Turkey Panorama

Turkey Panorama information and booking

from
$2360
  • Duration
    14 days
    Days
  • Group size
    4-16
    Persons
  • Difficulty
    Moderate
Check prices & availability

Schedule Details

Summary
  • 14 day trip
  • 5 day trek
  • 7 nights hotel
  • 6 nights camping
Equipment Required
Specialist gear required includes walking boots, day pack and sleeping bag (a comprehensive gear list is provided in the pre-departure information provided on booking).

Highlights

  • The stunning city of Istanbul
  • Trekking in the Taurus Mountains
  • Walking in Cappadocia

Tour description provided by World Expeditions

Capture the incredible history and geographical diversity of Turkey, combining ancient wonders with a trek in the Taurus Mountains. Our journey commences in the wondrous city of Istanbul with the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace amid other splendours. Trek in the picturesque Taurus Mountains where an ascent of Emler Peak (3723m) is possible. Finally, we travel into the heart of Turkey to the fascinating region of Cappadocia with its rock hewn landscapes where chimneys, churches and scenic valleys characterise the area. We undertake some day walks that will immerse us in the natural landscapes, allow us to explore the unique remains of underground cities, and to observe quaint villages.

What's included

  • 13 breakfasts, 10 lunches and 11 dinners
  • Arrival transfer day 1 only
  • Tourist class twin share hotel accommodation
  • Group camping equipment for trek including 2 person tents, sleeping mat, sleeping bag
  • Entrance and camping fees aladaglar national park (taurus mts)
  • All internal ground transport by private bus
  • Porterage whilst trekking
  • English speaking local guide
  • Camp crew/kitchen staff during trek
  • Flight istanbul to kayseri valued at approx usd $160

