AO 1:04, Fall 1998
The most famous of Cappadocias valleys is the Göreme Valley. The Göreme Open-Air Museum (open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; admission $3) allows visitors to wander freely through cave dwellings, including the Karanlik Kilise (Dark Church), the most famous of Cappadocias painted churches.
Getting There: Turkish Air flies from Ankara and Istanbul to Kayseri, the former capital of the region. Hourly buses ($2.75 per person) run from Kayseri to Ürgüp and Avanos, which are only a few miles from the Göreme Valley. Minibuses travel a loop between Ürgüp, the Göreme Valley and Avanos hourly each day, from June to September. Each ride costs 50¢. Most major car rental agencies have offices in Ürgüp and Kayseri.
Where to Stay: Kayseri has several new, good hotels, but Turkish tourist authorities recommend staying in Ürgüp or Avanos for their proximity to the Göreme Valley. In Ürgüp stay in one of the troglodyte caves: Esbelli Pension (phone: 90384-8683395), for example, is a Roman period house carved from the sandstone cliffs and restored to include all the modern conveniences.