Central Anatolia; beyond imagination

Tour Code : CUL 03

–    Ankara Citadel & Museum of Anatolian Civilizations 
–    Konya & Mevlana museum
–    Ihlara Valley & Selime Monastery 
–    Derinkuyu Underground city
–    Goreme open air Museum & Red valley
–    SultanHani Caravanserai


Best Season   
Jan / Feb / Mar / Apr / May / Jun / Jul / Aug / Sep / Oct / Nov / Dec


Duration of the Trip
8 Days / 7 Nights


Difficulty Level
= A (Easy) 


Hotel    :    7 Nights

Day 1 : Ankara

Meet at the Ankara airport with Demavend Travels representative and drive to the Hotel located in the cities old section, known as Ulus. Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the country’s second largest city after Istanbul; it is the centre of the Turkish Government, and houses all foreign embassies. We spend the Night in Ankara at the Hotel. Centrally located in Anatolia, Ankara is an important commercial and industrial city as well. We spend the Night in Ankara at the Hotel.
Transfer time: 30/40 min.; transfer distance: 30 km; (Ankara Airport – Hotel) 
ON: in Ankara at the Hotel
Meals: – / – / D

Day 2 : Sightseeing Ankara Citadel; museum of Anatolian Civilizations & mausoleum Anitkabir

After breakfast we take time to explore the old city (known as Ankara Citadel) before visiting the renowned Anatolian Civilisations museum. The old city (Ankara Citadel); is a fortification from ancient or medieval era; the exact date of its construction is unknown. The Castle was completed by the Romans; the Byzantines and Seljuks further made restorations and additions. The area around and inside the citadel, being the oldest part of Ankara, contains many fine examples of traditional architecture. There are recreational areas to relax; many restored traditional Turkish houses inside the citadel have found new life as restaurants, serving local cuisine. After walking through old city we visit the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations; situated at the entrance of the Citadel. The Museum building is an old ‘Bedesten’ (covered bazaar) that has been beautifully restored. The museum houses a unique collection; start with the Paleolithic era and continue chronologically through Neolithic, Early Bronze, Assyrian trading colonies, Hittite, Phrygian, Urartian, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman period works as well as a major section dedicated to Lydian treasures. The Museums coin collections, with examples ranging from the first minted money to modern times, represent the museum’s rare cultural treasures. In the late afternoon we visit Anitkabir; the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal AtatUrk; leader of the Turkish War of Independence and founder and first President of the Republic of Turkey. Completed in 1953, the mausoleum is an impressive fusion of ancient and modern architectural styles. An adjacent museum houses a wax statue of Atatürk, his writings, letters and personal items, as well as an exhibition of photographs recording important moments in his life and during the establishment of the Republic. We spend the Night in Ankara at the Hotel.
ON: in Ankara at the Hotel
Meals: B / L / D

Day 3 : Ankara to Konya; capital of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum & Mevlana Museum

We leave Ankara after breakfast and drive to Konya, the capital of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum from 1097 to 1243. Konya reached the height of its wealth and influence in the second half of the 12th century; Sultan Kayqubad I. fortified the town and built a palace on top of the citadel. In Konya we will visit Mevlana museum; the mausoleum of Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, a Sufi mystic also known as Mevlana or Rumi. It was also the dervish lodge of the Mevlevi order, better known as the whirling dervishes. The members of the Mevlevi order had a prolific impact throughout the Ottoman Empire in classical poetry, calligraphy, visual arts and music. In the late afternoon we walk to Alaeddin Tepesi (Hill) where we visit Alaeddin Mosque; the largest and oldest mosque in Konya, served as the “Mosque of the Throne” for the Seljuk Sultans of Rum. The Alaeddin Mosque has some interesting architectural features, such as columns of different sizes and decorations incorporated from different periods. The interior includes a tomb chamber with the sarcophagi of a dozen Seljuk sultans. We spend the Night in Konya at the Hotel.
Transfer time: 3/4 h; transfer distance: 260 km; (Ankara – Konya)
ON: in Konya at the Hotel
Meals: B / L / D

