The sun is melting over the red-rose valleys in the distance. Ahead of me, whimsical fairy chimneys and cave churches poke out sharply into the vermillion skies. The undulating slopes, meandering valleys and bizarre rock formations are all washed in a shade of orange. A land I could imagine hobbits and genies roaming in – has a setting fit for fantasy. While night slowly creeps in, the imaginary elves also hide in the safety of their cave houses. It is dusk here on my first day in Cappadocia.
I am here in this mystical part of Central Turkey and will be spending the next week exploring the country before continuing on to the Balkans. Turkey is one of the most visited countries in the world, yet this part of Turkey feels way off the beaten path. It’s quiet, dramatic and absolutely stunning. This exciting journey will take me through starkly different landscapes and culture; I’ll be reporting on my voyage so keep a look out!
Goreme is a popular base for many travelers in Cappadocia, with plenty of cave hotels and conveniences available. We head up to the panoramic point of the town, to get a bird’s eye view of the region. From above, it looks like a fantasy land with thousands of fairy chimneys dotting the landscape.
A deep valley entrenched within the cliff faces, this area is excellent for hikes. We catch a glimpse of the hilly town of Uchisaz (as seen below), with a castle-like cave house perched right at its peak.
We explore the depths of the underground cave cities at Kaymakli, bending and crouching through narrow tunnels to get to a labyrinth of stone caves. Continuing on towards the Soganli Valley, we stop by various cave monasteries and pigeon-holed caves to investigate.
Towards the last part of our journey, we find ourselves driving amidst the colossal fairy chimneys, coming face to face with these massive rock towers.
This is a view from my abode for the night, Goreme House Hotel. Part cave part house, the boutique hotel is unique in its design and service. Halis, the hotel owner and my guide for the day, showed me what Turkish hospitality meant and I deeply appreciated his kindness. I spent an amazing time traipsing around the countryside of Cappadocia with him, getting to know the area and the country and I couldn’t thank enough.