Cappadocia

Walking the Ancient Trails of Cappadocia - Premium Adventure

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9 days
from
$3,199 USD
incl. taxes
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Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Trip code: 
TTF
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Private Group Adventures, Premium Adventures
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
Group size:
4–16
Ages:
16+

Explore the unique landscapes and cultures of historic Cappadocia on foot and by balloon – from an extraordinary and stylish cave hotel

 

Cappadocia’s world-famous scenery and cultural history is best discovered on foot. And the region will thrill you with its unique landscape of rock towers, caves and valleys. Following ancient volcanic eruptions, the region was covered with a blanket of soft ‘tufa’ rock that is easily eroded by wind and water. It has been inhabited for millennia, with many civilisations carving cave dwellings and churches into the towers and hillsides. In recent times local entrepreneurs have used the same principle to create some incredible and unique hotels, one of which is a highlight of our experience.

Our programme of walks and activities will show you the best of the area, as well as lesser-known routes and experiences. This trip is recommended to those who like exploring in style, and don’t settle with the ordinary.

Highlights

  • A six-night stay at the fabulous Yunak Evleri cave hotel in the heart of Cappadocia
  • A unique programme of walks and activities to discover the region’s history valleys rock towers and cave dwellings
  • Iconic balloon ride, pre-booked
  • An introduction to historic Istanbul, from centrally located hotels

Key information

  • 8 nights premium hotels at central locations
  • 5 days leisurely/moderate centre-based walking
  • Travel by internal flights and air-conditioned minibus
  • Countries visited: Turkey

What's included

  • 8 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners
  • Premium accommodation throughout 
  • Full programme of activities as shown in the itinerary

  • Tipping for all hotel, drivers and local staff

  • Named tour leader, chosen for their expertise and great customer feedback

  • Internal flights between Istanbul and Kayseri

  • Arrival & departure transfers

What's not included

  • Balloon-ride. Pre-booked, but paid locally.

  • Travel insurance

  • Single accommodation (available on request)

  • Visas or vaccinations

  • Tip for the leader

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

5

Days of Premium Adventures
Pace:

This is a leisurely/moderate walking holiday and is run at a relaxed pace

Day by day breakdown
Day 35.0km/3.1miles
Day 44.0km/2.5miles
Day 55.0km/3.1miles
Day 64.0km/2.5miles
Day 74.5km/2.8miles

People, Places & Planet

People, Places & Planet

We work hard to create trips which improve life for the people and places we visit, and look after the planet we explore. Find out more about our sustainable travel ethos and practice here, and find out about the work of the Exodus Travels Foundation here.

Some sustainable travel highlights of this trip include:

People

How this trip helps improve life for local communities.

  • The use of a local guide means our customers will be well informed about local traditions, and cultural and social sensitivities.
  • This trip brings income and opportunity to the destination community through the inclusion of locally-owned hotels and restaurants, the emphasis on eating locally produced food and support of other local enterprise.
  • Participation on the calligraphy course enables the school be able to have the funds to continue supporting this retention of this ancient skill in the community.
  • Participation in the cooking experience gives a direct benefit to the local economy and enables the hosts and guests to better understand one another’s cultures.

Places

How this trip helps protect and conserve local landscapes and nature.

  • Read about our commitment to nature protection and restoration here, including our rewilding commitment for every customer who travels.
  • By travelling in a small group, led by a local guide, we ‘tread lightly’ to minimise our impact on local resources and the environment.
  • Our trips adhere to ABTA’s industry-leading animal welfare guidelines to ensure the best possible practices with regard to working animals and wildlife viewing. Our animal welfare policy can be found here.
  • We work with our partners on the ground to proactively eliminate or reduce waste, for example eliminating all single-use plastic water bottles and instead providing refills for re-usable bottles.

Planet

How we seek to keep the carbon footprint of this trip low.

  • Read about our climate action here, including our carbon reduction and compensation commitments.

 

Tips for sustainable travel on this trip

  • Leave no trace: We do all we can to ensure we leave no rubbish behind in the wild and beautiful places we visit; we ask that you do the same. If there are no recycling facilities in-country, we’d ask you to consider bringing recyclable materials home with you.
  • Plastic waste reduction: Please bring your own re-usable water bottle on this trip; filtered water will be provided where tap water is not drinkable.
  • Take the train: Consider taking the train to this trip. Not only will it significantly reduce the carbon footprint of your holiday vs. flying, it also extends your adventure! Read more about which train journeys we can book, or how to book your own, here.

Itinerary

Istanbul
to
Istanbul
  • Day 1

    Arrival in Istanbul

    Welcome to Turkey! Today you arrive in Istanbul, one of the most important and inspiringly beautiful cities of the world’s history. We have no activities scheduled for today, so you are free to arrive anytime.

