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A COUNTRY FULL OF HIDDEN GEMS

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HOMELAND OF MANY CIVILISATIONS

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SCENIC LANDSCAPES

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UNFORGETTABLE NATURE

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THE SECRETS OF CAPPADOCIA

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IINCLUDING -EXCLUDING - GOOD TO KNOW

INCLUDING:
- Flights Antalya — Kayseri / Kayseri — Antalya
- Transport by luxury minibus
- 7 nights in a boutique Hotel incl. breakfast
- Professional English speaking LOCAL guide
- Occupants insurance

EXCLUSIVE:
- Travel and cancellation insurance
- First breakfast
- All lunches and diners
- entrance fees or for residence holders a Museumcard
- Tip for the guide and the driver
- All drinks
- Hot air balloon at sunrise (early reservation necessary)
- Cappadocia Night in a cave with dinner, local alcohol beverages, softdrinks, dance and music
- Personal expences


EASY TO KNOW:
The Daily walks are between 5 and 8 km
The order of the program can be changed
Minimum pocket money per person per day: 30.- €
Your passport or ID must be valid for at least 6 months when departing from Turkey
EU and UK citizens do not need a visa for Turkey
Make sure you have good travel and cancellation insurance with your insurance agent

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INTRODUCTION

Introduction to this unique enchanting landscape:

Cappadocia, a natural phenomenon that is unique in the world. Every Turkey enthusiast has heard, read or been there. Some even several times. It is a pity that in round trips and the 2- or 3-day tours, attention is only paid to the heavily visited tourist area, this is only an area of less than 30 km2 of the more than 300 km2, which is also due to the long arrival visited at a rapid pace while there are so many undiscovered gems of places of enormous diversity that are definitely worth a visit. In this tour you have plenty of time to take in all the places at a leisurely pace. You just come back with a much greater satisfaction.

The walks are absolutely not tiring for those with a normal condition. The average daily distance on foot is between 5 and 8 km with regular breaks to take pictures, purely to enjoy the landscape, its history and authentic rural life. The unspoilt part of Cappadocie is sure to surprise you.

The guide who will accompany you is a professional guide who was born and raised in this area and who will tell you with love about his native region, who specializes in this area and knows the most beautiful places and hiking routes for you. A different experience than with a guide who goes to all regions. He will certainly give an extra dimension to your trip.
You will travel in a small group from minimun 8 and maximum 14 persons

For those who are not capable to do all activities are informed and follow the advices of the guide.

THE HOTEL:
One of the top picks in Cappadocia. Offering a unique experience in a highly recommended historical boutique hotel located in central Cappadocia.

DEPARTURE:
MAY 25th 2022

DURATION:
8 days / 7 nights

PRICES:
𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 639.- 𝐞𝐮𝐫𝐨 p.p. in a double room
Single supplement: 175 euro
Suite for 2 persons: 825 euro p.p.
Booking fee: 30 euro per reservation

For guests who live in Turkey but are from outside the province Antalya can book a night in Antalya before departure for just 25 euro per room including the transfer from hotel to the airport.


NO SALE OF CARPETS, JEWELRY AND LEATHER
Visiting: Pottery, Winery and Onyx workshop.

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FIRST DAY

Flight Antalya – Kayseri: Your guide and transport will be waiting for you for the transfer to central Cappadocia. Extensive visit to the national park and open-air museum Göreme. The Göreme Open Air Museum is not without reason considered one of the main attractions of Turkey. Valleys and rocks in all possible shapes and shades create a surrealistic backdrop here. Beautiful are the landscape with the towering rock cones, the valleys with the rock houses carved in tuff, and especially the frescoed ceilings, which are very special to look at. Circular walk and free time in Göreme. Göreme is a special city in the famous Cappadocia in the heart of Turkey. It's actually a big museum. Out in the open. And all this at an altitude of 1,100 meters.

Goreme is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The entire area has been declared a national park. It offers a special mix of nature and culture. The Göreme National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. It includes the town of Göreme, an open-air museum with many churches, but also the special landscape of the stone chimneys. The city is perfect as a base for your tour in this special area.

