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Walking the Ancient Trails of Cappadocia - Premium Adventure

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New Release Fully Guided Adventure Small Group Walking & Hiking
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 Trip Length
9 Days
 Trip Starts
 Trip Finishes
9 Day Walking the Ancient Trails of Cappadocia - Premium Adventure Itinerary (Exodus)
Countries Explored: Turkey
Trip Operator:
Max. Group Size
Easy / Leisurely
Trip Styles
Walking & Trekking , Premium Adventures
Trip Code


Book online and enjoy exclusive savings on Exodus 9 Day Walking the Ancient Trails of Cappadocia - Premium Adventure. The rock towers, caves and cultural history of Cappadocia are best discovered on foot. Following ancient volcanic eruptions, the region was covered with a blanket of soft ‘tufa’ rock that is easily eroded by wind and water. It has been inhabited for millennia, with many civilisations carving cave dwellings and churches into the towers and hillsides. In recent times, local entrepreneurs have used the same principle to create incredible, unique hotels, one of which is a highlight...read more of our experience. Our programme of walks and activities will show you the best of the area, plus lesser-known routes and experiences. This trip is recommended to those who like exploring in style, and don’t settle with the ordinary.


Welcome to Turkey. Today you arrive in Istanbul, one of the most important and inspiringly beautiful cities in the world. We have no activities scheduled for today, so you are free to arrive anytime. Stay: Hotel Vicenza, Istanbul (four-star).

We start our Turkish experience with a calligraphy lesson, where we learn the secrets of creating rich patterns on handmade marble paper and experience the sensuous flow of Ottoman calligraphy in the company of our highly skilled artist-craftsperson. Participation enables the school to generate the funds to continue supporting the retention of this ancient skill.

For lunch, we have arranged a fabulous introduction to Turkish food, with a meal of Ottoman cuisine at the centrally located Matbah restaurant, which also has excellent views of Istanbul. In the late afternoon, we transfer to the airport for our 1hr 15min flight to Kayseri. Stay: Yunak Evleri cave hotel, Cappadocia (four-star) (B/L/D).

This morning is our chance to take part in the most iconic activity in Cappadocia – an early morning hot-air balloon ride. We have pre-booked slots for each group member, but to allow for possible weather-related delays or even cancellations, we will arrange final confirmation and payment through your leader for those who wish to take part. It's an early start and a short transfer, but the ride lasts for approximately 1h 15min, and ends with a cold glass of champagne.

After late breakfast, we continue our programme for the day. We start with a gentle climb up through the tunnels of Uchisar rock for a striking panoramic view, then continue to the extraordinary Goreme Open-Air Museum to see painted churches and troglodytic monastic dwellings. This afternoon, we drive to the rabbit warren-like village of old Cavusin and walk through the colourful Rose Valley, which is home to rock-cut churches, viewpoints, and stunning vistas to end at Sunset Point. Stay: Yunak Evleri cave hotel, Cappadocia (four-star) (B/L/D).

We set off on foot along the scenic Pigeon Valley trail, walking downhill from Uchisar to Goreme. Pigeon Valley is named after the many dove cotes carved into the dwellings. From Goreme, we drive to Kaymakli to explore the cellars, stables and houses of this underground city, before continuing to the beautiful Soganli Valley for a taste of lesser-known Cappadocia. For lunch, we visit a local family for a cooking experience. Discover regional home-cooked food in a shared experience. The leader will be on hand to help with translations and demonstrations. We return to our hotel mid-afternoon. Stay: Yunak Evleri cave hotel, Cappadocia (four-star) (B/L/D).

Today we walk through the White Valley. It is a little more challenging than the other hikes, but it is one of our favourites. From Uchisar, we descend into a valley of smooth snow-white rock faces and follow an uneven riverbed along the valley floor before entering Love Valley, which offers archetypal Cappadocia views and fairy chimneys. The original name of this valley was Valley of the Vines, but it's not hard to work out why it has been nicknamed Love Valley. After lunch, the afternoon will be at leisure. Stay: Yunak Evleri cave hotel, Cappadocia (four-star) (B/L/D).

