Cappadocia & trans Aladaglar trek

Tour Code : TRE 10

–    Cappadocia & UNESCO World heritage sites
–    Camping & hiking in the Aladaglar national park
–    Goreme open air museum & Zelve monastery valley
–    Derinkuyu underground city
–    Ascent to Mt. Emler summit 3.723m 
–    Hike up to seven lakes plateau 3.100m


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


Duration of the Trip
14 Days / 13 Nights


Difficulty Level/walks (treks)
= B/C (Medium/Moderate)
Cappadocia & trans Aladaglar trek (11 routes on 11 days)


Hotel     :    6 Nights
Camp    :    7 Nights

Day 1 : Istanbul

Meet at the Istanbul Ataturk Int. Airport with Demavend Travels representative and drive to the Hotel, located in the historical centre of Istanbul, known as Sultanahmet.
Transfer time: 30 min.; transfer distance: 18 km; (Istanbul Ataturk Int. Airport – Hotel)
ON: in Istanbul at the Hotel
Meals: – / – / – 

Day 2 : Istanbul sightseeing Hagia Sophia, Blue mosque & Topkapi palace

Istanbul, formerly known as Constantinople, was the hub of the Ottoman Empire, and many of the grand buildings of this period are present today. You could easily spend a week in this city and still not have seen all the sites. Today we will explore the old Sultanahmet Area. We visit the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace. The Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque) was built between 1609 and 1616. The design of the Sultan Ahmed Mosque is the culmination of two centuries of both Ottoman mosque and Byzantine church development. It incorporates some Byzantine elements of the neighbouring Hagia Sophia with traditional Islamic architecture and is considered to be the last great mosque of the classical period. The Hagia Sophia is a former Orthodox patriarchal basilica, later a mosque, and now a museum. From the date of its dedication in 360 until 1453, it served as the cathedral of Constantinople, except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted to a Roman Catholic cathedral. The building was a mosque from 1453 until 1931, when it was secularized. It was opened as a museum on February 1935. The Topkapi Palace was the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans for approximately 400 years of their 624 year reign. As well as a royal residence, the palace was a setting for state occasions and royal entertainments. It is now a major tourist attraction and contains important holy relics of the Muslim world, including Muhammad’s cloak and sword. The Topkapi Palace is among the monuments contained within the “Historic Areas of Istanbul”, which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.
ON: in Istanbul at the Hotel
Meals: B / – / –

Day 3 : Istanbul sightseeing covered bazaar (Kapali Carsi) & Hippodrome Square - fly to Kayseri and continue to Selime village

After breakfast we continue our fascinating Tour through Istanbul, we take time to explore Hippodrome square; visit the Basilica Cistern and the Grand (Covered) Bazaar. The Hippodrome of Constantinople was a circus that was the sporting and social centre of Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire. Today it is a square named Sultanahmet Meydani (Sultan Ahmet Square) and largely follows the ground plan and dimensions of the now vanished Hippodrome. The surviving monuments of the Spina (the middle barrier of the racecourse), the two obelisks (Obelisk of Thutmose III & Walled Obelisk) and the Serpentine Column, now sit in holes in a landscaped garden. The Basilica Cistern is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul. Ancient texts indicated that the basilica contained gardens, surrounded by a colonnade and facing the Hagia Sophia, Historical texts claim that 7,000 slaves were involved in the construction of the cistern. The Grand Bazaar (Covered Bazaar/Kapali Carsi) in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 3,000 shops which attract between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily. 
In the late afternoon we drive to Istanbul Ataturk Int. airport and fly to Kayseri and continue from there to Ihlara where we spend the Night at the Hotel.
Transfer time: 30 min.; transfer distance: 18 km; (Hotel – Istanbul Ataturk Int. Airport)
Transfer time: 2 h; transfer distance: 160 km (Kayseri airport – Ihlara)
ON: in Ihlara/Selime or Guzelyurt at the Hotel
Meals: B / – / D

Day 4 : Ihlara valley & Selime monastery – Aladaglar national park & Emli valley

Ihlara Valley is 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 defence 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 leave Ihlara and drive to the Aladaglar National park. The Aladaglar become National park since 1995. If time is permitting and for those who want, it is possible to have a short walk through the Kaziklar Valley; we follow for a while on stabilized roads and continue on small paths into the Kaziklar Valley, 50 to 70 meters high walls leading us to the Emli Valley where we spend the Night at the Camp.
Transfer time: 2 h; transfer distance: 145 km (Ihlara – Aladaglar National park)
Walking time: 3 h; walking distance: 8 km (Ihlara – Belisirma); optional: 5/6 km (Belisirma – Selime)
Aladaglar national park optional walking time: 2 h; ascent: 250m; descent: 80m; (Kaziklar Valley – Emli Valley)
ON: Aladaglar national park at the Emli valley campsite (1.750m)
Meals: B / L / D

