Shaped by wind and water, the rock formations, rock-hewn churches, cave dwellings and underground cities of Cappadocia are otherworldly. Fairy chimneys cleaved from the earth and shaped by centuries of erosion punctuate the Pasabaglari Valley, giving it a moon-like appearance. Owing to its intriguing history and unique landscapes, Cappadocia Turkey holidays are popping up on many discerning traveller’s bucket list.
During each of our Cappadocia holidays, you’re introduced to both natural and cultural places. You can walk along the Melendiz River, experiencing traditional village life as you meander through the beautiful Ihlara Valley. Here you’ll find dozens of Byzantine cave chapels to explore, most of them decorated with exquisite biblical frescoes. These dramatic cave dwellings really do have to be seen to be believed.
The multi-level, underground city of Derinkuyu is equally as magnificent, with its ancient dwellings spread out over eight levels and more than 85m beneath the ground. It’s the largest underground city in Turkey and is big enough to have housed around 20,000 people and their livestock. But perhaps the main attraction on holidays to Cappadocia is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Goreme Open-Air Museum, a monastic complex composed of churches, rectories and dwellings.
Owing to the unusual and volcanic landscapes of Cappadocia, our walking holidays in Turkey are popular with those wanting to uncover the country’s diversity. But if you prefer to get a bird’s eye view of the unique scenery, a hot air balloon ride takes you on a once-in-a-lifetime trip above the Rose Valley and Goreme Open-Air Museum.
Holidays to Cappadocia
15 DaysfromUSD 3,149
Guided Group (Excl. Flights)
Visit some of Western civilisation's most iconic sites in Turkey
Hot air balloon ride over the fairy chimneys: The fairy chimneys are among the most iconic sights in Cappadocia. Rising from the landscape like fairytale dwellings, these surreal rock formations are the result of millennia-old volcanic eruptions, which were then sculpted into cave dwellings by the Cappadocians. This World Heritage Site is a dreamlike landscape where you’ll also find spectacular chapels dating back to the 11th century. To float above the fairy chimneys in a hot air balloon is a unique experience that needs to be on every traveller’s bucket list.
Watch the sunrise over Red Valley: Right at the very heart of Goreme National Park, Red Valley is a breathtaking landscape made up of surreal rock formations. Their reddish-pink hue formed by the tuff rocks gives the valley its name and it has become a much-loved place to visit in Cappadocia. As the sun rises over the valley, it creates an ethereal ambience, making this a phenomenal natural wonder that must be seen on our Cappadocia holidays. As you stroll along the valley floor, you’re swept into a time gone by and you can delve into the history of the area at the many churches.
Visit the Goreme Open-Air Museum: Home to a stunning collection of ancient churches, chapels and monasteries, the UNESCO-listed Goreme Open Air Museum is a must-see site in Cappadocia. There are over 600 churches peppering the landscape where visitors can come and delve into the history of Christianity. Inside these Byzantine buildings in the Goreme Valley, you’ll find the most intricate frescoes adorning the walls and ceilings. Many of the paintings are red patterns and animals that date back to the 11th and 12th centuries. Two of the churches that display the most beautiful frescoes are Dark Church and Buckle Church.
Watch a Whirling Dervishes Ritual: Embedded deep into the Turkish culture, the Whirling Dervishes is a unique spectacle of a spiritual Sema Ritual that is performed in the form of music, chanting and dance. The ceremony takes place in the well-preserved 13th century Saruhan Caravanserai, an ancient location once used along the Silk Road, which is just as impressive as the ceremony itself. The performance is utterly mesmerising and often has a profound effect on its audience.
Take a Turkish bath: No trip to Turkey would be complete without experiencing a traditional Turkish bath, also known as a hammam. These types of steam baths have been around since the 16th century and are an important part of Turkish culture. For centuries, the hammam has been used by the Turks for religious and spiritual purification. In later years, it also became a place where they could go to entertain and socialise. Nowadays, people from all over the world use Turkish baths for relaxation and health benefits.
An extensive tour, taking in the most historic ancient and modern cities in Turkey. Countless UNESCO world heritage sites, wonderful cuisine, friendly people, fabulous weather, and every day was a school day. Educational and entertaining, I’d recommend this tour to any traveler.
Turkey is a beautiful country with so many different regions all with their own unique culture and landscapes. This trip is an excellent way to get a taste of each region while visiting all of the highlights you picture when you think of Turkey (and some you’ve probably never heard of!). We absolutely loved every minute and learned so much more than we ever have on any other trip.
6 days of walking. After the first 3 valleys they start to look the same (how many pigeon holes do you need to see?) but the group was great, and the guide was enthusiastic and patient, managing the fast walkers at the front, and the ones at the back who took lots of photos. He was very good at finding different places to eat, and it was great that food was all included so you just paid for extra drinks. Water was always available on the minibus so plastic waste much reduced. If you are vegetarian expect a lot of vegetable stew and eggplant! There are some lovely churches to visit in the rocks (as in small places of worship with the remains of old frescoes dating back several hundred years, not churches as tend to be build here)