Escape of the Week: Goreme, Turkey

Written by on January 24, 2012 in Escapes - 9 Comments

The view of Goreme from Shoe String Cave Pension.

Welcome to the country where east meets west.

A land entrenched in history, Whirling Dervishes, bazaars, spice-filled foods and a wide-range of landscapes to choose from. If you’re planning a trip to Turkey, take note – no trip here is complete unless Cappadocia travel is included.

The Cappadocia region of Turkey is in the middle of the country, but worth a stop. Here, visitors are greeted by sunrise of pinks and oranges casting their colors across white rocks, and fairy chimneys to spark the world of fantasy.

Some ancient and present day dwellings are the same in Goreme.

Formed from an eruption of Mt. Erciyes ages ago, the chimneys and valley are the permanent reminder of Mother Nature.

A fairy chimney in town.

While I was on my Fez Bus Tour, we stopped in Goreme, a little town in the region. For three days, I lived in the land of whimsical and ancient cave hotels (which used to be dwellings) and phallic rocks jutting out into the crisp blue horizon.

They are a bit phallic …

It’s an understatement to say the world of fairy chimneys and enormous rocks sprouting from the ground is cool. It’s mind-blowing.

While the town of Goreme itself isn’t huge, there is plenty to do since it caters largely to tourists.

Looking down from the pool at Shoe String to the cave rooms below.

One must? Sleep in a cave. There are plenty of options, from budget friendly hostels like Shoe String Cave Pension to more expensive lodging like the lush Sultan Cave Suites Hotel.

Shoe String’s pool includes lounge areas, grapes fresh for the picking, and stunning views of the town.

A luxe cave hotel in the distance.

By day, take time to explore the region. There are plenty of tours operating from here that whisk people away on treks, to explore the underground cities of Kaymakli and Derinkuyu, or local ATV rides through the rock formations.

Stop by the main street for fresh and inexpensive fruit to nibble.

For early birds, the sun rise hot-air balloon ride over the fairy chimneys is absolutely magical. For those who prefer to keep their feet planted on the ground, try visiting the Goreme Open-Air Musuem which takes people through tiny cave churches still in use.

Kebap slow-cooked in a sealed terracotta pot. It tastes much better than it looks.

Don’t forget about food.

During my visit, I stopped in at Dibek, a darling authentic restaurant where we sat on gorgeous colorful carpets and drank homemade wine and dined on flavorful testi kebap. This dish is kebap, sealed in a terracotta jar, and slow-cooked for three hours in a stone oven. Then, it is brought to the table and broken open and served.

Delicious.

Getting there:

If in Istanbul, take the night train. It’s between 11 – 12 hours, but the Turkish bus system is largely run very well.

From Anakara, the bus is 4 1/2 hours. From Antalya, the trip by bus is 9 hours.

 

 

About the Author

Diana Edelman is a travel writer and expat currently residing in Chiang Mai, Thailand. In 2010 she quit her job in PR to go on a solo backpacking adventure and tackle her 30-Life-Crisis. After seven months abroad, journeying throughout Europe and Africa, she returned to America and relocated to Las Vegas. Following a year-long stint back in PR, she once again quit her job to follow her dreams; this time her journey took her to the elephants and Elephant Nature Park where she is involved with raising awareness about responsible elephant tourism. Recently, Diana was named a finalist in the Destinology Travel Bloggy Awards for travel writing. She has been a regular contributor to Viator and recently served as the Las Vegas contributor for OneTravel.com and CheapOair.com. Her work has appeared in print and online, including The Huffington Post, Matador Network, Travel + Escape, Vegas Seven, World Nomads and more.

9 Comments on "Escape of the Week: Goreme, Turkey"

  1. Reg of The Spain Scoop January 25, 2012 at 2:19 am · Reply

    I’ve been wanting to go to this region for some time now. Thanks for the added inspiration. 11 hours on the train though?

    • Diana January 26, 2012 at 12:08 am · Reply

      Worse. 11 hours on a bus! So long as you don’t take the Fez bus and use an actual nice bus, you should be fine though. The Turkish bus system isn’t bad at all. Pretty comfortable buses, snacks, tea, huge bus stations with shops …

  2. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures January 25, 2012 at 8:28 am · Reply

    This place is totally on my BL!

    • Diana January 26, 2012 at 12:07 am · Reply

      You would LOVE it!!

  3. Heathers Harmony January 25, 2012 at 4:39 pm · Reply

    These photos are stunning, I may just have to add Turkey to my bucket list!

    • Diana January 26, 2012 at 12:05 am · Reply

      It is a great place to visit. I have to be honest though, I had a lot of trouble there as a solo female traveler. I would suggest going with someone else, preferably of the opposite sex.

  4. Lorena January 27, 2012 at 5:34 pm · Reply

    Amazing place! I am planning a trip to Turkey in the Summer, any tips you can share would be great!

    • Diana January 28, 2012 at 1:59 am · Reply

      Lorena, I will send you an e-mail :)

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