Visiting: Cappadocia, Kayseri, Kaymakli Underground City, Soganli Valley and Open Air Museum, Sahin efendi (Sobesos), Greek town, Devrent valley, Zelve, “fairy chimneys”, Goreme Open Air Museum
Duration: 23 hours
Day 1 – Izmir Port to Izmir Airport and CappadociaYou will be picked up from Izmir port for the drive to Izmir Airport, from where you will take the morning flight to Cappadocia (Direct flights from Izmir to Kayseri are on Monday and Wednesday mornings). On arrival at the airport you will be met with a placard bearing your name and transferred to Cappadocia for your first encounter with its lunar landscapes.
Kaymakli Underground City
We will begin the tour with a visit to the Kaymakli Underground City, one of the most interesting underground settlements in Cappadocia,
It is then time to visit the Soganli Valley and Open Air Museum. Its rock-cut churches and frescoes are set near a typical Cappadocian village within a beautiful natural setting. We will then travel through local villages within the valley, surrounded by spectacular “table top” mountains.
After lunch will will visit Sahin efendi (Sobesos), a newly discovered archaeological site home to mosaic houses, before continuing on to Keslik Monastery near Cemil, whose frescoes are hidden behind a very thin layer of smoke.
The day finishes with a visit to Mustafa paşa (Sinasos), an old Greek town with fine examples of traditional late Greek architecture.
Overnight in Cappadocia.
Day 2 – Cappadocia to Istanbul (or other destinations)Begin the day with an optional spectacular hot air balloon sunrise flight before meeting at the hotel reception at 09:30 am
After breakfast we will encounter our first lunar landscape of Cappadocia with the stunning rock formations of the Devrent Valley, located on the northern slope of Aktepe and dotted with ancient ruins.
Pasabag - Monks Valley
This will be followed by a walk through Pasabag near Zelve, surrounded by incredible rock formations and one of the best places to see the famed “fairy chimneys” where the voice of the wind mixes with the “songs of fairies”.
Avanos Pottery Workshop
We will then stop in Avanos for lunch. Avanos has been the center of terracotta artwork since 3000 BC, where you can watch artisans at work in their traditional pottery workshops and buy direct from the maker.
Goreme Open Air Museum
Next stop is the famous Goreme Open Air Museum to see the most impressive examples of Byzantine art found in Cappadocia within the frescoes and paintings of its rock-cut churches.
Esentepe - Panoramic View
We will continue on to Uchisar Rock Castle for an outstanding panoramic view across the valleys of Cappadocia.
In the evening you will be transferred back to the airport for the evening flight to Istanbul.
The sunrise hot air balloon tour is one of Cappadocia's most spectacular experiences and costs an additional 150 Euro.