Day 4 : Konya to Ihlara/Selime & Guzelyurt (Beautiful Home) via Sultanhani Caravanserai

After breakfast we drive to Selime/Ihlara region, on the way we visit Caravanserai of Sultanhani, the largest Caravanserai of the Country and a hostel for caravans during 13th Century. Sultanhani is one of the most magnificent Seljuk Caravanserais and was built by Sultan Aladdin Keykubat. In the afternoon we will arrive in Ihlara region, where we first visit Guzelyurt (Beautiful Home). Guzelyurt has an important place in the history of Christianity in Cappadocia and Gregory of Nazianzus lived in the area. There was a Christian (Greek) community in the area right up until the population exchange of 1924, when they were replaced with the Turks from Thessaloniki and Kavala. Guzelyurt has its own small underground city and is home to several churches; converted to mosques. Most prominent among local monuments is the Great Church Mosque (Büyük Kilise Camii), built as the Church of St Gregory of Nazianzus. After visiting Guzelyurt we drive to the small village of Selime where we spend the Night.
Transfer time: 3 h; transfer distance: 210 km; (Konya – Ihlara/Selime via Guzelyurt)
ON: in Ihlara/Selime at the Hotel/Pension
Meals: B / L / D

Day 5 : Ihlara Valley & Selime Monastery – Derinkuyu underground city & Cappadocia

Today we walk through the fascinating Ihlara Valley; a 14 km long canyon with hundreds of rock cut rooms and churches. This valley proved to be an ideal place for Monks to worship in seclusion, as well as provide a safe hideaway and place of defense for people during times of invasion. There are numerous dwellings, some of which are connected by tunnels and corridors. The decorations in the churches date from the 6th to the 13th centuries. 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 continue to Cappadocia, on the Way we visit the incredible underground city of Derinkuyu, opened to visitors in 1965. The city is approximately 85m deep, but only 10 % of the city can be visited, and contains all of the usual rooms found in an underground city, stables, cellars, storage rooms, refectories, churches and wineries. Apart from these, a large room with a barrel vaulted ceiling on the second floor served as a missionary school, the rooms to the left used as study rooms. In the late afternoon we will arrive in Cappadocia; undeniably a nature fantasy and it almost feels like another planet with its exceptional geological formations. In this creation of Nature, the curiosity of the landscapes is added to the historical richness. Wind, rain and frost have sculpted this superb scenery in the volcanic rock during millions of years. The region is largely underlain by sedimentary rocks formed in lakes and streams, and ignimbrite deposits erupted from ancient volcanoes. The rocks of Cappadocia eroded into hundreds of spectacular pillars and forms.
Transfer time: 1/2 h; transfer distance: 95 km (Ihlara – Cappadocia via Derinkuyu)
Walking time: 2 h; walking distance: 6 km (Ihlara – Belisirma);
ON: in Cappadocia at the Hotel
Meals: B / L / D

Day 6 : Uchisar Citadel & Goreme open air Museum; Red & Rose valleys

Optional Activity: Hot Air Balloon
In the Early Morning before Sunrise it is optional possible to go on a Hot Air Balloon Flight. Cappadocia is awarded as one of the world’s best balloon flight areas and it is one of the best ways to discover the unique landscapes of this impressive wonder of nature.
After having breakfast we drive Uchisar village to visit the high viewpoint known as “The fortress”. Many rooms hollowed out into the Rock, are connected to each other with stairs, tunnels and passages. The top of the Citadel provides a magnificent panorama of the surrounding area. Afterwards we take time to visit Goreme open air Museum. The Christian people at the heart of the Cappadocia realized that the soft rocks could be easily carved out to form houses, churches and monasteries. These Christian sanctuaries contain many examples of Byzantine art from the post iconoclastic period. The frescoes inside the Goreme Open Air Museum are a unique artistic achievement from this period. After visiting the Goreme open air Museum we drive to the Red Valley area, the most beautiful valley in Cappadocia with its spectacular formations and colours. In Red Valley it is possible to visit some hidden churches like the Uzumlu church (Grape church / Red Valley) or the hidden Cross Church (Rose Valley). These churches have been carved out of the cliff face, although it is not definite, the common believe is that these churches date back to the 8/9th century. The decorative reliefs and frescoes are added in the 10/11th Century.
Optional Activity: Turkish bath (Hamam)
In the late afternoon/ or early evening it is optional possible to try a traditional Turkish bath, better known as Hamam. The Hamam combines the functionality and the structural elements of its predecessors in Anatolia, the Roman thermal and Eastern Roman baths.
ON: in Cappadocia at the Hotel
Meals: B / L / D

