When you travel, it is always good to mix things up a little; particularly with regard to accommodation options. Previously on my travels, I have stayed on a a backpacker boat in the middle of Abel Tasman, New Zealand. I’ve slept on sleeper trains, buses, and in cars. (I can pretty much sleep anywhere, apart from on planes oddly enough). I have camped, stayed in small river huts and cabins, I have couch surfed (and slept on many floors), as well as in traditional hotels and hostels.
During my trip in Turkey, I’ve stayed in a hotel and and two other hostels. However, this past hostel was no ordinary hostel – it was a cave hostel, called the Dorm Cave by Travellers; what perfect name. Located in the town of Göreme in Cappadocia.
I was only staying one night unfortunately, as my lack of planning came into play a lot in this trip, and I decided to spend more time in Istanbul (just don’t do it – 2 days is enough in the city)
Göreme is one of the main towns most people stay in, when visiting Cappadoccia, and I’d recommend you do too. It is the main hub for all things that are going on, and had better transport connections (the bus station itself has connections all over Turkey).
I was picked up in an airport shuttle by the company I was choosing to do my Balloon Flight with the following day and after meeting the team at Air Kapadokya, I was driven round the narrow rock structures to my cave (there is no way I’d try to negotiate a van in and around Göreme!)
I am not sure what I was expecting with staying in a Cave; I thought it would be very basic, especially seeing as it was a hostel, and only £7 per night, I was thinking mattresses on the floor, and no electricity.
I was very much mistaken. The Dorm Cave by Travellers Cave was super cute, clean and very impressive. There were 5 toilet/shower rooms, two roof terraces, overlooking the iconic fairy chimneys, breakfast was included, and there was electricity and free WiFi.
The rooms were huge. I was in a 14 bed dorm, which had super comfy heavy blankets (a cave is a touch colder, be in warmer weather). The only downside was trying to sleep, when I was the only one getting up at 3.30am, and everyone else wanted to stay up and chat. [Editors note: be considerate in hostel room].
That being said, it was an amazing experience. Getting to have a second breakfast (after my first at 4am), overlooking the amazing structures, was incredible. The staff at the hostel were attentive and informative, helping me better plan my time in Goreme. They, like many locals in Goreme loved talking with others from overseas to better develop their English.
I’d highly recommend it if you’re in Göreme.
Getting to Göreme
The nearest airport to Göreme is Nevshier [pronounced Nev-sure], taking approx. 45 minutes to 1 hour, reach the main town, depending how many drop offs there are. All airport shuttles cost 20 Lira. Some hostels will do pick ups also, for a similar price, or sometimes more.
You can also get buses to Göreme from many places in Turkey, which is what I should have done from Dalaman, thus extending my time in this cute little area, and getting to see more along the way, but you live you learn (in my case, probably not).
Where to Stay
Cappadoicia caters for any budget, from the various hostel caves (starting from £4), to budget hotels, and super expensive boutique hotels. There are plenty of options there, and new places open on a regular basis to cope with the demand of tourists, so you won’t be caught short – but probably best to book in the summer months. That being said, the town of Goreme felt very calm and not over run with people during the day. It is usually only when you get to the Tourist spots, you come up against a people barrier.
What do do
The main reason people visit Cappadocia is to do a Hot Air Balloon ride, and to be honest, this was mine.
However, if your budget doesn’t stretch to doing one, you can always get up at sunrise and watch them from sunset point, which is a short uphill walk from the main town centre (10-15 minutes max, depending on your fitness levels and where you are staying). I watched the sunset from their on the previous night, and it was beautiful.
Other things you can do in Göreme
- Horse back riding
- Quad biking tours
- Hiring a bicycle or scooter
- Walking tours
- General tours to places like the underground city and surrounding areas in Cappadoicia. Most agencies will offer the green and red tour, which lasts all day, and costs 120 L. Check out Gorgeous Travel Agency for details on this trip.
- Turkish Bath experiences
- Pottery making classes
- Cooking classes
- Watch the sunrise or sunset from sunset point cafe – a great view over the town
You can also self tour if you don’t have a lot of time, which is what I did. I got a bus out to Nime, an underground city, and later walked out to the open air museum.
Great places to eat
I don’t normally recommend restaurants, as people can have different tastes and budgets, but there is an amazing place called Kebapzade on the main street, not far from the bus station.
Cappadocia is famous for its Testi Kebab, which, basically are kebabs made in clay pots. This is something that the people who lived in the underground cities did, as a cooking style.
What was different about this place was the service. There are many places to grab a Testi Kebab in Cappadocia, and they all appear to start at 24 Lira for the meal (and it is a huge meal).
The staff were so attentive, and friendly. Most locals in Cappadocia are, and love to speak with foreigners to learn new languages and about their cultures.
I was taken up to the roof terrace to watch the World go by, and was served apple tea (you can have any kind of tea, but apple is my preference), as well as water. I was given appetisers of bread with dips and olives, then came the main dish. A little pot full of chicken (Tavuk) cooked with various spices, and naan bread on the top, with a side of rice. There was also another huge slab of bread (The Turks love their bread), but I couldn’t eat this.
I was offered unlimited amount of tea (which is standard in Turkey when having a meal at a restaurant).
I was also given a huge plate of watermelon at the end, and all for 26 Lira – It was truly a great meal and experience, and I was full up for the night.
I really loved the various Turkish foods I tried, so much that I wrote another post on what you should try, when you are in Turkey.
If you happen to be in Turkey, make the trip over to Cappadocia. You’ll not be disappointed with its beauty.
Have you ever stayed in a Cave before? What is the quirkiest accommodation you’ve had on your travels? Next on my list is a Tipi, Castle and Tree House.