Fully discover Cappadocia, an extraordinary region that has bewitched travellers for centuries with its strange and fantastic spires, domes, pinnacles and gorges. Explore the Ihlara Valley with a local guide and uncover thousands of dwellings and hundreds of cave churches that were carved directly into the rock. Be part of an artistic expression that dates back over 3,500 years with a pottery demonstration in Avanos. Marvel at the incredible Byzantine rock-hewn churches and their frescos in the ancient monastic settlement of the Goreme Open Air Museum
Cappadocia is literally a land of hidden layers. This short adventure in Turkey’s Central Anatolia region takes you to not only some of the earth’s most impressive natural rock landscapes, but the labyrinthine world that exists below them – some 36 ancient underground cities dating back as far as four millennia.
Independent travel, without the stress. Peregrine’s Independent Experiences are a range of short ‘mini tours’ that you can add to other Experiences or as an extension to a longer tour, to craft your perfect holiday itinerary. Independent Experiences are for 1-3 travellers, come accompanied by a local Peregrine guide and depart daily.
Breakfast Included: 2 Lunches Included: 2 Dinner Included:
This Independent Experience begins around 10:30am this morning from your hotel – so perhaps arrive a day early if you will not be there in time. You will be greeted by your guide and driver and driven to your first stop – a majestic vista point overlooking Goreme, where you will receive information about the rich history of Cappadocia and the unique rock formations. From the panoramic viewpoint, continue on to the biggest underground city, Kaymakli. Your guide will explain how locals carved these incredible multi-level underground cities around the 7th century BC to hide from enemies. You can also see traces of their daily lives in the stables, wineries, temples, living quarters, and airshafts. After exploring the deepest caves of Cappadocia, you will climb to the highest ones: Uchisar Castle. Uchisar is the biggest rock-cut castle in the region, built during the Byzantine Empire. After lunch you’ll visit the highlight of Cappadocia – the Goreme Open Air Museum. Your guide will explain the meanings of frescoes that cover the walls of thousand-year-old cave churches as you explore this spectacular World Heritage site. The tour concludes in Avanos, a picturesque town on the banks of the Kizilirmak River. Famous for its pottery since Hittite times (more than 4,000 years ago), you’ll see a kick-wheel pottery demonstration, and perhaps try your own hand at this traditional craft. After Avanos, you will arrive back at your hotel around 6pm. The rest of the evening is free for your own leisure. Perhaps experience a unique traditional ritual with a performance by the Whirling Dervish. The Mevlevi Sema Ceremony represents the mystical journey of man’s spiritual ascent through mind and love to perfection.
This morning you have the option of taking a very early hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia to see this otherworldly scene at sunrise. Those who are interested in this optional extra will have a truly awe-inspiring experience. ‘Fairy Chimneys’ is a fitting nickname for the rock formations of Cappadocia. The odd shapes and caverns of this otherworldly landscape, former from the lava of volcanic eruptions in ancient times, often appear more like surrealist sculptures than the work of nature. Your guide will then meet you today around 9:30am, with your first stop the Red Valley. Here you’ll see the variously coloured rock formations in a place whose name is said to derive from the Old Persian for ‘land of beautiful horses’. Drive further south to the magnificent verdant Ihlara Valley, another places where centuries old dwellings and caves have been discovered. Walk alongside the Melindiz River for about an hour, winding your way through the Ihlara gorge, then stop for lunch in a restaurant on the river in the village of Belisirma. After lunch, continue to the incredibly impressive Selime Monastery, the largest rock-cut monastery in Cappadocia, which has a large cave cathedral and breath-taking views over the area. On your way back to Goreme you will also stop at a spectacular vista point overlooking Pigeon Valley. Return to Goreme for your final night. Perhaps choose to experience a special evening of Anatolian folklore.
Notes: Please note the balloon ride activity can only be booked locally. Please speak to your trip guide on Day 1 to organise this.
Your independent experience ends after breakfast this morning.