Cappadocia & Cave Hotels
Located in Anatolia, central Turkey, Cappadocia is a huge, isolated plateau which is dominated by the extinct volcano of Erciyesdagi. Over millions of years frequent eruptions covered the area in soft rock and ash which was eroded into bizarre conical hills in an amazing range of colours. The hills have been sculpted by the weather and some are as high as 50 metres. The ‘fairy chimneys’ form through harder rock above the tufta which presents erosion at the top but not at thesites. Eventually the cap falls off and the rest of the chimney erodes. Because of the thick walls, these formations are cool in summer and warm in winter.
People have carved dwellings in the rock over centuries and the Hittites are thought to have begun the underground city of Derinkuyu sometime after 2000 BC. This city is many layers deep and has stones that could be rolled into place to block doors there was also a good ventilation system. As many as 20,000 people could have taken refuge here. In Christian times monasteries and churches were carved from the rocks and during Arab invasions many thousands sheltered underground. Many of these churches in the Goreme and Ilhara valleys retain the Byzantine decoration.
The hottest months to visit Cappadocia are May to September and to get there you fly to Kayseri then by road, access from Nevsehir or Urgup. Cappadocia is included in many cultural tours of Turkey or Adventure group tours – contact me to find the right holiday for you to join. Or I can create a tailor made itinerary for your holiday to Turkey and include Cappadocia.
Take a balloon flight over this incredible landscape. Why not treat yourself to a few nights in one of the stunning ‘Cave Hotels’ here? Perfect for honeymoons or just a splash out! Some have spas and wellness facilities.
Here are a selection of suggestions:
Anatolian Houses is located in Goreme City formed from old stone houses and a cave network. It’s full of character and luxury. There are 33 suites, some with fireplaces and hydro massage bath tubs. There are two pools and a spa and wellness centre with sauna and Turkish bath. The restaurant offers superb international and local cuisine and a wine cellar.
Sacred House is a stylish boutique hotel with a medieval theme and personal atmosphere. It is a 250 year old Greek mansion built into the caves. There are just 12 rooms each with mini bar and jacuzzi bathrooms, some have fireplaces. There is an elegant courtyard, a lobby with art from the middle ages and an ancient Anatolian inspired restaurant menu with a variety of Anatolian wines.
Gamirasu Cave Hotel was once a 12th centruy Byzantine monastery, a unique hotel built from 7 old case houses in Ayvali village near Urgup in the heart of Cappadocia. There are 30 rooms carved from caves or using volcanic stone with vaulted ceilings. There are massages, cooking courses and yoga facilities here. Typical Cappadocian style food is served with a six course dinner in the evening.
Argos in Cappadocia is an enchanting rustic hotel restored from a historic monastery. In the centre of the Cappadocia triangle there are 34 rooms in 4 clusters called mansions. All are unique and with locally crafted rugs and carpets. Stroll the vineyards in the gardens and explore the ancient tunnels and underground city below the hotel. The Seki Restaurant serves local dishes and the tiraz Cafe serves light snacks, coffee and wine.
Photos courtesy of Turkish Culture & Tourism Office