Cappadocia Tours

Kapadokya

Cappadocia is famous for its fairy chimney lunar landscape sculpted by wind and rain into soft volcanic tuff or pumice like stone. Byzantine Christians carved churches into rock and hewed out underground cities descending hundreds of feet below the earth, in order to escape persecution. There are over 3,500 rock churches in the area, of which over a thousand have been carved in the porous Cappodocian rock, and decorated with frescoes.

Day 1

A tour of this amazing area starts with an exploration of three valleys: the Dervent, the Zelve, and the Monk’s Valley or Pasabag, which boast the oldest examples of Cappadocian architecture, including elaborate cave dwellings carved into the rock by the early members of monastic orders.

Wander through the spectacular open-air museum of Goreme, adorned by fairy chimneys and early Byzantine Churches(11th-13th century) such as the Karanlik Kilise (the Dark Church) and the Elmali Kilise( The Apple Church). The Karanlik Kilise contains the best preserved frescoes, whilst The Elmali Kilise contains a scene of the Ascension with the faces of the Apostles in astounding detail. People inhabited caves carved into the fairy chimneys until very recently. Leaving the open-air museum, visit the Tokali Church (The Buckle Church) renouned for its very large cript and dominate blue frescoes.

Appropaching Avanos, the lunar landscape gives way to a fertile plain created by The Kizilirmak or Red River, named after the red clay which has made Avanos a center for terra cotta work since 3000BC. Throw clay on a potter’s wheel during a traditional pottery workshop. Then end this stunning day, enjoying a glass of Cappodocian wine.

Day 2

One of the best things one can do in Cappodocia is to gain a bird's eye view of this extraordinary landscape from a hot air balloon. The flight beginning at sunrise, lasts for one hour and glides at both high and low altitude, offering outstanding views of this rare volcanic topography

Crouch over and shuffle around the troglodyte city of Kaymakli getting real insight into the communal lifestyle of the early Christians who survived underground in living quarters resembling rabbit warrens. See kitchens blackened by smoke, storage spaces carved into the rocks, a winery and even subterranean stables.

Move on from man-made carvings to the natural sculpting of the Melendiz River which has created the Ihlara Canyon. Enjoy sightings of birds of prey and natural flowers on the walk to Belisirma Village, the ancient Peristrema: "Valley of the Sky".

Wind up the day at Uchisar, an extraordinary volcanic rock formation towering above it’s surrounding plain. This rock, perforated with tunnels and look out windows, was once used as a fortification and offers a magnificent panoramic view of Cappadocia and Mt. Erciyes.

Optional Evening Activity: Whirling Dervishes Ceremony at the Sarihan Caravansarai Dervish sects, based on the philosophies of Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi, believe in principles of universal love and the oneness of creation. This oneness is expressed in the sema, a ritual "whirling" dance enacted to create a sphere of divine reality. The Mevlevi, believe that purity of heart, peace with self and the universe, and the search for perfection gained through this ritual dance, brings them closer to God. A Dervishes' outstretched arms, with one hand facing the heavens and the other facing the earth, symbolizes man as a bridge between heaven and earth.

The best rite of the Whirling Dervishes can be seen in the timeless, old caravan Sarihan Caravansarai, on an old trade route between Aksaray and Kayseri. The ceremony starts at 9:00pm and ends at 10:15pm.