    Premium accommodation: Kent Hotel, Istanbul (4 star)

  • Day 2

    Morning Calligraphy lesson; fly to Kayseri

    We start our Turkish experience with a calligraphy lesson where we learn the secrets of creating rich patterns on handmade marble paper and experience the sensuous flow of Ottoman calligraphy in the company of our highly skilled artist-craftsman. Participation enables the school to be able to have the funds to continue supporting this retention of this ancient skill in the community.

    For lunch we have arranged a fabulous introduction to Turkish food, with a meal of Ottoman cuisine at the Matbah restaurant. Centrally located, with excellent views of the city of Istanbul.

    Late afternoon we transfer to the airport for our 1h 15m flight to Kayseri.

    Premium accommodation: Yunak Evleri cave hotel, Cappadocia (4 star)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Optional balloon ride; visit to the Open-Air Museum of Goreme; walk through the colourful Rose Valley

    This morning is our chance to take part in Cappadocia’s most iconic activity – an early morning hot air balloon ride. We have pre-booked slots for each group member, but to allow for possible weather-related delays or even cancellations, will arrange for final confirmation and payment through your leader for those that wish to take part.

    It's an early start and a short transfer, but the ride lasts for approximately 1h 15m, and is completed with a cold glass of champagne.

    After late breakfast, we continue our programme for the day. We start with a gentle climb up through the tunnels of Uchisar rock for a striking panoramic view, then continue to the extraordinary Goreme Open Air Museum to see the painted churches and troglodytic monastic dwellings. This afternoon we drive to the rabbit warren-like village of old Cavusin and walk through the colourful Rose Valley with its rock-cut churches, viewpoints, and stunning vistas to end at Sunset Point.

    Premium accommodation: Yunak Evleri cave hotel, Cappadocia (4 star)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Tour of Pigeon Valley; explore the cellars at Kaymakli Underground City; cooking class experience

    We set off on foot along the scenic Pigeon Valley trail walking downhills from Uchisar to Goreme. Pigeon valley is named after the many dove cotes that have been carved into the dwellings. From Goreme, we will drive to Kaymakli to explore the cellars, stables and houses of this underground city, before continuing on to the beautiful Soganli Valley for a taste of off the beaten track Cappadocia.

    For lunch, we have arranged a visit to a local family for a cooking experience. This activity offers a lovely opportunity to discover the local home-cooked food and way of life, in a shared experience. The leader will be on hand to help with translations and demonstrations. We will return to our hotel in the mid-afternoon.

    Premium accommodation: Yunak Evleri cave hotel, Cappadocia (4 star)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Walk through White Valley; discover Love Valley; afternoon at leisure

    Today we walk through the White Valley. It is a little more challenging than the other hikes, but it is one of our favourites. From Uchisar, we descend into a valley of smooth snow-white rock faces and follow an uneven riverbed along the valley floor before entering Love Valley with its archetypal Cappadocia views and fairy chimneys. The original name of this valley is ‘Valley of the Vines’ but it’s not hard to work out why it has been nick-named Love Valley! After lunch, the afternoon will be at leisure.

    Premium accommodation: Yunak Evleri cave hotel, Cappadocia (4 star)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Visit the former monastic complex of Zelve; explore Sword and Red Valleys; optional Jeep Safari; late afternoon Whirling Dervishes performance

    After breakfast we explore the former monastic complex of Zelve, then we drive on to Pasabagi – one of Cappadocia’s most famous valleys.

    For our walk, we drive to Goreme to begin our walk through the Sword and Red Valleys to the rock-hewn Kizlar Kalesi monastery. The path takes us through more jaw-dropping scenery, past the giant shards of rock that give Sword Valley its name, and on to the richly coloured rock formations that make Red Valley so remarkable.

    After lunch, there is an option to join a Jeep Safari experience to take you a little further afield and to some hidden corners as the drivers take you through narrow canyons and to viewpoints.

    In the late afternoon, we visit the historical Saruhan Caravanserai to see the Sema Ritual performed by Whirling Dervishes. This traditional performance has a deep cultural significance in Turkey and is a spectacular, spiritual and sometimes moving experience. The evening is free to make your own choice of dinner venue.

    Premium accommodation: Yunak Evleri cave hotel, Cappadocia (4 star)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 7

    Day tour to Ihlara Valley; visit to the famous town of Avanos

    After breakfast, we start our day tour to Ihlara Valley and one of Cappadocia’s prettiest trails. With a length of 14 kilometres, the depth reaching up to 120 meters, it is the largest historically inhabited canyon in the world. Ihlara has hundreds of churches and shelters made by the easy excavation of the rocks surrounding the valley as well as the classic fairy chimneys. We finish with a visit to Selime Cathedral when we exit the valley.

