This is the vista from my hotel in Kapadokya. Imagine waking up to this view every morning – how marvelous! We are in a small town called Ortahisar. The big rock formation is the Ortahisar Castle. This castle was one of three castles that were cut out and used by the Romans. Later in this article, you’ll see us climbing the castle 🙂
There are several towns in Kapadokya. It seems that the region is mainly fueled by tourism. It’s probably the Yellowstone National Park of Turkey 🙂 The largest two towns are Urgup and Gerome, both with populations over 15,000. The photo shown above is of Urgup. There are tons of hotels, restaurants, and tourist shops in these towns.
We stayed at the Hisar Evi Cave Hotel. It’s a very pretty little place, with the great view of Ortahisar. The main building (top left) is only a few years old. The rooms (bottom right, more pics below), however, are actual caves that were dug out hundreds of years ago. It’s pretty cool to say I stayed in a cave in Turkey!
We stayed at the hotel with several of the same people from our tour. The environment felt like a bed & breakfast. It was nice to dine and talk with the other guests. We met people from all over the world on the tour – USA, Canada, Europe, India, New Zealand, Japan…. The first photo below is of some lovely New York ladies we met on the tour – Lisa, Joan, and Marianne. The second is of the hotel manager and owner – very nice hosts.
Our awesome friend and travel agent Janine recommended staying at the Hisar Evi hotel in Ortahisar, rather than in a hotel in Goreme and Urgup. In Ortahisar, you get a cool castle to look at, and a neat hotel. I think it was a good call 🙂 If you want to dine out, shop, or see some nightlife (if there is any), perhaps Goreme or Urgup would be better. I was pretty wiped out every night though. We had a free day our last day of the tour, which we spent in Urgup. We walked around and relaxed quite a bit.
Could you imagine yourself living in a small tourist town and waking up to beautiful scenery every day? It sounds tempting eh? I found a cave property for sale in Goreme. I may have to come back here once I win the lottery…
Kapadokya has a lot of local craftsmen and artisans. Since we were on a tour, we made some obligatory visits to see them and listen to their sales pitches. Jeff ended up getting a lovely onyx chess board. I ended up with just a bunch of photos; I’ve never been much of a souvenir type of guy 🙂
Ortahisar is a neat, pretty little town. Unlike Goreme and Urgup, it doesn’t seem to have many tourists staying there. It kinda looks like a small town in Tuscany or southern France – brick and stone, small windy cobblestone streets – plus the Turkish caves… Unfortunately I didn’t take many closeup pics of the towns or the people. What was I thinking?? Sorry Justine.
The neatest part about Ortahisar is the castle. It was just a 5-10 minute walk from the hotel. You get a great view of Kapadokya from atop the castle. The two other peeps below were also fellow tour trekkers, Anne and Fenton from Philly.
There’s nothing like a pretty sunset to end the day 🙂