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The miracles of Cappadocia

€630 per person

It is impossible to imagine a more wondrous sight than this evocative lunar landscape with its bizarre rock formations, enigmatic fairy chimneys and extensive cave dwellings. At Cappadocia, geology and civilization are inextricably linked as erosion and construction perennially interact with each other. Created through this unique collaboration, the region is the world’s greatest sculpture – shaped by nature, carved by man. After all, it took some 30 million years for the elements to shape the layers of volcanic basalt and tuff into their present form and even the impact of man on the landscape goes back several thousand years to the Hittite people, who were probably the first to dig caves suitable for habitation out of the soft tuft. The trek will take you to the most famous and beautiful regions of Cappadocia Goreme valley, Love valley, Zemi valley and the historic towns of Uchisar, Ortahisar, Goreme and others.

The daily walks are neither long nor demanding, allowing you enough time to concentrate on the area you are hiking through, and where each rock hides its own secrets waiting to be explored.

  • Destination
  • Duration
    8 Days I Difficulty: 1/2 (of 5)
  • What is included
    Accommodation in hotels and pensions in en-suite rooms, incl. breakfast, and 4x dinners; pick up/drop off at Kayseri or Nevsehir airports; luggage transfers between the inns; people transfers as per itinerary; route notes with maps in English; phone assistance; GPS tracks.
  • What is not included
    Other meals and drinks; entrance fees; tips;
  • Best period
    April, May, June, July, August, September, October
1
Day 1. Arrive at Kayseri or Nevsehir Airport and transfer to Mustafapasa
On arrival at Kayseri Airport, you will be met and transferred to Mustafapasa (0,45-1,00hrs drive), where you stay overnight. The village of Mustafapasa was formerly known as Sinasos during Ottoman times when it was inhabited by the Greeks, who also built many of the local churches. There are some impressive mansions with colorful wall paintings.
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Day 2. Mustafapaşa - Pancarlik Valley - Ortahisar (11km; 3-4hrs; + 325m/- 305m)
After breakfast you will start our first walk in Cappadocia (meaning "The land of the beautiful horses"). Starting from your accommodation in Mustafapasa you will take the road out of the village and continue afterwards on walking trails and dirt roads through the Pancarlik Valley. Not only is the scenery spectacular, with undulating ridges of pink rock and dollops of meringue-like white rock, but there are three rock-hewn churches to visit here too (Sarica and Pancarlik being the most interesting ones). You will proceed then towards Ortahisar village. The latter is famous for its friendly inhabitants, picturesque stone houses, narrow streets and lovely churches as well as the castle like rock formation after which the town is named. You spend the next two nights in Ortahisar.
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Day 3. Ortahisar - Ibrahimpasa (round walk) (8km; 3-4hrs; + 315m/- 225m)
Following dirt roads and walking paths, starting from Ortahisar, you will pass through vineyards and gardens on your way to your next destination - the village of Ibrahimpasa, where the historical stone bridge and original Greek stone houses will draw your attention. This is a small village with a really authentic atmosphere. In Ibrahimpasa do not miss to taste a cup of traditional Turkish tea, better known as "chai". From Ibrahimpasa village the trail proceeds on and down towards a beautiful and quite scenic valley, which eventually leads you back to Ortahisar village.
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Day 4. Ortahisar – Meskendir Valley – Red & Rose Valleys – Cavusin village (11km; 4-5hrs; + 280m/- 430m)
You bid farewell to Ortahisar village and enter the Meskendir Valley. The latter hides numerous cave dwellings and historic sites as well as multiple tunnels. Around the path youw ill see many cave houses and complexes from the old Christian civilization. From the Meskendir Valley you cross over to the Red Valley, arguably the most beautiful valley in Cappadocia, with its spectacular formations and colours. There it is possible to visit some hidden churches like the Uzumlu church (Grapes church), the hidden Cross Church and the Church of the Three Crosses (hidden inside the adjacent Rose Valley). These churches (8-9 Century) have been carved out of the cliff face, although it is not definite. The decorative reliefs and frescoes are added in the 10/11th Century. After walking through the Red & Rose valleys you arrive in Cavusin. This is an old Greek village, housing 5th century church of Saint John, and a offering a marvelous view into the Rose and Red Valleys. Here you will spend the next two nights.
