Visit Cappadocia, a dreamy slice of central Turkey dotted with fairy chimney rock formations, on a 2-day tour from Istanbul. Travel across the surreal moonscape created by volcanic eruptions and learn about the history of Anatolia and culture of Turkey.
What You'll Do
Walk among the fairy chimneys at the Göreme Open-Air Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Visit the underground city of Kaymaklı, where Christians would hide from Roman and Byzantine persecutors
Spend the night in a cave hotel
What You Can Expect
Fly away to Cappadocia, an Anatolian city known for its lunar-like landscapes, on a 2-day tour from Istanbul. In the past, the lava flows formed tuff rock, which wind and rain sculpted into sinuous valleys with curvy cliff faces and pointy fairy chimneys. Cappadocians chiseled homes in the soft rock, paving the way for cave-dwelling hippies and today’s boutique hotels in town.
The area’s most extraordinary phase was during the Medieval Era, when the valleys were a refuge for Byzantine Christians. The religious troglodytes established monastic settlements, and their cave churches add a biblical solemnity to the Flintstones-like region. The Göreme Open-Air Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has the best collection of chapels and living quarters, most dating to around the 11th century. On this tour, you will learn about the history of the area and tour the unbelievable landscape formed by nature.
After an early-morning flight from Istanbul Atatürk Airport, you will be picked up and driven to Devrent Valley. Spend some time walking through the fairy chimneys there and in Paşabağ, then continue on to Avanos to learn about the ancient technique of pottery production. You will visit the Göreme Open-Air Museum, home to the earliest churches and chapels carved in the fairy chimneys and presenting the finest examples of frescoes. Then see Pigeon Valley, the petrified valley of Uchisar Castle, and the highest point in the region, Esentepe. Overnight at Cave Hotel in Cappadocia.
After pick-up from your hotel, drive to Red Valley for a walk through the valley and the Village of Çavuşin, an old Christian village with rock-cut dwellings. Continue to the underground city of Kaymaklı, a rock-cut city beneath the earth with as many as 8 levels, and a place where early Christians used to hide from Roman and Byzantine persecution. Explore the rock formations in Çatalkaya, and then visit Mustafa Paşa, home to Greek Orthodox families until the beginning of the 20th century. When the tour ends, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to Istanbul.
What's Not Included