The earliest settlers were Christian exiles in Roman times and they carved churches into the rock, along with houses and tombs. In the Middle Ages Göreme became an important religious center with monasteries, churches and chapels; many of which have impressive Byzantine religious wall paintings. Some of the most important are Basil Kilise (St Basil’s Church), Elmali Kilise (Apple Church), and the richly decorated Tokali Kilise (Buckle Church), which is the oldest. The best-preserved and recently restored frescoes can be found in the Karanlık Kilise (Dark Church).
The town of Göreme itself is the center of this UNESCO World Heritage site and only a 15 minute walk from the Göreme Open Air Museum (1 mile/1.5 km), which is open every day but it’s wise to go early during summer months, before the heat hits. Some people in Göreme still live in cave houses and many have been turned into hotels.
Tours & Tickets
7-Day Turkey Classics Tour from Istanbul: Gallipoli, Troy, Ephesus, Pamukkale, Cappadocia and Ankara
Tick through Turkey’s classic sights on this spellbinding 7-day tour that starts and finishes in Istanbul. Traveling by air-conditioned coach with an expert ... Read more
Duration: 7 days (approx.)
Wonder at the natural and man-made treasures of Cappadocia on this full-day tour! Mother Nature has turned the region’s volcanic hills into crowds of bizarrely ... Read more
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)
Cappadocia In One Day Small-Group Tour from Istanbul: Rose Valley, Ortahisar, Kaymakli Underground City and Pigeon Valley
See some of the best of southern Cappadocia on this full-day tour from Istanbul, including round-trip transfers, flights and lunch. Explore this ... Read more
Duration: 15 hours (approx.)
Experience the best of Istanbul and Turkey’s Cappadocia region on this 4-night tour with hotel accommodation and internal flights included. Visit Istanbul’s ... Read more
Duration: 5 days (approx.)