Day tours from Goreme
Given the vast area to be covered, solo travellers should find it more convenient (and less costly) to book day tours to the major attractions around the region. While scooter rentals are easily available in Goreme, the lack of useful road directions and sensible maps could mean more wasted time on the road rather than productive sightseeing.
I booked a day tour with Nese Tours in Goreme through my hotel. The itinerary is classical Kapadokya - fairy chimneys and lunar landscapes around Goreme, Derinkuyu underground city, Ihlara Valley, Selime monastery and the requisite visit to an onyx shop (no they're not that pushy). Please visit my 'to do tips' for more on these places.
At YTL 50 (around USD 40), inclusive of lunch, entrance tickets and an English-speaking guide, I think it's a good deal. The van will pick you up from and take you back to your hotel. The Lunch on a very atmospheric restaurant along the Ihlara Valley creek was not bad - at least the chicken kebap that I had.
Nese Tour contact details
Telephone: +90 384 2712525
Goreme Open Air Museum
Goreme Muzesi or Goreme Open Air Museum is the largest and most visited sight in Cappadocia.
Among historical sites are Bezirhane churches in Göreme, including Tokali Kilise, the Apple Church, the Dark Church, the Chapel of St. Basil, the St Barbara Church, the St Onuphrius Church, the Church with Sandals, the Dark Church, houses and shafts engraved from rocks which I saw with my own eyes.
There are also Durmus Kadir Church, Yusuf Koc Church, El-Nazar Church, Virgin Mary Church, Kiliclar (Swords) Church, St John (Saklý Kilise) Church, Church of the Theofokos (or Saints John and George), St Daniel Church, St Eustathios, Aynali Kilise etc which I missed being lack of time. May be next visit…
It is open everyday from 8.30 till 17.30.
Entrance fee is 20 YTL ($7).
You may watch my high resolution photo of Goreme Open Air Museum on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 38° 38' 29.80" N 34° 50' 37.00" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Goreme Open Air Museum 2 .
when in goreme you can also rent a quad bikd for a few hours and tour the nearby valleys.
several places in town rent them out and the hitch hiker bike rental shop also do quad bike tours in the afternoon where you tour the valleys as a group.
quite good fun if you are young and like an adrenaline rush.
The Selime Monastery
One of the more unexpected surprises that I had while touring Cappadocia was this wonderful rockcut monastery. The Selime Monastery was carved out the rock by Christian monks in the 13th century. The size of the church makes a visit here astonishing. How did the monks manage to carve such a large complex out rock with such amazing detail. Columns are meticulously carved in huge chambers. The church consists of monk quarters, a large kitchen and even a stable for mules. The walls of the chambers were at onetime adorned with frescos but little of these remain. The Selime Monastery was probably the most impressive of the rockcut churches and monasteries that I visited in Cappadocia.
A problem with visiting this monastery is the approach to it. I visited with on a bus tour. From the road there is a short but challenging climb up a steep and slippery hill to the monastery itself. Some of the tour group could not make the climb which is very sad because the seeing monastery was worth the effort.
I think that it is actually free to visit the monastery if you are on your own. A guardian closes the place up after sunset.
I had a Free Shuttle booking with my Hotel. On arrival at the Airport, we arrived at the same time as probably 100 other people. This Airport is only very small, and with few counters for booking in. The queues did not move fast, and I began to think I would not get on the plane.
So, if you are using this airport, leave yourself plenty of time to get booked in, as if you come late, you may miss your flight!