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Duration
8 days
Activities
  • guided walk
Accommodation
  • 7 nights 2* hotel
Meals
  • 7 Dinners
  • 6 Lunches
  • 7 Breakfasts

Price

$1099USD

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Overview

Trip Code: COG

Trip highlights


  • Visting Ortahisar (middle fortress) with its castle like rock formation, picturesque stone houses, narrow streets and lovely churches
  • Walking amongst the fairy chimneys and rocks of Uchisar
  • Exploring the old cave village of Cavusin with its rock cut dwellings and stone houses
  • Experiencing genuine cultural exchange with the local people
  • Discovering 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. 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 guided tour you will follow a series of trails to reach the highlights of the region such as Mustafapasa, Ortahisar (or 'middle fortress') and Goreme, to name a few. This week long walking trip explores lunar landscapes and fascinating ancient sites.

Trip Grading

moderate

More info about grading system

Traveller Rating

 

On arrival at Kayseri Airport, there will be a group transfer to Mustafapasa, where you will be staying for the duration of the trip. A group briefing will be arranged for early evening. 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 churches. There are some impressive mansions with colourful wall paintings. Drive: 1hr, 80km

Meals:  D

The days walk begins on a dirt road along the foot of a natural tumulus carved by erosion and known as Golgoli by local people. The road continues through vineyards in the direction of an interesting peak with white and brown sandstone pyramids around it. In clear weather there is a great view towards the snow caped Erciyes peak (3916m) in the distance. We ascend the smaller peak from the right and continue walking on a plateau before descending to the village of Ayvali. Experience the hospitality of the inhabitants, perhaps, with a tea-break in the local cafe. Afterwards there will be a transfer to Ortahisar where we will have lunch. After lunch we continue through vineyards to the ruins of Gomeda, one of the oldest cave churches in Cappadocia dating from the iconoclastic period. The day will finish with a transfer back to the hotel. Walk: 3-4hrs, 8km/5mi (Mustafapasa to Ayvali) and 2hrs, 5-6km/3.1-3.7mi (Ortahisar to Gomeda)

Meals:  B,L,D

We start the day with a drive to Ihlara. On the way we visit the incredible underground city of Derinkuyu (8 floors and up to 64m underground). Carved in the past as a shelter in times of siege and continuous raids, a huge hidden city under the plains of Central Anatolia. "Swiss Cheese" is the best way to explain this structure, as there are holes everywhere, including underneath your feet. Ihlara Valley is a 14km long canyon with hundreds of rooms and churches carved into the rocks. This valley was an ideal place for monks to worship in seclusion, and also provided a safe hideaway and place of defence in times of invasions. The decorations in the churches date from the 6th to the 13th centuries. After having lunch in Belisirma village we drive to Selime to visit the Selime Monastery. A visit to this monastery is a must. Afterwards we will drive back to Cappadocia. Drive: 2 hrs, 95km/59mi. Walk: 4-5hrs, 8-9km/5-5.6mi

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we will drive to Cavusin where we will start today's walk. Cavusin is one of the oldest settlements in Cappadocia. It is a small village made up of rock cut dwellings and elegantly carved stone houses. From Cavusin village we start our walk and continue in small walking paths, close to fascinating rock formations and with magnificent views of the fairy chimneys in Monks Valley (Pasabaglari) down below. The walk will bring us to the stunning Zelve open air museum where we take a walk in the ancient rock city. A five minute transfer will bring us to Monks Valley. The Pasabaglari fairy chimneys are unique and feature toadstool like caps which protect the rest of the chimney from erosion. After visiting the Pasabaglari area it is possible to walk another hour through vineyards and small roads back to Cavusin (optional). Walk: 3-4hrs, 6-8km/3.7-5mi. Ascent: 60m/196ft, descent: 70m/230ft

