About Madison S
Lives in London, United Kingdom
Since Sep. 2014
Hello! I'm Maddie- a native NYer whose Wanderlust has taken her abroad again and again. Having lived in six countries, and visiting others for school, work, leisure, and sport, I've adopted many localities, and am an admirer of a great many more. An avid scholar of language and culture, I hope to keep expanding my travel repertoire, and sharing great stories with the rest of the travel community. To give you some background on my travels, I spent months each year since childhood in Old Montreal, where part of my family lives. Summers were spent visiting folks in Ft. Lauderdale and L.A. My first big trip outside of the US on my own was to Australia & New Zealand at 12- I caught the bug early! I then moved to Japan where I studied for part of high school & uni. I am very familiar with Japanese cities, Sapporo and Osaka especially. Some of my favourite travel destinations include Goreme, Dubai, Marrakech, and Queenstown. (Plans for 2015 include China & Uganda!) Nice to meet you!
Horseback Riding Tours
Bars & Clubs
Historic Walking Areas
Historical & Heritage Tours
Spas, Hammams & Turkish Baths
The natural beauty of Goreme's vistas is unparalleled. Butterfly Balloons provides not only a thrilling (and oh-so-romantic!) activity that allows you to see the city from above the noise, but also a relaxing ground experience. Visitors are treated to fresh fruit while the balloons fill up, and after a spin around the craggy landscapes, the experience ends with a champagne toast on a grassy field. With helpful and informative guides, a keen staff, and a safety-first environment, visitors can feel secure while they enjoy the serenity of sunrise.
Set in a garden oasis, the Mulberry Cafe features a menu of homemade delicacies, from house-made cheeses to crisp and doughy gözleme. The truly rustic fare is made from local produce and cooked on the premises in earthenware crockery, and the refreshing teas are a great accent to any tasty lunch. An especially great location for peace and quiet, the garden scenery provides a charming and intimate spot to chat, eat, and enjoy one another's company.
A private tour around Goreme is a great way to see and understand the sights at your own pace, and Turkey Boutique Tour offers a luxurious experience. The Tour picks guests up in a Mercedes and then whisks them off to see some of Goreme's most enchanting and historic locations: Devrant Valley, Uchiisar Castle, Avanos, Pasabagi, and the Goreme Open Air Museum. Panoramic views and Byzantine art await visitors, as does a rest and refuel stop at a sumptuous lunch buffet. The tour even gives guests a moment to relax their feet and change clothes, if desired, before an evening Dervish show. This is a great way to see and enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the city in a memorable and stress-free way.
Dalton Brothers Ranch offers the opportunity to ride the peaceful trails that wind through the Red and Rose Valleys. All riding levels are accommodated, so whether it is your first time or you're an old pro in the saddle, gear up and spend an hour or more exploring castle ruins and ancient dwellings together. Horse rides are a quiet, romantic way to enjoy Goreme's natural setting.
Alcohol is difficult to find in Goreme, but at Red Red Wine, you'll find fantastic local wines. The location itself is amorous — it's dimly lit, with cushioned seating, Anatolian music, and the hearth of a coal burner keeping the rooms warm. Outdoor seating is less personal but offers city views and plenty of people-watching. The restaurant has a menu of wines spanning House Reds to absolute vintage bottles, as well as fruits and nuts to enjoy alongside your sips.
If you'd like to see the see the sights more informally, with just your significant other for example, then head off on a hike to the Fairy Chimneys. These enchanting rock structures tower high into the air, and their unique shape makes them remarkable sights to behold. Once dwellings, the insides of some can be explored, and some of the original art and artifacts remain. This outing is perfect for those who want a quiet but challenging independent hike, and it's also a great spot to enjoy a romantic picnic among breathtaking scenery.
At the aptly-named Pigeon Valley, coffee, a hike, and a meal are all on the menu. For a fanciful afternoon, explore the river, fields, ancient huts, and old churches dotted among the landscape here. When you finish your expedition, the car park located on one of the Valley's highest points allows you to watch the flight of hundreds of pigeons that reside in the area — while you're safely nestled in a small cafe with a cup of java. Breathtaking views and strong coffee... what more could energetic couples ask for?
The Turkish Heritage Tour is perfect for more hands-on couples. Created for the history buff, the tours are customizable to include whatever you most want to experience and learn about in Goreme. The broad list of options includes a ceramics museum and workshops, hot air ballooning, horseback or camel riding, carpet-making school, and market shopping. Each activity is explained in depth, especially those which are vital to Goreme's past, local nature, and economy.
After a day out hiking or being out among the noise and heat in Goreme, rest and re-energize at a hammam. With a full-package relaxation experience at Kelebek Hammam, guests can enjoy a range of treatments from body scrubs to mud peels, pool soaks to a detox in the sauna. Kelebek is unique for the local ingredients it uses in scrubs and massage oils, as well as for its friendly care of couples. So go ahead, unwind.
At the Elis Turkish Bath, you can enjoy an informal session, with just a scrub, wash, and wipe down in the traditional Turkish style. Then it's on to the relaxation or steam rooms. With a dim setting and a staff that sometimes hums Anatolian songs, the Elis Bath is a great attraction to squeeze into a busy romantic schedule.
At Pumpkin Goreme, vegetarians and omnivores alike can tuck into 3- and 4-course set menus of authentic Turkish food, along with beer or wine. Multiple starters and desserts are included, and the food arrives at the table fresh and delicious. The restaurant interior glows with candles and gourd lamps (which were made by the owner himself), as well as a warm hearth, creating a charming and private atmosphere.
People visit Topdeck more for the ambiance than the food. But oh, what ambiance. The natural cave formation allows you to experience dining like the ancients must have done, warmed by the fire in a carved room. Located on the inside of a hill, Topdeck serves delicious meze and a number of mains, desserts, and warm drinks.
The snug atmosphere at Kale Terrasse will get you away from the main tourist hotspots and into a quiet space populated by Turkish rugs and ambient lighting. The restaurant offers a stunning view and the option of open-air seating, and guests can fill up on an outstanding selection meze, pizza, and kebabs — all at wonderful value. Don't miss out on dessert with your sweetheart, as Kale Terrasse's rice pudding and baklava are especially delicious.