Ortahisar Castle Cappadocia (What to See? How to Get?)

Ortahisar Castle is a rock castle situated in Ortahisar town and offers a magnificent panorama over the fairy chimneys of Hallacdere and the snowy peak of Mount Erciyes. Today the castle has been restored and the peak is accessible by a staircase.

Top Facts

The Castle is a natural citadel situated on a hilltop and offers stunning views of the surrounding valleys and the fairy chimneys that make the region famous. Here are some interesting facts about Ortahisar Castle:

  1. Ortahisar Castle is a towering rock formation that rises 90 meters above the town.
  2. The castle is unique because it was not built, but rather carved into the natural rock formations of the region.
  3. It is the highest fairy chimney in the region and was once used as a watchtower to keep an eye on the surrounding area.
  4. The castle has many rooms and passageways, which were used for various purposes over the centuries, including as a church, a mosque, and a granary.
  5. The castle is also known as “Middle Castle” because of its location between the castles of Uchisar and Ortahisar.
  6. Visitors can climb to the top of the castle and enjoy the panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and rock formations.
  7. Ortahisar Castle is a popular spot for hot air balloon rides, which offer breathtaking views of the castle and the surrounding landscape.
  8. The town of Ortahisar is known for its traditional handicrafts, and visitors can find many shops selling handmade carpets, pottery, and textiles.
  9. The castle is open to visitors daily, and admission is free.
  10. Visitors should be prepared to climb steep stairs and walk on uneven surfaces to explore the castle, so comfortable shoes are recommended.

Quick History

The castle was built by the Byzantine Empire during the 5th century AD and has a unique history that dates back to the Hittite period.

The castle was originally used for protection against invasions and raids by foreign enemies. It is said that the castle was built on a strategic location, which gave the Byzantines an advantage in defending their land. The castle was also used as a watchtower and as a means of communication with other castles in the area.

During the Ottoman period, the castle was converted into a mosque and was used as a place of worship until the early 20th century. In the early 1900s, the castle was abandoned and became a home to many pigeons. Today, the castle is a popular tourist destination and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscapes.

What to Expect from Your Visit?

With a height of 110 meters (south side) and 80 meters (north side), Ortahisar Castle is also one of the highest peaks of the Cappadocia region.

Visitors to the Ortahisar Castle can explore the rock-cut rooms, tunnels, and staircases, and get a glimpse of the castle’s historical and architectural significance. The castle has also been restored over the years, and visitors can see the intricate details of the stonework that was used in its construction.

It’s one of the world’s first examples of multi-story settlements and the most critical element that shapes the region. Surely, the hotels around Ortahisar Castle create unique, authentic, and extraordinary experiences for your stay, full of activities, concerts, and more.

You may also enjoy the magnificent panorama of the Ortahisar town with its picturesque stone houses, narrow streets and lovely churches.

Ortahisar Castle is a testament to the rich history of Cappadocia and provides visitors with an opportunity to learn more about the region’s past. It is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Cappadocia and is sure to leave a lasting impression on all who visit.

Book Your Balloon Ride

Below you can find our recommendations. Each company directly operates the hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia with their team of experts. So you will book your flight directly from the company. No men in the middle.

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Local Recommendations from Cappadocia4U team

If youʻre visiting Cappadocia for the first time, we have you covered. Below are some of the top recommendations, tours and experiences!

Some useful info

  • Cappadocia is the name of the region situated in the middle of Turkey. It is mostly known by the three popular towns of Goreme, Urgup and Uchisar but actually it is the name of the very big region spread through the cities of Nevsehir, Kirsehir, Nigde, Aksaray and Kayseri.
  • If you are first-time visitor, want to get familiar, please read our Cappadocia for first timers guide.
  • If you are not sure how to travel, please read our Traveling to Cappadocia guide.
  • If you don't know where to stay, please read our Where to Stay in Cappadocia guide for regions, and Accommodation guide for hotels.
  • If it is hard to plan your days, please read our Ideal 3-Days Cappadocia itinerary.

Top Attractions & Sights

There are 6 must do and see in Cappadocia that you won't want to miss!

  1. Hot Air Balloon Rides (the most exciting attractions in the world)
  2. Goreme Open Air Museum (some best-preserved examples of Byzantine rock-cut architecture and frescoes in the world)
  3. Pasabag Monks Valley (one of the most popular fairy chimneys areas)
  4. Uchisar Castle (highest point, the biggest fairy chimney)
  5. Derinkuyu Underground City (one of the largest underground cities in the world, 8th century BC)
  6. Ihlara Valley (fantastic canyon with a depth of about 100 mt. and 14 km. length)

Tip-1: One of the best ways to explore Cappadocia is by taking a sightseeing tour, so that you can cover all the top sights. Three main sightseeing tours available: Red Tour (covers the highlights of the region), Green Tour (best of natural and historical sites), and Blue Tour (lesser-known sights, off-the-beaten-path experience)

Tip-2: Private Tours are also good choice within a well-planned and custom itinerary along with a private vehicle, driver and professional guide. Great for those who don't have a car or don't know the region well.

For leisure activities we'd recommend 2 must-take attractions! Don't miss! Wine Tasting and Photo Shooting