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Day 5. Cavusin – Zelve Monastery & Pasabaglari (Monks Valley) (9km; 3-4hrs; + 270m/- 270m)
Today we start our walk from Cavusin, one of the oldest settlements in the area of Cappadocia. This is a small settlement made up of rock cut dwellings and elegantly carved stone houses. Using small walking paths, and hiking close to fascinating rock formations with magnificent views to the fairy chimneys of the Monk’s Valley (Pasabaglari) down below, you will eventually arrive at Zelve Monastery. It does not have the rich frescoes found in the Goreme monastic complex, but spreads out over three valleys, of which two are connected by a tunnel. Still the monastery is quite interesting to visit, and has its own beauty and charm. After visiting the Zelve Monastery & open air museum you will proceed to the Pasabaglari area (the Monk's Valley). Pasabaglari fairy chimneys are unique and feature bizarre large toadstool like caps which protect the rest of the chimney from erosion. The area was formerly a monastic retreat and used to be known as monk’s valley and features a rock cut church dedicated to St Simeon. Via Pasabaglari you walk back to Cavusin.
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Day 6. Cavusin – Akvadi (White Valley) – Uchisar – Pigeon Valley – Goreme (12km; 4-5hrs; + 420m/- 410m)
After breakfast you leave Cavusin and walk to the trailhead point at the beginning of the Akvadi (the White Valley). You will walk along this valley following an old river bed, planted in recent times with vineyards. A special section at the beginning of the valley is definitely worth seeing. At noon you will arrive in Uchisar village where it is possible to visit the high viewpoint, known as “The fortress”. Many rooms hollowed out into the rock, are connected to each other with stairs, tunnels and passages. The top of the citadel provides a magnificent panorama of the surrounding area. Afterwards you continue your walk through the Pigeon Valley with spectacular views of the natural cliffs and handmade caves. You will also pass through a few tunnels carved into the rock. Your walk ends in Goreme village where you spend the next two nights.
7
Day 7. Goreme – Zemi Valley & Goreme Open Air Museum (12km; 4hrs; + 300m/- 300m)
Dirt roads and paths will lead you out of Goreme village before you enter into the Zemi Valley - a green valley with wind eroded volcanic rocks and tall poplar trees. At the end of the valley there will be the opportunity to visit the El Nazar church. It was carved from one piece of a rock in a ‘T’ shape. The frescoes show scenes which follow each other in chronological order. The church can be dated to the end of the 10th Century. Before returning to Goreme village it is also possible to visit Goreme open-air museum. The Christian people in the heart of Cappadocia realized that the soft rocks could be easily carved out to form houses, churches and monasteries. These ancient 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. Your walk ends in Goreme where you will have your last chance to try traditional local meals at dinner time.
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Day 8. Cappadocia – Kayseri or Nevsehir airport
Departure day. Depending on which airport you need to reach, a transfer is organized to either Kayseri or Nevsehir airport.

TOUR LOCATION

Price
630 Euros/person in twin/dbl room
Single room & Solo Traveler supplement
Single room supplement: 190 Euros
Solo traveler supplement: N/A (min. group size: 2 pax)
Accommodation
You will be relaxed and enjoy your evenings at the pensions in historical places with natural beauty. All rooms have en-suite WC/shower. Take a chance to taste traditional Turkish delightful dishes while on trek or in the evenings, when dinner is not included. All breakfasts are included, as well as 4 dinners (from Day 2 to Day 5 incl.). Lunchpacks can be ordered through the accommodations, where you are staying, or on many of the days you can have a proper lunch in local restaurants.
Tips
Daily departures between the beginning of April and the end of October (June and July may be quite hot). While in the area you can also try one of the local specialties: hot air balloon tour, or book a day tour, combining a visit to the Derinkuyu Underground City (the largest underground city in Turkey and the deepest in Cappadocia) with hiking along the famous Ihlara Valley (full of Byzantine cave churches and other peculiar formations), eventually arriving at the Selime Monastery (the largest religious structure in Cappadocia, which has chambers and rooms that are connected by tunnels or winding passageways).

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