Cappadocia’s Göreme ranks third on world’s best towns list
Göreme, a well-known tourist destination in central Turkey famous for its surreal landscape with intricate rock formations, has been ranked among the world’s most beautiful towns in a list prepared by assessing their popularity across social media.
Uswitch, a social media outlet that aims to uncover the most beautiful, and of course, the most preferred town in the world as per social media posts, compiled a list with updated digital data on Oct. 5.
Topping the list is the village of Oia on the mesmerizing Greek island of Santorini, with just over 1.6 million social media appearances and the vast majority of which are from Instagram posts.
Perched on the northern tip of the island, the town receives up to two million tourists annually, many arriving on the gigantic cruise ships that can normally be seen parked in the middle of the natural bay.
Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and popular travel destination in Vietnam, comes right after Oia with just over 1.16 million social media appearances. The settlement includes some 1,600 islands and islets, forming a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars.
With its valleys filled with famous fairy chimneys and bizarre rock formations, Göreme in Turkey’s Cappadocia region is in third place on the list with nearly 1.12 million social media appearances.
The main reason for Göreme’s popularity is the famed Göreme Open-Air Museum, which offers some of the best examples of famous landscapes. It hosts a large number of local and foreign tourists every year due to underground cities and boutique hotels carved into the rocks as well.
Despite the pandemic negatively affecting the region, which broke a record in 2019 by hosting more than 3.8 million foreign visitors, tourists expect to flock back to the region to discover the mysteries it has to offer after the threat of the virus dissipates.
Among Göreme’s sites, the places that are worth visiting are the Bezirhane, Durmuş Kadir, Ortahane and Yusuf Koç churches, as well as the richly decorated Tokalı Church and the Apple Church. But visitors also come by the town for tourism offerings, such as hot air balloon rides, ATV rentals and trekking tours.
The interest in hot air balloon tours in Göreme has been increasing every year, and this trend has continued in 2021. Visitors gather in the dark before the sunrise to catch a glimpse of the fairytale-like scenes as the sun comes up.
Meanwhile, Hallstatt, a small Austrian town famous for its salt mining since prehistoric times and draws attention with its landscape, followed Göreme in the list, while Australia’s unique coast, Mission Beach, ranked fifth.