Goreme is the town in the historic Cappadocia region in Central Anatolia which is largely in Nevºehir Province of Turkey.
I will write more of the Goreme area but suffice to say now, that the Cappadocia region was fascinating with its history, the nature of the landscapes, the people and their
Great info here:http://www.cappadociaturkey.net/
Fondest memory: I was thoroughly amazed at the caverns and thinking of the fortitude and perserverence of the people that created and lived in them
The landscape in Cappadocia is astonishing.
Goreme is the most remarkable site, but what hits us more is the sensation of incapacity face to nature - the Turks know that they have a gem there, they try to preserve it, but erosion seems unbeatable, destroying inch by inch what men created.
That enhances the sensation felt in place - we are watching a marvel from the past, with... no future!
We have tryed probably all places in Goreme, as we took lots of photos and needed to burn them on DVD quite often.
The best place is located close to pharmacy and post office in a internet cafe connected to a gift shope.
The lady was nice, proffesional, and fast. The price was good and she had 4.7 G DVDs which allowed for an easy transfer of our 4G memory cards.
She spoke fluent French
Fondest memory: The store name was
Adress: Bilal Eroglu Cadesi
on the North side of the street with vehicular traffic
close to PHARMACY
When arriving at Kayseri, one of the sights you will witness first is Mount Erciye, which has an elevation of
3917 metres. This mountain is the fifth highest Mountain of Turkey. It is thought that the name of Mount Erciyes was derived from the greek word “Erkiyos” meaning white.
If the weather is clear, there is a stunning view of an area stretching from Cappadocia to the Taurus mountains from the top of the Mount Erciyes . There is a mountain glacier on the top of the mountain.
Certain sport activities can be performed on the Mount Erciyes which is an inactive volcano. It's one of the favourite places of those who like mountaineering and is an important mountaineering center with its high but smooth routes.
Also there is a winter sports center on the mountain so you can enjoy skiing and snowboarding. Accomodation is also available at the mountain with a heated 100 bed mountain resort on the Tekir plateau. There are several accomodation facilities.
From the nearest airport (Kayseri-Erkilet) to the ski facilities it takes forty minutes by bus and from the city center thirty minutes. The ski facilities can be reached by means of private transportation from Kayseri center as well. Besides, many hotels organize shuttle services for their customers.
It has snow on it all year round, and it was a beautiful sight to see from the Airplane window, or from the ground.
When booking your accommodation in Cappadocia, check out what the offers of the Hotel's are.
I chose one that had good reviews and a FREE AIRPORT TRANSFER.
This was offered on the Rock Valley Travel site, (www.rockvalleytravel.com)
I could have one free tranfer, from either Kayseri or Nevsehir Airports. I don't know which was the best value to choose, but I chose the free one to Nevsehir.
If I had chosen the one from Kayseri, I would have saved 17 t/l, worth saving!
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 .
Göreme is located in Cappadocia, a historical region of Turkey. Now it is in the Nevºehir Province in Central Anatolia. It is well-known because of its "fairy chimney" rock formations.
People of Göreme, at the heart of the Cappadocia Region, realized that these soft rocks could be easily carved out to form houses, churches, monasteries.
There are also many rock-cut churches in and around the site of the township named Göreme today (situated 1.5 kilometers from the museum site). This was originally settled as a Turkish farming village and the oldest mosque there is dated 1686.
People still live in the rock houses or use them as storerooms today, displaying an immense reverence for this volcanic earth and history. The village of Göreme does not only have rock houses, but also rock restaurants and rock hotels which all visitors find amazing.
After the eruption of Mount Erciyes about 2000 years ago, the lava formed soft rocks in the Cappadocia Region, covering a region of about 20,000 km2. The softer rock was eroded away by wind and water, leaving the hard cap rock on top of pillars, forming the present-day fairy chimneys.
Cappadocia was the ancient name for this region where the land comprises the out-spill of two volcanoes. The volcanic ash hardened to become tufa, a soft porous rock. Over millions of years this rock has eroded to form natural cones and columns, locally termed peribacalari, or "fairy chimneys", on the landscape and, for centuries, these have been carved and hollowed to form cave-dwellings, stables and places of worship.
Approximately three hundred cave churches and monasteries dating between the 9th and the 13th centuries still remain scattered throughout the valleys in the entire region. The Göreme valley that was studied by Jerphanion, however, is a particularly concentrated area of monastic settlement.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Goreme Open Air Museum on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 38° 38' 21.03" N 34° 50' 44.13" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Goreme Valley.
The Cappadocia region, in which many diverse civilizations lived, was discovered by the Europeans at the beginning of the 18th century. In 1744, Paul Lucas who was charged by Louis XIV, king of France, had declared that he had seen pyramid formed strange houses near Hals that had charming doors, stairs and large windows to illuminate the rooms. The fairy chimneys reminded him of hooded priests and the rocks over them resembled the Virgin Mary holding the baby Christ, with the help of his imagination.
In 1819, when Lucas resumed research in Cappadocia he defined these fairy chimneys as the grave yards that belong to Caesarea (modern Kayseri). Lucas's fantastic description was reacted to with both suspicion and interest in the west. C. Texier whom arrived in Cappadocia between 1833 -1837 after Paul Lucas, stated that "nature had never showed itself to a foreigners eyes so extraordinarily".