The city and its surroundings have countless attractions. Part of it has been declared an Open Air Museum. Including a large monastery complex. It was carved into the rock during the 9th to 11th centuries. There are various stories circulating that this valley once housed 365 churches, one for each day of the year.

Free time at the hotel until well before sunset and then you go to a panoramic point to enjoy the beautiful sunset over various valleys of this fairytale landscape.

Overnight in Cappadocia

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SECOND DAY

After breakfast in your hotel you'll have the following program:
Pasabağ:
Paşabağ: It's amazing to think that the area at the heart of Cappadocia's otherworldly landscape is an area that locals say is even more out of this world. This is Paşabağ ("Pah-shah-bah") which is known in English as the Valley of the Monks. Paşabağ means «Pasha's Vineyard», a name it got after the Byzantine Greek population left the region that lies in the middle of a vineyard. As you walk through Paşabağ, there will be vineyards in sight.

Paşabağ contains some of the most striking fairy chimneys in Cappadocia with double and even triple rock caps — formations unique even to Cappadocia! The locals call them the mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys.

Like the cave hotels in modern-day Cappadocia, the fairy chimneys of Paşabağ are home to a number of cave dwellings and chapels once used by Christian hermits, the most prominent of which is a three-storey chapel dedicated to St. Simeon (Simon) and a hermit shelter, built into one of the fairy chimneys with three conical heads.

Zelve open air museum:
Once home to one of the largest communities in the region, the Zelve Open Air Museum is an amazing cave city, filled with dwellings, religious and secular rooms. Zelve is about 10 km outside Goreme on the Avanos road. Here the Christians and Muslims lived together in perfect harmony, until 1924. Then Christians had to leave the valley because of the exchange of minorities between Greece and Turkey, and the Muslims were forced to evacuate the valley in the 50s when life became dangerous due to risk on erosion. They left the place to set up a modern village a little further on, which they gave the name Yeni Zelve (Nieuw Zelve).

Now the old Zelve is a ghost town and the erosion continues. The three valleys in the open-air museum Zelve offer a paradise for hikers. It takes at least an hour and a half for a good trekker to walk through these valleys, which are also home to the oldest examples of Cappadocian architecture and religious paintings.

Devrent valley:
Devrent Valley, also known as the Valley of the Imagination and also as Pink Valley, does not have cave churches like the other valleys of Cappadocia. There are also no Roman castles or tombs in Devrent Valley. Actually it has never been inhabited. So what makes it so famous? The Moonscape!

Devrent Valley (also spelled Dervent Valley) reveals many different rock formations and is only a 10-minute drive from Goreme. The small fairy chimneys in the valley form a lunar landscape due to their strange appearance. The valley also has many animal-shaped rocks. It looks like a zoo made by nature. Some of the most important or easiest to see animal forms are camel, snake, seal and dolphin. If you let your imagination run wild, you will find much more. It's like looking at clouds and seeing a dragon. There is even a rock pillar that looks like the Virgin Mary holding Jesus Christ.

Avanos:
The ancient city of Avanos, whose ancient name was Venessa, overlooks Turkey's longest river, the Kızılırmak (Red River), which also separates Avanos from the rest of Cappadocia.
The most famous historical feature of Avanos, which is still relevant and highly visible today, is the production of pottery; it is also the most economic activity in the city. The ceramics trade in this district and the numerous pottery factories date back to the Hittites, and the ceramic clay from the red silt of the Kızılırmak has always been used. It is a popular destination for its attractive Old Town with cobbled streets and river views. Here you will also visit a small pottery workshop.

Özkonak Underground City:
Ozkonak Underground City is a super normal and amazing masterpiece and is located near Avanos. This glorious structure reflects the dreamlike historical atmosphere due to its architectural characteristic and its geopolitical situation.

The breathtaking, unique and incredible underground city, hollowed out of tuff, was built by the locals to defend themselves against the invasions of the warriors. It dates back to 400 BC, Byzantine (Rome) era. Therefore, many traps were placed here against the enemies, which is one of the main important features that enchant the tourists in our time.

As soon as you step into this precious, mystical underground city, you definitely realize how amazing the location, the ancient sanctuary is.

