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We are delighted to offer an expert-led tour of Cappadocia, one of Turkey’s most enchanting areas. The Cappadocian landscape is truly extraordinary; an oasis of lush green valleys set between rock formations that are endlessly varied in shape and colour. Beyond orchards and vines laden with fruit in the warm autumn sun, you’ll find yourself amid fields of rock formations resembling giant petrified toadstools towering high into a crystal sky.

Huge quantities of volcanic rock were laid down in the geological past. Over the centuries wind and rain have worn down the softer layers, leaving a spectacular landscape formed of hundreds of interlacing valleys. Man has followed in nature’s footsteps. A vast number of cavities in the sides of cliffs or outcrops of rock were transformed into peasant dwellings, churches and monasteries.

Scattered throughout this geological wonderland is the legacy of over 4000 years of human history, of the civilizations and empires that have ebbed and flowed in this historic region. Hittites, Persians, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks, Ottoman Greeks and Turks have all left their distinctive marks. From the ancient underground complexes and troglodyte communities to abandoned 19th century rock-cut villages, your expert guide will take you on a trip through time.

You will visit some of the finest Byzantine rock-cut churches and monasteries, their cells, refectories and walls decorated with vibrantly colourful wall-paintings. A balloon tour in Cappadocia is rated one of the finest in the world. Early one morning you will glide up in a hot air balloon and float across the magical landscape – an unforgettable experience. On top of all this you’ll discover some of the more off the beaten track gems and savour some of the region’s best foods and wines, all in the company of an expert guide, an archaeologist and connoisseur of the region.

Our base for this Cappadocia tour is the beautiful Kale Konak cave hotel in Uçhisar, one of our favourite hotels in Turkey. Perfectly situated in the old town, with commanding and breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside, our hotel combines the style and grace of a traditional Turkish mansion with cave and old stone rooms that have been beautifully restored.

Day 1: Arrival and transfer to our lovely hotel in the old town of Uçhisar.
Day 2: Our introduction to the landscape and history of Cappadocia is the open air museum of Zelve, where an unbelievably picturesque topography is home to a vast ghost town of cave dwellings and churches. In the afternoon we visit the Late Roman to Byzantine excavations at Sobesos and the rock-cut Keslik Monastery with its beautiful frescoes and enormous dining hall.
Day 3: In the morning we visit the mysterious underground city of Kaymaklı and explore its tunnels, shafts, rooms, storage spaces and church. Later, we walk through the lush Ihlara Canyon, admiring its pure river, painted churches and lovely scenery. In the early evening, after a little time spent relaxing at our hotel, we set out for the medieval Ağzıkarahan Caravanseray to observe a show of whirling dervishes, followed by a tasting of Cappadocian wines.
Day 4: We rise early in the morning to set out for the balloon ride, one of the highlights of our tour. Depending on conditions on the day, we will have a birds-eye view of one or more of the many extraordinary and fascinating landscapes in the area. After this exciting adventure, we return to the hotel for some well-deserved rest, before setting out to the Kizil Çukur (Red Valley) with its colourful rock formations and impressive fairy chimneys. After a delightful al fresco lunch, we walk through the Güllü Dere (Rose Valley). Later we stop by the lovely village of Çavuşin to visit the spectacular and richly frescoed church dedicated by the Byzantine emperor Nicephorus Phocas around 965 AD. In the evening, there is time to explore Uçhisar castle, just above our hotel.
Day 5: We start the day with a walk in the picturesque Pigeon Valley (Guvercinlik) with its many rock-cut dovecotes, still inhabited by the descendants of the birds brought here centuries ago. Later, we explore the traditional village of Avanos, to stroll its lanes, watch a pottery making demonstration and have a glance at the curious Hair Museum. In the afternoon, we visit the most famous site of Cappadocia, the Göreme Open Air Museum, a vast complex of painted cave monasteries. The 11th century frescoes at Karanlık Kilise (Dark Church) are among the finest surviving examples of Byzantine art.
Day 6: Transfers and departure.

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