3 DAYS PRIVATE CAPPADOCIA TOUR
Esentepe, Rose Valley hike, Göreme Open Air Museum, 3 beauties, Paşabağ, Devrent Valley, Avanos, Kaymakli, Ihlara Valley, Selime Monastery, Mustafapaşa, Sobesos, Soğanli Valley
Our professional tour guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel at 9:30 am. The first stop is Esentepe, an impressive viewpoint overlooking Goreme. Here, your guide will tell you about Cappadocia’s history and unique rock formations. From here we will visit the starting point of Rose Valley, an easy 1 hour hike through fairy chimneys, orchards and vineyards. Our next stop is Goreme Open Air Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your guide will explain the importance of the cave church frescoes, which are decorated with scenes from the Old and New Testaments from the 10th century. This place has been used as a monastery since the early days of Christianity. For lunch we went to a nice restaurant in Goreme. After lunch, we stopped at several photo spots along the way – including the fairy chimneys of the Urgup family, the animal-shaped rock formations of Devrent and the Valley of the Monks with its famous mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys, and the rock-cut monks’ cell of San Simeon. The first day ends in Avanos, a picturesque riverside town that supplies clay for the 4,000-year-old Avanos pottery tradition. A kick-wheel demonstration by a local potter and your chance to try this ancient custom rounds off our day. You will return to the hotel around 17:00.
Day 2 of your private Cappadocia tour also begins at 9:30 AM. Our first stop was the amazing underground city of Kemakli. Carved by the Hittites some 3,500 years ago, this multi-storey underground city was the main refuge of early Christians from raiding enemies in the 6th and 7th centuries. Kaymakli is one of the largest underground cities in Cappadocia with 8 floors including stables, temples and wineries. After leaving Kaymakli we continue south into the beautiful green valley of Ihlara. We hike for about 1 hour along the Melendiz River, which winds through the Ihlara Gorge, before stopping for lunch at a riverside restaurant in the village of Belisirma. After lunch, we continue to Selim Monastery, the largest rock monastery in Cappadocia with a large cave cathedral and stunning views of the area. On the way back to Goreme we stop at a spectacular viewpoint overlooking Pigeon Valley.
We depart from your hotel at 9:30 AM and drive to Mustafa Pasa, famous for its beautiful architecture. Before the Turkish-Greek population exchange in 1924, Mustafa Passa was one of the largest Greek cities in Cappadocia. Your guide will share information about one of the world’s largest population exchanges, which displaced some two million people from their homes. In Mustafapasa we see Greek mansions and churches and the Islamic high school Medrese seminary. Next stop is Keslik Monastery, home to one of the rare iconoclastic examples of Cappadocian wall painting. We look at these remarkable frescoes and talk about the iconoclastic period (726-843 AD) when the Byzantine emperors banned such frescoes. Afterwards we drive to Sahinefendi to visit the archaeological site of Sobesos. Archaeologists have recently (last 10 years) started excavating in the area and continue to discover many important artifacts. At this archaeological site we can see Roman baths, tombs, basilicas and mosaics. From Sahinefendi we continue to Soganli valley. Soganli was once the third largest monastic center in the region, with many cave churches and beautiful valleys to hike. Before starting our walking tour, we will have lunch at a local restaurant and visit the famous Soganli dolls made by the women of this village. After an afternoon trek through the Soganli Valley, we will drive back to your hotel. If you are interested in Turkish rugs, we can also visit one of the local rug workshops on the way to learn about the traditional rug making process. Cappadocia remains the largest carpet weaving region in Turkey.
Including: Licensed English speaking guide, Transportation with A/C vehicles, Lunch, Entrance fees, All taxes
Excluding: Beverages at lunch, Tips, Personel expenses