11-01-2023 - Places

Goreme: the Heart of Cappadocia

In Cappadocia, there are lots of things to see and discover. The local areas there each have their own distinct character. This piece will concentrate on Goreme, which is basically the heart of the Cappadocia region.

Göreme is like the capital of Cappadocia. It is located at the very center of this unique geography. You should definitely see Göreme when you are in the Cappadocia region with its open air museum, fairy chimneys, valleys, and many more amazing things to see. 

Before start digging, don’t forget to check out 25+ other great attractions included in Cappadocia Travel Pass®. There are many to discover in Cappadocia, we are here for you to save time and money and to feel safe during your travel. 


Göreme Open Air Museum

The Goreme Open-Air Museum features a massive monastery complex made up of dozens of refectory monasteries situated next to one another, each with its own beautiful cathedral. Given that it is located in the geographic center of Cappadocia and is easily accessible from all directions, it is without a doubt the first sight that any visitor to the area should see. From the Goreme village center, it takes about 15 minutes on foot. With stunning frescoes that still have all of their original freshness, it has the best of the rock-cut churches. Additionally, it offers distinctive instances of fresco and rock-hewn architecture. One of the first two UNESCO sites in Turkey, the Goreme Open Air Museum has been on the World Heritage List since 1984.

Göreme Open Air Museum is one of the most visited places by domestic and foreign tourists in Cappadocia. It has been one of the important centers of Christianity with its history dating back to the 4th century. Many of the hundreds of churches and monasteries here carved into the rocks are very well preserved. Among the most remarkable structures in Göreme Open Air Museum are the Dark Church, Elmalı Church, Girls and Boys Monastery (Nuns and Priests Monastery), St. Basileus Church, St. Barbara Church, Yılanlı Church, Çarıklı Church, Tokalı Church and St. Catherine's Chapel.

Güllüdere Valley

Güllüdere Valley, located between Çavuşin Village and Göreme, is divided into two branches. Güllüdere Valley, which has a trekking route of approximately 4 kilometers along these two branches, is the most popular walking area of Göreme. Güllüdere Valley, which consists of rocks that are covered with rose color by the sun's rays, is on the Unesco World Heritage List. The valley, which contains many churches and monasteries, is one of the best routes to watch the fairy chimneys in terms of scenery. Some of the famous churches of Güllüdere Valley; Three Crosses Church, Ayvalı Church, St. Agathangelus Church and Column (Pillar) Church.


Love Valley

This valley, which offers magnificent views to those who participate in the balloon tour, covers an area of ​​about 5 km on the north of the Göreme-Uçhisar road. The name of the land where the valley is located is known as Örencik among the people. The legend of Göreme Love Valley is briefly as follows; The children of two hostile tribes living in the village here fall into an impossible love. From time to time, despite all the obstacles, they get together somehow. A beautiful child is born. But one of the families whose grudges do not subside, kills the groom. Unable to bear the pain of the incident, the bride commits suicide and kills herself. With the death of the two young people, god rains stones into the valley and kills everyone who harbors enmity against this couple. When the story was told like this, the name of this valley naturally became Valley of Lovers. Göreme Love Valley has magnificent views for both balloon tours and hiking. There is a very famous heart-shaped swing in the area.

Zemi Valley

Located on the Ürgüp-Nevşehir Road, this valley starts from the Göreme Open Air Museum and extends to Kermil Hill. The total length of the valley, through which Zemi Creek passes, is 5.6 kilometers. There is a great trekking route that takes about 3-4 hours. Some of the places you will encounter during the Zemi Valley walk are Cistern Church, Saklı Church, Görkündere Church and El Nazar Church.

Aydın Kırağı Lovers Hill

Lovers Hill is a peak where you can see the center of Göreme and its magnificent view from the top, with a panoramic view. This peak, called Sunset Point, is especially at its best at sunrise and sunset. You can go on foot or by car. Aydın Kırağı Lovers Hill is one of the most legendary places of Cappadocia for photographers. You can fit balloons, fairy chimneys, green valleys and a perfect sunrise view into a single frame. 


Cevizli

This is a small area on the edge of Nevşehir-Göreme road, north of Uçhisar Castle. The fairy chimneys in Cevizli resemble small houses. The rocks, which were carved as shelters and shelters in the past, have now become cafes and souvenir shops. You can choose Cevizli to unwind, have a drink and shop at the cafe with a view.

Tığraz Castle

This is the second largest hill in the region after Uçhisar Castle. Tığraz Castle also contains an underground city with rooms, warehouses, tunnels and cellars carved into the rocks. But visitors are not allowed to enter the underground part.


Quran Castle

In ancient times, various books, amulets, and papers written in Arabic were stored in this cone-shaped fairy chimney so that they would not be thrown on the ground or in the trash, and not be disrespectful to Muslims. This is where the name of the Quran Castle comes from. None of the collected pieces have survived to the present day.

Güvercinlik Valley

It is one of the most famous valleys of Cappadocia, starting from Uçhisar and extending to Göreme. Years ago, people living here carved holes in the rocks for pigeons to nest. These cavities both benefited the pigeons and the people grew grapes using bird manure. This is where the name of the valley comes from. Güvercinlik Valley is one of the most suitable regions for a quiet, calm and peaceful walking route.

To have the most of Cappadocia all you need is a Cappadocia Travel Pass® and a pair of comfortable shoes! So if you are ready just start your journey here: 25+ attractions including a free hot air balloon ride. 

FAQ

Is Cappadocia same as Goreme?

Yes and no, let us explain: Goreme Village is the center of Cappadocia. It is important to know that Cappadocia is a historical region while Goreme is an administrative one. So it is fair to say that when we say Cappadocia, we mean Goreme, Urgup, Avanos, Uchisar in Nevsehir and even Ihlara valley which is in a different city Kayseri. 

Is it better to stay in Goreme or Uchisar?

It is totally up to you! Goreme has many hotels, pensions and aparts for accommodation. Uchisar on the otherhand hosts various luxury hotels. If you love be in the middle of everything, so you can walk around, then go for Goreme. 

What are the top attractions to visit in Goreme?

The most popular attraction in Goreme is definitely the Open Air Museum. 

What are the best outdoor activities in Goreme?

Hiking, visitin open air museums, walking around and shopping in the village center. You can also go for a ATV safari or horse riding. 

What is Goreme Turkey known for?

Goreme is known for being the center of fabulous Cappadocia.

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