A guide of Cappadocia
by Lorenzo Casaccia

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Things to see

  • Underground Cities
    • There are multiple underground cities in Cappadocia. Essentially these are multiple-story complexes that were dug deep into the earth. In some of them you end up more than 10 meters underground by following narrow staircases and low tunnels. Derinkuyu is probably the most impressive one.
  • Goreme Open Air Musuem
    • Churches and monastries escavated into the walls of the Goreme Hills. Some well-preserved frescoes from ~1000 years ago. It's the most popular tourist site so it gets really crowded along the day
  • Devrent Valley
    • Bizarre, chimney-like,rock formations
  • Ihlara Valley
    • This is a 16 km canyon that you can hike at the bottom (the trail is sometimes not well marked, but just follow the river), with more churches escavated in the rock along the way. More or less half-way there's the town of Belisirma
  • Soganli
    • This is another open air museum, in the same style as Goreme. However, for some reasons it is less popular, which means that you don't have to put up with the crowds.
  • Sarihan
    • "Hans" were rest areas for travellers centuries ago. Some of them have been maintained or restored. Sarihan is the best one of them, an enchanting place not to be missed, a few km's out of Avanos
  • Ortahisar & Uchisar
    • Both feature half-ruined castles where you can get on top to enjoy a terrific view
  • Zelve Valley
    • Same as Goreme and Soganly
  • Urgup
    • Mostly a tourist hub
  • Avanos
    • Not much to see or do

Itinerary of this trip

### Day 1: getting into Urgup, finding a place in Goreme, underground cities (Kaymakli, Derinkuyu), Soganli, sunset in Uchisar

### Day 2: Ihlara Valley, Belisirma, Guzelyurt

### Day 3: Goreme, Cavusin, Devrent Valley, Avanos, Sarihan, Ortahisar, night bus back to Istanbul

(August 2005)


Goreme has two restaurant with some well-deserved reputation. The Orient Restaurant serves a 4-course dinner in an elegant setting. The Ottoman House does the same on the roof of the corresponding hotel, with a nice view of Goreme. Both places are recommended (price is within 20 Turkish Liras for the whole dinner).
See also the Istanbul page for more food tips

You can get into or out of Cappadocia with night buses from and to Istanbul (~11 hours, 40 Turkish Liras).
Buses get into Nevsehir (even if you buy the ticket for another destination) and then a shuttle (called "servis") brings you to Goreme, Urgup or Avanos. Lonely Planet reports of unreliable bus companies. Metro looks like a major one and everything was ok for us.
To tour Cappadocia you most likely need a car. All major rental car companies are in Urgup
(unless you get into Cappadocia by plane, in which case you have rentals also at the Keyseri Airport)

Goreme has plenty of places and seems by far the nicest of the three tourist hubs (Goreme, Urgup, Avanos). The Backpacker's Cave Pension has rooms in a wonderful setting at cheap prices



My page on Istanbul



Kaymakly - Underground city

Kaymakly - Underground city


Derinkuyu - Underground city

Derinkuyu - Underground city

Soganli Open Air Museum

Soganli - House

Soganli - Church

Soganli - Another Church

Soganli - Altar


Ihlara Valley

Down the Ihlara Valley

Ihlara Valley - Church

Ihlara Valley - Another Church

Ihlara Valley - Belisirma

Ihlara Valley - Cooking a lentil soup in Belisirma

Goreme - Open Air Museum

Goreme Open Air Museum - the Nunnery

Goreme - Fresco of St George

Goreme - Karanlik Church

Goreme - Frescoes in Karanlik Church


Devrent Valley

Devrent Valley

Devrent Valley

Devrent Valley

Uchisar - View from the tower

Uchisar - Sunset


The court of Sarihan

The court of Sarihan


Serving tea in the court of Sarihan


Ortahisar - Castle



© Lorenzo Casaccia