Day 5 : Aladaglar national park; Emli valley to Alaca Yayla (plateau)

In the morning hike up to Mangirci Gorge via Emli Valley, climb up to Alaca Yayla (Plateau) where we will walk along oak trees. With spectacular views of southern Aladaglar region we will reach to Alaca Yayla, most probably some shepherds will be around during summer season to graze their flocks. After having lunch by the spring we descend down to our camp via Oluksekisi, another old semi-nomad camp. We spend the night at the Emli Valley Camp.
Walking time: 5/6 h; ascent/descent: 650m
ON: Aladaglar national park at the Emli valley campsite (1.750m)
Meals: B / L / D

Day 6 : Aladaglar national park; Emli valley to Sokulupinar via Siyirmalik valley & Eznevit plateau

This morning you will leave the Emli valley behind as you walk up the Siyirmalik valley and climb up to Eznevit, a campsite inhabited by semi-nomadic families who might invite us for some drinks and will visit their tents to see their original life style during the time they spent in the mountains. From here you will be rewarded with good views over the surrounding area as you continue walking towards Sakartas. From Sakartas you will descend to Sokulupinar, where you will spend the night at the campsite.
Walking time: 6/7 h; ascent: 788m; descent: 538m
ON: Aladaglar national park at the Sokulupinar campsite (2.000m)
Meals: B / L / D

Day 7 : Aladaglar national park; Sokulupinar to Yedigoller (seven Lakes) plateau via Celikbuyduran pass

Our trek today takes us to our high camp. We begin by preparing our luggage for loading on the mules. After breakfast we head up to Karayalak Valley and climb up to Celikbuyduran Pass (3.450m). It’s going to be our toughest day of walking as we will ascend for about 5 hours. Just before the pass we stop by the spring and have lunch. After the pass we start descending down to Yedigoller (3.100m) plateau, a reddish desert of stones and rocks, with a gentle downhill slope. Our campsite is near the biggest lake of the area.
Walking time: 7/8 h; ascent: 1.450m; descent: 350m
ON: Aladaglar national park at the Yedigoller plateau campsite (3.100m)
Meals: B / L / D

Day 8 : Aladaglar national park; Mt. Emler summit (3.723m)

From our campsite at the Yedigoller we start walking and follow on small paths to climb up the Emler Summit (3.723m). Next to the Celikbuyduran pass we start our ascent to the Emler Summit. It will take nearby 1 h to climb to the Summit from the Pass. From the peak it is possible to see the Mt. Erciyes (3.917m) to the North, the Mt. Hasan (3.268m) to the West, and the Bolkar Range to the South and all important Summits of the Aladaglar Range. After Picnic we descend back to our camp at the Yedigoller Plateau on the same Way.
Walking time: 5/6 h; ascent/descent: 623m
ON: Aladaglar national park at the Yedigoller plateau campsite (3.100m)
Meals: B / L / D

Day 9 : Aladaglar national park; Yedigoller plateau to Karagol Lake via Teke Kalesi pass

We load up luggage on the mules and start our walk early in the morning. First we arrive at the second biggest lake of the area, and then climb up to Teke Kalesi pass (3.517m). With a spectacular view to the north-west we descend down via a narrow path where we may meet ibexes grazing. Via Yildiz (star) Lake we descend down to Karagol where Tea will be ready at the camp.
Walking time: 7 h; ascent: 417m; descent: 717m
ON: Aladaglar national park at the Karagol campsite (2.800m)
Meals: B / L / D

Day 10 : Aladaglar National park; Karagol Lake to Demirkazik village – Derinkuyu underground city & Cappadocia

Our last day trek will take us down to Maden gorge. We descend following mine roads and little creeks via Maden George to Pinarbasi village. At the end of the valley we will meet our vehicle and drive to the village of Demirkazik where we will have Lunch first before we drive to Cappadocia. On the way to Cappadocia we take time to visit the incredible underground city of Derinkuyu; opened to visitors in 1965. Only 10 % of the city can be visited. The city is approximately 85m deep 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. After visiting Derinkuyu we continue to Cappadocia where we spend the Night.         
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.
Transfer time: 2 h; transfer distance: 125 km (Taurus Mountains Aladaglar National park – Cappadocia via Derinkuyu)
Walking time: 3 h; ascent: 0m; descent: 900m
ON: in Cappadocia at the Hotel
Meals: B / L / D

