The unique and fascinating landscapes of the Cappadocia region in central Turkey are one of life's must sees. Sharing the experience of walking through this landscape of red hued valleys dotted with unusual rock formations is one rarely forgotten. With its twisting tracks offering views of canyons, sweeping valleys and small villages the children will be swept away by the adventure, where one rock may house a church and another a tea stall. Enveloped in history and culture, the classroom will come alive as you explore ancient art in rock hewn monasteries, observe the ceramic trade dating back to the Hittites, visit a vast underground city and walk the gorge of the Ilhara Valley with its honeycombed rock walls housing tombs and churches from the Byzantine era. During the trip there will be time to go for an early morning hot air balloon ride, visit a Turkish bath and take in a cultural show (all optional) while at night you are immersed in the region.
The walking is introductory to moderate (2) grade with daily walks of around 3-5 hours per day. The cycling is also graded introductory to moderate with the option to shorten or lengthen depending on the group. The accent is on keeping a steady pace to with time to stop and take photos. You will need a reasonable level of fitness to participate fully in this adventure.
You will be met at the Kayseri Airport and transferred to your cave hotel in Mustafapasa. This is a group transfer and we will advise time of transfer on receipt of your booking. The transfer will take approximately 1 hour.
Cappadocia is world renowned for the unique rock formations, sculpted from the continuous erosion of volcanic ash and lava rock. It is also one of the few places where ancient traditions still shape the lives of the people. We will ride through Cappadocia and taking a scenic loop from Goreme with our first stop at Uchisar which is an old village perched high above the land. Here we visit “The fortress”. Many rooms have been hollowed out of the rock and are connected to each other by stairs, tunnels and passages. The top of the Citadel provides a magnificent panorama of the surrounding area. We'll also take time to have a cup of traditional Turkish Tea, known as Cay, whilst enjoying the magnificent panorama over Cappadocia. The cycle continues through Akvadi (white valley/also known as Baglidere or Love Valley), where white fairy chimneys sprawl through the region. After visiting Akvadi we ride through Kiliclar (Sword) Valley, one of the smallest valleys in Cappadocia with many interesting fairy chimneys and ruins. Sword Valley is also known for its fantastic views of Cappadocia; on the road to Goreme there are tracks where it is possible to explore abandoned caves which were homes of past inhabitants of the region.
Mountain biking: approximately 20/25 km (approximately 4 h); Ascent/Descent: between 100/150m
Important: It is always possible to shorten/or to extend the cycling depending on the groups interest and fitness level. A support vehicle will be within 5 minutes throughout the day.
Today we drive to Ihlara canyon and walk through the Ihlara Valley, a 14km long canyon with hundreds of rock cut rooms and churches. On the way we will visit the incredible underground city of Derinkuyu (8 floors, going to 64m under the ground). Carved way back in the past as a shelter in times of siege and continuous raids, a huge hidden city under the plains of Central Anatolia, with 8 stories. The word “Swiss Cheese” is the best way to explain this structure. Holes everywhere, underneath your feet, on the right, all connecting each other with long tunnels.There are a multitude of places for everyone to explore. After lunch in Belisirma village we drive to the Selime Monastery. A visit to this complex of buildings on a steep mountain slope is a must in the region but keep a close watch on children and your self as there are no barriers and many steep sections. In the early evening we recommend you try a traditional Turkish bath, better known as Hamam (optional).
Walking time: 3hrs, walking distance: 8/9km
Transfer time: 1.5hrs, transfer distance: 95km
In the early morning before sunrise it is possible to go on a Hot Air Balloon Flight (optional). Cappadocia is awarded as one of the world's best balloon flight areas. We start today with a walk out to explore one of the most beautiful valleys in Cappadocia, Goreme. In Goreme we will visit the Göreme Open Air Museum. The Christian people at the heart of the Cappadocia realized that the soft rocks could be easily carved out to form houses, churches and monasteries. These Christian sanctuaries contain many examples of Byzantine art from the post iconoclastic period. The frescoes inside the Goreme Open Air Museum are a unique artistic achievement from this period.
Afterwards we will walk to the Meskendir Valley. We follow the path which has many old Cave houses and complexes from the old Christian civilization. From the Meskendir Valley we cross over to the Red Valley, the most beautiful valley in Cappadocia with its formations and colours. In Red Valley it is possible to visit the Uzumlu Church and the Church of the Three Crosses (Rose Valley). This church has been carved out of the cliff face in the 7th Century. The decorative reliefs and frescoes are added in the 10th and 11th Century. We continue our walking to Cavusin, one of the first Christian villages built in Cappadocia Area. We will then drive to Avanos. The most famous historical feature of Avanos, which is still relevant and very visible today, is its production of earthenware pottery; it is also the main economic activity in the town. The ceramic trade in this district and its' countless pottery factories date right back to the Hittites, and the ceramic clay from the red silt of the Kizilirmak has always been used. Optional Activity: visit one of the Pottery studios and shape your own masterpiece.
Walking time: 4/5 h, walking distance: 9 km; Ascent: 82m, descent: 134m
Today we drive to Cavusin where we will start our walk. Cavusin is one of the oldest settlements in Cappadocia. From the village we walk on paths close to fascinating rock formations and magnificent views of the fairy chimneys in Monk's Valley (Pasabaglari) down below. The walk will take us directly to the Zelve Monastery Valley. Zelve was inhabited until 1952, when the last inhabitants moved to the new town Yeni Zelve, 2km away. In 1967 Zelve was turned into an open air museum. After visiting the monastery and open air museum we take a 5 minute drive to the Pasabaglari area (Monk's Valley). The fairy chimneys in Pasabaglari are unique and feature bizarre large toadstool like caps which protect the rest of the chimney from erosion. We then continue to Urgup. Urgup is known for its famous cafes and for its wines and is one of the most important tourism centers of the Cappadocia region. The late afternoon is free to explore Urgup with its small shops and pleasant cafes.
Walking time: 2 hrs, walking distance: 6/8km. Ascent: 60m, descent: 70m
The trip concludes after breakfast with a group transfer to Kayseri Airport.
Transfer time: 1hr, transfer distance: 80km
Per Person, Twin Share