First, the priceless construction pays attention with its apartment complex plan, four large halls, four separate tombs, 10 special rooms,

Overnicht in Cappadocia

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THIRD DAY

(OPTIONAL) Up early for one of the highlights of a visit to Cappadocia. You will be picked up to experience Cappadocie from above with a balloon ride over the colorful valleys of this natural wonder at sunrise. It is precisely at sunrise that an enchanting play of colors appears over the landscape, which depicts itself as a fairytale. A once in a lifetime experience that you should definitely experience. (Bring a jacket, flat-soled shoes and definitely your camera)

After breakfast at the hotel you will head towards Ortahisar

Ortahisar:

Ortahisar means 'middle castle' and as the name implies, it is centrally located between the Cappadocian towns of Goreme, Urgup, Uchisar and Nevsehir. As you enter the city, you will see doors in the rock walls on both sides. These doors are the best example of the cool air storage facilities in Cappadocia. These naturally air-conditioned spaces store lemons and oranges from the Mediterranean, apples from Nigde, local potatoes, quinces and onions. Green lemons slowly turn yellow in these storage areas.

Ortahisar is famous for its friendly inhabitants, picturesque stone houses, narrow streets and pretty churches, as well as the castle-like rock formation after which the town is named. This 90-meter-high natural fortress, a prominent landmark in the region — honeycomb structure with caves and tunnels, camouflaged by nature with no indication of human presence inside — has partially crumbled, revealing some of its interior. Today it has been restored and the top is accessible by stairs. Ortahisar Castle offers a wonderful panorama over the fairy chimneys of Hallacdere and the snowcapped peak of Mt. Erciyes.

If you follow the street close to the main fortress, you can visit the Ali Reis Church with Christ on the main dome. If you keep on the main street in the south, you can see the Balkan Deresi up to the Balkan Churches. Some churches near Ortahisar have recently been opened. When leaving Urgup, keep right for 2 km towards Mustafapasa (Sinasos), after 1 km you will see the yellow signs for Sarica Church and Kepez Church. Another kilometer takes you to Pancarlik Church in the Pancarlik Valley, which has very fine frescoes on the ceiling.

The Hallacdere Monastery Complex (also known as the Hospital Monastery) 1 km northeast of Ortahisar is one of the best examples of the courtyard cloisters. It has a vestibule, a kitchen, a large burial chamber, five rooms of various sizes and a church with a four-column crucifix. Unique in Cappadocia are the animal head decorations on column capitals and the sculpture of a human figure on the wall. Due to the silting up, the ground level within the complex is more than a meter below that of the inner courtyard.

Overnight in Cappadocia

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FOURTH DAY

After enjoying breakfast in the hotel, your program is as following
THREE GRACES (BEAUTIES) (photo break)
Three Graces are the beautiful three fairy chimneys in Urgüp. It is the most famous natural beauty and the symbol of Urgüp. This amazing natural formation is known not only for its enchanting scenery, but also for the incredible story behind it.

Via the beautiful old Greek village of Mustafapaşa to Keslik Monastery (Cemil köy)

The Keşlik Monastery outside Ürgüp is a vast cave monastery complex with two churches (St. Michael and St. Stephen), a large refectory hall, a sacred well, and endless cave rooms. Set in an idyllic garden setting, this is the most expansive monastery in Cappadocia.

This site has been used and developed in many ways over the course of 2000 years. This area was a tomb in pre-Christian Roman times, a large communal monastery during the Byzantine era, a functioning Orthodox church in the 20th century, and now a tourist attraction in modern Turkey.

Sobessos mosaics:
The ancient city of Sobesos in the village of Sahinefendi is quite remote from the main attractions in Cappadocia on the way to the Soganli Valley. The ancient city was discovered by some treasure hunters working in the fields in 2002. Today you can see the only Roman ancient city in Cappadocia through research and excavations.

The archaeologists have uncovered the Roman bathing area, the Agora, the basilica and the Bouleterion buildings. Much remains to be excavated in this city, but because the government is not funding enough, the archaeologists can only excavate every 2 years for about 3 months.

The Roman bath area has good hypocaust (underfloor) central heating, which can still be seen. Located right next to the bath, the Agora is a simple ancient shopping mall.

