BYZANTINE ART & CAVES TOUR

BYZANTINE ART & CAVES TOUR

Discover the best frescoes in their natural settings in Cappadocia with this one-day private tour.

Tour Plan

Our first visit was to St. Jean’s Church (Karşi Kilise) near Gulsehir, a village on the Red River. This cave church has two floors and dates (according to inscriptions) to 1212. The lower level of the church is in the shape of a cross, with simple designs and patterns of red ochre applied directly to the rock. This lower area also houses wine cellars, tombs, waterways and living quarters. The upper level contains vivid New Testament scenes, including the Last Judgment scene, which is rarely seen in Cappadocian churches. After lunch, we will explore the magnificent Church of St. John the Baptist in the old village of Cavusin. Located on the side of the mountain – we will walk among the ruins of the ancient city carved into the cliff until we reach the church, which is the largest cave church in Cappadocia – although it has been broken into three due to erosion around the supports Part of the structure in recent years.The painting has faded somewhat, but the outlines of the once exquisite scene can still be vaguely discerned. Next stop is the seldom-visited El Nazar, carved into an isolated fairy chimney at the entrance to the Zemi Valley. We continue on to the picturesque “Pancarlik” valley (beetroot valley) – the name comes from the bright pink waves in the landscape. Pancal Church and Abbey sits in the lower valley, surrounded by vineyards and rolling hills. Cut Cave Church depicts scenes from the life of Christ from the New Testament. Above the church are the living quarters, and a little further down the valley there are monastery cave structures to explore. The last stop of the day is the Grape Church in Red Valley, where you can spend time admiring the beautiful floral murals.

The famous mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys and St. Simeon’s monk cell carved into the rock of Paşabag make it an important stop for travelers.

The Old Zelve underground town is a former cave dwelling with chambers of both religious and secular nature. Next on the tour will be the Zelve Open-Air Museum, which housed one of the largest cave towns in the region. Now Old Zelve is a ghost town, but travelers can still explore The Church with Fishes, The Church with Grapes and The Church with Deer.

For a photo stop, we visit Devrent Rock formations shaped like animals. From there, we head to Çavuşin for lunch. Afterwards, we’ll see a pottery demonstration and guests are welcome to give it a try.

Our tour continues with Kaymakli Underground City, a significantly deeper cave system than most others in Cappadocia. Your local tour guide will explain the defensive purposes of multi-level underground cities carved by residents who sought to hide from attackers. You can also see traces of daily life such as stables, wineries, temples, living quarters, air shafts and more throughout the tour. You return to your designated hotel after dusk on each evening of the tour.

Including: Licensed English speaking guide, Transportation with A/C vehicles, Lunch, Entrance fees, All taxes

Excluding: Beverages at lunch, Tips, Personel expenses

from 220€

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