Goreme or Urgup?

Old Jun 6th, 2012, 03:08 AM
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Goreme or Urgup?

I have been reading with great interest the recent discussion about choosing between Ephesus and Cappadocia for a three-day stay after a week in Istanbul. DH and I will be visiting Turkey for the first time this October and had planned to just do seven nights in Istanbul, but then decided to add another night to accommodate a day trip to Ephesus. After reading this thread, we're thinking of adding three nights after the week in Istanbul to visit Cappadocia.

I've been struck with the resounding recommendations for Esbelli Evi (and the website looks great), but a friend who visited Cappadocia last fall suggests that Goreme is the place to be, not Urgup. I infer this is because most of the "best" trails and sites and ballooning are in Goreme. We will not have a car.

I also am a bit concerned about the weather -- someone mentioned cold and rainy from November through March. We would be visiting the last week of October.

Advice? (and here's a blanket thank you for what will probably be a series of questions as I plan this vacation. I knew little to nothing about Turkey three weeks ago, and I'm on a steep learning curve!)
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Old Jun 6th, 2012, 12:10 PM
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Hi there. Obviously mine isn't an informed decision (our trip isn't until the fall either) but maybe my thought processes could help you.

When I was in your circumstances--going back and forth between Urgup and the reportedly more touristy Goreme, also without planning to rent a car--I ended up weighing 1) walking distance to sights such as the Open Air Museum and trails 2) the thrill of being in a town set among the fairy chimmneys. That's how I ended up with Goreme.

Goreme seemed more convenient for us, especially since I was hoping to do some hiking/wandering on our own. And, every time I looked at photos, Goreme just spoke to me more strongly. I figured, yeah, it might be more touristy, but I am going to be a tourist cramming in tourisy things.
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Old Jun 6th, 2012, 12:29 PM
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A taxi between the two is about 20-25TL (roughly $10 USD) if that helps. Opinions will differ - we stayed and Urgup and preferred it to Goreme. You'll have a grand time wherever your home base is, though.
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Old Jun 6th, 2012, 04:10 PM
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For what it's worth, I visited Turkey for 9 days in Oct. 2006. The weather was wonderful - warm, sunny and without any rain. I was there during the final days of Ramadan and so observed the traditions of this religious period in Istanbul - especially the feasting and celebrations after sunset each day. I also enjoyed the Bayram holiday (Eid) at the end of the fasting period while in Ephesus/Sirince (very pretty and interesting).
Goreme was my choice in Cappadocia and I also visited Urgup which was a short ride away. Goreme suited my needs very well and the Hotel Kelebek where I stayed in a cave room was excellent. It is very easy to move around the region and see the sites either by private or public transport.

Have fun !
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Old Jun 6th, 2012, 05:16 PM
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I don't think you would miss with either, but I'm glad a chose Goreme. I did have a car, but liked the option of walking to the Goreme Open Air Museum, and ending a separate long hike in Goreme worked well for me. Goreme was also more convenient for a hot air balloon ride.

BTW, I had a delicious dinner one night in Goreme at a restaurant called Nostalja.

Enjoy!
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Old Jun 6th, 2012, 05:49 PM
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I also stayed at the sister hotel of Kelebak hotel--Taskonet because Kelebak was fully booked. It's a smaller establishment, the room is tiny but it was fine and we rather enjoyed our stay there. Goreme is great(not saying Urgup isn't), the hotel is on the hill and the view is great. Breakfast was good.
I would recommend renting a car, it really makes a difference when you can go anywhere at anytime and stop anywhere as you please to take pictures.
We drove out to Ihara Valley one day after visiting the underground city, the drive was a little long but the valley is beautiful. We are thinking of going back there to hike that valley. We were there in May, it rained on and off so we didn't exactly have good weather either, nonetheless we had a great time.
We were in Urgup for a lunch and a dinner, the town seemed to be much less touristy than Goreme, that's a plus in my book.
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Old Jun 6th, 2012, 07:04 PM
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Thanks for the input! Seems like we can't make a bad choice, either way.

This may be another thread, but are the cave hotels really cool, or are they dark, small, and claustrophobic? I've read both opinions.
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Old Jun 6th, 2012, 07:18 PM
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I suppose they could be small and dingy, but my room at the Kelebek hotel was a large one - literally like a suite. The room was multi level and had a large living room as well. The bed was high and comfortable with quality cotton sheets and there was a large separate bathroom with a turkish bath as well as a wide shower. The furnishings were rich and tasteful and there was also a waist high fireplace set into the wall near the bed and candles in containers all over the place; they leave a basket of wood and kindling outside your room door in the early evening if you ask for it. All this... and I didn't ask for a special room.

I will caution that whichever hotel you choose, you may have to climb a lot of narrow steps if you take a cave room so be prepared in case that's a problem for you and your luggage.

The views from this hotel are fantastic.
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Old Jun 6th, 2012, 07:34 PM
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We stayed Esbelli but visited the Open Air Museum and the town of Goreme. We had a car and tooled around. I do not think it makes much of a difference.

But one of the nicer towns was Mustafapasa where we had an excellent meal at the Upper Greek House. It is also a hotel but we dis not stay there.
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Old Jun 6th, 2012, 08:03 PM
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You can't go wrong either way.