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Istanbul
If you are arriving in Istanbul today, you will be met at the airport and transferred to the group hotel. A meeting will be held this evening with your guide to introduce the trip and meet with your fellow travellers.
Day 2 Istanbul sightseeing
Formerly known as Constantinople, Istanbul was the hub of the Ottoman Empire and many of the grand buildings of this period are still present. Today we will explore the old Sultanahmet Area. It would be easy to spend a week in this city and still not have seen all the sights. We will visit the Hagia Sophia and the Hippodrome square (obelisks), both located within walking distance of our hotel. Rest of the afternoon at leisure.
Day 3 Istanbul, fly to Kayseri
An exciting day of discovery as your guide introduces you to more of Istanbul's famous sights; all are close to the old part of town - Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque and the Grand Bazaar. The markets are little changed from early times, with a chaotic mix of goods and wares brought by people near and far to trade. Foods, clothing, jewellery, leather goods can be found at reasonable prices if you bargain. In the late afternoon or early evening we will drive to Ataturk Airport (Istanbul) for our flight to Kayseri (or Nevsehir) and continue from there to Ihlara where we spend the night at the hotel. (Please note: flight is subject to availability and schedule changes. On some occasions it may be necessary to fly to the smaller airport of Nevsehir, also in the Cappadocia region).
Day 4 Hike Ihlara Valley, transfer to the Taurus Mountains
Today we start walking in the Ihlara Valley, a 14km long canyon with hundreds of rock hewn houses and churches. We will explore some of these and gain an insight into what it must have been like for the early civilisations living here. After having lunch in Belisirma village we drive to Selime to visit the Selime Monastery. A visit to this complex of buildings on a steep mountain slope is a must in the region. In the afternoon, we drive to the Aladaglar National Park. We pack our trek luggage into the kit bags that will be loaded onto our mules. Any excess luggage not required on the trek will be stored securely for collection again on Day 10. Walking time/distance: 3-4 hrs, 8 kms. Driving time/distance: 2 hrs, 145 kms.
Day 5 Commence Taurus Mountains trek to Alaca Plateau and Emli Valley
This morning we hike up to Mangirci Gorge via Emli Valley, and climb up to Alaca Yayla (Plateau) with spectacular views of the southern Aladaglar region. After lunch, we descend down to our campsite in the Emli Valley passing the old semi-nomadic camp of Oluksekisi. During summer, semi-nomadic families can be seen here with their livestock. Walking time: 5-6 hrs. Ascent/Descent: 650m.
Day 6 Trek Siyirmalik Valley, Eznevit Plateau and Sakartas Pass (2300m) to Sokulupinar camp
This morning you will walk up to the Siyirmalik Valley through its elegant forest of fir trees, and climb up via the pastures of the Eznevit Plateau until we reach the highest point on this pass (2538m). It is a truly picturesque region and we will take a break for lunch here with time to absorb the scenery and magnitude of the mountain landscape. From here, we continue walking towards the Sakartas Pass (2300m), and then descend to Sokulupinar where we overnight at the campsite. Walking time: 6-7 hrs; Ascent: 788m / Descent: 538m.
Day 7 Celikbuyduran Pass (3450m) and Yedigoller Plateau (3100m)
After breakfast we head up to Karayalak Valley and climb up to Celikbuyduran Pass (3450m). Today is our toughest day of walking as we will ascend for about 5 hours. Just before the Pass there is a small spring. With clear, sparkling mountain water this makes an ideal place for a short break. After the pass we will descend down to our camp on the Seven Lakes (Yedigoller) Plateau (3100m). Over a cup of tea at the camp we can reminisce on a stunning day of activity. Walking time: 7-8 hrs, Ascent: 1450m / Descent: 350m.
Day 8 Optional ascent of Emler Peak (3723m)
Today’s climb to the summit of Mt Emler is optional, starting and finishing at our base camp on the Seven Lakes Plateau. It is, however, well worth the effort with 360o vistas over the surrounding ranges. To commence we climb to the Celikbuyduran Pass (3450m) and ascend from there for about an hour to the Mt Emler summit (3723m). From the peak it is possible to see Mt Erciyes (3917m) to the north, Mt Hasan (3268m) to the west, the Bolkar Range to the south and all the main peaks of the Aladaglar Range. Weather permitting we will enjoy a picnic lunch on the summit before descending via the same route to our camp. Walking time: 5-6 hrs, Ascent/Descent: 623m.
Day 9 Teke Kalesi (3517m) and Seven Lakes Plateau
We leave our camp in the early morning and walk towards the second biggest lake of the area, and then climb up to the Teke Kalesi Pass (3517m). We take a short break to take in the incredible panoramic views over the Seven Lakes area below. We descend down green pastures via a narrow path via Yildiz (Star) Lake to our campsite at Karagol. Walking time: 7-8 hrs, Ascent: 417m / Descent: 717m.
Day 10 Complete trek, transfer to Cappadocia, en route visit Derinkuyu
This morning, we will walk down small roads that service local mines and little creeks via Maden gorge to Pinarbasi village, where we will meet our vehicle which will transfer us to the village of Demirkazik for lunch. On the way to Cappadocia, we visit the incredible underground city of Derinkuyu (8 levels connected by a series of tunnels, extending to a depth of 64m under the ground). Carved in ancient times as a shelter during periods of siege and continuous raids, this huge hidden city under the plains of Central Anatolia can best be described as “Swiss Cheese”! Walking time: 3 hrs, Descent: 400m. Driving time/distance: 2 hrs, 125 kms.
Day 11 Cappadocia: Uchisar, White Valley, Cavusin Zelve Monastery, Pasabaglari
Cappadocia is an extraordinary geological area in central Turkey - reminiscent of a lunar landscape pitted with small volcanic craters, vast barren plateaus and steep jagged cliffs. Only an occasional oasis laying low in semi fertile valleys fed by mineral laden volcanic soil breaks its moonlike landscape. Several centuries ago the Christians hid from encroaching Arab, Persian and Roman forces by building underground cave-like cities linked by secret tunnels. Only when it was safe to surface did the people tend to their fields above. Some of the cities descend some 21 stories. Today we climb Uchisar Fortress, which is the highest point of Goreme and has panoramic views of the surrounding area. Next we walk in the White Valley or ‘Love Valley’ as it is sometimes known. We continue to Cavusin, from where we start our walk amongst fascinating rock formations and with magnificent views to the fairy chimneys at Monk’s Valley (Pasabaglari) down below. Our walk concludes with a visit to the Zelve Monastery Valley and open air museum. Next we drive to the interesting triple capped fairy chimneys in Pasabaglari. Afterwards there is the option to enjoy a traditional Turkish bath or discover local handicrafts. Walking time/distance: 2-3 hrs, 6 kms; Descent: 280m (White Valley). Walking time/distance: 2-3 hrs, 4 kms; Ascent: 60m / Descent: 70m (Cavusin – Zelve - Pasabaglari).
Day 12 Cappadocia: Goreme Open Air Museum, Meskendir Valley, Red & Rose Valley
After breakfast, we continue our exploration of this fascinating region. First we explore the Museum of Goreme, one of the area's most interesting sights with some of the best preserved frescoes in Cappadocia. Afterwards, we start walking in the Meskendir Valley, which is full with old cave houses and complexes from the old Christian civilisation. Next we cross over to the beautiful Red and Rose Valleys with its spectacular formations and colours where, time permitting, there is an opportunity to visit some hidden churches. Afterwards, optional visits can be made to a pottery centre to learn the 5000 yr old traditions of this craft; and to a carpet workshop, where the knotted or flat woven (kilim) carpets are among the best known art forms produced by the Turks. There are environmental, sociological, economic, and religious reasons for the art of carpet weaving among the Turkish people. Some of these are incorporated into the colourful carpet designs. Walking time/distance: 4-5 hrs, 9 kms; Ascent: 85m / Descent: 135m (Meskendir Valley; Red & Rose Valley).
Day 13 Cappadocia: Explore Urgup and Goreme, whirling Dervish Show
This morning we take a leisurely exploration of the towns of Urgup and Goreme, with their small handicraft shops, pleasant cafes and tea houses. In the afternoon, we will be treated to a performance of the Vuslat Sema Whirling Dervishes of Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi. The Sema ceremony symbolises the mystical journey of a man's spiritual growth through mind and love to perfection. Afterwards we return to our hotel and enjoy a farewell dinner in Cappadocia.
Day 14 In Cappadocia, trip concludes
Trip arrangements conclude this morning after breakfast.