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we will walk to and explore one of the most beautiful valleys in Cappadocia. The Christian people in the heart of Cappadocia realised that the soft rocks could easily be carved to form houses, churches and monasteries. These Christian sanctuaries contain many examples of Byzantine art from the post-Iconoclastic period. After visiting the Goreme Open Air Museum we will start walking in the Meskendir Valley. We follow a path which is full of old cave houses and complexes from the old Christian civilization. From the Meskendir Valley we cross over to the Red Valley, with its spectacular formations and colours. Depending on the time it is possible to visit some hidden churches like the Uzumlu Church, the hidden Cross Church and the Church of Three Crosses. After walking through the Red and Rose Valleys we will arrive again in Cavusin, where our vehicle will be waiting for us. We then drive to Avanos where we will visit a Pottery studio. The ceramic trade in this district and its countless pottery factories date back to the Hittites and the ceramic clay from the red silt of the Kizilirmak River has always been used. Return to Mustafapasha. Walk: 5hrs, 9km/5.6mi. Ascent: 82m/270ft, descent: 134m/440ft.

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we will drive to the beginning of the White Valley (Akvadi). We will walk along the valley following an old river bed that is today used to grow vineyards. At around midday we will arrive in Uchisar village to visit the high viewpoint known as "The Fortress". Many of the rooms hollowed out into the rock are connected to each other with stairs, tunnels and passages. The top of the citadel provides a magnificent panoramic view of the surrounding area. Afterwards we continue our walk to the Zemi Valley, a green valley with wind eroded volcanic rocks and tall poplar trees. Depending on time there will be the opportunity to visit the El Nazar church. We will be met at the end of the valley and transferred back to the hotel. In the early evening it is possible to try a traditional Turkish bath, better known as Hamam (optional and not included). Walk: 2hrs, 6km/3.7mi, ascent 280m/920ft (Akvadi White Valley) and 2hrs, 5km/3.1mi, descent 270m/885ft (Zemi Valley).

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we will explore Mustafapasa and the Uzengi and Pancarlik Valleys. Mustafapasa was inhabited by Greek orthodox families until the beginning of the 20th century. The houses display fine examples of stonework. The important churches around Mustafapasa are the church of Aios Vasilios and the church of Constantine-Helene. Afterwards we go for a ramble on a plateau that offers a magnificent view of the Uzengi Valley. We will visit the Pancarlik valley to see the number cones and fairy chimneys, and stop at the Kepez and Sarica churches. We continue to the village of Ortahisar and then to Urgup. In Urgup we will take some time to relax and you can taste a traditional cup of Turkish Tea. The afternoon is free to explore Urgup with its small shops and pleasant cafes before we return to the hotel. Walk: 3hrs, 6km/3.7mi. Ascent: 155m/509ft, descent: 80m/263ft

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast there will be a group transfer to the airport, trip concludes.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners. Breakfasts are Turkish style and will generally include cheese (feta), olives, eggs, cucumber, tomatoes, jam, honey, bread, tea or coffee, fruits. At lunch we often go to a local restaurant where a fixed menu generally includes soup or hot and cold appetisers with fresh baked bread, main course (usually kebab varieties), salad, and dessert (fruits or baklava). Other styles of lunch include dining at a family run restaurant to have Turkish Pide bread or Gozleme (a pancake with cheese or potatoes or spinach), or Turkish Ravioli. 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 accommodation in a charming character-filled 2* hotel on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • Transfers as detailed in the itinerary
  • English speaking guide
  • Emergency hotline
  • Group arrival and departure transfer from Kayseri airport

  • Travel to and from Kayseri Airport
  • Drinks
  • All entrance fees for historical and natural sites (allow EUR 20)
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Transfers not part of the trip arrangement
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional activities including Turkish bath, etc

Grading

moderate  

MODERATE – GRADE 3 The walking is moderate (3) grade with daily walks of around 3-7 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


Notes

DN1
Self guided itineraries of 5 or 8 days are also available.

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

$1099USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Single SupplementUSD$270
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

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With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

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