Leave your central Istanbul hotel in the early morning for your transfer to Istanbul airport. Board your flight to Kayseri International Airport and on arrival, travel to Cappadocia by air-conditioned minivan.
After roughly 1.5 hours, arrive at Rose Valley, named for its rose-colored rocks that change hue through the day. Enjoy a leisurely walk in this beautiful valley, passing its mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys, jagged peaks, and leafy vineyards and orchards. On route, visit the valley's cave churches, some dating back to the 8th or 9th centuries, and listen to tales of how they were used by early monks.
Next, visit old Avanos - an abandoned rock village known for its old Christian churches and houses. Take photos of the eerie houses, and gaze at the Basilica of St John the Baptist that sits on a cliff high above the village.
Stop for lunch at a local restaurant (see the Itinerary for a sample menu) and then delve into the town of Ortahisar, to view its crowning glory, Ortahisar Castle. Marvel at this unique 295-foot (90-meter) high fortress, with its honeycomb of rock caves carved during Byzantine times. Explore some of the burrowed-out chambers and storage rooms and soak up the panoramic views of the town below.
Drive to Kaymakli Underground City, one of the best-preserved in Cappadocia. Roam this subterranean network of homes, stables, cellars, and kitchens and learn how it was used by early Christians to escape persecution.
Next, visit Pigeon Valley, known for its pigeon houses carved from the cliffs and rocks. Explore the spectacular dovecotes and learn how the locals used to house their pigeons here to farm their droppings for fertilizer, and later, return to Kayseri Airport for your flight to Istanbul. Your tour ends with a hotel drop-off this evening.
Please note: Ortahisar Castle is currently being renovated, entrance will not be permitted.