The village of GÖREME, just 3km northeast of Uçhisar, is one of few remaining Cappadocian settlements whose rock-cut houses and fairy chimneys are still inhabited. These, along with the village’s celebrated open-air museum, make it a hugely popular tourist destination. The honeycomb of cave dwellings etched into the landscape not only provides visual intrigue, but is well equipped to provide for everyone from budget backpackers to luxury holiday-makers. and there are carpet shops, pansiyons, tour companies and restaurants everywhere.
While the influx of visitors has enabled the local economy to boom, the fragile environment is under increasing pressure, and prolific construction has pushed out many local residents. Despite the commercialization, however, Göreme has held on to a degree of authentic charm, and a short stroll off the main street or into the nearby valleys will still take you up into tuff landscapes, vineyards that the locals cultivate for the production of pekmez (grape molasses), and the occasional rock-cut church, unknown to the crowds who frequent the nearby museum.