Day 11 : Uchisar citadel & Akvadi (White valley); Cavusin to Zelve monastery & Pasabaglari

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 breakfast we drive to 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. After visiting Uchisar we walk through Akvadi (The White Valley). We will walk along this valley following an old river bed, used today for vineyards. Especially a special section at the end of the valley is worth seeing. Afterwards we continue to Cavusin, one of the oldest settlements in Cappadocia Area; a small village made up of rock cut dwellings and elegantly carved stone houses. From Cavusin village we start our walk and continue on small walking paths, close to fascinating rock formations and with magnificent views to the fairy chimneys at monk’s valley (Pasabaglari) down below. Our walk will permit us directly to the Zelve Monastery Valley. 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. After visiting Zelve Monastery we drive to the Pasabaglari area (Monks valley) in only 5 Minutes distance. 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.   
Walking time: 2 h; walking distance: 6 km; ascent: 0m; descent: 280m; (Akvadi White Valley)
Walking time: 2 h; walking distance: 4 km; ascent: 60m; descent: 70m; (Cavusin – Pasabaglari – Zelve)
ON: in Cappadocia at the Hotel
Meals: B / L / D

Day 12 : Goreme open air museum - Meskendir valley; Red & Rose valley - Avanos

In the morning we start today’s first activity and walk out to explore one of the most beautiful valleys in Cappadocia. 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 start our walking in the Meskendir Valley. We follow the path which is full with old Cave houses and complexes from the old Christian civilization. From the Meskendir Valley we cross over to the Red Valley, the most beautiful valley in Cappadocia with its spectacular formations and colours. In Red Valley it is possible, depending on walking pace and time, to visit some hidden churches like the Uzumlu church (Grape church / Red Valley), the hidden Cross Church and the Church of the Three Crosses (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. After walking through the Red and Rose valleys we will arrive in Cavusin, where our vehicle is waiting for us. Afterwards we take time to visit Avanos.
Optional Activity: visiting Pottery shaping Studio
The most famous historical feature of Avanos, which is still relevant and very visible today, is its production of earthenware pottery; it is also the most economic activity in the town. The ceramic trade in this district and its countless pottery factories date right back to the Hittites, and the ceramic clay from the red silt of the Kızılırmak has always been used. We will take time to visit one of the Pottery studios and you will try to shape by your own.
Walking time: 4 h; walking distance: 9 km; ascent: 85m; descent: 135m; (Meskendir Valley; Red & Rose Valley)
ON: in Cappadocia at the Hotel
Meals: B / L / D 

Day 13 : Kiliclar (Sword) valley & day at leisure to explore Urgup & Goreme

Today we go out to explore Kiliclar (Sword) Valley, one of the smallest valleys in Cappadocia with many interesting fairy chimneys and ruins. Sword Valley is known for its fantastic views of Cappadocia; on the road to Goreme there are tracks where it is possible to explore abandoned caves which were homes of past citizens in this region. Urgup is one of the most important centres in Cappadocia. Urgup was a bishopric of the rock cut churches and monasteries found in the villages, valleys and towns around Urgup. Today Urgup is known for its famous wines and pleasant cafes. Goreme is designated as an important tourist destination; a “center” for all tourism in Cappadocia, the name of the town was changed to Goreme for practical reasons. In Urgup and Goreme we take time to relax a while and to taste a traditional cup of Turkish tea before we explore the centers of these famous cities (villages), with their small shops and pleasant cafes, on our own way.
Walking time: 1 h; walking distance: 4 km; ascent: 0m; descent: 150m (Kiliclar (Sword) Valley)
ON: in Cappadocia at the Hotel
Meals: B / L / D

Day 14 : Cappadocia to Kayseri – Home

Transfer to Kayseri airport where the Trip concludes.
Transfer time: 1 h; transfer distance: 80 km (Cappadocia – 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
      Days 1 & 3: One (one way) arrival/departure transfer from/to Istanbul Ataturk Int. airport/Hotel in Sultanahmet
      Transfers in Istanbul valid for Istanbul Ataturk Int. airport only/Extra transfer cost will be charged for each transfer
      Day 14: One (one way) departure transfer from/to Hotel in Cappadocia/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
–    13 x Breakfast, 10 x Lunch (Lunch Packages & Restaurants where available), 11 x Dinner
–    All necessary Camping Equipment’s (Tents, Mattresses, necessary Kitchen Gears & Dinnerware)
–    Taurus Mountains Aladaglar National park Entrance & camping Fees


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
–    Single Tents
–    Personal Equipment
–    Tips