    The last stop of today’s tour is Avanos, the famous town of Cappadocia that was established by the Hittites on the riverbanks of Halys River. Making use of the red clay that is obtained from the shores of this famous river, the Hittites created outstanding examples of pottery ware and used potters’ wheels as early as 2nd millennia BC. We will visit one of the studios of a pottery artist of Cappadocia and watch the interactive presentation of creating masterpieces of pottery and ceramics.

    Farewell Dinner at Elai restaurant, set near the stone-carved Uçhisar Castle, all of the tables overlook the green valleys. 

    Premium accommodation: Yunak Elveri cave hotel, Cappadocia (4 star)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Fly to Istanbul; optional Turkish Bath experience

    This morning we will be transferred to the airport for our flight to Istanbul. We arrive in Istanbul and transfer to our central hotel. There will be an option for a Turkish Bath experience at the historical and the luxurious 16th century Hurrem Sultan Hamam. 

    For those who wish to explore the more classic sights of Istanbul, or leader will offer walking maps and suggestions, or can help you pre-book some guided experiences.

    Farewell Dinner at Hamdi Restaurant, famous for its traditional southeastern kebabs and is the place to go for this famous Turkish dish. The popular restaurant is situated in the historic Eminönü district (West of Sultanahmet) and offers stunning views over the Golden Horn.

    Premium accommodation: Oran Hotel, Istanbul (4 star)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 9

    End Istanbul

    After breakfast we say our goodbyes.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Turkey

From 2 March 2020, nationals of Great Britain, the European Union Schengen area, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Poland travelling to Turkey for tourist or business purposes will no longer need a visa for visits of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. If you’re travelling before 2 March, you will still need a visa.

Vaccinations

Turkey

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners included.

Typical Meals:

Breakfast: typically comprising a selection of tea, coffee, bread, butter, jam, cheese, olives, cucumber, tomatoes and yoghurt.

Lunch and dinner: a combination of set menus and buffet arrangements with several freshly cooked dishes to choose from. Kebabs are of course to be found everywhere.

Most people find that Turkish cuisine is one of the most varied in the world and there is usually something to please everyone. Vegetarians will generally find themselves well catered for as many Turkish dishes are based on vegetables and dairy products.

Please note that in Turkey the availability of certain specialised products for restricted diets, e.g. gluten-free or dairy-free, is minimal or non-existent and we strongly recommend you bring these specialized dietary items from home.

Drinks are not included with meals (except breakfast) as a wide variety is normally available and this allows you greater choice. Mineral water, excellent fruit juices, beer and wine are generally readily available at about half to three-quarters of the UK price, depending on locality. Tea (usually taken in small glasses) is cheap, and so is Turkish coffee (strong, taken in small cups). European instant coffee and spirits can be more expensive.

Weather

Daytime temperatures in Cappadocia will range from 22-30 degrees in summer at low altitudes. Early mornings may be cooler later in the season. Summers are usually dry, however, rain is possible at any time and the odd storm cannot be ruled out.

Ankara, Turkey

Is this trip for you?

Activity Level 2: Leisurely/Moderate

On this trip we have 5 days centre based walking with vehicle support taking us to and from each walk. All the walking is on undulating trails at low altitude. The terrain will include footpaths which can be rocky and loose in places with sloped ascents and descents. The walks take about 2-3 hours. A reasonable level of fitness is required.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Premium Hotels

Yunak Houses Cave Hotel
Yunak Houses Cave Hotel

 

Yunak Evleri cave hotel, Urgup, 6 nights

 

Yunak Houses Cave Hotel

 

  • A unique combination of 10 cave houses with a total of 120 private cave rooms.
  • A labyrinth of narrow passageways and curved stone stairways lead to the rooms tastefully decorated in warm traditional style.
  • The decor is elegant and personalized with beautiful hand-crafted furnishings and antiques.
  • All rooms have private patios overlooking the Turkish Mesa.
  • Facilities include pool, spa and restaurant. 

 

Kent Hotel (4 star), Istanbul, 1 night

 

Kent Hotel

 

  • Premium accommodation just a 10-minute walk from the Grand Bazaar in old Istanbul.
  • Located in the Beyazıt area, one of the oldest and most colourful quarters of Istanbul.
  • Decorated with soothing colours, all rooms are fi tted with parquet fl ooring, a Turkish rug and a cosy sitting area.

 

Oran Hotel (4 star), Istanbul, 1 night

 

Oran Hotel

 

  • Premium hotel located in the Laleli neighbourhood, close to plenty of traditional restaurants and shopping opportunities.
  • There are Turkish bath facilities including sauna and hammam in the hotel.
  • There is also a well-equipped fitness centre.

 

Oran Hotel

 

The accommodation shown has been booked and agreed in advance, however we may need to make changes to a property of similar or higher standard after you have booked. While we will endeavour to inform you of any changes in advance which could, on rare occasions, be at late notice.

 

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Have you been on this adventure? Tell others what it’s like by writing a review.

Dates & Prices

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