From Kayseri to Urgüp, Cappadocia in the Turkish region of Anatolia often resembles the exotic tales of the Arabian Nights. Although the carpets don’t fly, they are still marvellous, especially when found in traditional little shops in Göreme’s old town. The unspoilt natural surroundings are just as impressive, with volcanic rock hoodoos, canyons and cliffs. At a bend in the path you come across a hidden chapel carved out of the rock, containing some of the most beautiful frescos in Byzantine art: a shining example of the mysteries of the East.


Esbelli Evi

If you want to see the true essence of Cappadocia, Hotel Esbelli Evi is the ideal place to stay. The irresistible bedrooms were carved into the stone over a thousand years ago! However, these stone rooms won’t force you back to the Stone Age: they have light clay walls, beautiful wooden flooring and traditional carpets. The understated and elegant decor also makes room for some modern elements, although the little terraces with panoramic views of Anatolia do inevitably give the hotel a nostalgic feel.

Dolay-1 Sokak No:8, 50400 Urgüp
Tribal Collections – Nomadic Rugs

Did Ruth Lockwood travel on a flying carpet from her home country of New Zealand to Turkey? Her shop is an Aladdin’s cave so you would be forgiven for thinking so... Over the last 30 years, Ruth has become famous in her field. Her superb Gorëme shop contains a wealth of treasures including old and modern carpets woven in all colours and patterns. However, before you decide between the blue or striped options, take the time to listen to Ruth tell the story of the carpet, which she delivers so passionately that it feels like a tale from Arabian Nights.

Köşe Çikmazi No:1, 50180 Göreme
Göreme Open Air Museum

Follow in the footsteps of the first Christians by exploring the open air museum in Göreme. Although it calls itself a museum, it’s actually an entire valley. Here, the churches, chapels and monasteries carved into the rock face contain wonderful rock art. In Karanlik Kilise well-preserved Byzantine frescos face primitive representations of scenes from the life of Christ. In Elmali Kilise, you come face to face with the Archangel Gabriel and symbols of evil, while in Yilanli Kilise, the abandoned snake fresco, dormitory and canteen help you imagine how the monks here used to live almost a thousand years ago.

Müze Yolu, 50180 Göreme

Ziggy Café & Shop

High in Ürgüp, an old stone house typical of Cappadocia has been turned into a café. The beautiful interior is quite charming with large fireplaces and carpets woven by local artisans. But it’s the outside which is truly stunning: there are four terraces over four levels with comfortable sofas and when the sun goes down the candles come out. At the rear a jazz band plays: the only non-Eastern element in sight. People go to Ziggy for the atmosphere. Once there, they settle down for a tea or coffee, chat, bask in the sun and while the hours away.

Yunak Mah., Tevfik Fikret Caddesi No. 24, 50400 Urgüp
Plum Restaurant

Set in unspoilt natural surroundings near Göreme National Park, Plum Restaurant is wonderfully sophisticated. The kitchen is run by young chef Volkan Ince, who serves up inventive cuisine. The dishes are the result of his Mediterranean travels, blending flavours and always adding a local touch with aromatic herbs picked in his garden at the foot of the restaurant. The menus only use seasonal produce and are perpetually changing. From the restaurant’s large terrace, you could almost order by looking at the surrounding plants and crops: the neighbouring vineyards provide bottles for the wine menu. *Alcohol abuse is harmful to health. Drink in moderation.

Tekelli Mahallesi, Tekelli Mahallesi,Göreme Sokak ,no 8, 50240 Uçhisar