Day 7 : Pasabaglari valley & Zelve monastery – Kayseri; old city centre

In the morning we drive to Cavusin, one of the oldest settlements in Cappadocia Area; a small village made up of rock cut dwellings and elegantly carved stone houses. Via Cavusin village we continue to the fairy chimneys at monk’s valley (Pasabaglari). Pasabaglari fairy chimneys are unique and feature bizarre large toadstool like caps which protect the rest of the chimney from erosion. The area was formerly a monastic retreat and used to be known as monk’s valley and features a rock cut church dedicated to St Simeon. After visiting Pasabaglari area we drive to the Zelve Monastery & open air Museum in only 5 Minutes distance. Christians moved to Zelve during the Persian and Arab invasions and the region, though recently uninhabited, became an important settlement and religious area during the 9th and 13th centuries. Zelve spreads out over three valleys, of which two are connected by a tunnel. The monastery is rich in its own beauty; main decorations are high relief crosses representative of the Iconoclastic doctrine.
In the afternoon we drive to Kayseri; located at the foot of the extinct volcano Mount Erciyes that towers 3.916m over the city and is one of the most important cities in the country, a large city with a strong economy. The City is rich in historical monuments from the days of Seljuk’s and Ottomans; and is also the home town of the most accomplished architect Mimar Sinan. In the afternoon after arrival we take time to walk through Kayseri’s old city centre, where we will see the remains of the old Citadel and its walls, the citadels inner side is home to an nearby 800 years old covered bazaar. In the city centre it is also possible to see some of the most impressive mosques of Central Anatolia, The Kursunlu mosque, the Hunat mosque and the Burunguz mosque are masterpieces from the Seljuk period. We spend the Night in Kayseri at the Hotel.
Transfer time: 1 h; transfer distance: 80 km; (Cappadocia – Kayseri)
ON: in Kayseri at the Hotel
Meals: B / L / D

Day 8 : Kayseri – Home

Transfer to Kayseri airport where the Trip concludes.
Transfer time: 10 min.; transfer distance: 10 km (Hotel – Kayseri airport)
Meals: B / – / –

ON = Overnight accommodation / B = Breakfast / L = Lunch / D = Dinner

Price Includes
–    All transfers and transportations with private vehicles to the places mentioned in the Itinerary
      Day 1: One (one way) arrival transfer from/to Ankara airport/Hotel in the city centre
      Day 8: One (one way) departure transfer from/to Hotel in Kayseri/Kayseri airport
–    Demavend Travel English speaking Tour Leader
–    Hotel accommodations, rooms on double/twin share base;
      Bed & Breakfast (BB) and Half Board (HB) service; Important: HB Dinner Service available until 20:30/21:00 h
–    7 x Breakfast, 6 x Lunch, 7 x Dinner


Price Excludes
–    All International and Domestic Flights
–    Travel insurance
–    Extra Transports and transfers other than stated in the Itinerary
–    All kind of Soft and Alcoholic drinks, Bottled Water, Tea & Coffee
–    Meals other than stated in the Itinerary
–    All kind of personal expenses
–    All kind of Entrance fees for historical and natural sites
–    All kind of optional activities
–    Extra Nights
–    Single supplements
–    Personal Equipment
–    Tips