After breakfast we explore the former monastic complex of Zelve, then drive to Pasabagi – one of the most famous valleys in Cappadocia We drive to Goreme to begin our hike through the Sword and Red valleys to the rock-hewn Kizlar Kalesi monastery. The path takes us through more jaw-dropping scenery, past the giant shards of rock that give Sword Valley its name, and on to the richly coloured rock formations that make Red Valley so remarkable. After lunch, there is an option to join a Jeep safari and go a little further afield to hidden corners as the drivers take you through narrow canyons and to viewpoints.

In the late afternoon, we visit the historic Saruhan Caravanserai to see the Sema Ritual performed by Whirling Dervishes. This traditional performance has a deep cultural significance in Turkey and is a spectacular, spiritual and often-moving experience. The evening is free to make your own choice of dinner venue. Stay: Yunak Evleri cave hotel, Cappadocia (four-star) (B/L).

After breakfast, we start our day tour to Ihlara Valley and one of the prettiest trails in Cappadocia. At 8. 5mi (14km) long and up to 394ft (120m) deep, it is the largest historically inhabited canyon in the world. Ihlara has hundreds of churches and shelters made by the easy excavation of the rocks surrounding the valley plus the classic fairy chimneys. We finish with a visit to Selime Cathedral when we exit the valley.

The last stop today is Avanos, the Cappadocia town established by the Hittites on the banks of Halys River. Making use of the red clay obtained from the shores, the Hittites created outstanding examples of pottery ware and used potters' wheels as early as the second millennia BCE. We visit the studio of a local potter-artist and enjoy an interactive presentation on how to create masterpieces of pottery and ceramics. In the evening, we have a farewell-to-Cappadocia dinner at Elai restaurant, near the stone-carved Uçhisar Castle, where all the tables overlook the green valleys. Stay: Yunak Elveri cave hotel, Cappadocia (four-star) (B/L/D).

This morning, we transfer to the airport for our flight to Istanbul. We arrive in Istanbul and transfer to our central hotel. There will be an option for a Turkish bath experience at the luxurious 16th-century Hurrem Sultan Hamam. If you wish to explore the more classic sights of Istanbul, our leader will offer walking maps and suggestions, or can help you book guided experiences.

In the evening, we enjoy our last group dinner at Hamdi Restaurant, revered for its traditional southeastern kebabs: it is the place to go for this much-loved Turkish dish. The popular restaurant is situated in the historic Eminönü district (West of Sultanahmet) and offers stunning views over the Golden Horn. Stay: Hotel Vicenza, Istanbul (four-star) (B/D).

After breakfast, we say our goodbyes and start our return journeys home. If you'd like more time to explore magnificent Istanbul, speak to your sales representative about extending your stay (B).

Trip Inclusions

  • Experience a six-night stay at the fabulous Yunak Evleri cave hotel in the heart of Cappadocia
  • Enjoy a unique programme of walks and activities to discover the history, valleys, rock towers and cave dwellings of the region
  • Grab the chance to take a hot-air balloon ride over the fairytale Cappadocia landscape
  • Discover historic Istanbul, from centrally located hotels

  • Eight nights in premium hotels in central locations
  • Five days leisurely/moderate walking
  • Travel by internal flights and air-conditioned minibus 
  • Eight breakfasts, six lunches and six dinners
  • Full programme of activities as shown in the itinerary
  • Tipping for all hotel, drivers and local staff
  • Named tour leader, chosen for their expertise and great customer feedback
  • Internal flights between Istanbul and Kayseri
  • Arrival and departure transfers

  • Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change
  • Price is for land, cruise and internal flights as specified.
  • Flights not specified are not included
About Exodus Travels
About Exodus Travels

Hit the trails with Exodus - from challenging peaks to leisurely coastal and countryside walks. Read more

Exodus Trip Leaders
Exodus Trip Leaders

Exodus chooses their Leaders carefully. Professional, dedicated and are passionate about sharing their home countries. Read more

Accommodation with Personality
Accommodation with Personality

Wherever possible, Exodus chooses properties that are locally owned and that reflect the area you are visiting. Read more


Saturday 17 Jun 2023
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Saturday 09 Sep 2023
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Saturday 07 Sep 2024
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Saturday 05 Oct 2024
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