Active Cappadocia


TOUR OVERVIEW

Tour offers you an adventurous exploration of Cappadocia with various activities.You can ride your bike along unique volcanic valleys,discover the hidden churches on a hike or you can ride famous Anatolian horses on a lunar tapography.Active Cappadocia tour is a great combination of top highlights and off the beaten track activities to experience the different aspects of the region.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

Balloon Ride-Witness the astonishing geography from the bird's-eye view

Kaymaklı Underground City-Admire the subterranean settlements.

Uçhisar Castle-Enjoy the view from the top of the highest fairy chimney.

Göreme Open Air Museum-See the best preserved rock churches

Paşabağı-Admire the three headed ''fairy chimneys''

Avanos-Experience the pottery making in a characteristic town of Cappadocia

Mustafapaşa-Stroll around the Old Greek town.

Red Valley-Walk in the martian landscape.

ITINERARY

DAY 1 Visit Open Air Museum and Underground city,see Paşabağları and Dervent valleys, horse riding in the sunset

In the morning we start with a short photo break. The spot has a tremendous view overlooking Göreme town and formations with the volcano at the background.Then we drive to Kaymaklı Underground city. Underground cities are one the top highlights of Cappadocia.They were the living quarters and shelters of the locals during war times throughout the history.Although the first inhabitants are thought to be Hittites,most of them were reformed and enlarged by christian communities against Arab-Sasanids raids.With long passages,labyrinth tunnels,chapels,vineries and a big number of storages,they are more like subterranean villages with the capacity of thousands.Kaymaklı underground city is one of the largest in the region consisting of 4 floors open to public.It was listed as a World Heritage site in 1985.Then we drive to Göreme open air museum.Here we see the best preserved churches of the region.Cappadocia was inhabited by early christians in the 4th century from Caesera(Kayseri).They formed a Monastic life which was flourished and expanded in the 7th century.Monasteries,chapels and cathedrals were carved in to the rocks.Göreme open air museum hosts the best of them that dates back to 11.-12. century AD.These rock-cut shrines are richly painted with ochre and other herbal dyes which reflects early Christian renaissance.After having lunch in the town we drive to Paşabağları.It is also called monks valley as the fairy chimneys(monolith rock formations) were inhabited by hermits,St Simeons life style was adopted here.We stroll around unique three headed fairy chimneys then pass on to Dervent Valley.It is widely known as imagination valley.Here,valley slopes and hilltops have been formed distinctively as a result of the strong erosion by the wind and floods.Camel,Napoleon hat and Virgin Marry shapes are the most well known ones the rest will be up to your imagination.We continue on to Avanos town. It is divided by Red river which is the longest river of the country.With the old mansions and charming river side,it is one of the most characteristic town of Cappadocia. Beside tourism and agriculture,pottery making has been dominating the economy of the town for 4000 years.There we have a chance visit one the workshops and experience pottery making there.Then we drive to horse farm where we start sunset riding from.The name of Cappadocia derives from Hittite word''Katpatuka'' which means ' land of beautiful horses'.The existence of well bred Cappadocian horses were widely known in ancient era.They were so famous with their speed,stamina and agility that Assurian King Asurbanibal demanded around 2000 horses as a tax when he captured Cappadocia in the 7.century B.C.During Ottoman period the supplies of steeds for cavalry were also provided from here.We have a safety briefing at the farm first then we start the sunset ride towards the hill called ''Ziyaret tepe'' enjoying the view of Avanos town and magical skyline of Cappadocia.The horseback ride takes 2 hours and suitable for beginers.Then we return to the hotel.

DAY 2 Cycle along the Love valley,visit Uçhisar Castle and see old Greek town Mustafapaşa.

Optional hot air balloon ride.Cappadocia is one of the best hot air balloon ride spots in the world.Early in the morning dozens of balloons take of and form a stunning skyline in the region.As it is the best way to witness the picturesque formations entirely,it has become the most popular activity and highlight of the region.

In the morning we start with cycling along the Love valley.The route goes through the vineyards ascend to Uchisar town on a dirt road.There we have a chance to walk up to the castle. It is a naturally formed rock structure with full of caves used as dwellings,storages and stalls.As it is the highest spot of central Cappadocia,It was always a strategic point during war times.Carry on cycling across the Pigeon valley descend to Göreme.We finish the cycling and have lunch here.Then we head off to Soğanlı valley.Situated at the south east of the region,Soğanlı is an off the beaten path.Due to the severe earthquakes and strong erosions,deep valleys have been formed here.The valley was inhabited by Romans first and it was transformed to a monastic complex during Byzantine era.We walk around conic structures and explore the hidden churches.It is also a great chance to observe the local village life.We continue to another authentic town,Mustafapaşa. It is the most well known Greek town of Cappadocia.Mustafapaşa ,also known as Sinasos was a prosperous town of Greek merchants untill 1924.After the population exchange between Turkey and Greece, it was abondoned and partly reinhabited by Turkish families from Macedonia.We see some of the elaborate mansions and houses that witnessed the days of glory and an Ottoman Medrasah which is a modern college today.Return to the hotel. Cycling 3 hrs 10 kms.

DAY 3 Walk Pancarlık and Red valley,visit Zelve open air museum.

We have a short transfer to Pancarlık valley.We start to hike from the remnants of a monastery.The route meanders along the stream and pass through the green fields.The valley is surrounded by high rock structures and caves which are used as dwellings,storages and graves by the locals.We follow the path crossing the stream several times to a ridge where we admire the extensive dove cotes.Doves Guanos were used to fertilise the fields by locals.As they contain 15 percent nitrogen,they were nutritionally beneficial for the dry soils like Cappadocia.There are thousands of lofts carved out of rock faces around the region.At the end of the valley we ascend on a dirt road to the Ortahisar town.Meet the bus and have a short transfer to red valley.We have lunch in the valley in one of the coolest restourants of Cappadocia. We have andulating walk in the afternoon over the ridges of Red and Rose valleys.Due to its dominant red color,and alien landscape,red valley is one of the most dramatic spots of the region.We explore the most hidden chapels and caves en route.We finish the walk in Cavuşin village.It is another old Greek town which was inhabited until the devastating earth quakes in 1950's.There are rock-cut houses,stalls and chaples can still be visited on the hill top.We finish the walk here.Then we have optional invigorating Turkish Bath experience in the town.Return to the hotel.(walk 13 kms)

After dinner we have a chance to see Whriling Dervishes,(an active meditation of Sufi dervishes of Mevlevi order) or Turkish Night where you can experience the variety of regional folk dances.

TOUR INFORMATION

Includes

3 Lunch,air conditioned bus,English speaker lecienced tour guide,passenger insurance,enterance fees at the sites written in the itinerary,cycling equipments(bike,helmet etc),

Excludes

Drinks,gratitudes for tour staff,personal expenses.

Tour staff

Tour guide and driver.

Season

Spring,Summer and Autumn.

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