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Best things to do in Goreme

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Where in the world: Europe  /  Turkey  /  Cappadocia  /  Goreme

Top 15 things to do in Goreme

1. Goreme National Park

Get a bird's eye view of the natural rock formations at Goreme National Park. As a World Heritage Site, the park's ancient structures have been protected from development. Many have been left untouched, though some were carved out and used as churches during the Roman period. More recently, some have been transformed into housing and restaurants. The park covers 40 sq km (15.4 sq mi), and while it may seem untraditional, the best way to see it is from above. Consider taking a hot air balloon ride over the entire park and, along with the landscape, you'll likely see dozens of other balloons in the distance. Ask your hotel for a suggestion on who to book with, as there are many companies throughout Cappadocia that organize these rides.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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2. Horseback Riding Tours

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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3. Balloon Rides

See Cappadocia's unearthly landscape while floating nearly 300 m (1,000 ft) above ground during a hot air balloon ride from Goreme. Start your journey with a complimentary buffet breakfast, then step into the basket with your fellow passengers and take to the skies as the sun rises over the area's unusual rock formations and valleys. Shorter tours allow you to snap impressive aerial photos of weird chimney-like structures and rock-cut churches, while longer full-day tours include time on the ground for exploring some of the area's highlights, such as the historic tunnels at Goreme Open-Air Museum, Pigeon Valley, and Kaymakli Underground City. These tours can last between 1 hour and 1 day.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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5. Balloon Rides, Urgup

Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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6. Goreme Open-Air Museum

Step into the ancient dwellings and sanctuaries of Goreme Open-Air Museum, a World Heritage Site carved into Cappadocia stone and featuring historic Byzantine wall paintings. This outdoor museum consists of the remains of rock-cut churches, most of which date from the 10th, 11th, and 12th centuries. The site also has remnants of underground towns from the 4th century. Go on a walking tour of the valley's intriguing landscape to discover this stunning natural and man-made complex. Plaques along the way give you adequate information for exploring the area on your own. Don't forget to wear sensible shoes.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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7. Off-Road Tours

Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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8. Balloon Rides, Avanos

Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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9. Balloon Rides, Uchisar

Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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10. Uchisar Castle, Uchisar

The natural rock citadel of Uchisar Castle offers a panoramic view over the surrounding landscape of valleys, mountains, and towns. The tallest fairy chimney in Cappadocia is carved with numerous rooms, tunnels, stairs, rock tombs, and a large water cistern. Notice the millstone doors at the entrances of the rooms, which used to control access to the castle. Today most of the rooms on the north side serve as pigeon houses. Note the simple Byzantine graves on top of the castle, which have been weathered and ransacked. Local women selling traditional souvenirs typically line the road that leads to the castle.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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11. Güvercinlik Vadisi (Pigeon Valley)

Experience a striking and surreal landscape at Güvercinlik Vadisi (Pigeon Valley), with its plethora of dovecotes carved into the cliffs and various rock formations rising from the valley. Years ago, pigeons were an indispensable form of communication in this remote region, and their droppings were used as a fertilizer. You can hike along a number of signposted trails, all of which offer superb views. Several paths pass friendly teahouses, providing a place to rest and refuel. Wear sensible shoes to help ensure your safety and comfort when traversing the hills.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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12. Fairy Chimneys

Perched atop the enchanting village of Göreme in the heart of Cappadocia, the Fairy Chimney Inn offers guests a traditional and authentic cave experience. Founded by Andus Emge, a German PhD cultural anthropologist and expert on the region, he runs the Fairy Chimney Inn together with charismatic Gülcan, his locally-born wife, her brother Ünal, and their colleague Duran. As a team they create the perfect base for exploring the fascinating and historically rich Cappadocia region. The Inn is a comfortable home-away-from-home complete with authentically restored cave rooms, beautiful kilims, breathtaking views and the ever-present Turkish hospitality.

Please join our Facebook community to share your stories & photos of Göreme, meet others who have visited and exchange information on the area for future and repeat guests. Over the years we have welcomed people from near and far to the Fairy Chimney Inn…using Facebook’s networking system we are now able to connect our guests and provide a platform for information on the area.

"This fairy chimney high on the Göreme hill has been converted into a comfortable hotel by its owner, a German anthropologist who has ensured that his conversion is as respectful of the original fabric as possible. With his Turkish wife, he has created a wonderfully tranquil retreat on the village's highest point and can rightly claim to have the best views in the village." - Lonely Planet
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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13. Pasabag, Urgup

View the mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys of Pasabag, where hermits once hid. Here you'll see the chapel dedicated to St. Simeon and a hermit's shelter, built within one of the fairy chimneys with three heads. St. Simeon was living in seclusion in the 5th century, when rumors began that he made miracles happen. As the rumors spread and St. Simeon became the object of unwanted attention, he began to live at the top of a 2 m (7 ft) column, later moving into a 15 m (49 ft) column, descending rarely to retrieve food and drink brought to him by disciples. Eventually the hermits of the region distanced themselves by cutting into the fairy chimneys and hollowing them out, creating rooms 10-15 m (33-49 ft) high, instead of living on top of the columns. Wear comfortable footwear with traction for your visit, as the steep path up the hill can be rocky. Enjoy the panoramic views of the area from the top of the hill. The area is easily accessible via a local bus from the city, but note that public restrooms require a fee for use, and that there is no information posted about the history of the area, so inform yourself prior to your arrival or go with a tour company.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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14. Derinkuyu Yeralti Sehri, Derinkuyu

Go on a journey below the surface of the Earth at Derinkuyu Yeralti Sehri, a place that once housed up to 20,000 people. This elaborate subterranean complex dates back to about the 7th century BCE and has been used as a refuge from raiders and invaders even in modern times. It descends eight floors and includes a church and a school, together with living quarters, stables, storage rooms, and manufacturing facilities. You can also see the ingenious air and water supply systems. The chambers and passageways are well-lit, but often narrow and with low ceilings, so anyone suffering from claustrophobia might experience discomfort.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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15. Gulludere Vadisi

Sample the area's striking landscape at Gulludere Vadisi, one of the highlights of this famed region. Its pink-colored rock appears in a wide variety of formations, including caves, towers, and churches, and the valley boasts a plethora of trails suitable for most any skill level. A number of tour operators offer guided walks or horseback rides of the area, but you can also choose to go it alone. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes and plenty of sun protection.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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