Goreme is centrally located in the Cappadocia region which is approximately in the middle of Turkey. Fantasmagorical moonscape dotted by “fairy chimneys” –some comically phallic shaped– and surrounded by wild erosion-moulded mountains and valleys.
Dating back to as early as the 4th century C.E., underground cities like the one we visited in Derinkuyu were built to protect Christians from Arab or Persian invaders. Some of the underground cities were thought to be the domicile for up to 10,000 people for months. Derinkuyu was built on 8 levels downward and equipped with holes for ventilation, kitchens, bedrooms, dining rooms, storage rooms, stables, wineries, granaries with grindstones, graves and protective devices like circular doors that could be rolled and locked into place.
Hiking here is stellar! With towns so close together and dolmuses (mini-buses) passing by frequently, it’s easy to hike trails one way and to plan and execute various trips without covering the same ground. And the scenery is almost beyond imagination.