According to much of the tourist literature on Cappadocia, the region was “discovered” by the West in the early twentieth century when a French priest named Guillaume de Jerphanion conducted and published a study of rock-cut churches in the Göreme valley. Followed by other scholars, Jerphanion’s work served to mark off the Byzantine churches in the Göreme valley as being of key historic significance. Other writings and photographic representations from the early twentieth century emphasise both the historic and visual significance of the churches and the frescoes on their rock-carved walls, thus denoting their value for tourist interest.
Part of the valley became enclosed as the Göreme Open-Air Museum in 1950.
The Göreme National Park (Göreme Milli Parklar in Turkish) was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985.
Learn more here.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Goreme Open Air Museum on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 38° 38' 26.70" N 34° 50' 40.05" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Goreme Open Air Museum 1 .
The first period of settlement within the region of Goreme reaches to Roman period of Christianity era. Goreme was called Maccan in antiquity and is one of the oldest sites in the Cappadocia region. The oldest known source where the name of this city is mentioned, is the book titled "The Doing of St. Hieron" of the 7th century.
In the 4th century small anchorite communities began to form in the region, acting on instruction of Saint Basil of Caesarea. They carved cells in the soft rock. During the iconoclastic period (725-842) the decoration of the many sanctuaries in the region was held to a minimum, usually symbols such the depiction of the cross. After this period, new churches were dug into the rocks and they were richly decorated with colorful frescoes.
These Christian sanctuaries contain many examples of Byzantine art from the post-iconoclastic period. These frescoes are a unique artistic achievement from this period.
Learn more here.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Goreme Open Air Museum on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 38° 38' 21.16" N 34° 50' 44.32" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Goreme Valley .
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
tourist informations around the world are not always that good and often they are just after your money, but i found the one in goreme well above average and they have excellent accomodation service too, where they don't try to pressure you in to the place that gives them the best commision.
they have a map of the region for sale there for 5 turkish lira that i found to be the best i could find of the area, so i would recommend that you buy a copy of that.
the tourist information is located right by the bus station in the center of town, so it's very easy to find.
cappadocia has a large grape production and some of the best turkish wines are made from grapes from cappadocia.
make sure to try some of the local wine when you are in the area.
if you are there in september then it's grape harvest time and grapes can be bought at the market very cheap.
they make a very good snack when hiking.
The offical calander is the western Gregorian one as in Europe, but religous festivals, some of which are public holidays , are celebrated according to the Muslim Lunar calendar.As the Lunar year is about 11 days shorter than the Solar year used for the Gregorian system, the Muslim festivals appear to arrive that many days earlier each year.
While friday is the Muslim sabbath , it is not their holiday.Mosques are often crowded on a friday noontime.The day of rest, a secular one is sunday, although in tourist areas many facilities are available throughout the week.
The two main religious holidays are ;
Þeker Bayramý (Sugar holy festival)
This is a 3 to 5 day celebration,which follows the month of daylight fasting of Ramazan.Traditionally , children go from door to door receiving sweets and treats from their neighbour.Muslims Exchange greeting cards and pay social calls where special foods will be offered.Everybody enjoys a drink,normally tea in the luxury of the daylight hours.During this national holiday , banks and offices are closed.
Kurban Bayramý (Holy festival of Sacrifice)
Two months and ten days after Þeker bayramý , Kurban bayramý is the most important religious holiday of the year.Is is equivalent to Christmas in Christian counties.The festival commemorates Abraham’s near sacrifice of his son,Isaac , on mount Moriah.In the story , God orders Abraham to take Isaac up to the mount to sacrifice him.Abraham takes Isaac and lays him on th atlar , but at last moment, God stops him and congratulates him on his faithfullness.God then orders him to sacrifice a ram, which had been tangled in a bush nearby , instead of his son.
Fondest memory: Following the tradition ,over 2.5 million sheep or , in the case of poorer families,goats are sacrificed on the kurban bayramý in Turkey each year.A proportion of the meat must be donated to the needy and the skins are often given to charities which can sell them to leather production companies.Greeting cards are exchanged and many people take to the roads,going home to their families and old friends.
Kurban Bayramý is a four days holiday.Banks maybe closed for a whole week,normal business is interrupted , transportation crowded and resorts packed with holiday makers.
Festivals & Public Holidays
1st January : New years day
23rd April : Independence Day &Children’s Day, celebrating the first meeting of the new republican government in Ankara , 1920
19th May : Youth &Sports Day ,commemorating Atatürk’s Birthday , 1881
1st July : Navy Day
30th August : Victory Festival,celebrating the Turkish victory over the Greek forces at Dumlýpýnar ,1922.
29th October : Republic Day,commemorating the proclamation of the Republic by Ataturk 1923.
Apart from Navy Day , banks and offices will normally be closed on those days.
Non-religous holidays are celebrated with speeches and children’s parades in banner-clad streets and town squares with the obligatory Atatürk statue as the unvarying focal point.
I was never sure of the name of the valley of my second and only solo hike in Cappadocia. All I know is that the trailhead was about 500m southeast of the road to Urgup from the Goreme Open Air Museum. I recently found the map I was using for this hike and found that it was called the Meskendir Valley. I have no idea what that translates to in English from Turkish. As I said it was a solo hike, which if you are confident in your walking abilities (it does get a little rugged along the way) you should definitely do if you have the time. The valley was peaceful and full of isolated small farmer plots of land being used for growing peas and tomatoes. Rose Valley which I mentioned one of my other tips runs into this valley.
Fondest memory: The valley is a good place to meet friendly Turkish farmers at work. The valley is easy to figure out. Once you are on the main trail you will not get lost which is not the case in many of the valleys throughout Cappadocia.