07 May 2018
10 May 2018

Details about this tour

This tour can be either a pleasant continuation of hiking trip to the Eastern and Western Lycian Way, or a separate trip. Cappadocia is the area of wonderful and truly surreal landscapes. Millions of years ago after the volcanic chains eruptions lava and ashes covered the surface and that has dramatically changed the terrain of Cappadocia.

Thus, valleys and gorges, bizarre mushroom rock with basalt caps, giant rock fortress and entire mountain towns altogether became this wonderful landscape. Now this is the area rich in the history of ancient times, as if it was created in to make films about other planets. Cappadocia is one of the most amazing adventures mysterious Turkey is ready to offer a traveler!

If you always wanted to try hiking, but were afraid of difficulties, if you always dreamed of visiting this wonderful corner of the world, and even if you’ve never heard of it (which is unlikely) – this trip is for you! Super-light level trekking on the heavenly landscapes of Cappadocia will leave you amazed! During full 5 days we will enjoy and explore all the most interesting places of this unique region!

Route by dayThe price includesThe price does not include

 DAY 1

Goreme – Goreme Open Air Museum – Zemi and Gorkundere Valleys – Zelve Open Air Museum – Sunset point

In the morning, the group meets in Goreme*. This settlement, which is called “the heart of Cappadocia”, is the most comfortable place to make radial trips to Cappadocia. We will live in the hotel there and travel with small backpacks only. Besides, it is forbidden to sleep in tents in Cappadocia and the violation results in real penalties.

We check in the hotel, leave our luggage and go for a walk. The first thing we will look at is Goreme Open Air Museum. It is the largest, most famous and visited monastery complex in Cappadocia. Museum has 10 churches and chapels built in 900-1200 (Apple, Snake, Dark church, Church of St. Barbara, Chapel of St. Catherine, St. Basil…) and performed in the Byzantine style – with arches, columns and capitals, decorated in a unique Cappadocian style.

After we take a walk through Zemi Vadisi and Gorkundere Vadisi (Small Love Valley), which are located very close to Goreme, and we will visit Al Nazar Church.

Next, we visit Zelve open-air museum that is very close to Goreme (it can be reached by regular minibus). This strange ghost town with neighborhoods and avenues looks like a decoration ready for an exciting movie in fantasy style. It is spacious, quiet and extraordinarily beautiful. It is difficult to imagine, but the city was inhabited until 1952.

As you see, our first day will be full of new impressions. Enjoying the stunning sunset on the viewing platform, we then get acquitted with night Goreme and taste Turkish food in a nice restaurant.

* From those participants who decide to visit Cappadocia straight after the hike on the Lycian Way, we will go to Goreme night before. During the night we will do about 800 km on a comfortable bus (Turkish buses are renowned for their comfort and service, as provided with everything necessary for your comfort: air conditioning, large and soft seats, individual monitor with headphones, stewart serving drinks and snacks) and early in the morning we arrive to Goreme.

If you want to visit Cappadocia only, then you have the opportunity to arrive to Kayseri airport on May 7 early in the morning (before 10 am). It is an hour drive from the village of Goreme (or arrive on the eve, on May 6 in the evening).

Day 2

Pashabag Valley – Cavusin – Red and Rose Valleys

Waking up, we breakfast and go on getting acquainted with the beauty of Cappadocia. After we take a short drive on the bus, we will see the famous many-headed stone pillars, which are often considered the symbol of Cappadocia – bizarre stone mushrooms of Pashabag Valley. The adjacent Catalkaya valley (also known as Üç Güzeller) is one of the most famous sceneries of Cappadocia and it is where we see the rocks, depicted on one of the Turkish banknotes.

Walking further on the slopes of Ak-Tepe plateau and admiring the picturesque Catalkaya valley, we go to the ruins of the tiered rock Monastery Cavusin that carved into a huge rock.

In the afternoon, proceeding on the slopes of the vast Ak-Tepe plateau, we visit the Rose and Red Valleys with their fabulous scenery. Their rocks really are pink or red, and light tops make amazing spectacle. Moving along the path, we will pass through small tunnels. There are also many rock-hewn churches. Persecuted Christians lived here because of the terrain (easy to hide).

Having enjoyed incredible beauty and colors, we go to have some rest. In the evening sitting with a cup of tea on the terrace of our hotel, we will share experiences.

