The Hiking in Cappadocia Tour starts at 9.30 from our office after a cup of morning coffee or tea and finishes at about 5-6 pm. We pick you up from your hotel in Göreme at 9.15 - 9.20 or 9.00 from Ürgüp or Uçhisar.
The first stop is below Uçhisar castle, where you have a nice view of the castle and the fantastic cone-shaped rock formations surrounding it. The magnificent landscape of Cappadocia has been formed from solidified lava streams, ash and tuff stone from volcanic eruptions millions of years ago. The landscape you can see now is the result of thousands of years of continual erosion, which has shaped the tuff deposits into the strangest pyramids and cones. The guide gives you information about how the landscape was formed and the history of Cappadocia.
After that you drive to Ihlara valley, a 16 km long gorge formed in the volcanic rock in the southern part of Cappadocia, following several eruptions of Mount Erciyes. The Melendiz stream flows through the valley. What makes the valley unique is the ancient history of its inhabitants. The whole canyon is honeycombed with rock-cut underground dwellings and churches from the Byzantine period. In Ihlara valley you take a 14 km hike in the Melendiz river canyon first from Ihlara village to Belisirma village and you can also visit 4 different churches there. Kokar kilise (Smelling church), Sümbüllü kilise (Hyacinth church), Yılanlı kilise (Snake church) and Kırkdamaltı kilise (St George’s church) are just some of the churches that you can see on the way. After lunch in a local restaurant in Belisirma you continue hiking along the river until Selime monastery.
After the hike you climb up to Selime, the biggest rock-cut monastery in Cappadocia with a cathedral-size church. Selime monastery was carved by monks in the 13th century and in addition to the church, it also has monks’ quarters, a large kitchen and stables for animals.
Last you can go for a swim in Nar Lake (Nar Gölü or Pomegranate Lake), a volcanic crater lake situated in a remote and deserted valley surrounded by hills. Its surface lies 70 metres below the surface of the plain and the depth of the lake is not known. Hot water surging out from the south and north shores of the lake is supposed to be useful in treating rheumatism and many people from neighbouring villages come here for a cure.
The tour finishes with a cup of tea, apple tea or coffee in our office and after that we take you back to your hotel.