PRIVATE WALKY–TALKY TOUR DETAILS
HIKE IN CAPPADOCIA’S MOST BEAUTIFUL VALLEYS AND COUNTRYSIDE. Escape the crowds – get into nature – feel the spirit of the landscape – explore cave churches, pigeon houses, natural tunnels carved by running water – walk through the grape gardens of the locals with their fruit and nut trees – this is the REAL, AWESOME CAPPADOCIA that has existed for millenia, a paradise not seen on the regular tours.
RED, ROSE & MESKENDIR valleys are the best in the region, situated between Ortahisar sunset point and Cavusin Castle. At the end of the valley walk you can go on to explore the castle which is home to Saint John’s Church, the oldest church in the area, and you can go to the top of the castle and walk down the other side past some lesser–seen fairy chimneys. You can even walk on to Pasabaglari for the 3–headed fairy chimneys.
PIGEON VALLEY walk takes you past many pigeon houses high up in the rocks. The quano from the pigeons is the best fertilizer for the Cappadocian volcanic soil, and you will wonder how the local people entered the pigeon houses to collect this valuable wonder of nature. The treck also goes past Uchisar Castle and through beautiful valleys with grape, fruit and nut tree gardens all the way to Goreme Village, where the hustle and bustle will make you feel you have left paradise behind.
LOVE VALLEY hike really goes through two valleys where the locals grow vines and fruit and nut trees. The famouns phallic shaped rocks of Love Valley towards the end of the trek are spectacular and you can walk around these tall pillars and explore the caves at the base of some of them. (When writing this I discovered there are no synonyms for phallic in the online thesaurus – lol!) BOOK by EMAIL ››
GOREME OPEN AIR MUSEUM is home to the world’s most important Byzantine cave churches in these once remote valleys where monks and nuns pursued monastic life from the 3rd century on. Saint Basil, one of the three Cappadocian Fathers of the Church and Bishop of Caesarea (Kayseri) who first formulated the rules for monastic life directly influenced the lifestyle of the monastic orders in these valleys. Here you can see the best preserved in situ Byzantine cave wall paintings and frescos from the late Byzantine period through to the end of Seljuk rule. Icons with scenes from the Old Testament and the New Testament above portraits of Church Fathers and saints depict the structure of the Byzantine universe. The best examples, the Dark Church (private tour only) and the Buckle Church, should not be missed. BOOK by EMAIL ››
KAYMAKLI UNDERGROUND CITY is one of the most amazing man–made wonders of the world. Although all towns and villages in Cappadocia once had safe and secure secret rooms dug out of the soft tufa (tuff) rock, the underground cities of Kaymakli and Derinkuyu are intrinsically different because their size, scale, and evidence of underground city planning. Up to 50 meters deep and 3 kilometers wide, as many as 5,000 people were able to hide safely underground out of site of the enemy, with their store of food that could last for months if necessary.
Life (and death) could continue relatively normally in these well–ventilated cities lit by linseed–oil lamps, which had their own water supply, stockpiled food, kitchens, toilets, churches and even graveyards safe behind their gigantic circular mill–stone doors which could only be opened from the inside. The people could even cook food safely, as multiple chimneys dispersed the smoke imperceptibly so their presence would not be discovered by the enemy. BOOK by EMAIL ››
DEVRENT VALLEY also known as "Imagination Valley", is the most surreal–looking landscape. This is one part of Cappadocia that really makes one feel they are on a different planet. Thousands of years of wind, rain and extreme temperature changes have worn the beautifully colored rocks into strange and wonderful animal and human shapes that make you think a modern sculptor has been living in the valley. You are wrong! You have just been introduced to the work of nature’s greatest artist, Erosion. BOOK by EMAIL ››
PASABAGI means "The Pasha’s Vineyard", a name it received after the Byzantine Greek population left the region. In Seljuk and Ottoman times, it was called "Papaz’in Bagi" because Christian hermits chose to locate hermit cells and churches in these three–headed pinnacles symbolic of the Holy Trinity. Perhaps such symbolism helped these monks develop a greater understanding of God. This peaceful, attractive valley is famous for its three headed fairy chimneys, and it’s possible to see all the stages in the formation of fairy chimneys at this spot. The vineyards surrounding these natural wonders are still cultivated by locals (you can taste the grapes from September on), and trees such as apricot, apple, pear, quince, cherry, mulberry and walnut are plentiful. BOOK by EMAIL ››
ZELVE Open Air Museum (an alternative to Cavusin) was a lived in village until the 1960s. Cave homes were carved into the rock sides of the valleys at ground level, and much higher up were other carved shelters used as dovecotes in normal times and as safe hiding places in times of danger. Muslims and Christians lived together in relative safety, protected by the steep valley sides and the mountain behind. Their mosque and churches are a perfect illustration to the modern world that people of different religions can live in harmony. BOOK by EMAIL ››
CAVUSIN CASTLE (an alternative to Zelve) is a spectacular rock citadel that once housed everyone in the village. While it was a relatively safe place to live, the villagers had to carry their water up to their homes every day. The village was home to many Christians, and Saint John the Baptist’s Church, despite its poor condition, is still worth finding. You can also follow a narrow path to the top of the castle visiting some of the more recently lived–in homes on the way. As you descend on the other side there are some lovely examples of fairy chimneys. BOOK by EMAIL ››
AVANOS has been famous for thousands of years for its pottery made from the red, iron-ore bearing clay deposited by the longest river within Turkey, the Kizilirmak (Red River). During the second millennium BCE, Avanos was inhabited by Assyrian traders and was later taken over by the Hittites; some of the techniques and designs used by potters today date back to this period. At one time every house had a potters wheel, and no family would give their daughter in marriage if the groom could not make pots! Today, the best of the ceramics and tiles on sale in Istanbul and other major cities are made here. You can watch potters spinning their traditional kick–wheels with their feet, and even try throwing a pot yourself. BOOK by EMAIL ››
ESENTEPE viewpoint is the best panoramic viewpoint from which to see Goreme Valley. The village is full of fairy chimneys, some of which have been converted into homes by cutting caves out of the soft volcanic rock. If you are interested, it may be possible to visit a local family’s cave home and see inside one of these fascinating houses.
PIGEON VALLEY viewpoint you have a bird’s eye view of the dovecotes carved out of the rocks, the snow capped Mount Erciyes (the mountain that gets bigger the further away you are), as well as a spectacular view of old abandoned fairy chimney cave homes and old Greek houses and UCHISAR CASTLE.
URGUP’S FAIRY CHIMNEYS, the symbol of Cappadocia, are famously called "The Three Beauties"; another amazing panorama of the Cappadocian countryside where you can see the local’s vineyards with fruit trees as well as an amazing rockscape around the foot of the low level table–top mountain. BOOK by EMAIL ››>