Cappadocia

1.     Join tour Kayseri Airport

Arrive Kayseri Airport and transfer to Ihlara Valley.

2.     Walking in the Ihlara Valley

Waking up in Ihlara we begin to see the unique erosion in the volcanic soil for which Cappadocia is so famous. The narrow, steep-sided Ihlara valley, dotted with rock cut churches, was once the favourite retreat of Byzantine monks. This valley was formed by primeval earthquakes and the once rushing river is now a quiet stream. We start our first walk from Ihlara this morning walking via the village of Belisirma to Selime at the northern end of the peaceful Ihlara Valley before returning by bus to our hotel. As we walk along the winding valley, with cliffs reaching up to 170m in some places, we see small garden cultures that originally would have provided for the colonies making them self-sufficient. There are many rock-cut churches in this valley with well preserved frescoes dating from the 9th century.

3.     Visit Kaymakli underground city. Walk in Zemi Valley

This morning we drive via the Underground City at Kaymakli to Goreme. In the afternoon we take a circular walk through Zemi valley. We will walk through local farming areas, following by the stream , the path is mostly downhill and will end at the hotel. In the evening there may be the opportunity to have a Turkish bath. An invigorating scrub followed by a relaxing massage is perfect at the end of an afternoon's walking.

4.     Walk along Ayvadi Valley to Uchisar 'Castle'. Walk to Goreme via Pigeon Valley

This morning we walk in Akvadi (White) Valley where we can appreciate the geology of the region. Three volcanoes erupted 10 million years ago, spreading ash all over the region. This hardened into a soft porous stone called tufa. Wind, water and sand have eroded portions of the tufa to form the almost alien landscape which we see today. This afternoon we explore the region of Uchisar, an area renowned for its number of 'fairy chimneys'. These remarkable structures are formed as a result of a hard boulder being caught in the tufa so that as the erosion process occurs, it leaves the boulder delicately perched on top of the slender pillar. We also visit Uchisar 'Castle' which, situated high on a rocky outcrop, gives commanding views of the entire region. The afternoon is spent walking along Pigeon Valley to Goreme, where we visit a traditional Turkish tea shop and learn how to make Turkish tea and coffee.

5.     Walk to the old Greek village of Mustafapasa. Visit Goreme Open Air Museum. Turkish cookery lesson

Today we walk from Bahceli village to the fascinating old Greek village of Mustafapasa which we then have time to explore. We return to Goreme and visit the famous Goreme Open Air Museum, with its fairy chimneys and rock cut churches. In the evening we have a Turkish cookery lesson. Supper is included.

6.     Walk up Bozdag to Cappadocia's highest point. Take a pottery lesson

This morning we transfer to Cavusin and walk up Bozdag to Cappadocia's highest point to enjoy the views. Later in a local restaurant we learn how to make gozleme (Turkish pancakes) before driving to the local town of Avanos, famous for its pottery. Here we take a pottery class and have the opportunity to explore this riverside town.

7.     Walk in Pancarlik and Kizilcukur Valleys to Cavusin

The little visited Pancarlik Valley is close by and we spend the morning walking through it admiring the unusual formations. We continue onto Kizilcukur Valley. Sometimes known as the 'red hole', Kizilcukur is probably the hottest valley in the region. Hidden in its array of fairy chimneys is The Church with Grapes where there are frescoes depicting viticulture and fruit growing. (The wine produced here now is very sweet and heavy.) We reach the small village of Cavusin which lies on top of a collapsed section of an early Christian cave city. This was caused by a huge rockslide which, together with earthquakes and natural erosion, caused a split in the plateau. The atrium of the church at Cavusin has cascaded down, exposing some of the frescoes.

Overnight: Standard Hotel

Included Meals:  Breakfast

8.     Tours ends in Goreme

Our tour ends this morning after breakfast in Goreme.