What lies beneath the rock?

GO NICHE: STRAIGHT OUT of the pages of a children’s story book, the magical “fairy chimneys” that dot the landscape of Cappadocia…

GO NICHE:STRAIGHT OUT of the pages of a children's story book, the magical "fairy chimneys" that dot the landscape of Cappadocia are reason enough to visit central Turkey. But they are not the only attraction – there are comfortable hotels built into the sides of the mountain.

For anyone who thinks hotels are the same the world over, the Yunak Evleri Hotel, in the ancient village of Urgup, makes the perfect antidote.

The area is famous for its fifth-century houses carved into cliffs. The 30-room Yunak Evleri is made up of six of them and consists of a labyrinth of crooked corridors and curved staircases, each leading to individual rooms.

These are a stark contrast of bare cave walls and plush Ottoman-style furniture. Just because the walls are rough hewn doesn’t mean the rooms are. These caves have hardwood floors, all the usual mod cons from kettle to safe, plus marble bathrooms and private patios.


Evenings are spent in the hotel’s outdoor lounge, literally lounging around on stuffed cushions in front of an open fire. Dining is by candlelight, augmented by starlight, on a rooftop terrace.

The village makes a great base for exploring the region, with balloon safaris, horse treks and guided walking tours aplenty.

By night there are all sorts of events, from belly dancing to Whirling Dervish ceremonies.

But the real star of the show is the topography. Cappadocia was created from volcanic eruptions and its fairy chimneys are the result of millennia of erosion. Truly otherworldly, these tall stacks of rock come complete with toadstool caps.

So not only was Mother Nature the architect of your hotel, she did the landscaping too.

Doubles cost from €130 a night. yunak.com