The Bouleterion was something like the parliament of contemporary governments and several columns still stand around a rectangular building. The basilica has the best preserved mosaics in the Cappadocia region and has beautiful depictions of cross shapes.


Soğanlı valley:
This valley is located near Yesilhisar in Kayseri province, 65 km southeast of Goreme. It is an earth rift from the third tectonic period (when the continents separated). Fractures and collapses during earthquakes added to erosion resulting in deep valleys and canyons. The Soganli Valley, which is divided in two, has been occupied since Roman times. The rock cones found on the sides of the valley were used as tombs by the Romans, and later by the Byzantines as churches. The frescoes in the church date from the 6th — 9th and 13th centuries. Important churches in the valley are Karabas, Yilanli, Kubbeli and the Church of St. Barbara (Tahtali).
Overnight in Cappadocia

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FIFTH DAY

After breakfast, you're program will be:
Guzelyurt:
With a population of about 12,500 people, Güzelyurt is a small rural area in southeastern Aksaray at a distance of about 90 km from Göreme. Güzelyurt can also be seen as a mini Cappadocia due to its scenery and historical sites.

The name of the town, Güzelyurt, means «beautiful country» in Dutch. Given its natural splendor, unique landscape and abundant historical sites, it would be quite accurate to say that Güzelyurt is doing everything it can to live up to its name. Here too you have the world to yourself with an unforgettable walk through the monastery valley.

İhlara valley (photo break from above):
Ihlara Valley (often misspelled Ilhara Valley), near the Hasan volcano and the Melendiz volcano (two of the three volcanoes of Cappadocia) is a gorge with a depth of about 100 meters and was formed thousands of years ago by the Melendiz River. It starts in the village of Ihlara and ends with the Selime Monastery in the village of Selime after making 26 turns over 14 kilometers.

It is believed that the valley contained more than four thousand dwellings and one hundred cave churches, decorated with frescoes. About eighty thousand people once lived in the Ihlara Valley.

Selime Monastery:
One of the most unexpected surprises in Cappadocia is the beautiful rock-cut monastery in Selime, at the end of the Ihlara Valley, 28 km from Aksaray. Selime was home to Hittite, Assyrian, Persian, Roman, Byzantine, Danişment, Seljuk and Ottoman civilizations. One of the most important aspects of the fortress-monastery of Selime was that many prominent clergymen were trained there. The region's military headquarters was also located there. Although the monastery dates from the 8th and 9th centuries, the frescoes in the structure date from the late 10th and early 11th centuries. The images include Ascension, Annunciation and Mother Mary.

The Selime Monastery is the largest religious building in Cappadocia with a cathedral-sized church. Inside the cathedral there are two rows of rock columns. These columns divide the cathedral into three parts. The size of the church is amazing. The columns and arches of the church, cut directly from the tuff in the Selime Monastery, still bear the distinctive markings of several generations that once inhabited it. Rudimentary icons from the early days can be seen more clearly, but detailed frescoes, painted later, are barely visible under the years of soot covering the surfaces from when the Turks used the room for cooking.



The monastery also contains monks' quarters, a large kitchen and even a stable for mules. The walls of the rooms were once decorated with frescoes, but little of this remains. From the road there is a short but challenging climb up a steep and slippery hill to the monastery. On the way to the monastery we first go through a tunnel-like corridor, which was part of the caravan path on which camels walked. The camel caravans came to Selime for a stopover because there was a large bazaar there, and for protection camels were moved to the central part of the monastery led.

The upper part of the monastery has a fortress-like structure, the walls and trenches of which are still visible. It also contains some secret passages, a series of winding, increasingly steep rock stairs/ladders. If you are adventurous enough you can follow them but the climb down can be a bit nerve-wracking but well worth the views. The monastery also has a courtyard. This was the part where important religious and military gatherings were held.

Located across the road from the Selime Monastery, surrounded by a cemetery, Selime Sultan Turbesi (The Monumental Tomb) is another stop for visitors. It is a rare specimen of its kind in Anatolia, as it is cone-shaped with an octagonal base. Due to the architectural style and the materials used, it most likely dates from the 13th century AD.

