Duration
8 days
Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • 7 nights simple family hotels
Meals
  • 4 Dinners
  • 7 Breakfasts

Price

$920USD

 
 

Overview

Trip Code: COF

Trip highlights


  • Ortahisar (middle fortress) with its castle like rock formation, but also picturesque stone houses, narrow streets and lovely churches
  • Walking amongst the fairy chimneys and rocks of Uchisar
  • Discovering the old cave village of Cavusin with its rock cut dwellings and stone houses
  • Experience genuine cultural exchange with the local people
  • Exploring the earth pillars, fairy chimneys and vineyards of the Pasabag Valley and Goreme

For millions of years the volcanoes of the Central Anatolian Plateau erupted over the land to create the unique rock formations and fairy chimneys that characterise Cappadocia, Turkey. Through the centuries, civilisations carved houses and churches within these rocky pillars and underground cities leaving a natural and historic legacy which continues to be a focal point for visitors to the region. Interspersed amongst these relics is a living culture of traditional villages, spectacular river valleys and rural settlements. On this week long self guided walk you will be immersed in the history and stunning lunar landscapes of this fascinating region. Following a series of trails you will explore the highlights of the region such as Mustafapasha, Ortahisar and Goreme.

Trip Grading

moderate

More info about grading system

Traveller Rating

 

On arrival at Kayseri Airport you will be met and transferred to Mustafapasha. The village was formerly known as Sinasos during Ottoman times and was inhabited by Greeks until 1924. The Greeks built many of the churches, and you'll also find some impressive mansions with colourful wall paintings. Overnight in a comfortable pension. Transfer time from Kayseri: 1 hour (80km)

Meals:  Nil

This morning from Mustafapasa you take the asphalt road out of the village and continue on small walking paths and roads through the Pancarlik Valley towards Ortahisar village. In Pancarlik Valley you will see numerous cones and fairy chimneys decorating the way and it is also possible to visit Sarica and Pancarlik churches for their architectural interest. Ortahisar 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. Walking: 10.7km/6.7mi, ascent: 323m1060ft, descent: 305m/1000ft

Meals:  B,D

You start walking in Ortahisar and follow roads passing vineyard gardens until you reach the village of Ibrahimpasa, where the historical stone bridge and original Greek stone houses draw your attention. It's a small village with an authentic atmosphere. In Ibrahimpasa we suggest tasting a cup of traditional Turkish Tea, better known as cay. From Ibrahimpasa village a path will lead you down to a beautiful scenic valley, then on small walking paths you will continue back to Ortahisar village, accompanied by amazing geological formations. Walking: 8km/5mi, ascent: 315m/1033ft, descent: 226m/741ft OPTION TO WALK IN THE ILHARA VALLEY - supplement applies. This is available on days 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and replaces the day's hike listed on the usual itinerary. Must be requested at time of booking & please advise us of your preferred day to book this: Walk the Ilhara Valley and explore the Selime Monastery (4-5hrs) This morning a transfer will take you to the Ihlara Valley (approx 1-2hrs each way, 95km approx.). Our vehicle will drop you at the entrance point of the Ihlara Valley, which is a 14km long canyon with hundreds of rock-cut rooms and churches. It proved to be an ideal place for Monks to worship in seclusion, as well as providing a safe hideaway and place of defence for people during times of invasion. There are numerous dwellings, some of which are connected by tunnels and corridors. The decorations in the churches date from the 6th to the 13th centuries. Midway through the Ihlara Valley, you will arrive in Belisirma village, a great place to have have lunch at a riverside restaurant. Afterwards you can carry on hiking in the valley to Selime Monastery. A visit to this complex of buildings on a steep mountain slope is a must in the region. Please exercise caution at this site as there are exposed sections. Later you will meet with our vehicle and driver in front of the Selime Monastery and drive back to the hotel. Walking: 14km. ascent: 264m; descent: 374m

