Exploring Göreme




July 2015 • Canon 60D camera
Nikon coolpix camera

UNESCO World Heritage site
Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia

Cappadocia is a beautiful region in central Turkey. Famous for its unique valleys of rock formations and hot air ballooning, there are many other activities and places to visit in the area. Göreme is a popular town in Cappadocia, and where most travellers will stay. From here it is easy to plan hikes and day trips to the surrounding valleys.

We planned to hike to some of the valleys, but the weather was so hot, we decided instead to explore the landscape of Cappadocia by horseback. I'm glad we did it by horse back as we would have been exhausted if we had hiked to one let alone to the other valleys. It was nice to get back on a horse, as the last time I did horse back riding was in Patagonia.

Open Air Museum

Karaseki, Unnamed Road, 50180 Göreme, Nevşehir Merkez/Nevşehir

A short 20 minute walk from Göreme town centre, you can visit the historic site of a small rock city. The Open Air Museum is a small complex of monasteries built by early Christians that lived in the area.

It has some of the best preserved rock-cut churches and painted frescos in history. The place itself is quite small and you can walk around the site in around hour and half. At the time of writing (2015), the entrance fee was 20TL, with an addtional 10TL to visit the most famous church in the Open Air Museum, Karanlık Kilise (Dark Church).

Did you know...

There are a number of underground cities in Cappadocia, connected by a great network of tunnels. They were made possible by the pliability of the soft rocks. Some of them remain open to visitors, while other are not due to them being on private properties.

Lover’s Hill, sunset viewpoint

Aşıklar Tepesi
50180 Göreme/Nevşehir Merkez/Nevşehir

There is a place in Göreme that is affectionately called ‘Lover's Hill’ that is amazing to watch sunset. Also know as Sunset Point, you can a nice panoramic view of Göreme town with the sun setting behind it.

Where to eat


Hakki Pasa Meydani 1
Goreme Kasabasi, Goreme 50180

I recommend dining at Dibek restaurant when you are in Cappadocia. It had a nice atmosphere in a traditional setting. Meals are served on round tables on the floor with comfortable cushions to sit on. We tried one of Cappadocia's most popular dish, testi kebabı, which is pottery kebab.

The meat of is cooked in a sealed clay pot and when ready, they are served by cracking the top of the pot with a small hammer to release the contents. The food was delicious and the service was good. The apple tea at the end was a perfect way finish the meal.

Where to stay

Ottoman Cave Suites

Avcilar Mahallesi Okul Sokak No: 6 50180 Göreme

Suite room with super king size double bed.
Top floor. Good views of surrounding valleys

Final thoughts

We had a lovely 2 days in Cappadocia. The Hot air balloon was the highlight, but the other activities was also very good. Food here is amazing and locals are friendly. We came in the height of the summer, so in some places like the Open air museum it was packed with tourists.

Keep in mind that all the places to visit in Cappadocia are outdoors. The valleys for hiking and Open Air Museums will all be under the direct heat of the sun during the summer. Wear sunscreen and a hat when you are walking around. And a water bottle to keep hydrated.

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