Overnight in Cappadocia

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SIXTH DAY

After breakfast another wonderful day is waiting for you:
Hiking day from Göreme to Uçhisar through the beautiful pigeon valley with a visit to the Uçhisar castle, old Uçhisar and wine tasting at Turasan winery

Uchisar is located on the highest point of Cappadocia, on the Nevsehir-Goreme road, just 5 km from Goreme. The top of the Uchisar Castle offers a beautiful panorama of the surroundings with Mount Erciyes in the distance.

Many rooms hollowed into the rock are connected by stairs, tunnels and passageways. At the entrances to the rooms, like those in the underground settlements, millstone doors have been used to control access to these places. Unfortunately, due to the erosion in places of this multi-storey castle, it is not possible to reach all rooms. Most of the rooms, located on the north side of the castle, are now used as dovecuts. Farmers used these cave pigeon houses to collect the droppings of pigeons, which is an excellent natural fertilizer for the orchards and vineyards.

There are also many other pigeon houses in Pigeon Valley (Guvercinlik Vadisi in Turkish) connecting Uchisar to Goreme. Most of these cave dwellings are painted white to attract the birds and their valuable droppings.

The fairy chimneys to the west, east and north of Uchisar were hollowed out and used as tombs during Roman times. Within these rock-cut tombs, the entrances generally facing west are clinkers or stone slabs on which the bodies were laid.

Uchisar Pigeon Valley, Cappadocia Many rock churches have been discovered not only on the edge of the castle, but also inside the castle. The reason for this may be that Goreme, with numerous churches and monasteries, is very close to Uchisar.

The simple Byzantine tombs on top of the castle are not very interesting as they have been hollowed out and looted. It is said that in cities with citadels e.g. Uchisar, Ortahisar and Urgup (Bashisar), long defense tunnels extended far into the surrounding areas. However, because the tunnels have collapsed in some places, this theory cannot be confirmed, but it is a popular myth about the great distances they traveled.
Overnight in Cappadocia

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SEVENTH DAY

After breakfast you will check out from the hotel at 10.00 ‘o-clock for a visit to the interesting historical sites of the city Kayseri.
Kayseri has been one of the most important trade center in Anatolia over the history. Located in the right center of the country, it has the feel of a modern, busy city but also has a strong traditional and religious atmosphere. The setting is spectacular, with the mountains of Erciyes Dagi and Kara Dagi in the background, a snow-capped volcano and green fields, and the nearby Sultansazligi bird sanctuary. The city is also well known for its textile and carpet industry, and has impressive monuments that reflect its history. Kayseri has always been a popular option as a base to explore Cappadocia.
Inhabited since 3000 BC, Kayseri was an important trade center, particularly as a stop along the Silk Road. The city is thought to have had three golden ages, first in 2000 BC as a trading post between the Assyrians and Hittites, next under the Romans in 200-300 AD, and finally as the second Seljuk capital from 1178 to 1243. The city was also the home town of the famous architect Sinan, and played host to the Turkish Grand National Assembly when Greek forces neared Ankara during the Turkish civil war.
Visiting:
Gevher Nesibe Medical Madrasa and Hospital: The birth of medicine and the first school in the world for medicine. The Gevher Nesibe Medical Madrasa and Hospital, which was opened in 1206 during the Anatolian Seljuk period. This hospital is a first in the world because it houses both the medical school and the hospital in the same building. The Gevher Nesibe Medical Madrasa and Hospital has now been restored in Kayseri and has been presented to the public as a museum by the Metropolitan Municipality in its final form.

Sayyid Burhaneddin Hz. Tomb: The tomb of Sayyid Burhaneddin, the teacher of 13th-century Sufi philosopher Mevlana Jalaladdin Rumi, is one of the most visited shrines in central Turkey's Kayseri province today.

The castle of Kayseri: Kayseri Ramparts and Castle are constructed on 3rd century, and narrowed & repaired in the middle of 6th century. Ancient castle of Kayseri city is composed of two parts: internal castle and external castle, composed of external ramparts and bastions.

Today we’ll have a late lunch/early dinner

Freetime for shopping in the center
Overnight in Cappadocia

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EIGTH DAY

Freetime until departure to Kayseri airport for your flight to Antalya.
An end came to a fairytale tour of ETD-Travel and we wish you a safe journey home. We like to see you again on one of our other exclusive tours

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