- Explore Cappadocia, a masterpiece of nature
- Breathtaking Hot Air Balloon ride
- Visit volcanic lands and whole new landscapes
Thanks to the soft volcanic material (tufa) and the erosion of millions of years by the wind and the rain, the whole area looks like a fantastic, fairy-tale land. Strange rock formations take the form of huge boulders jutting out from the ground at some places and at other times they form eye pleasing, smoothly curved valleys. varying in color and shape. These “fairy chimneys” and the beautiful valleys make one of nature’s most surprising masterpieces. Cappadocia is a heaven for nature lovers as well as those interested in history, agriculture, Sufism, folklore, arts and crafts.
We start the second day with hot air balloon tour early in the morning. We begin from a high point to view the region before a gentle descent down to the region’s most dramatic landscape of Rose and Red Valleys with unique “fairy chimney” rock towers. Your guide will explain how the geology of Cappadocia formed and its social and historical contexts. Moving on in a fantastic undulating track passes through an unbelievable area of cave dwellings, rock cut churches and even a monastery complex called Church with Columns for a drink. Approximately 2 hr long hike will end in the cozy Çavuşin Village before we stop for a leisurely and enjoyable meal at a highly rated restaurant.
In the afternoon we’ll discover Göreme Open-Air Museum, a big monastic settlement and multiple rock-cut chapels and churches with the best preserved frescoes dating from early to middle Christian Era. This is where Christian teaching spread this new faith across Anatolia. Final visit will be to Avanos pottery studios, family owned and operated, in caves producing the finest red and white clay ceramics since ancient times. We will complete the day at Saruhan Caravansarai, an unforgettable ambiance with its historical texture and architectural structure hosting a Whirling Dervish ritual; the natural lighting of this environment will work deep into your soul. This massive structure on the central route of The Silk Road dates back from the time of Mevlana also known as Rumi.
On the third day, we drive to one of the massive complexes called Underground City that served as military garrison as well as public shelter in case regional safety was endangered by invaders during the 7th-9th Centuries. The maze of the living quarters underneath includes a refectory and kitchen, chapel, storages for food, ventilation shaft reaching over 40 meters below the ground. Afterwards we head for Love valley with small fields, lush vegetation and strange rock formations. Here you will find the tallest fairy chimneys and have a chance to drink fresh orange juice. We then drive to Ortahisar Town and walk around the village for a chat with the locals. Across the small gorge is a stunning view of the so-called castle with residential units cut out of tufa all around.
On our final day we’ll be immersing in local cultures along the Soğanli Valley. Mustafapaşa was an old Roman town known as Sinassos and in 1920s its Roman/Greek
Ortodox population was exchanged with Turkish Muslims from Macedonia. Even after a century both culture remains strong in oral tradition as well as in the details and artwork of stunning civil architecture examples to be witnessed during an easy stroll in town. We will have our final lunch in Ürgüp with some free time before heading back to airport for flight to Istanbul.
Who This Experience Is Good For
Anyone who is interested in history, culture and nature.
Early morning flight to Kayseri from Istanbul. Meet with the guide at Kayseri Airport. Kayseri, Paşabağ. Sunset horse riding (optional)
Hot air ballooning, hiking, Rose and Red valleys, Goreme Open Air Museum, Avanos, Saruhan Caravanserai (Dervish ritual)
Love Valley, Ortahisar, Underground City,
Sinassos, Soganli Valley, Mustafapasa, free time in Ürgüp. Transfer to the airport and fly to Istanbul.
Meet Our Local Host
Aydın Kudu is a distinguished tour guide and a travel expert, photographer and documentary film maker. He is National Geographic’s local expert. When writers, photographers or filmmakers work in Turkey he guides them, interpreting Turkey’s culture, history and language. He has been an active tourist guide in all over Turkey since 1987.
- 3 nights at a boutique hotel
- Whirling dervish ritual
- All breakfasts and 4 lunches
- Entrance fees to museums and sites
- Main group transfers
- Group van during included programs
- Professional Tour Guide
- Hot Air Balloon Ride (weather depending)
What's Not Included
- Anything not mentioned above
- Soft and alcoholic drinks during meals
- Tips and gratuities
- Biking US$ 50/ Per Hour
- Horse Riding US$ 25 / Per Hour
- Minimum Needed: 8 people
- Maximum Capacity: 25 people
- Booking Deadline: 10 days before the trip
- Weather Dependent: Yes - Hot Air Balloon Ride is subject to the weather conditions. If the civil aviation authority do not allow balloons to take off, we will have to wait for the next morning. Cappadocia has one of the most suitable weather conditions in the world, so, keep fingers crossed)
- Difficulty Level: Easy - no experience necessary.
- Special Clothing Required: January will be cold, winter clothing is essential.
- Special Dietary Restrictions: All dietary needs catered
- Extra Cash: Needed for tipping or additional services
- Please be reminded that order of activities may need to be changed due to weather conditions and availability of visits.
- Recommended flights:
Frequently Asked Questions
This is a fantastic adventure to central Turkey, and a world away from the hustle and bustle of Istanbul. The ancient sites and cave hotels and dwellings are fascinating, and the other-worldly landscape of Cappadocia is a blast to explore by foot on one the hikes through the area and of course from the air by the hot-air balloons that Cappadocia is famous for! Our guide, Aydin was very familiar with the various villages in the area, knows all the best shops and restaurants and was able to give us for a chance to see what daily life is like in central Turkey. Aydin helped us to make the most of our time in Cappadocia and this side trip is a must when visiting Istanbul!