The miracles of Cappadocia

The miracles of Cappadocia

Turkey » Self-guided (independent) hiking tours

  • Cappadocia – a land of natural beauty and rich history
  • The deep Ilhara Valley with numerous rock churches
  • Uchisar and Ortahisar rock castles
  • jan
  • feb
  • mar
  • apr
  • may
  • jun
  • jul
  • aug
  • sep
  • oct
  • nov
  • dec

From 565 €

Duration (days): 6

Difficulty grade:  

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Print version



    It is impossible to imagine a more wondrous sight than this evocative lunar landscape with its bizarre rock formations, enigmatic fairy chimneys and extensive cave dwellings. At Cappadocia, geology and civilisation are inextricably linked as erosion and construction perennially interact with each other. Created through this unique collaboration, the region is the world’s greatest sculpture - shaped by nature, carved by man. After all, it took some 30 million years for the elements to shape the layers of volcanic basalt and tuff into their present form and even the impact of man on the landscape goes back several thousand years to the Hittite people, who were probably the first to dig caves suitable for habitation out of the soft tuft. The trek will take you to the most famous and beautiful regions of Cappadocia Goreme Valley, Love Valley, Zemi Valley and the historic towns of Uchisar, Ortahisar, Goreme and others. This tour is designed for experienced in orientation and adventurous hikers, requiring significant skills in trail finding in the dense network of various valleys.   

Day 1. Arrive at Kayseri or Nevşehir Airport and transfer to Mustafapaşa
On arrival at Kayseri Airport, you will be met and transferred to Mustafapasa, where you stay overnight. 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 colourfull wall paintings.
Day 2. Mustafapaşa - Gomeda valley - Ortahisar
The hiking 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. First you’ll face with Korikos and St.Bazil churhes. Then will approach to the springs rich in iron and sulfur. Discover there Kepez, Sarica and Pancarlik churches. 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 at pension in Ortahisar. (Hiking distance: 8km; Walking time: 5h 30min.)
Day 3. Ortahisar Hallac Monastery–Kizilvadi- Güllüdere-Çavuşin
Leave the pension in the morning to discover historical and natural beauties. After a walk of about 20 minutes you will reach an 11th century Hallac Monastery cut into the eroded volcanic rock form. At the same time the place also called Hallac Hospital because of the priests that make therapeutic drugs for people there. Afterwards will go to Kizil Valley and Güllüdere, the area with different layers of easily eroded volcanic ash that gives the colorful tones to the place. Have a lunch break at Kizilvadi (Kizil Valley). Here you will discover Kolonlu and Haçli churches. You will be amazed by the variety of landscapes that open from Bozdag rocks. Passing through the vineyards you will get the St. John church where Jesus was baptized to confess his sins. Overnight at pension in Çavuşin. (Hiking distance: 13km; Walking time: about 6 hours)
Day 4. Akvadi- Üçhisar – Güvercinlik – Göreme - Çavuşin
This morning you trek thorough the Akvadi Valley, also known as the White Valley. You walk through the valley following an old river bed surrounded by orchards and vineyards. The fairy chimneys in this valley are particularly slim and distinct from those seen on the previous day. Then the way will take you to Üçhisar village to visit the high viewpoint known as the "fortress" (a volcanic ash peak) and where you will have a rewarding panoramic view on all the surrealist Cappadoccia area. After lunch you will follow a path to the Güvercinlik (Pigeon Valley), and you will see some pigionaries that is holy for muslim people. This valley has its name from the numerous pigeon houses built in the 18th century, which were carved from any available space including abandoned cave dwellings and were used for the purposes of collecting fertilizer. Later you will visit Göreme Open Air museum. It contains the finest of the rock-cut churches, with beautiful frescoes (wall paintings) which colors still retain all their original freshness. It also presents unique examples of rock hewn architecture and fresco technique. The Goreme Open Air Museum has been a member of UNESCO World Heritage List since 1984, and was one of the first two UNESCO sites in Turkey. Moving along the direction to Open air museum and taking the path on the left, you will face the Kiliclar Valley. Walk back to pension in Çavuşin. (Hiking distance: 8km; Walking time: about 6h 30min)
Day 5. Ihlara Valley – Derinkuyu - Çavuşin
Today you will explore Ihlara Valley, near Mount Hasan nad Mount Erciyes (volcanoes of Cappadocia). Ihlara Valley has been formed as a result of the erosion made by Melendiz River coming from the mountains of Melendiz to the volcanic rocks. The valley was used to hide the first churches of Cappadocia carved into fairy chimneys and caves. It was the first settlement place of the first Christians escaping from the Roman soldiers. In the Ihlara Valley there are hundreds of antic churches caved in the volcanic rocks. It is very pleasant to walk through the Ihlara Valley by the vineyards, poplars and pistachio trees to the soothing sound if the rushing water and surrounded by a rich wildlife of lizards, frogs, butterflies, birds and mammals like lambs and sheep. Later visit Derinkuyu – an underground city of Cappadocia. Overnight at pension in Çavuşin. (Hiking distance: 4km)
Day 6. Departure
Transfer to Kayseri or Nevşehir Airport in connection with your flight.

|Accommodation and luggage transportation:
You will be relaxed and enjoy your evenings at the pensions in historical places with natural beauty. All rooms are furnished with wooden furniture and feature air conditioning, shower, toilet. Take a chance to taste traditional Turkish delightful dishes. All breakfasts are included, as well as 4 dinners (from Day 2 to Day 5 incl.). Lunches/lunchpacks are provided for th ehiking days. Luggage transfers between accommodations are included.

Price: 565 Euro/person

Single supplement: 95 Euro

Group size: min. 2 persons

The price includes: Roadbook (itinerary description in English and detailed walking maps); accommodation and meals as mentioned, luggage transfers; airport transfers on arrival/departure;

The price does not include: other meals and transfers, personal expenses;

Tips: Best travel period: April/May and mid-August/October;