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Cappadocia's wondrous lunar landscape was created around 70 million years ago by a massive volcanic eruption. But it was the threat of a different kind of violence which lead people to dig the area's famous cave villages into the basalt. The volcanic soil had made the area rich and fertile, so there were plenty of people competing for this land. People burrowed their cities underground, cutting into the rock and hollowing out around thirty underground cities and around a thousand churches. Creating a landscape, and a place, like no other on earth. Some of the best places to stay in Cappadocia are within these cave villages.
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What not to Miss
- This peaceful scenery was created by drama and violence, but there's now a sense in Cappadocia of people living beside nature - there's a village rhythm to things. It's a wonderful place to come to relax and live at your own pace.
- If you're here to relax, or for the scenery, then one of the first things you'll want to do is book your hot-air ballon trip.This landscape is even more breathtaking from the air, when you're looking down on the 'fairy chimneys' - eroding volcanic pillars rising out of the land - and peach coloured gorges. The colours at sunset are really something special.
Right in amongst the fairy chimneys and cliffs crenelated like honeycomb, Göreme is so beautiful that it really does defy description. It's not entirely unspoilt, as a destination this beautiful is bound to attract visitors, but it somehow manages to retain the feeling of being a traditional village.
If you've done any research at all you'll know the Göreme Open Air Museum deserves your attention. There is a myriad of wonderful churches with ancient frescoes. You might also want to stroll the trails around the Rose Valley for the best views.
Ürgüp is one of the region's largest towns and has many upmarket hotels and fine restaurants. Ürgüp is also a good spot to explore this whole region from and you're near Ortahisar where there's a castle, monastery and folk museum.
Most of the best accommodation in Ürgüp is in the town's honey coloured buildings or in the back alleys of the Old Town where there are some prime examples of the local architecture.
Uçhisar has some of the best views of the whole of Cappadocia, from the top of its castle you can see pretty much the whole region. The castle is definitely the main site in Uçhisar and is a fascinating warren of tunnels and rooms, churches and citadels all carved into this huge volcanic rock.
Uçhisar is also a great base for exploring the region. Pigeon Valley, between Uçhisar and Göreme is definitely worth exploring - it’s about a two hour walk between towns. Uçhisar is also known for great restaurants and wonderful Ottoman style markets.
These days visitors to the region are the primary cave dwellers. Drawn by the crazy scenery - and the wonderful dwellings and churches, the region's dramatic and fascinating history and the opportunity for an active break against an incredible backdrop.
Stay in a Cave Hotel
- The Fairy Chimney Inn is one of the best places to stay in Cappadocia if you're looking for a traditional Turkish cave hotel experience. Rooms are decoratively sparse, but have wonderful rugs and local textiles. There are impressively carved fireplaces and many nooks and crannies. Some rooms sleep up to six, so this is also ideal for families.
- Kayakapi Premium Caves is a stunning and unique hotel comprising of restored historical caves carved into the soft stone cliffs of Kayakapi neighbourhood in Göreme National Park.
- The charming Gamirasu Cave set within a system of caves in the rural Turkish village of Ayvali. The elegant rooms are full of character with antique furnishings and exposed vaulted ceilings.
A Cave Hotel Above Ground
- If you don't like the idea of sleeping below ground but you still want a cave hotel experience, the Sultan Cave Suites are an excellent compromise. This regal house is cut into the side of a cliff, so while some of the 30 rooms are cut into the rock they're not below the earth - the impressive views of Göreme are a bonus as well.
- The Hezen Cave Hotel is perfect if you like your accommodation rustic but chic and with plenty of exposed stone. And, most importantly, above ground.
For Beautiful Views
- Serinn House is another wonderfully chic hotel in a wonderfully rustic setting. The minimalist decor makes the most of this beautiful, almost fort-like building, against a picturesque backdrop.
- If you're looking for a high end hotel experience book the Cappadocia Cave Resort. This is a big hotel - there are 79 rooms - built into the hillside with stunning views of the valleys below. As well as the theatrical setting this resort has several fabulous restaurants, cavernous rooms and suites and an impressive spa.
- Looking for somewhere romantic? Book the Museum Hotel. Another cave hotel, the Museum Hotel is especially warm and magical - probably because these are some of the most opulent caves you'll have ever see. With charming antiques, subtle lighting, large warm spaces and hot tubs. The Museum Hotel also has one of Cappadocia's best restaurants.
