5 reasons to stay in Goreme when visiting Cappadocia

My guest post today features the town of Goreme in the heart of Cappadocia’s ‘Fairy Chimney’ country. Liz from Travelogged tells us more about the area and why you should use Goreme as your base when you visit.

Fairy Chimneys in Goreme, Cappadocia

Fairy Chimneys in Goreme, Cappadocia

Fairy Chimneys of Cappadocia

If you’re planning a trip to Turkey, chances are people will encourage you to visit Cappadocia to see the unique landscape of “fairy chimneys”, colorful rock formations and caves. But as you begin your research, you’ll quickly learn that Cappadocia is a region so you’ll have to choose a specific town to stay in. Popular choices are Goreme, Uchisar and Urgup. This past June, I decided to stay in Goreme, and I would highly recommend it for these reasons.

1. You don’t need a car

The best reason to stay in Goreme is that you don’t need a car if you stay there. This is particularly important if you are arriving by plane, as the main airport is in Kayseri, which is over an hour away. Our flight from Istanbul arrived at night and the last thing we would have wanted to do would be to get lost trying to find Goreme in the dark. We arranged a pickup from our hotel at 10 euros per person, and the whole transfer went quite smoothly.

When we got to Goreme that night, we were able to walk from our hotel into the town and had our choice of restaurants. The whole place is compact, so as long as your hotel is truly located in Goreme, you will be able to walk to town and therefore go to the restaurants, bars and shops without any problems. You can also walk to the Open Air Museum  and go for a hike in Love Valley – more on those later.

The town on Goreme in Cappadocia

The town on Goreme in Cappadocia

2. The town is a real place

As we were walking around deciding where to eat, we saw males aged 8 to 88 sitting outside and playing backgammon. It’s not a big town, but there must have been well over 100 people there. Goreme is a touristy place, as is that whole area of Cappadocia, but plenty of people live their lives there and aren’t simply dropping in to look at the rock formations (like we were).

Painted Church in Goreme

Painted Church in Goreme

3. You can stay in a cave hotel

There are a variety of accommodations in Goreme, ranging from backpacker to luxury. If possible, choose one of the cave hotels. That’s right, you can stay in a hotel where the rooms are carved out of a rock, just like the traditional homes of the area. We enjoyed Sultan Cave Suites , which has the same owners as the better known Kelebek Hotel. Staying in a cave might not be for the claustrophobic, as the room goes deep into the rock and there aren’t many windows. (Although we did have a small skylight, which was pretty cool.) As a desert area, Cappadocia is subject to extreme temperatures but the rock does an excellent job as insulation. Our room didn’t have air conditioning (and this American traveler loves her air conditioning) and despite the hot weather it remained comfortable. I wouldn’t want to take up cave living permanently, but spending a few nights in the cave is a cool experience.


3. The Open Air Museum is in Goreme

If you stay in Goreme, you can walk the approximately 2km to the Open Air Museum. (No matter where you stay in Cappadocia, you don’t want to miss this UNESCO attraction.) The Open Air Museum is actually a former Christian religious complex with nunneries, churches, houses, dining rooms, kitchens and more that was built — or, in this case, carved — between the 10th and 13th centuries and has long since been abandoned. The highlight is the Painted Churches, which refer to the well-preserved medieval frescoes adorning the interiors of some of the churches.

Rock Church in Goreme, Cappadocia

Rock Church in Goreme, Cappadocia

5. Visit Love Valley from Goreme

When you’re surrounded by so much natural beauty, you just want to get there and walk around it. Most hikes require some form of transportation, but you can do a short hike in Love Valley, which is on the way to the Open Air Museum. (Take the path off the main road by the Cappadocia Tourist Hotel.) It’s a great area to see the “Fairy Chimneys,” which are rock formations that look like well, fair chimneys, or elongated mushrooms or something else entirely if you have a dirty mind. As you rise slightly in elevation, you get good sweeping views of the whole area. Chances are good that, like us, you’ll have this whole area to yourselves.

Thanks for this guest post to Liz Borod Wright at Travelogged,  the travel blog that will all take you over the world, from the beaches to the slopes, from ancient ruins to modern architecture.

Travel Resources

Kelebek Hotel in Goreme
Sultan Cave Suites in Goreme
Cappadocia Information
Travelogged – Exploring the Painted Churches at the Open Air Museum
Travelogged – Greetings from Goreme, the heartland of Cappodocia

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  • Reply
    Fly Girl
    October 9, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Cave hotels! Fairy chimneys! Open Air Musuem! This place sounds like a dream. That its totally walkable makes it even better. Thanks for a great post.

  • Reply
    Grant Lingel
    October 11, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Great post and photos! It sure looks amazing there.. I want to go!

  • Reply
    October 15, 2009 at 12:20 am

    Heather, I absolutely agree the best place to stay if visiting the region. It’s usually not on the radar of many travelers to Turkey until after they see all the sights nearby.

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  • Reply
    Chou Jin
    September 6, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    Great post.Very helpful information.I’ll go there soon.

  • Reply
    October 23, 2010 at 10:18 am

    I am going in ten days time. I can not wait. Seen and heard so much about it. I am counting sleeps until I go!
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  • Reply
    Laura Bond
    July 10, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    My husband and I are hoping to visit Cappadocia in September 12. I haved to say I found this review excellent as I was’nt sure what town to stay in but having read other reviews on Tripadvisor felt Goerme was the place but wanted to make sure.

    My problem is I’m ill and find it difficult to walk in the heat, especially for long periods. Would it be very expensive to hire a taxi for sightseeing. If I overdo it, I’ll just “fade” in the evenings and I have visions of me sipping a drink, looking out on beautiful lit up landscape. Help!!

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