Meals:  B,D

After breakfast, you will take the paved road out of Ortahisar village and enter the Meskendir Valley, following the path which is full with old Cave houses and complexes from the old Christian civilization. From the Meskendir Valley you cross over to the Red Valley, the most beautiful valley in Cappadocia with its spectacular geological formations and colours. In Red Valley it is possible to visit some hidden churches like the Uzumlu church (Grape church / Red Valley), the hidden Cross Church and the Church of the Three Crosses (Rose Valley) which have been carved out of the cliff face. The common belief is the churches date back to the 8/9th century, with their decorative reliefs and frescoes added in the 10/11th Century. After walking through the Red & Rose valley you will arrive in Cavusin, where you spend the next two nights. Walking: 10.3km/6.5mi, ascent 282m/925ft, descent 429m/1407ft

Meals:  B,D

Starting your walk from Cavusin you walk up the Bozdag summit route and proceed along the trail accompanied by views of Cappadocia. After crossing a few more small hills on the summit plateau, you will reach the flagpole and have magnificent views of the whole area. You then start your descent to the Balkan route, which runs parallel to Bozdag. Enjoying the views of the Red and Rose Valley landscapes, return to Cavusin. Walking: 10km/6.2mi, ascent 365m/1198ft, descent 365m/1197ft

Meals:  B,D

After breakfast you will leave Cavusin village and walk to the trailhead at the beginning of the Akvadi (White Valley). Walk along the valley following an old river bed, used today for vineyards, where a section at the beginning of the valley is especially worth seeing. By 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, continue through the Pigeon Valley with spectacular views of the natural cliffs and handmade caves and passes through a few tunnels carved into the rock. Your walk ends in Goreme village, where you will stay for two nights. Walking: 12km/7.5mi, ascent 419m/1374ft, descent 406m/1332ft

Meals:  B

On stabilized roads you will walk out of Goreme village and enter 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, which 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 Christians at the heart of the Cappadocia realized that the soft rocks could be easily carved out to form houses, churches and monasteries. These 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. Walking: 12km/7.5mi, ascent 301m/987ft, descent 292m/958ft

Meals:  B

After breakfast there will be a transfer to the airport, where the trip concludes. Transfer time: 1 hour.

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts and 4 dinners - Breakfasts are Turkish style and will generally include cheese (feta), olives, eggs, cucumber, tomatoes, jam, honey, bread, tea or coffee, fruits. Dinner is a fixed menu; soup or hot and cold appetisers with fresh baked bread, main course (usually kebab varieties), salad, and dessert (fruits or baklava).
  • 7 nights simple family hotels with ensuite facilities
  • Daily luggage transfer with option to skip some walks and travel with luggage
  • Information pack including route notes (one per room booked), GPS Tracks are available on request (recommended)
  • Airport transfers as described

  • Travel to and from Kayseri airport
  • Meals not indicated above – allow approx. EUR 20 per dinner and total EUR 70 for lunches
  • Drinks
  • All entrance fees for historical and natural sites (allow EUR 30)
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Transfers not part of the trip arrangement
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional activities can be arranged in addition to the trip, eg, hot air balloon ride, a cooking class
  • Option to walk in the Ihlara valley - supplement applies. This is available on days 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and replaces the day's hike listed on the usual itinerary. Must be requested at time of booking.

Accommodation


Grading

moderate  

The walking is moderate (3) grade with daily walks of around 3-5 hours per day. There are some steep sections over loose trails during the walk and such sections of the trail require care. 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.


Departure dates

Daily from 1 Mar to 15 Nov (excluding Jul and Aug)

Notes

DN1
It is possible to include an itinerary variation to walk through the Ilhara Valley - additional charge applies. See trip notes for details (can be requested on any day from 3-7 and will replace that day's standard itinerary).
DN2
We do not recommend this trip for solo travellers. A guided tour is available - see trip code COG.

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$920USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Ilhara Valley option (pp) - min 2 peopleUSD$140
  • Single SupplementUSD$250
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


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