by Katrina Whitehead in Cool Travel on Saturday 7 February 2009

While I’m definitely not into the whole Lord of the Rings thing, I’m convinced Tolkien stole his inspiration from Göreme, in Turkey’s central Cappadocia region. After a mammoth volcanic eruption around 2,000 years ago, the landscape eroded to form a series of valleys, filled with peculiar, phallic-shaped tufts that the locals call ‘fairy chimneys’. Early Christians hollowed out the tufts and turned them into houses, churches and monasteries. These days, most of them are still in use and a few have been converted into cute hotels and hostels. If you’re not too claustrophobic, I’d highly recommend doing the hobbit thing and spending a night in one.