Which is the Best Area to Stay in Cappadocia?
As a major tourism hub, Cappadocia boasts of an extensive range of hotels and neighbourhoods to choose from when deciding where to stay. The final decision however should depend on your personal preferences and traveling style, since each area has its own characteristics and advantages.
Looking at each district, your budget will also largely play a part in choosing your overnight accommodation. The most popular choices are Goreme, Uchisar, Avanos, Urgup and Ortahisar, so let’s take a look at each of them.
Each village of the Cappadocia region has something to offer, whether you are seeking the best hotel in Cappadocia to see balloons or a budget-friendly option from which to launch a trekking trip through the Turkish countryside. Keep reading to find the best Area Cappadocia hotels for your trip.
Göreme is the epicenter of the Göreme National Park. Although historically known as Korama, local authorities changed its name for practical reasons. The town is literally next to several interesting attractions. Thus, you can walk or bike between them.
With a wide variety of cave hotels, restaurants, bars, and shops, Goreme’s infrastructure is amongst the best Area in Cappadocia. The whole place is a perfect symbiosis of nature and architecture. Several hills surround Goreme, and there are cave hotels for all tastes and budgets. Gorgeous views are everywhere, and you can enjoy them from different angles.
Top Things to do in Göreme, Turkey
- Mountain bike through Göreme’s rugged valleys.
- Get lost in the stunning Göreme Open Air Museum – a UNESCO World Heritage Site showcasing the rock architecture of the region.
- Try a ‘pottery kebab’ – break open the pottery to reveal your chosen dish.
- Catch a glimpse of the legendary fairy chimneys, Cappadocia’s mystical color-changing rock formations.
- Try a spot of valley hiking (but stay hydrated)…
- Feel the romance of the grassy Love Valley.
- Check out the varied natural rock formations at Devrent Valley.
- Wonder at the sharp scenery of Zemi Valley.
Ürgüp is one of the region’s largest towns and has many upmarket hotels and fine restaurants. It 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 Area where there are some prime examples of the local architecture.
Things to do in Ürgüp
- Spare some good thoughts at Temenni Wishing Hill, learn about St. John the Russian and see the tomb.
- Go and see the grand mosque at the center of town.
- Check out Ürgüp’s charming belediye – town hall…
- … And visit Ürgüp Museum just across the road for some history lessons.
- Hop on a water taxi and take in the stunning views of the town from a different angle.
- Go wine-tasting at Turasan Winery, where the Greek-Ottoman tradition continues.
- Snap a sunset pic at the iconic landmark that is Three Graces Fairy Chimneys.
- Marvel at the surreal moonscape of Pancarlik Valley.
Aptly named as the king of the region because its castle is the highest view-point in central Cappadocia, Uchisar is an upmarket resort and home to many 4 and 5 star hotels. However its strategic position on a hillside may hamper disabled travellers or anyone with walking difficulties.
The castle is worth exploring with its honeycombed structure although don’t expect to find furnishing and antiques as seen in the European counterparts. It is nothing more than a rock castle but panoramic views over the lunar landscape and Goreme Valley are astounding.
Top Things to do in Uçhisar
- Explore Uçhisar Castle and the extensive caves that shoot through the hill underneath it.
- Be adventurous and explore the cave houses of Pigeon Valley.
- Hike to White Valley via the trail starting in town.
- Enjoy a sunset ATV tour through the valleys.
- Do a spot of wine-tasting at Kocabag Winery.
- Check out one of the local stores specializing in onyx ornaments.
- Wow your taste buds with the Anatolian cuisine cooked by locals at the cosy Sakl.
- Relax at Kapadokya Peri Cave – a cafe with a fairy chimney for a terrace.
Just a few kilometers down the road from Göreme is the small village of Çavuşin. Cappadocia travelers who opt to stay in Çavuşin will enjoy a convenient location, with fewer tourist crowds than in Göreme. It is located directly in the national park and adjacent to several hot air balloon launch sites.
There is also some interesting religious history here, with St. John the Baptist Church, the second-oldest church in Cappadocia. If you do not have a car, you can easily walk to Göreme in under 30 minutes, and there is a regular bus service as well.
Just 3 miles (5 km) southeast of Göreme, we find another charming town: Ortahisar. The small town surrounds the Impressive Ortahisar Castle. The 86 meters tall structure is known as Cappadocia’s Middle Castle. The town also hosts several churches worth visiting: Sarica, Tavşanli, Üzumlü and Balkan River Churches.
Ortahisar is one of the most scenic towns in Cappadocia. The old town surrounding the fortress is where all the action is. Nice restaurants, shops, and museums dot its curvy streets. The hill just south of the city center offers one of the best views in the area.
Things to See and Do in Ortahisar
- Visit Uzengi Valley and check out the views from one of its pigeon-house caves.
- Go admire Ortahisar’s kalesi (‘castle’) perched atop a jagged, alien-like rock – said by locals to be the tallest fairy chimney in Cappadocia.
- Marvel at the collection of antiques and knick-knacks at the eccentric House of Memories.
- Rise and shine to a sunrise viewed from the centre of town near the castle.
- Get to know more about the area via the Ethnographic and Culture Museum.
- Tuck into the highly recommended juicy lamb tandir at Evi Tandir.
Avanos is the only real city in Cappadocia, other than Ürgüp and Nevşehir. It is unique for two reasons. It is the only city in Cappadocia with a river. Besides, Avanos is a large pottery center famous all around the country. There is an excellent ceramic museum with an impressive collection of old and new works.
Avanos’ city center feels like a village. It is right next to the river with a fortress in the middle. Cave houses and traditional Greek mansions dot the surrounding hill. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants and a nice market. The Kizilirmak River, also known as the Red River, is Turkey’s longest.
Top Things do in Avanos
- See the pottery artisans at work – and maybe grab a souvenir or two.
- Take a signposted walking tour of Avanos and admire its charming historical buildings.
- Walk the Torre di Grado overlooking the sea and take in the stunning Italian scenery.
- Go on a relaxing and romantic gondola ride along the river…
- … Or a more hair-raising jet boat ride!
- Visit the ancient Zelve Open Air Museum on the slopes of the White Mountain, home to the highest number of chimney fairies in Cappadocia.
- Explore the ancient and incredibly unique Özkonak Underground City to the north.