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  • 1

    Start in Goreme, Cappadocia

    Those on our group flights will fly to Kayseri via Istanbul, arriving in the evening. A local representative will meet you at the airport and you will transfer (approx. 1.5 hours) to our hotel in Goreme, a town surrounded by rock-hewn caves and cone-shaped pinnacles in the heart of the Cappadocia region. Land only clients will meet the group and be briefed by the leader over a late dinner or drink. Accommodation: Ciner Hotel or similar

  • 2

    Explore the Zindanonu Valley, Cavusin Village and Avanos en route to the ancient hermitage sites of Monk's Valley (Paşabaglari).

    Head out to discover the Zindanönü Valley and onto Cavusin Village, home to the church of St John the Baptist, one of the largest in the region and part of an imposing rock-cut monastery complex. Perched atop a hill side, it offers great views over the area. A short transfer brings us to Avanos town, close to the Red River (Kizilirmak), which spans over 1000 kilometres making it one of the longest in Turkey. Thanks to the abundance of red and white clay found on the banks of the river, nearby Avanos has long been an important centre for Anatolian pottery. After breaking for lunch and a chance to admire local earthenware products, continue on to Monk’s valley (Pasabag), well-known for its landscape dotted with fairy chimneys. These natural wonders are considered to be the most impressive in the region due to their colossal sizes. Pasabag was also an ecclesiastical centre for early Christian hermits such as St Simeon. Walk time approx. 5 hours (12 km) Accommodation: Ciner Hotel or similar

  • 3

    Take in incredible vistas at Goreme View Point, walk through the Zemi Valley to Uchisar Citadel and on to the Rose Valley.

    A short transfer takes us to the Goreme View Point (Aydin Kiragi), which offers incredible views of the town beneath. This part of Cappadocia is well known for the troglodyte dwellings which were carved into the soft stone by local people, and some of these are still used as homes. From this viewpoint commence a scenic walk into the agricultural Zemi Valley. Farming is an important industry in Cappadocia and forms a part of local life. Apricot and apple orchards abound, as do vineyards producing crops for delicious grape molasses and heady local wine. The route brings us to the Uchisar Citadel, the region’s highest point with the most wonderful vista. Following lunch in a local restaurant, take a short transfer to the Red Hole and from here walk amongst the network of paths that connects local farmlands of the Rose Valley. Time permitting, visit some of the rock-cut churches that pepper the area before heading back to the hotel. Walk time approx. 5 hours (13 km) Accommodation: Ciner Hotel or similar

  • 4

    Visit Goreme Open Air Museum and Kaymakli Underground City before travelling to the Taurus Mountains.

    Begin the day by walking through the Kiliclar Valley. Perfectly eroded over time, this fascinating landscape presents curious rock formations and fairy tale chimneys that wouldn't look out of place in a Dali painting. Afterwards enjoy a highlight of any trip to Cappadocia; the Goreme Open Air Museum. This former Christian monastery is a renowned Unesco World Heritage site and the widespread complex boasts some of the finest painted cave churches in the region. From the early period to around 1000-1200 AD, Byzantine Orthodox monks carved places of worship in the soft volcanic stone and decorated them with beautifully elaborate frescoes, many of which are still very much intact to this day. Continue on with a short transfer to another UNESCO heritage site, the underground city of Kaymakli, built by the early Hittite people of Anatolia before being inhabited by early Christians escaping Roman persecution. This fascinating construction is composed of an elaborate underground system of tunnels and cave rooms that features everything from living space to communal kitchens, stables, churches and storage rooms. We then transfer (approximately 2 hours) to the central Taurus Mountains, locally known as the Aladag, and our base for the next 3 nights in Demirkazik village. This mountain setting provides visitors the opportunity to interact with hospitable local people. Walk time approx. 2 hours (7 km) Accommodation: Mountain House or similar

  • 5

    Explore moutain wilderness as you snowshoe through Arpalik Plateau with an optional extension to Cimbar Canyon.

    Today’s walk will be centred around the spectacular scenery of Mount Demirkazik (3756 m), the highest in the Taurus range, and its formidable west face. We aim to reach Barley (Arpalik) Plateau at 2300m and walk back to Demirkazik Village. The more energetic can also elect to complete a short optional hike, discovering the dramatic natural wonder of Cimbar Canyon. Ascent: 700m, descent: 700m. Walk time approx. 5 hours (8 km) Accommodation: Mountain House or similar

  • 6

    Walk through the conifer forests of the Emli Valley to the high pastures of the Aksampinari Plateau.

    The walk today will take us through the spectacular Emli Valley with views of its stunning rock walls, peaks, valleys and natural conifer forests, continuing on to the higher pastures of Aksampinari Plateau (2200 m). During this circular walk we will take in a number of unique sights, such as the spectacular spire of the 700-foot tall Finger Rock (Parmakkaya), the rather dramatic Tranga tower and the narrow entrance of Kazikliali Canyon, offering great photo opportunities. The natural environment here is a true feast for the senses and the vast forest is comprised of fir and juniper trees and a wide variety of wild shrubs are scattered over the slopes. In addition to being a place of place of outstanding natural beauty, this valley is also used by local villagers as a pasture for raising livestock, promoting the traditional way of life in the region. Ascent: 600m, descent: 600m. Walk time approx. 6 hours (12 km) Accommodation: Mountain House or similar

  • 7

    From Pinarbasi Village snowshoe to Totari Canyon and Maden Valley before our afternoon transfer to Kayseri.

    Another short transfer brings us to Pinarbasi Village, at the foot of the mountains, from where we snowshoe towards Totari Canyon, boasting wide-open, sheer rock walls which provide a dramatic contrast to the backdrop of plains. The northern Aladag area is a wildlife reserve, protecting many indigenous species including but not limited to the Anatolian ground squirrel, Long-legged buzzard, Caspian snowcock, Golden eagle and wild mountain goats which we may have the opportunity to observe as we make our way towards Maden (Mine) Valley, surrounded by some of the region’s highest peaks. After lunch, transfer back to Kayseri (approx. 2.5 hours) and enjoy an optional city walk. The modern city of Kayseri has a history dating back over 2000 years, starting as the first Hittite capital city and enduring Roman, Christian, Arab and Seljuk periods to name but a few, leaving some of the finest examples of early Turkish architecture in Anatolia. Ascent: 300m, descent: 300m. Walk time approx. 3 hours (10 km) Accommodation: Atalay Hotel or similar

  • 8

    End Kayseri

    Trip ends in Kayseri today.

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