Today's trek takes us through the Akvadi Valley. Perfectly eroded over time this fascinating landscape presents curious rock formations and fairy tale chimneys that wouldn't look out of place in a Dali painting. If we are lucky we may spot such wildlife as the beautiful Hoopoe (with it's distinctive call) and Eurasian fox on the way. After 3 hours of walking we arrive to Uchisar village where take lunch in a local restaurant before climbing the citidal embedded into the rock above. From the top we are rewarded with a spectacular view of the surrounding surreal landscape. In the afternoon we follow a path that takes us to the Guvercinlik (or Pigeon Valley) where pigeons are encouraged to roost so the local people from the region can collect their droppings as fertiliser. We will then arrive at the town of Goreme, our stop for the night (total trekking time: 5 hours).
In the morning we transfer to the farming village of Kavak where we begin our trek to Bahceli, passing through vinyards, gladed areas and various ruins. Arriving at Bahceli we are awarded with fresh Turkish Tea in a local tea house. Rested and replenished we then head on through the Gomeda Valley to the Mustafapasa village or 'Sinosis' to its Greek inhabitants. Mustafapasa used to be one of the richest towns in Anatolia until the 1924 population exchange, which forced the Greeks living in Turkey to move to Greece and vice versa. You will be able to spot the Greek influence on the architecture on some of these buildings (total trekking time: 6 hours).
After breakfast we transfer to the beautiful Pancarlik Valley. Smooth surfaces on the rock face undulate like waves, whilst the pastel colours intertwined with vinyards and manicured gardens add colour to this extraordinary landscape. It is also possible spot Sarica and Kepez churches ingrained into the rock chimneys that rise forcefully from the ground. After lunch we head through the Kizilcukur Valley, also known as the Red Valley for the dramatic sunsets that occur. Amongst the network of paths that connect the small villages of this valley, we visit some of the churches along that pepper the area before arriving at Cavusin, out stop for the night (total trekking time: 5-6 hours).
Today our trek takes us through Pasabaglari, formerly known as Monk's Valley. Here it is possible to see the dwellings of the hermits of Cappadocia who distanced themselves from the world by carving high up in the rock chimneys, using footholes and rope to climb in. Inside these dwellings are surprisingly spacious with some rooms hollowed out to around 15m high. Once through the valley we head up to Bozdag, the highest point in Cappadocia, offering some outstanding views (total trekking time: 5 hours).
In the morning we transfer to the underground city of Kaymakli, built by early Christians to avoid religious persecution. This fascinating construction is an elaborate system of tunnels and caves, that features everything from living space and communal kitchen, to stables, church and graveyard, not to mention being fortified to protect its inhabitants. After time at the underground city we then drive to the village of Selime where we begin our walk following the Melendiz river until we reach Belisirma where we stop for lunch. In the afternoon we head down the Ihlara Valley, the deepest and longest valley in the region, passing Byzantine monasteries and churches that date back to the 11th Century, before arriving back in Cappadocia (total trekking time: 4-5 hours).
Our last day takes us through the Zindanonu Valley and up onto a viewpoint of the town of Goreme and on to the Goreme open air museum. The Goreme Valley itself holds some of the finest collections of painted cave churches in the region. In around 1000-1200 AD orthodox monks carved places of worship from the soft volcanic stone and decorated them with beautifully elaborate Byzantine frescoes, many of which are still very much intact to this day. The late afternoon is then free to unwind after a truly memorable week (total trekking time: 2 hours).