- Ürgüp’s Sacred House Hotel is a renovated grand townhouse packed with character. Individually styled rooms feature arches, exposed stonework, domed ceilings and particularly impressive bathrooms.
- Argos in Cappadocia is a collection of beautiful stone houses and suites set into a hillside. There are 53 luxurious rooms with stone walls and sumptuous furnishings - some of the rooms have hot tubs and terraces with spectacular views over the surrounding landscape.
- Kale Konak is a traditional Turkish building occupying one of the highest points in Uçhisar. There are 14 large rustic, almost medieval feeling, rooms, plus stunning views. You’re right by the castle and close to numerous restaurants.
For Great Value
- The Taskonaklar Rocky Palace is a charming complex of 18 rooms and suites with excellent views and reams of history. Expect stone walls, killim rugs, fireplaces and stepped terraces, and all starting from around £75 per night.
For an Apartment or Villa
If you’d prefer to stay in an apartment or private villa we recommend you visit our online partner Booking.com.
- Most people travelling to Cappadocia will arrive in Turkey via Istanbul Ataturk Airport. From there it’s possible to transfer to either Kayseri Erkilet Airport, which is around 70kms from Göreme and 60kms from Ürgüp, or Nev?ehir Kapadokya Airport, which is around 40kms from Göreme and 30kms from Ürgüp. You can also travel by rail from Istanbul, or Kayseri Airport is on a busy railway route and there are good links from all across Turkey.
- If you want to hire a car we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars.
- Cappadocia is the kind of destination with year-round appeal. April through June are excellent if you’re looking for the best weather conditions - July and August are probably too hot for a lot of us. During winter you can also ski in Erciyes.
Still not sure?
Best Hotels in Cappadocia
Fairy Chimney Inn 14 rooms from £48Goreme (Aydinli Mahallesi)
A rustic hotel that offers a traditional Turkish experience. Rooms (some sleep up to 6) are sparse in decoration with stone walls, killim rugs, and fireplaces. Fantastic authentic Turkish cuisine and cooking lessons. A great value choice for groups of friends and families exploring the area.Groups - Some rooms sleep up to 6.FamiliesViews - Great views from hotelValue chic
Serinn House 5 rooms from £115Urgup, Cappadocia
A small chic boutique hotel. Luxurious rooms combine minimalist style and tradition for luxurious effect. Four poster beds, shiny parquet floors, cavernous stone arches, chandeliers and modern furniture. Lovely terraces with gorgeous views. An understated spot.Views - Wonderful views over Urgup and the surrounding mountainsCountry EscapeLocal markets - Good for local colour.Great walks - Good for walkers.Recommended by - I Escape
Ariana Sustainable Luxury Lodge 11 rooms from £160Uçhisar (Göreme Sokak no 8)
Luxury abounds at the Ariana Sustainable Luxury Lodge in Uchisar. Set in an almost lunar landscape, the hotel offers plush suites, great restaurant and fantastic views out over the surrounding countryside. Perfect for a relaxing, romantic break.Great walks - Goreme Tarihi Milli Park is full of wonderful walking routes.Sights nearby - Ten minutes walk from the Uchisar Castle.Romantic - Good for couples.Views - Great views from hotel
Sultan Cave Suites 30 rooms from £70Goreme
A wonderfully traditional Sultanesque house with huge cavernous rooms. Bedrooms and suites are sparsely decorated but elegant with stone walls, attractive beds, and killim rugs. Lovely open-air restaurant and lots to do in the hills around.Views - Wonderful views over the surrounding countryside from the stone terracesGreat walks - Fantastic walking and hiking in the areaSights nearby - Cappadocia Cultural Centre on siteFour poster beds - For romantics.
