My hands vibrate, the noise is deafening, and there is so much dust I can hardly see the dirt path in front of me. My lips are tightly pursed so as not to take in too much dust in my lungs – but even though my lips are sealed – I am smiling inside.
Yesterday I was floating in peaceful silence in a hot air balloon over the unique and alien-like formations of Cappadocia and today I’m roaring and vibrating down a dusty trail fishtailing out between the base of the pointy rocks. My how things change in 24 hours in my life!
Most people who visit Cappadocia Turkey choose to float above the jagged landscape, however when the opportunity arose to drive through the landscape on quad bikes I eagerly raised my hand and said “YES!”. Hitchhiker Tour company rents vehicles with wheels in Cappadocia – specifically in the little tourist town of Goreme. They run tours throughout the day, but in the summer I would suggest to take the early morning tour or late afternoon so as to not be caught in the escalating temperatures.
We arrived at 8:30 AM learned the simple basics of how to work the quad bike (throttle and brake) and in a deep guttural roar we were off following our guide leading the way through town and eventually onto a dirt path. I was eager to let loose and go fast but I tried to contain myself as I followed behind our wise guide who was easing us into the off-roading.
Gradually the trail got bumpier and dustier and soon I was pushing the throttle to the max, squinting my eyes, and bracing myself for the next dips and bumps. As we stopped at various lookout points my whole body tingled as I got off the quad bike to take photos. I have to admit – I loved doing the hot air balloons – but this quad biking was a whole different kind of excitement. Plus – to see the volcanic formed rocks from the ground provided a whole new perspective of awe. I felt more grounded and in touch with what I was looking at.
Our guide gradually seemed to choose the bumpier and dustier trails and we all were feeling the excitement of racing each other in the open. We stopped at a row of apricot trees and our guide ran and gathered a bunch of fresh apricots passing them out to quench our dusty throats.
We made a number of stops – however I would have been just as happy continuing to bike! The photo opportunities were great and by taking the morning tour we had nice soft light for photos. The two hours went too fast and soon we were heading ‘home’. We got off the bikes and promptly received an air pressure ‘shower’ – we were filthy. We were all laughing at each other and our layer of dust on our faces and in our pores.
The only good thing about returning back to Goreme is that we had bread, cheese and wine waiting for us! As part of the tour you can celebrate with wine and cheese later in the day after you clean up.
• Our guide was really great about checking on us – in fact sometimes I thought he was looking backwards more then he was looking forwards! He learned about our ability and then chose trails that we could all do and gradually increase the challenge as we all became more comfortable on the quad bikes.
• Helmets were optional – but were provided
• The bikes we had were in good running shape
• We made plenty of stops for photos
• It was great that they had a way to blow off the first layer of dust as soon as you got off the bike.
The Could Be Better
• I just simply wish it could have been longer!
• Luckily our group was all similar levels – but if you were with a group who were at different levels of adventure styles – then it could be rather frustrating. I think one guide would have had trouble satisfying everyone’s different levels.
Would I recommend it
Yes – it was a perfect complement to see the rock formations from above and it was an adrenaline rush that was very different than the hot air ballooning. Plus –you can also rent the bikes on an hourly or daily basis and go explore yourself which I think is also a nice option. Then – as a bonus – you can you get a discount to finish off this dirty day by experiencing a proper scrub at a Turkish Hammam!
Hitchhiker Tours Website
Stops: Visit Love Valley, Swords Valley, Red Valley, Rose Valley, Cavusin Town and its ruins, Honey Valley and Uzundere Valley. We will also climb to Aydinkiragi Hill, a nice vista point for Goreme
Location: next to the Goreme Bus Station
Cost: $60 USD for 2 hrs
I was a guest of Intrepid Travel and Hitchhiker tours for this quad biking experience. However, the opinions are my own.