Cappadocia and Lycian Way
The Cappadocia region has one of the strangest and most surreal landscapes on Earth. Violent eruptions of the volcanoes Erciyes (3916 m) and Hasan (3268 m) covered the plateau with lava and volcanic ash but three million years of erosion by wind and water has created monumental rock formations that could not have been designed by the wildest of artists. But it is not an area of volcanic blackness, as the landscape reflects a blend of warm reds and gold and cool greens and greys. Cappadocia is not only a wonder of Nature. Man has also left his mark on the region and we will explore cave dwellings, churches, monasteries and underground cities cut from the rock at the beginning of Christianity. On this tour you will experience a fantastic side of nature that no description can do justice. Staying in local guesthouses, and with insights from our knowledgeable guides, you will begin to feel part of this magical environment.
An omnipresent mountain in sublime juxtaposition with the sea; this is, no doubt, the first image you will retain of this voyage on lands that Alexander the Great was the conqueror. The Akdağ and Beydağları massifs are part of the majestic Taurus range. Their slopes are arid in some places, and green in some others, and their calcareous rock are reddened by the iron contained in the ground. Their high summits are snow-covered during most of the year. On this coast with a rich history, added to the amazing spectacle of a sea with limpid water striking the abrupt cliffs, you will discover the archaeological richness dating back to 8th century BC of Greek and Roman cities which are admirably preserved, with a Lycian necropolis lost in the vegetation, or immersed at the bottom of a turquoise sea.
The most attractive points of this program are:
- One day discovery of Istanbul
- Full discovery of Cappadocia
- Easy excursion, accessible to everyone, on mountainside paths with pleasant sea views.
- Discovery of archaeological sites, with the privilege of visiting those accessible only on foot.
- Sea-trip, around the remains of the immersed city of Kekova.
- And, finally, a truly enriching cultural exchange with the hospitable and gracious people of the coastal villages, and with shepherds who live with their families in isolated farms far from civilisation.
Day 1: Istanbul
Meet at the airport with our Anatolia Cultura Travel
team and drive to hotel for the night.
Meet with your tour guide at the hotel.
Day 2: Istanbul > Cappadocia
We begin our day with an orientation tour of Istanbul on foot, with your Tour Leader. During this tour we will point out attractions such as the Aya Sofya and the Topkapi Palace, which you will want to return to and explore during your free time, as well as visiting and hearing the stories behind many of Istanbul’s sights and discovering some of your leader's hidden city secrets. Our walk will include a wander through the atmospheric Spice Bazaar.
We explore the fabulous Blue Mosque, admiring the beautiful symmetry and internal tile work of the building. As it is a working mosque, take the chance to learn more about the ceremony behind Islam, the religion of around 98% of today's Turks. In front of the Blue Mosque, the ancient Hippodrome was once the scene of chariot races and now houses monuments from various moments in Istanbul’s history.
In the evening we take a short flight (1 hour) to Cappadocia ( Nevsehir or Kayseri). Drive to the hotel for the night.
Day 3: Tahtali and Pancarlik valley > Goreme (5 hrs walking)
After breakfast we transfer to the beautiful town of Tahtali, from where we start our walk along the Uzengi valley known for it’s interesting rock formations and centuries old pigeon houses that have been cut into the soft rock. After lunch we walk along Pancarlik valley with it’s terraced gardens, historic churches and ‘fairy chimney’ rock formations typical of the Cappadocia area.
Day 4: Akvadi and Guvercinlik valley, Uçhisar village > Goreme (5 hrs walking)
We walk in the Goreme and pigeon valleys, named due to the numerous pigeon houses built in the 18th century. From the village of Uchisar we climb to a superb lookout point, known as ‘the fortress’ giving a spectacular view over the Cappadocia area. After lunch we follow the Akvadi valley with it’s fruit gardens and vineyards, then arrive to Goreme. Night in pension.
Day 5: Zeminderesi and Love Avcilar valleys .
Short drive to the beginning of Zeminderesi valley. In the heart of Cappadocia, this is a very beautiful valley, with poplars, fruit trees and gardens between two walls of colour tuff. We follow all the meanders; the colours change quickly, the white dominate, the abandoned gardens fall down in this strange land.
Then our way continues into the love valley. As mushrooms, fairy-chimneys are standing up and we walk through them. Cones and unusual rock formations are the highlights of this part of the trek. In the afternoon we discover Avcilar valley.
