Five Days in Cappadocia
5 days with Intrepid Travel Rating:
Restricted to Ages 18-29
Day 1 Antalya - Cappadocia
Your trip starts in Antalya at 8 am. Meet your leader and the rest of your group, then head to the bus station to travel to Goreme (Cappadocia) by local bus (approx. 9.5 hours). Tonight we'll stay at Nazim's house in Ortahisar, an amazing spot with views over a secluded valley. Tonight Nazim and his lovely family will treat you to some true Turkish hospitality with some stellar home-cooked food, Cappdocia style. Take a walk around with your leader on arrival and maybe visit the Ortahisar Castle in the afternoon. Ahh the serenity.
Day 2 Cappadocia
Phallic rocks, fairy chimneys and underground cities: Cappadocia has it all. This morning you have the option of taking a very early hot air balloon over the crazy landscapes at sunrise (those who choose to take this optional extra will have a seriously excellent time, and your friends back home might think you've been to another planet when they see your photos). Later in the morning it's time to go underground and explore the cities down there. There are 36 underground cities in Cappadocia; the widest is Kaymakli, the deepest is Derinkuyu. These rabbit-warren metropolises were lovingly carved into the earth by the Hittites around ,500 years ago and if that doesn’t get you excited, you’re a robot. Later on there'll be free time to hit the nightlife of Goreme, or hit up a Whirling Dervish 'Sema' performance (optional).
Notes: The hot-air balloon activity can only be booked locally. Please speak to your trip leader on Day 1 to organise this.
Day 3 Cappadocia
Put your boots on and hike the hills and mountains to Goreme. Arrive at the local hotel then spend the afternoon resting. A game of backgammon anyone? If your muscles are a little sore from all the walking then you can always try a local hamam too. Don't worry about your luggage, it'll be transferred to your hotel. Thanks Nazim! Thank you driver! The total distance you walk will depend on the group and which route is taken.
Day 4 Cappadocia - Overnight bus
Spend the day exploring the Cappadocia area some more. If you like, you can stop by the Göreme Open Air Museum, a medieval wonderland of old rock-cut churches and frescoes. For a very different taste of the dizzyingly diverse landscape around here, you could check out Avanos, which is a chilled-out little town about 10 minutes away, known for its pottery and a 'red' river. Tonight it's time to say goodbye to Cappadocia (take a couple of last photos as you fight back the tears) and catch your overnight bus to Istanbul (approximately 10–12 hours).
Day 5 Istanbul
Your trip comes to an end this morning on arrival into Istanbul. But it's a great idea to stay a little longer. So many activities, so little time. You can get all cultural at the Blue Mosque, splash some cash at the Grand Bazaar (the rugs ain't cheap, but they are beautiful and handmade), take a ferry cruise along the blue waters of Bosphorus (this is awesome and only costs a few Turkish Lira, unlike the some of the houses you will see on the shore as you cruise past), or just eat your weight in last-minute pides. You can’t really go wrong.
Please note: if you wish to book a flight out of Istanbul today, we recommend avoiding flights before 1pm to allow for any delays on your overnight bus.
All This Included
Fairies, valleys, kebabs – oh my! You've got a handful of days to get to grips with cracking Cappadocia and here’s how you do it: get totes historic in Kaleici, go underground in Derinkuyu, hike the Ihlara Valley and feast in Istanbul. Serefe! (cheers!)
Budget hotel (2 nights)
Pension (1 night)
Overnight Bus (1 night)
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