Day 3 

Sunset point – Derinkuyu Underground city – Ihlara – Selime Monastery

Today starts early enough. We wake up before the dawn, walk 10 minutes and get to sunset point, where we are waiting for unforgettable and impressive sight – in the pre-dawn twilight the valley below us fills with sighs: gas burners fill colored silk with hot air, and the heavens are filled with hundreds of balloons with the rising sun on the background. By the way, we can enjoy this show every day! Those willing may also fly a balloon (mind it’s not cheap, about 120 EUR) and enjoy a fantastic relief and dawn at a height.

Today we go to the more remote corners of the National Park. To do this, we take a minibus for the entire day. First, it takes us to the most famous underground city of Cappadocia – Derinkuyu. Built in 8-7 century BC (one could easily dig up the home in the soft tuff and people with their families, pets and food settled below the ground), Derinkuyu was used by early Christians to hide from the Arabs vexing them. This is a true metropolis: as of today, 11 floors are excavated, with a depth of 85 meters; 8 levels are available for tourists to visit. We will walk through the narrow tunnels, see what the life of the early Christians was like, and will get inspired with its intimate and mysterious atmosphere.

After this minibus will take us to another natural attraction – Ihlara Canyon. This is picturesque gorge with a total length of 15 km, in some places its height is up to 110 meters; Melendiz River runs at its bottom, surrounded by tall trees. By the way, on the way to the Canyon we will see one of the three originators of the surrounding terrain – dormant volcano called Hasan (3268 m). The parents of Cappadocian landscape and Ihlara Gorge in particular, are the three now extinct volcano – Hasan, Erciyes and Melendiz.

We walk through Ihlara Canyon along the turbulent river, get surprised with its impregnable walls with perfectly preserved carved cells and rock settlements. There is speculation that the unusual landscapes of Cappadocia and its underground houses inspired George Lucas to create a fantastic landscape of Tatooine in the movie “Star Wars. Episode IV. A New Hope”. Moreover, we’ll visit one of those places that is just in the Ihlara Canyon!

Getting out of the canyon, we arrive to amazing rock monastery – Selime. This is perhaps the most impressive of the cave fortresses of Cappadocia, which has large columned halls, observation towers and unforgettable “stairway to heaven”.

In the evening filled with emotions and impressions to the very top, we go to Goreme by minibus.

Day 4 

Pigeon Valley – Uchisar castle – White Valley – Love Valley – Kayseri

The day begins with a pleasant and leisurely walk in quiet and shady Pigeon Valley. It got its name due to the large number of pigeons that once lived there. Earlier people used to cut niches of various forms for keeping pigeons in the rocks – the so-called columbariums, and now the whole valley is full of small square windows.

Winding between the intricate stone carvings we come to Uchisar village – it is located on a hill and can be seen from afar from virtually anywhere in Cappadocia. The village impresses with deliberately authentic courtyards as if you got a time machine and moved thousands years back, or even a few centuries. There is a 60-meter high castle in the village; it is considered the highest point in Cappadocia.

We enjoy stunning views from the top of the fortress and go towards the White Valley. It has its name because of the color of rocks surrounding it. Soon, the landscape begins to change, we walk through the Honey Valley, and then we will see stone pillars, which means we gradually move on to the Love Valley. This Cappadocia attraction is known worldwide thanks to fairy chimneys – stones in the form of pipes.

Coming out of the Love Valley, we’ll go a little to the side of the road and get back to Goreme by bus.

In the evening, we take a direct shuttle to the airport (you can choose flights starting from 6pm on May 10). And before that we raid countless souvenir shops, so be sure to take an amulet with a piece of tuff or “blue eyes” or something else  you like – it will remind you of a really existing yet fairy Cappadocia…

– Meals (breakfast included in the hotel, lunch – a snack in the nature during walks)

– Services of guide

– enter into the Uchisar Castle

– Group equipment: gps navigator, group medical kit, repair kit

– Advice on preparing for the tour

– Souvenir

– Hotel accommodation (from 7-10$ per night)*

– Transfers on the route (30-35$)

– Dining in the café (in Goreme, there are many cafes and restaurants where you can try different cuisines and find food for all tastes)

– Attractions on the program (nearly 25$)

– Souvenirs and other personal expenses

*We stay in a hotel in the village of Goreme and travel throughout the area without the luggage

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