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Göreme

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Goreme (Göreme) is a town in the Cappadocia region of Turkey. The town is centered in the middle of a internationally popular region that is best known for its natural rock formations, often called "fairy chimneys".

Love Valley

Get in

Several bus companies have day-time and overnight buses that run directly from Goreme to Istanbul (or directly from Nevshevir, 20 minutes down the road).

Get around

The town of Goreme is fairly small, and walking is your best option. Walking also provides excellent views of the surrounding canyons, which are sights themselves. Available for rent are mountain bikes, scooters, motorcycles and all terrain quads. Dolmus service also runs approx. every hour to nearby cities like Avanos and Urgup.

See

Goreme has a wide selection of natural and cultural wonders. Simply walking through the village you will be amazed at the bizarre 'fairy chimney' rocks cut naturally by the wind and rain.

Several tour operators offer a one day package that includes a stop at a caravansari, one of the amazing underground cities, a walk through the ancient churches decorated with frescoes, and finally a stop at a carpet/pottery/oynx shop. These one day tours are excellent and worth the money, as they include admission. Avoid buying at the shops, however, as you pay 2-3 times higher through commissions.

Do

Sunrise in Goreme
  • Balloon Rides - are one of the most popular activities in Goreme. Typically lifting off at sunrise, these rides last around 45 minutes and literally go wherever the wind may blow in the Cappadocia Valley. The balloon carriages hold around ten people with the pilot riding air currents much like a boat, floating down the valleys, often below the ridge line and quite close to the chimney rocks. It's a fantastic ride and if you've ever had the urge to splurge on a balloon ride (approx. 110 euros), this would be the place to do it. You will certainly be offered the ride (prices are around 110 euros) while you are in Goreme. Several hot air balloon companies offer dawn balloon rides, claiming they are better than anywhere else in the world. Ask around about safety records, as some operators are better than others.
  • Hiking - Following the paths along the valleys is an amazing (and free) option. Check with your hotel owner or the tourist office for a map of the area with suggested walks and trails. There are several nice loops on packed dirt, sand and rock, that maintain a constant elevation and pass through the scenic valleys.

Buy

Avanos, 10 km away, has been a pottery center for centuries. Many stores will sell pottery in Goreme, and you may end up at a pottery workshop at the end of a tour, but for the best prices, head into Avanos and wander around the back streets. Compare the prices and quality, and if you are worried about it surviving shipping/your backpack, ask them to stand on it to test the strength (vases, jugs, and larger objects should take their weight). While the quality in touristy shops is often high, you will be paying 2-3 times what you otherwise would.

Goreme and the surrounding areas also have several carpet shops, whose primary business is from tourists.

Eat

Goreme has a wide selection of typical Kebabs and Pide, as well as some unusual 'pottery' dishes that are prepared and served in a clay pot which you can 'break' open. Many of the restaurants and bars change hands on a regular basis, making specific recommendations difficult.

That said, Alaturca, with mains from 15-20 YTL, is considered to be one of the finer dining establishments in central Turkey, and is well worth a visit. Alaturca is between the bus stop and the mosque.

Silk Road Kebabs (near Pasha Bar) has excellent and filling chicken kebab (get the 1/2 loaf) for 2.5 YTL.

Firin Express (just off the main street by the junction) has wonderful Pide and Lahmacun for a few Lira.

Drink

Simply walking by carpet shops will open invitations for tea. If your thirsty, take advantage of this free drink and learn something about carpets at the same time.

For the bar scene, several bars and clubs are open (primarily in the high season), and there is a disco in nearby Avanos frequented by locals and tourists alike.

Sleep

Goreme has an incredible selection of hostels, hotels, and guest houses (some 60 odd), and also offers some of the cheapest backpacker accommodation in Turkey. The friendly (and tout-free) accommodation office can help you find something. Dorm beds are around 6-8 YTL, Single Rooms 10-20 YTL, and doubles 15-25 YTL. Upmarket and boutique hotels also exist in Goreme.

Many of Goreme's hostels and hotels offer the unusual option of sleeping in a cave. Much of the rock in the area is fairly soft, and for centuries rooms (and houses) have been created by cutting directly into the soft rock. Comforts in these 'cave rooms' range from truly cave like to beautiful and tasteful with modern bathrooms; almost all have windows and are fairly well lit.

  • Shoestring Cave Hostel - a good budget option with authentic cave rooms and dorm rooms starting at 10YTL. Heat and hot water are solar powered often leaving a scarcity of heat in the cooler spring and fall seasons. Tasty breakfasts are available from the on-site kitchen for a nominal charge.
  • Flintstones - a bit up the creek; literally. It's up the dry riverbed from the scooter and bicycle rental near the busstation (and in fact, almost at the start of the pigeon valley hike) but they have nice rooms, a dorm, a pool and laundry service. It's about 20 YTL for a two person room. And yes, you get to sleep in a cave so there might be some insects there. They have the same solar heated showers so be early or be cold. There are some mixed reviews though.

Get out

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