This was something we'd been wanting to do for a while so as the weather had started to cool down and (we hoped) the tourists were fewer, we hired a car and set off.
What a wonderful part of the world! Kapadokya is truly a jewel in Turkey's crown. Even the trip there was awe inspiring with the landscape constantly changing from mountains and valleys to open plains as far as the eye can see. Kapadokya is not so far away from Fethiye. It takes roughly 10-11 hours of sedate driving if you want to get there in one day - which we did! However on the way we passed another little gem, namely, Yeşilada (Green Island) in Eğirdir; which we noted and planned a one night stay on the way back just to have a sticky beak. See blog.
We stayed at the Miras hotel due to it's location, the fact it is a cave hotel and for the sheer fantasy of it. It certainly lived up to our expectations and added to the overall effect Kapadokya had on us. We had our list of things to do, not the least being horse riding which I hadn't done since I was in my 20's and my husband (who I might add is an experienced rider) had not done for about 10 years. That organised for our second day we embarked on the rest of our list.
No. 1 - The Göreme open air museum which is a UNESCO listed site. As lovely as this open air piece of history is, it is also teeming with tourists - by the bus load. We stayed there for a quick peak of the attractions and then hotfooted it over the road to an equally impressive (and free) site, full of cave dwellings, religious paintings and carvings etc... but with one more important ingredient - NO TOURISTS! Just the way we like it! We spent much more time across the road marvelling at the history and as you'll see by my photos, just as magnificent as the official museum.
No. 2 on our list was castle hopping as is our want when we travel, so our next two ports of call were Uchisar Castle & Burgut Castle. Again wonderful and several days on and my legs are still feeling the effects of all that climbing.
Our horse riding adventure was a real piece of fun and such a wonderful way to take in the scenery. We chose the 2 hr ride organised by the hotel which took us into Göreme valley and up on high to survey the valley below. A wonderful two hours and a great initiation to get back into the saddle.
No. 3 visit at least one underground city on this trip. We chose Özkonak as it is the smallest and least likely to be inhabited by hoarding tourists. We were right! We also got to meet the discoverer of this wonderful piece of history. Latif Acar who is the local Iman who discovered the city whilst tending his crops. We bought a book of the city and he kindly signed it for us.
No. 4 on our list was just to meander around Göreme itself. With so many restaurants, cafes and touristy shops, it was nice to 'go tourist' for a change. What I also hadn't realised was how many Aussies frequent Kapadokya. In my 6 years out of Australia I have never come across such an Aussie enclave. Everywhere we went there were groups of Aussies sitting around chatting. We even discovered a lovely cafe/bar called Fatboys where the owners are a Turkish/Aussie couple and the food is a mix of typical Turkish cuisine filled in with Aussie temptations like Vegemite on toast or meat pie and sauce etc.... Amusing to find in this part of the world but suffice to say we went back more than once. With so many things to see and do in Kapadokya we will certainly return. Hopefully not in the too distant future!
See more photos in my perception in pictures.