We drove through Goreme and it did look a bit more touristy, but not much.

From Esbelli Evi, we walked into the little town of Urgup for dinner - about 20 minutes as I recall. Once, we took a taxi and walked back to the hotel. Very nice walk.

If you ask for a room with fewer steps, they may have one available or help with your luggage. When I e-mailed, I said that one flight of steps would be ok, but not great for us with luggage. When we arrived, they grabbed our stuff and had it all ready in the room by time we got there. Our rooms were very spacious with fairly high ceilings, so no feeling of claustrophobia at all.

The ballooning companies send a van for you in the early morning and take you to the flight site, so it does not matter where you are. You do not pay extra to be picked up. Just one more point about that. Some companies have only one flight site, which is fine, but Butterfly has two. They told me that was so they always had the best choice of where to start, depending on the winds.

We were there the last week of October. It was beautiful, sweater/Lt jacket weather, except for while in the balloon. Then it was hats and gloves as well.

Renting a car would be great, but I don't know if one location is better for that. We used a taxi driver procured by the staff at Esbelli Evi.

About Turkey: I read about it for years and years. You know how some things or places don't live up to your expectations? Well, not Turkey! It was everything I imagined and more. I hope you feel the same.
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Old Jun 6th, 2012, 08:40 PM
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I don't think there are as many caves in Urgup as in Goreme( i could be wrong), from my hotel, everywhere I turned are caves and that's really interesting.
Our room in the cave hotel is small but has 2 big windows. I didn't feel claustrophobic but i felt that in the underground city. The room came with little closet space so they could be a problem. We traveled light and we live in NYC so we are resourceful with space. I would have prefer a larger room but at the end it's a small issue.
Kelebak has 2 sister hotels and there are many hotels around Kelebak, so it's possible to get a much larger room than I did.
Since the hotel is on the hill and there is very little parking space near the hotel, we did have to park the car far from the hotel and we carried our lugguages up and down the stairs to get to the hotel. I misunderstood the direction so the fault was partly my own.
If you decided to stay in one of those hotels, ask the hotel to reserve a parking space.
It's true Mustafapasa was very nice and quiant, it has completely different atmosphere than Urgup, i passed by a very nice hotel, that could have been the Upper Greek House.
I really think 3 days is not enough for Cappodacia. There are so much to see there.
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Old Jun 7th, 2012, 03:10 AM
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Thanks again for your informative replies! Considering what you've said, I may try to convince DH to extend for another day, or two. This trip has grown from a week in Istanbul to nearly two weeks with a visit to Ephesus and now some days in Cappadocia. As you can tell, I'm discovering more and more about Turkey and this is a work in progress.

Any other suggestions or guidance would be most appreciated!
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Old Jun 7th, 2012, 04:55 AM
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I agree that you can't go wrong with either place. Goreme was definitely more touristy but it has easily accessible cafes and a lively ambience, being so close to the Open Air Museum. Esbelli Evi is on the edge of Urgup so it's quieter--a really lovely place. We stayed in the Volcano Cave Suite--large, comfortable, very private, just wonderful. If you stay in Urgup, be sure to eat at Ziggy's, a short walk down the hill from Esbelli Evi. Delicious! We also enjoyed walking around Urgup itself. Our visit was mid-October. The weather was cool but sunny and lovely. Be sure to wear warm clothes if you take a balloon ride--the predawn temperatures are chilly!
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Old Jun 10th, 2012, 07:56 PM
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Goreme. We found Urgup a bit more costly,crowded and formal. More developed and spread out too...
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Old Jun 10th, 2012, 08:34 PM
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We just got back from Cappadoccia and I agree with PegS and some of the others - unless there is a hotel you HAVE to stay at in Urgup, I would stay in Goreme. Urgup is certainly nothing to write home about and in Goreme you are surrounded by the fairy chimneys.

On hindsight, we wish we had stayed there.
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Old Jun 10th, 2012, 08:36 PM
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FYI - we paid for the "deluxe" balloon ride with Butterfly Balloons and were SO VERY PLEASED we did. We had a longer ride and only 6 people in our basket! Some of the companies squeeze as many as 36 in one basket. Our captain - Mike - was amazing and is one of the most experienced pilots.
Also, my boyfriend hates to fly but said he would balloon again in a heartbeat!
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Old Jun 14th, 2012, 12:40 PM
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Thanks everyone! We have decided to stay in Goreme -- have selected the Aydinli Cave House Hotel ( http://www.thecavehotel.com/cavehotel/ ) It looks great and we've chosen a room on the top floor. Lots of steep stairs but great views. We're looking forward to it!
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Old Jun 14th, 2012, 01:03 PM
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I cast my vote for Urgup, a lovely town easily accessible to Goreme and any other sites you might wish to see in Cappodoccia.
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Old Jun 14th, 2012, 06:06 PM
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Oh good, Purdue. We're actually staying in the same place!
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Old Jun 18th, 2012, 04:41 PM
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PegS, we're there from October 23 through 27 (four nights). If your dates happen to overlap, perhaps we'll see you there!
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