Day 6: Pasabaglar and Kizilçukur (Red valley) (4 – 6 hrs walking)
We walk along the Pasabag or priest and Kizilcukur valleys also known as ‘red valley’, with its beautiful red coloured earth that has been sculpted by the elements over the millennia. Our walk today takes us through the extraordinary landscape with its many cave dwellings and frescoed churches. We follow the valley to Cavusin one of the first Christian settlements with its rock hewn church dedicated to St John the baptist with its impressive fresco of Salome dancing for Herodes king.
Night in Goreme.
Day 7: Ihlara - Konya
we continue driving to Derinkuyu where we visit the incredible underground city which descends 8 floors under ground (57m). Then we drive to the trailhead of our walk taking us through the Ihlara Valley where we visit beautiful orthodox Christian churches with well-preserved frescos dating from the 6th to the 12th Century. The valley is also rich with flora due to the presence of water. Then we go head to Konya for the night.
Day 8 : Antalya
Go on driving to Antalya. Founded in the 2nd century BC by Attale II, Antalya was occupied successively by Romans, Byzantines, Seljuk’s and the Ottomans. Today it is a pretty city on the Mediterranean coastal.
On the way we visit the best preserved theatre of the roman period.
Day 9: Termessos Antalya
Drive to Termessos to visit the ruins of the city set at 1050 m high and that Alexander the Great couldn’t conquer.
Then drive to Olimpos set at the base of mount Tahtali. Night in hotel.
Trek and visit: 4 h.
Day 10 : Olimpos > Çirali (Chimerae)
Continue on to Chimerae; we do a short walk to Çirali, where flames sometimes come out between the rocks. The legend tells that Chimerae, blowing fire from his mouth, was killed by Bellepherontes, who was riding his horse called Pegasus... After the visit of Olimpos ruins we return to the hotel for the night.
Walk : 4 h
Day 11 : Kekova islands > Kas
Departure for Uçagiz picturesque harbour. Here we take he opportunity for a pleasant boat excursion to discover the archaeological sites well preserved because they are not easily accessible. Along the northern coast of Kekova island (Apollania), some of the old houses were completely immersed by earthquakes during the Byzantine period. By boat, we go round the island, where you will see down to 1 to 2 m depth, in the bluish light of seabeds remains. By foot we walk up to the Simena castle rewarding us with a sight all around, and on numerous rock tombs. You will fully appreciate this day with a pedestrian stroll on the Tersane Island.
We join then our minibus to continue on to Kas.
Day 12 : Pinara – Saklikent – Fethiye
In the morning we walk to the ancient ruins of Pinara once a large Lycian city, which was created by colonists coming from Xanthos we have plenty of time to explore the site before driving to Saklikent Gorge and discover the impressive site cutout of the mountain. Discover the local handicrafts and join Fethiye for the night.
Day 13 : Dalyan – Caunos - Fethiye
Drive to Dalyan where we visit the ruins of the Caunos, the old carian city: we sea the theatre, temple, church, roman bath… The acropolis offers a spectacular view and is well worth to ascend. Then we do a boat trip through the reed labyrinth river to the Iztuzu beach where Careta-Careta turtles lay eggs.
Return back to Fethiye for the night.
Walk and visit 4 h.
Day 14: Kayakoy – Oludeniz – Antalya
The beginning of our trek is in Kayakoy, originally named ”Karmilassos”. This is an old Greek village given up at the beginning of the 20th C. 2 admirable churches are still drawn up among the stone-built houses in ruin. After the visit we go on trekking on a forest path offering a splendid panorama on the limpid turquoise water splits. We walk directly down to the Oludeniz lagoon. Drive back to Antalya.
Walk 3 hours.
Jour 15: Return
Drive to airport for the return flight..
Groupe size: Possibility to organize according to your needs. Anyway, the most enjoyable groupe size for a such trekking tour is 4-12 persons.
Please note that this is a sample trekking tour. Possibility to modify the itinerary add/remove days and/or combine with cultural visits.
Inclusions of our services:
English / French / Spanish / German speaking licensed tour guide.
All transfer and transportations necessary for the respect of the itinerary.
All accommodations in pension or hotel according to your needs.
All breakfast are included in the accommodations.Lunches / picnics as per your needs.
Dinners as per your needs.All entrances fees as per your needs.
Boat trips in Kekova and Caunos
Exclusions of our services:
Flights (please note that our agency is able to provide domestic and international flights. If needed please request)
Tips and personal expenses.Drinks during meals.
Hot air balloning possibility in Cappadocia