Visit Uchisar : Turkey Travel Guide
Visit Uchisar : A lovely little town on a hill, built around a huge fairy chimney known as Uçhisar Castle, Uçhisar has some of the nicest places to stay in Cappadocia. There are carpet shops and trinket stalls near the base of the castle, but the town still feels calmer and a bit more residential than Göreme, with clustered stone houses overlooking the valleys. From here, it’s easy to take off for a walk through Pigeon Valley (Güvercinlik Vadisi), so named for the birds the villagers traditionally raised in distinctive-looking cotes lodged in the walls of the valley.
How to get to Uchisar (Map)?
Uchisar Castle is located in the town of Uchisar, and stands proudly as the highest point in Cappadocia. Uchisar Town is located just 5km away from the popular town of Goreme, and the easiest way to travel between the two is via public bus. Uchisar castle is marking the center of the Uchisar town. Cappadocia’s famous volcanic landscape is a triangle. Uchisar marks the western corner of this triangle along with Avanos in the north and Urgup in the east. While Uchisar town is just thirty minutes away from Nevsehir Kapadokya Airport, it is only one hour away from Kayseri Erkilet Airport. Uchisar Castle is dividing the new and the old towns of Uchisar. Modern Uchisar sits in the South West of the castle while the old Uchisar town encircles the castle from South to North. Old town is established on the Eastern façade of the castle and has phenomenal views of Cappadocia. The view you get from the castle top is breathtaking. It is highly recommended to climb on the top of Uchisar Castle to comprehend the size of volcanic Cappadocia. There is a bus departing every half an hour from Goreme bus station (Göreme Otobüs Terminali) to Uchisar Village. The bus costs just 3 Turkish Lira, (prices vary depending on the season) and the duration of the bus journey is only 10 minutes.
If you love a long walk or sandy road hike, you could even try walking from Goreme to Uchisar Castle via Pigeon Valley. For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours available to book in advance.
- Cappadocia Short Break
- Istanbul – Ankara – Cappadocia | 4 Days
- Istanbul – Cappadocia | 5 Days
- Istanbul – Cappadocia | 6 Days
- Istanbul – Ankara – Cappadocia | 7 Days
- Turkey Highlights Tour | 8 Days
- Turkey Explorer | 9 Day Self Drive Tour
- Turkey Western Tour | 10 Days
- 3 Seas of Turkey | 13 Days
- Grand Tour of Turkey | 14 Days
What to Expect at Uchisar Castle?
Uchisar Castle is a museum managed by the Municipality of Uchisar. Even if there is a parking lot right by the entrance, the area can be crowded to park closer to the castle. There is a big parking area in between the new and the old town. The narrow streets taking you to the castles entrance have very colorful souvenir shops. After getting your tickets from the office, you will have to climb a few hundreds of stairs to the top of the Castle. You will not rush and get tired on the way as the scenery will constantly stop you for pictures or just to admire the natural wonder Cappadocia. When you finally reach to the top, you will have a sense of the area of Cappadocia. The landscape seen from the castle is the popular center of Cappadocia. The region where we see similarities of Cappadocia culture is way bigger than what you see from the top of the castle. In fact, none of the settlements within your eye sight have been a capital in the history of Cappadocia until the republican era. You will see Nevsehir city on the West which is the center of the province of Nevsehir. Avanos town can be seen on the north of the Castle while Goreme looks like an extension of Uchisar from the top. The outskirts of Ortahisar and the castle there can be seen in the East. There is not much to see in the South because of lack of erosion there in the highlands. You will see farming lands and superficial mines collecting pomace to make light construction materials. The sunset you will get from the top of the Castle of Uchisar will be one of the highlights of your Cappadocia tour. I personally recommend you to climb to the castle of Uchisar in the afternoon after 3 PM. Sun almost gets to the South West of the Castle leaving beautiful light on the landscape of Cappadocia until the sunset. If you can reach to the top thirty minutes before the sunset, you will see the beautiful color changes of the Cappadocia landscape.
Whilst you’re in town, whether you stay in Uchisar or not, it’s definitely worth having a nose around the quaint village. Uchisar Town is full of souvenir shops, and you can even stop by one of the cute, local cafes and try some traditional Turkish dishes like we did. If you do decide to stay in Uchisar, The amazing cave hotel backs onto Uchisar Castle giving incredible views, and it really is magical to see the sun go down behind the castle. You can even enjoy breakfast with views fit for a king and queen before you depart.
Things to Do in Uchisar
The sleepy troglodyte village of Uchisar, spread out at the base of the fortress, is a place where time altogether stands still. In the valley surrounding Uchisar, the advancement of rock formation and erosion can be seen in all of its stages. Cresting above the valley are pink-and-yellow-hued sand dunes that when under closer scrutiny reveal rocky channels. Down below, perforating the rock face of Güvercinlik Vadisi, or Pigeon Valley, are the best examples of pigeon houses, painted white to attract the birds and their valuable guano. The fortress of Uchisar is the highest peak in the region, drawing tourists to its summit for panoramic views of this fascinating landscape with Mount Erciyes in the distance. Not surprisingly, the quiet landscape of Uchisar has been discovered but it’s still a far cry from the polish of Ürgüp or the bustle of Göreme. Visitors can still get a taste of the elusive and authentic Cappadocian village experience before Uchisar succeeds in renovating itself beyond recognition.