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Cappadocia on Foot

Cappadocia on Foot

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

Trip Summary

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. Following a series of trails to reach the highlights of the region such as Mustafapasha, Ortahisar (or 'middle fortress') and Goreme to name a few, this walking trip explores lunar landscapes and fascinating ancient sites. In the evening, you'll stay in a combination of comfortable family run hotels, a troglodyte hotel and village houses to gain a true appreciation of the warm local hospitality.

Suitability

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.

Itinerary

On arrival at Kayseri Airport (or Nevsehir), you will be met and transferred to Mustafapasa, overnight pension. 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. Transfer time: 1 hour

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 you will have a great view towards the snow caped Erciyes peak (3916m) in the distance. You 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 locals, perhaps, with a tea-break in the local cafe. You stay overnight at a village house in Ayvali. Distance walked: 8km. Ascend 250m, descend 190m

Meals:  B,D

The trail today takes you through vineyards on the east side of the Gomeda Valley. At one point the road goes down in the valley and you start walking on a single track path following the river. The Gomeda Valley is very picturesque, rich in rock houses, bird houses, rock arches, small vegetable yards and abundant vegetation. After around 2 hours walking in the shade of the valley you turn west and go up and out of the valley on a dirt road until you reach Ortahisar, famous for its natural fortress. Overnight village house. Distance walked: 14km. Ascend 240m, descend 320m

Meals:  B,D

Today’s walk will take you down to Zemi Valley known for its rock churches and rich vegetation. Following a small river on a single track surrounded by rich versatile flora, high white sand rocks, you pass by small vegetable yards and go under natural rock arches. In the sky it is common to spot kestrels flying around the rocks. A sandy dirt road takes you out of the valley. Accommodation at a pension in Uchisar. Distance walked: 10km. Ascend 250, descend 150m

Meals:  B,D

The walk today is one of the shortest but also one of the best. You start walking in the famous Love valley (Baglidere valley) with one of the most picturesque fairy chimneys in Cappadocia. Enjoy the marvelous sculptures made by nature and sense the mystic spirit of the valley. It is most likely that you will spot a turtle or a rabbit while walking. As you exit the valley you will reach Cavusin on a sandy dirt road. Overnight at pension in Cavusin. Distance walked: 7/8km. Ascend 80m, descend 200m

Meals:  B,D

A long but exciting walk awaits today. From Cavusin you start an ascent on a good single track path passing through beautiful red, orange and white sand pyramids until you reach Pasabagi. Take a rest and visit the rock churches nearby. You continue the walk to the stunning Zelve Open Air Museum. Take a walk in the ancient rock city and enjoy a lunch in a restaurant in the rocks. In the afternoon you ascend a tunnel like path surrounded with sand pyramids which takes you to the top of Bozdag Plateau. The path takes you along the edge of the plateau with great views of Zelve Open Air Museum and Urgup town. Finally you descend to reach the path to Cavusin. Overnight at a pension in Cavusin. Distance walked: 6/7km. Ascend 320m /descend 300m

Meals:  B,D

The walk today is in the direction of Goreme following mainly dirt roads. First you will visit some interesting rock churches in Gulludere (Rose Valley) and then continue on a small ridge to the main road and Goreme open air museum. After a visit of the museum you reach the town of Goreme on the main asphalt road. Overnight in a hotel in Goreme. Distance walked: 7/8km. Ascend 450m, descend 400m

Meals:  B

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

Meals:  B

Variation to include Ilhara Valley

On arrival at Kayseri Airport, you will be met and transferred to Mustafapasa, overnight pension. 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. Transfer time: 1 hour

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 you will have a great view towards the snow caped Erciyes peak (3916m) in the distance. You 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. You stay overnight at a village house in Ayvali. Distance walked: 8km. Ascend 250m, descend 190m

Meals:  B,D

The trail today takes you through vineyards on the east side of the Gomeda Valley. At one point the road goes down in the valley and you start walking on a single track path following the river. The Gomeda Valley is very picturesque, rich in rock houses, bird houses, rock arches, small vegetable yards and abundant vegetation. After around 2 hours walking in the shade of the valley you turn west and go up and out of the valley on a dirt road until you reach Ortahisar, famous for its natural fortress (note: it is no longer possible to climb the fortress). Overnight village house. Distance walked: 14km. Ascend 240m, descend 320m

Meals:  B,D

Today’s walk will take you down to Zemi Valley known for its rock churches and rich vegetation. Following a small river on a single track surrounded by rich versatile flora, high white sand rocks, you pass by small vegetable yards and go under natural rock arches. In the sky it is common to spot kestrels flying around the rocks. A sandy dirt road takes you out of the valley. Accommodation at a pension in Uchisar. Distance walked: 10km. Ascend 250, descend150m

Meals:  B,D

The walk today is one of the shortest but also one of the best. You start walking in the famous Love valley (Baglidere valley) with one of the most picturesque fairy chimneys in Cappadocia. Enjoy the marvelous sculptures made by nature and sense the mystic spirit of the valley. It is most likely that you will spot a turtle or a rabbit while walking. As you exit the valley you will reach Chavusin on a sandy dirt road. Overnight at pension in Cavusin. Distance walked: 7/8km. Ascend 80m, descend 200m

Meals:  B,D

The walk today is in the direction of Goreme following mainly dirt roads. First you will visit some interesting rock churches in Gulludere (Rose Valley) and then continue on a small ridge to the main road and Goreme open air museum. After a visit of the museum you reach the town of Goreme on the main asphalt road. Overnight in a hotel in Goreme. Distance walked: 7/8km. Ascend 450m, descend 400m

Meals:  B,D

This morning you will have a transfer to the Ilhara Valley. Journey time is between 1 to 2 hours each way (95km approx.). Our vehicle will drop you at the entrance point of the Ihlara Valley. Ihlara Valley is a 14km long canyon with hundreds of rock cut rooms and churches. This valley proved to be an ideal place for Monks to worship in seclusion, as well as provide a safe hideaway and place of defense 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 Goreme. Distance walked: 14km. Valley walk with little elevation except to visit the churches.

Meals:  B

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

Meals:  B

What's Included

  • Meals include 7 breakfasts and 6 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 accommodation in simple hotels and pensions on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • Daily luggage transfer with option to skip some walks and travel with luggage
  • Information kit including detailed maps and directions per room booked
  • Airport transfers as described (from/to Kayseri or Nevsehir airports)

What's Not Included

  • Travel to and from Kayseri or Nevsehir Airport
  • Meals not indicated above – allow approx. EUR 15 for dinner on Day 1 and EUR 65 for lunches
  • 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

Upcoming Travel Dates

AT A GLANCE

Duration:8 Days
Countries:Turkey
Starting Point:Kayseri
Activities:SELF GUIDED WALK
Grade:Moderate  Click for more information
Trip Code:COF
Prices From:GBP£580 Per Person
Single Supplement:GBP£100  Click for more information
Single Traveller Surcharge:GBP£270  Click for more information