CAPPADOCIA which is unique in the world and is a miraculous nature wonder is the common name of the field covered by the provinces of Aksaray, Nigde, Kayseri and Kirsehir in the middle Anatolian region. This region of a haunting, almost imaginary landscape has a beauty found in few other places. Like a badlands, the topography is a product of erosion which is still going on and which reminds one of the power of natural forces. In addition to the usual tourist sites, many other valleys are honeycombed with caves. Some were once used pagan worship; some were the retreats of Muslim mystics. But large numbers are the rock-cut Christian churches and monasteries decorated with work of major artistic and historic importance. Cappadocia which is in our days one of the most important tourism centers of Turkey is visited every year by hundred thousands of tourists coming from every part of the world.

DAY 1: Early flight from Istanbul to Kayseri by Turkish Airlines. The flight takes about one hour.  Arrival to Kayseri (Caesarea) airport and drive to Cappadocia/Nevsehir. It takes approx one hour drive to Cappadocia/Nevsehir. Our first real encounter with Cappadocia's almost Martian landscape is in the DERVENT VALLEY, where the rock formations are amazing. After our optional lunch, walk through the ZELVE OPEN AIR MUSEUM is a journey into past, with its troglodyte houses. This the earliest inhabited and latest abandoned monastic settlements in Cappadocia. After Zelve we visit PASABAG?S ?fairy chimneys", where the voice of the wind harmonizes with the songs of the fairies. We check in our rock cut hotel. Optional dinner. For the evening I recommend you to go to the Sarihan Caravansaria built in the 13th Century for see the WHIRLING DERVISHES SHOW.  It starts at 21:30 and finishes at 22:30.

Day 2: The best way to explore Cappadocia is on a hot air Balloon so why not for a balloon ride early in the morning before the sightseeing tour.  After our breakfast, we visit Cavusin village upon arrival. Our first stop is the CHURCH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST. It is the oldest church in the region, the building and paintings dating back to the 5th century AD. We stroll among the ruins in the old Cavusin valley were the places where the Christian missionaries and communities lived. From here we pause at Avanos, a center of terracotta art since 3,000 BC, for a demonstration in a traditional pottery workshop. After we visit GOREME OPEN AIR MUSEUM to see the best examples of Byzantine art in Cappadocia. These are found in rock-cut churches with frescoes and paintings dating from as early as 10th century. After our lunch, we drive to the Uchisar Rock-Castle, giving you a panoramic view of the valleys of Cappadocia. From there we continue to the underground city of Kaymakli; one of the largest and deepest of Cappadocia's many such settlements. Our second stop is the Soganli valley, which is one of the earliest settlements in Cappadocia. After this, we drive back to Urgup through the unspoiled villages of Cappadocia, surrounded by the "table-top" mountains. One the way we visit the Medrese in Taskinpasa, a Theological School of the Seljuk Turks. Visit to Mustafapasa (Sinassos), an ancient Greek town with its spectacular old Greek houses: very fine examples of late Greek settlements and architecture. We drive to Kayseri Airport for our flight to Istanbul in the evening. Check into your hotel or to your cruise ship. 

Tour strength: Moderate activity. Comfortable shoes are must.