Cappadocia: Land of Fairy Chimneys and Cave Cities

Posted on April 17, 2010 by

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. An exciting journey that’s taking me through starkly different landscapes and culture; I’ll be reporting on my voyage so keep a look out!

Goreme Panorama

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.




Pigeon Valley

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.



Soganli Valley

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.


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Dervent Valley

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.





Cave Hotel

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.




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About Nellie Huang

Nellie Huang is a professional travel writer and blogger with a special interest in off-grid destinations and adventure travel. Her mission is to visit every country in the world. In her quest, she's climbed an active volcano in Iceland, swam with sealions in the Galapagos, built a school in Tanzania, waddled with penguins in Antarctica, crossed into North Korea and drank beer in Palestine.

35 Responses to “Cappadocia: Land of Fairy Chimneys and Cave Cities”

  1. Lucy April 17, 2010 8:35 am #

    Nice photos! I think Cappadocia is one of the most spectacular places I have ever visited. The underground cities are so impressive as well. Hope it was worth the long journey for you!

    • admin April 18, 2010 3:55 pm #

      Oh yes, definitely worth the journey. The underground city of Kaymakli was amazing, and we’d only seen 5% of it – can’t imagine how massive it must be. Looking forward to catching up in Istanbul!

  2. Dina VagabondQuest April 17, 2010 8:39 am #

    I need to put this place in my places to visit list! Nice cave houses/city photos!

  3. Dave and Deb April 18, 2010 10:13 pm #

    Wow! What an incredible landscape. I am going to have to do some more research into this area. Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing the information, I can't wait until we take a trip to Turkey.

    • admin April 20, 2010 2:30 pm #

      Thanks guys for the kind words, Cappadocia is so beautiful I didn’t think my photos did it justice. But anyhow, definitely make your way here when u’re in Turkey. I missed it on my first time in Turkey and I kicked myself for it. And it didn’t disappoint me.

  4. Migration Mark April 19, 2010 2:13 pm #

    Hey Nellie,
    That rugged landscape with the chimney rocks looks breathtaking. Paired with the snowy peak in the backdrop and the overall history of the caves and houses, looks like an amazing place! Great pictures.

  5. adriansabah April 19, 2010 3:36 pm #

    This looks like an amazing place to explore, I wouldn't mind spending a week there. I have been told what a amazing place Turkey is, now I can see why.

    • admin April 20, 2010 2:27 pm #

      Yes it’s an amazing place, truly unique and exceptional. Hey Adrian, it’s rather popular among us Asians – Singaporeans and Malaysians, come and check it out when you’ve got the opportunity, everyone leaves completely awed.

  6. Sonya April 20, 2010 1:14 am #

    Gorgeous photography and post, Nellie! Always love reading Wild Junket!

  7. Angela April 20, 2010 8:18 am #

    Ancient stone dwellings and carvings are so fascinating, I love visiting them anywhere but in the middle of the desert they must be really overwhelming.

  8. Alison April 20, 2010 11:06 am #

    Wow! You really can imagine fairies living there :) I had read about the cave hotel and wanted to visit this area, now even more so! Thanks for the great post.

  9. Jesse April 23, 2010 11:55 am #

    Oh my God.. Those photos are perfect. I was so mesmerized I forgot what I was reading in your posts.
    Very good indeed.

  10. whoa-man May 2, 2010 4:00 pm #

    i recall a recent movie featuring this location. Do you know?

    • admin May 4, 2010 6:53 pm #

      A recent movie? No, not aware of that. But many think that Starwars was filmed there, but George Lucas didn’t get a permit to film there, so it was just a gimmick. :)

  11. marta May 5, 2010 1:07 pm #

    great pictures and such inspiring landscapes. I found those houses on the rock very fascinating, I would love to check them out. I don't know why but I never took into consideration a trip to Turkey, but it's definitely on my list now. Thanks for sharing this

    • admin May 7, 2010 10:54 pm #

      Thanks Marta, glad you liked it. Cappadocia is definitely one of its kind, I’d missed it on my last trip there and was so glad I made it there this time. Don’t miss it when you’re in Turkey! ;)

  12. Encarna May 24, 2010 8:04 am #

    Unas fotos preciosas Nellie, yo tambien quiero ir a Cappadocia. Un beso, saluda a tu novio.

  13. Mark October 28, 2010 1:36 am #

    Awesome job Nellie! Never knew such a place existed! And you're right, it does have that "fantasy" landscape look to it. You've captured the mood quite nicely in your writing as well! Enjoy your stay there and be safe!

  14. Minos Beach March 23, 2011 6:01 pm #

    wow Cappadocia I I spent there my holidays in 2007 .great place


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