Tour description provided by Viator
Behold the spectacular rock formations and cave churches of Turkey’s Cappadocia region on this full-day sightseeing trip from Istanbul, including round-trip transfers, flights and lunch! Drive through valleys crowded with surreal volcanic pillars and pinnacles; ogle the painted cave churches of UNESCO-listed Göreme Open-Air Museum; and explore the hand-carved tunnels of Özkonak, an ancient underground city. Midway through, catch your breath in the pottery town of Avanos, with a tasty Anatolian lunch and entertaining pottery-making class.
This small-group tour is limited to 20 people so you enjoy a more personalized experience.
Leave your centrally located Istanbul hotel in the early morning for your transfer to Istanbul airport. Board your flight to Kayseri Airport and, on arrival, climb into an air-conditioned minivan for your journey to Cappadocia.
After around a 1-hour drive, arrive at the Devrent Valley, also known as Imagination Valley. Drive through this surreal place, whose hills are crowded with bizarrely shaped volcanic cones and pillars. Listen spellbound as your guide recounts how the sculptures have been formed by millennia of erosion.
Next, head to Özkonak Underground City, an ancient town believed to have been carved by the Byzantines and unique for its ventilation system — air holes that allowed its citizens to breathe when the city was closed off. Explore its main passage, chambers and tombs, and see the door holes that enabled those who lived here to pour hot oil onto intruders.
Continue to the pottery-making town of Avanos and visit a restaurant for a delicious, 3-course typical Anatolian lunch with coffee. See the Itinerary for a sample menu. Then, move on to a pottery workshop to try your hand at pottery. Watch a demonstration, and then get the potter’s wheel spinning to shape your very own clay masterpiece, all as your guide reveals more about this age-old craft.
Afterward, drive through Pasabag, also known as Monks Valley. Gaze at the mushroom-shaped pinnacles that line the hills and discover how the area was named after the monks that found sanctuary here in around the 4th century AD.
Your final stop is Göreme Open-Air Museum, a UNESCO-listed cluster of cave churches painted with stunning frescos. Wander around these incredible rock chapels, and learn how they were carved and decorated between the 10 and 12th centuries AD.
Afterward, return to Kayseri Airport for your flight to Istanbul and a drop-off back at your hotel.