constant movement all day, in the heat, with very little or no time to comprehend or enjoy each experience. We spent several hours collectively at the tourist shopping traps especially the pottery, jewelry and rug stops then we did at the historical locations. While they tried to integrate historical and culture experiences at these shopping bonanzas, I would have preferred to spend more time exploring the historical sites rather than sitting through these presentations – even though they were interesting. I will say that we received more detailed info at these places than we did from our first guide.
The food was tourist food: somewhat tasteless but edible and you are hungry after all the walking up and down in the heat.
The 1811 hotel is lovely: however, my room is clearly at the bottom rung of a basic room. It was the only room on the ground floor, HOT, next to the reception desk and entrance; therefore, I heard absolutely everything. It had one small window that I had to keep the curtains closed for privacy and that blocked what little air circulation was possible. Given the pace of the day it would have been nice to have a decent night’s sleep in a cool room (no a/c or fan) and not perspiring all night only to get up early to start again.
The breakfast was light and fresh, and the staff was terrific and attentive.
A word of caution at the balloon ride. At the end they service a mix of fruit juice, and I am not sure what the other beverage is. They stand in the front and gather us all around and shake the bottles laughing and asking if we are ready for our morning shower. Never did it occur to me that the bottles are carbonated so when they popped the cork I was showered in a sticky beverage!! It was in my hair, face and down the front of my top and sleeve!!! I had showered that morning and only brought enough clothes for two days. Now I have nothing to change into and spent the entire day in sticky clothes that smelled like sweet. This practice is cruel and quite frankly disrespectful and should be eliminated immediately.
The tour operations could be much better as others have mentioned. Communication is poor and you must chase-down everything. It would have been nice to have received a detailed itinerary with the pick-up/departure times and all accommodation information.
Despite these issues I would recommend the trip. You might want to insist on more detailed info prior to departure to cut down on the logistical issues.