The House Hotel 29 rooms from £98Ürgüp (Nevsehir)
The House Hotel is situated in an Ottoman mansion at the foot of the Bosphorus Bridge in Cappadocia. Offering unfussy chic accommodation with exposed stone walls, and beamed ceilings. Each room features Turkish marble floors and their spa facilities are built into natural alcoves! Bliss!Value chic - Totally unique accommodation, wonderful facilities and at great value-what more could you ask for?Total relaxation - Practise yoga by candelight in their atmospheric caves or unwind in the saunaLocal markets - Cappadocia's bustling outdoor market (or Pazar as it's known) always has a lively energy and diverse range of stallsGreat walks - Cappadocia is famous for its unique rock formations and caves so there's some fabulous hiking trails to exploreRecommended by - Tablet, Johansens
Cappadocia Cave Resort & Spa 104 rooms from £236Uçhisar
A stunning hotel built into the hillside with stunning views over the valleys below. A theatrical setting and architectural marvel with cavernous rooms and suites, fabulous restaurants, and an impressive spa. A luxury spot in a privileged location.Views - Great views from hotelSights nearby - Situated close to Uchisar castleSwimming Pool - Indoor and Outdoor PoolsPrivate Hot TubRecommended by - Tablet, Small Luxury Hotels
Museum Hotel 30 rooms from £193Uçhisar
A stunning luxury hotel in magical surroundings. Historical, romantic and opulent cavernous interiors make for a perfect honeymoon or couples getaway. Rooms and suites have subtle lighting, large warm spaces and hot tubs. Fabulous restaurant, spa, and gorgeous countryside to explore.Foodies - One of Cappdocia's best restaurants.Views - Beautiful valley views.ArchitecturalRomantic BreakRecommended by - I Escape, Tablet, Relais & Chateaux
Kayakapi Premium Caves 32 rooms from £107Urgup, Cappadocia
A stunning and unique hotel comprising of restored historical caves carved into soft stone cliffs of Kayakapi neighborhood, in Göreme National Park. Rooms highly luxurious with white-washed walls, antique furnishings and fireplaces. With Turkish baths, a gym, an outdoor swimming pool and restaurant.Unusual - Restored historical caves carved into soft stone cliffs of Kayakapi neighborhood, in Göreme National ParkSwimming Pool - Outdoor, with a separate kids areaViews - Across ÜrgüpLocal markets - Good for local colour.
Gamirasu Cave 30 rooms from £162Ürgüp
A charming hotel set in a cave system in the rural Turkish village of Ayvali. The elegant rooms are full of character with antique furnishings and exposed vaulted ceilings. Relax by the pool or take a horse riding trek through the surrounding countryside. A Turkish delight.Romantic Break - This unique and picturesque cave hotel, with deluxe suites and stunning surrounds, makes for a special getaway for two.Families - With excellent multi-person suites, children's menus and babysitting services, it's perfect for family holidays.Sights nearby - The hotel sits just six miles from Nikolos Monastery and Mazı Underground City.Great walks - Make the most of the superb walking in the nearby Goreme National Park.
Argos in Cappadocia 53 rooms from £142Uçhisar
A cluster of old stone houses and sumptuous suites and tunnels set on a hill and in the rock face. Luxurious and romantic rooms have stone walls, sumptuous furnishings and hot tubs. Lovely terraces have stunning views over the landscape. Very romantic but family friendly too.Architectural - Ancient stone houses and tunnels carved from the cliff face.Views - Wondrous views over breathtaking landscape.LuxuryRomantic BreakRecommended by - Tablet, I Escape, Kiwi Collection
Hezen Cave Hotel 10 rooms from £123Urgup, Cappadocia
A sunny sandstone hotel in a lovely village. Rustic chic rooms and suites have creamy furnishings, light stone walls, and splashes of deep red. Wonderful terraces and views over beautiful landscapes. A chic, but understated spot to explore the region from.Romantic BreakViews - Great views from hotelLuxuryLocal markets - Bazaars of Urgup and Goreme.Recommended by - Tablet, I Escape
Taskonaklar Rocky Palace 18 rooms from £79Uçhisar
An excellent value boutique hotel with stunning views. Traditional rooms and suites combine history and romance. Stone walls, killim rugs, fireplaces and stepped terraces. An excellent choice for a couple or family, plenty to explore in the immediate surrounds.Value chicViews - Great views from hotelPrivate Hot Tub - Some suites come with private outdoor hot tubLocal markets - Good for local colour.Recommended by - Tablet
Kale Konak 14 rooms from £105Uçhisar (Nevsehir)
A traditional Turkish building at the highest point of Uchisar. More medieval rustic than rustic chic. Large traditional rooms and suites with no frills attached. Stunning views and easy access to restaurants and outdoor pursuits. A great value choice for a family.Views - Breathtaking views over the surrounding countryside and Argeus MountainSights nearby - Situated right next door to Uchisar CastleGreat walks - Good for walkers.Traditional