The violent eruptions of the volcanoes Erciyes and Hasan three million years ago, which covered the surrounding plateau with tuff, lava and volcanic ash, are at the origin of the strangest landscape on Earth. Undergoing erosion by wind and water, this plateau was shredded, creating monumental rock formations. Rock cones, capped pinnacles and fretted ravines are the result, in colours ranging from warm red and gold to cool greens and greys. "Fairy chimneys" with flat stones on the top, and cones with distorted shapes combine to embellish the landscape in a manner almost beyond the imagination of a surrealist sculptor. Cappadocia is not only a wonder of nature. Cliff openings give access to cave dwellings, rock-cut churches, monasteries and underground cities created duringthe earliest Christian era.
Day 1: Kayseri - Cappadocia (Mustafapasa village)
Meet with our Anatolia Cultura Travel tour guide and driver at the airport of Kayseri and transfer to Cappadocia (1 hour).
Check into our accommodation in Mustafapasa, a charming town which was inhabited by Orthodox Greeks until 1923. At this date Turkey and Greece signed the Lausanne Treaty, concerning the exchange of population between the two countries. Today, you can still see Greek masonry on the exteriors of old houses.
Day 2: Monastry valley - Ayvali - Tahtali valley - Mustafapaşa
After breakfast in the pension, we start our walking through the Monastery valley. We walk along the foot of a natural tumulus carved by erosion and known as Golgoli by local people. We arrive on a plateau where we discover the village of Ayvalik. This will be an opportunity to testify the hospitality of the inhabitant with a tea-pause in the local cafe.
After our picnic, we continue among the apricot trees, before getting to the valley of Tahtali, one of most typical of Cappadocia. Then following a pleasant pathway we get down to Mustafapasa village.
Dinner and overnight in pension.
5/6 hours walk.
Day 3 : Gömeda & Pancarlik valleys
Start walking from the Gömeda valley. You will see here some cave dwellings used during the greek periods. Following the Üzengi river we will see on the walls of the valley several pigeon houses. Then well get into the Pancarlik valley. You will be pleased to discover the rock-cut church of Pancarlik with nice frecoes representing Jesus life. Our tour ends in Ortahisar village.
Drive to our hotel in Göreme.
5 hours walk
Day 4 : Derinkuyu - Ihlara valley
In the morning drive to Ihlara valley.
On the way we visit Derinkuyu the incredible underground city (8 floors, going down to 57 m under the ground).
Walk in the Ihlara valley, along the Melendiz and rhythmed by birds songs. This valley is particularly rich with flora due to presence of water. We visit certainly ones of the most beautiful orthodox Christian churches (from 6th and 12th century) with good conserved frescoes on the rock faces of the valley. We arrive in Belisirma village where we have lunch-break at the bank of the river. Then our bus drives us back to Göreme.
5 h walk and 2 h drive.
Day 5 : Zeminderesi valley and Avcilar valley
In the morning our vehicle drives us to the trailhead point of Zeminderesi valley. The valley present some geological interesting formations specialty of Cappadocia. The morning walk ends in the Love valley, where fairy chimneys are particularly attractive.
Lunch-break will be in Göreme.
After lunchbreak we drive to the trailhead of Avcilar valley. This is another interesting part of Cappadocia, the land that was born from fire !
Back to the hotel.
5 hours walk.
Day 6: Akvadi - Uçhisar - Pigeon valley - Göreme
The trailhead is at the beginning of the Akvadi (white valley) also called bağlıdere (valley of vineyard). Walk in this valley following an old river (now dried up), with fruit gardens and vineyards and fairy chimneys that are particularly slender and precarious. At noon, arrive in Uçhisar village to visit the high viewpoint known as "fortress" (a volcanic ash peak). In the afternoon, walk in the pigeon valley, called so because of the numerous "pigeonhouses" built in the 18th century. Arrive Goreme for overnight.
5 hours walk.
Day 7: Pasabaglar valley - Cavusin village - Kizilçukur valley (Göreme)
Drive to the trailhead point at the Pasabaglari valley (also called Priest valley).
Walk along a cliff dominating the most famous fairy chimneys of Cappadocia. Pass through Cavusin village, one of the first Christian settlements, visiting the old church dedicated to St. John the Baptist, where you can still recognise the fresco of Salome dancing for Herodes. Afterwards, continue to Kizilçukur (Red Valley), certainly the most beautiful valley in Cappadocia, with its magical rock formations and brilliant red colours, the result of rain and wind working together millions of years ago, to erode the soft volcanic rocks. Small valleys, cones, peaks and fairy chimneys alternate along the route. Here, man used the landscape to build cave-dwellings, and frescoed churches, which can be visited en-route.
Night in Goreme. 6 hours walk.
Day 8: Cappadocia - Kayseri
Breakfast and drive back to Kayseri airport.