Hotels in Uchisar
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Set in a dramatic and eerie landscape, Uchisar is situated at the highest point in Cappadocia, in the Nevsehir region of central Turkey, and is perhaps best viewed by taking one of the local hot-air balloon flights. A terrain of volcanic rock eroded over time, not only by the elements but by man himself, the area is dominated by giant cones and spires, bored with holes as though some giant insect had eaten its way through. From its vantage point on the top of the highest peak, the ‘castle’ of Uchisar provides panoramic views of the town below and over the whole of the surrounding area. This is no man-made castle however, but a natural rock fortress and one of three ancient strongholds in the defenses of Cappadocia. In the past, local inhabitants hollowed caves out of the rock and used them as places of refuge whenever enemies approached. In times of peace they made the caves their homes, but with the increasing dangers caused by erosion, people began to move away. Nowadays, the visitor will find a myriad of interconnecting tunnels, passageways, stairways and caves. The so-called ‘fairy chimneys’, conical rock formations eaten with holes which look like windows, were hollowed out and used as graves during the Roman period. Dovecotes were cut into the sides and pigeons encouraged to nest there so that the locals could collect their droppings, valuable fertilizer for their land.In the town of Uchisar below, some of the old stone dwellings have been converted into houses and hotels, but many new buildings have also been added. The town offers a range of pleasant cheap hotels, including those offered by EasyToBook.com, and a number of good restaurants. From their hotel base in the town, visitors can explore one of the most beautiful hiking trails in all Cappadocia, down to the Valley of the Pigeons which is riddled with tunnels hollowed out by rushing streams. Nearby Ortahisar provides a similar spectacle to that in Uchisar, although is much less visited. Ortahisar has a small museum housed in the main square and provides displays which illustrate different aspects of traditional life in Cappadocia. The Göreme National Park and open-air museum are also well worth visiting, as is the attractive town of Avanos, famous for its handicrafts.