The coast, villages and countryside of the Eastern Algarve and then explore the treasures of this most westerly corner of Europe.
Discover a rocky lunar landscape in Cappadocia
Culture & Natural History
Special Selection Hotels
What does this mean?
Tour codes: 28500
Full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain. Half day walks will probably involve about 3 hours of walking, with full day walks having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to 600m. Some days of this holiday will be dedicated solely to sightseeing (or include an element of sightseeing). To enhance your experience, a knowledgeable local guide will accompany your small group for part (or the majority) of the holiday.
Cappadocia, a unique and distinctive volcanic landscape created by the eruption of a series of volcanoes. Over time erosion has created a mystical land of uniquely formed volcanic rock towers. Early Christian communities thrived, and the towers were carved to create settlements, including many beautifully crafted churches and a network of underground cities.
We’ll visit several unique valleys including the White Valley, the Red Valley, Pancarlik Valley and the Pigeon Valley. We explore vineyards surrounded by the outstanding Fairy Chimneys, a unique landscape of carved-out rock formations rising high into the sky accompanied by our local specialist guide. We pass through the famous troglodyte villages of this region and visit the Nargolu Lake, a large volcanic crater lake. We may even have time for a swim!
Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.
NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen
Itinerary & Travel
Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.
We fly from London to Kayseri Airport via Istanbul with Turkish Airlines. We usually arrive in the evening and transfer by private coach to Ürgüp.
Transfer Time = 1 hour
We start our day with the spectacular views of the White Valley where we venture through small fields and explore verdant vineyards surrounded by lush vegetation and unique rock formations including the outstanding Fairy Chimneys, a unique landscape of carved-out rock formations rising high into the sky. After visiting the castle of Uchisar we walk down the impressive Pigeon valley, named from the pigeon lofts on the rock faces. There are now many pigeon houses or dovecotes carved into the rocks and the cliffs. We walk through vineyards, orchards of walnut, quince and apricot trees.
We start the day with famous Open-Air Museum of Göreme, a UNESCO world heritage site and the home of the former civilisation that chose to build an entire community in the rock itself. Here lie the numerous monasteries, homes, and some of the most fascinating churches with beautifully painted frescoes. This cluster of monastic Byzantine artistry with its rock cut churches, chapels and monasteries are an essential must for a visit to Cappadocia.
We explore the El-Nazar Church, then again ascend another cliff to a hidden church. Until recently, it was impossible to reach this well-hidden church, but the newly-built stairs give us access to a picturesque view. We take a walk in the secret valley behind Göreme, and we may even get the chance to enjoy the taste of the fresh fruits of Cappadocia depending on the season. We reach the impressive Mirror Church, known for its symmetric rooms, and descend to the hidden crypt, before enjoying tea in the garden of the church.
We continue the day’s exploration with a descent to Meskendir valley, a dramatic green canyon with typical Cappadocia rock formations. We finish the day with a free time in Çavuşin village, a unique small old village dominated by cliffs decorated with abandoned stoned houses and quirky rock formations. The base of the cliff is surrounded souvenir stands and the village itself is made from ancient buildings and churches.
Today we explore the less known part of Cappadocia! We venture to Mustafa Paşa, which until 1924 was an old Greek town known as Sinassos. The Church here is dedicated to St Helena and Constantine, the emperor who brought tolerance to Christianity with the Edict of Milan AD 313.
We visit the Keslik monastery, a rock cut complex with blackened frescoes whilst the Stephanos Church has vibrant well preserved frescoes. We continue to Sobessos, an unsual Roman and Byzantine site with Roman Baths and brilliantly colourful mosaic floor church buildings. We arrive to Soğanlı, a beautiful corner of Cappadocia. Christian monasteries located on the skirts of the hills have very unique wall paintings, different from other Cappadocia churches.
Our day finishes with an exploration of Kaymakli Underground City, one of the wonders of Cappadocia. This settlement was dug as deep as of 5 layers below ground level and used for hiding civilisations for centuries.
Today we explore Ihlara town centre set amongst the Ihlara Valley, the only green area in the whole of Cappadocia and the home to rock cut mosques and churches. Ihlara town centre is surrounded by willow and poplar trees and magnificent rock-cut churches with its unique paintings. We visit the valley’s unique rock-cut churches. We have lunch here before continuing our walk alongside the river to Selime town.
We venture into deep valleys of Cappadocia to explore the Cross, White and Grape churches. We continue to Çavuşin, past impressive tunnels and the dramatic fairy chimneys. We continue to explore Ortahisar in the early afternoon and finish the day with a picturesque hike to İmrahimpaşa which has some of the most characteristic stone houses of Cappadocia region.
We start the day with a coach journey to the picturesque Ayvali village where we start our hike through the impressive Gomeda valley. We continue to Üzengi where we are surrounded by rock dwellings such as dramatic looking pigeon houses. We explore Kepez church, a well preserved cave church, before continuing to venture through Pancarlık.
Cappadocia’s wonders will have captivated us but unfortunately it is time to say goodbye. We transfer to Kayseri airport for our flight home.
Departure dates for your selected tour
11th Apr 2021 - 18th Apr 2021 (7 Nights)
2nd May 2021 - 9th May 2021 (7 Nights)
17th Oct 2021 - 24th Oct 2021 (7 Nights)
Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.
We stay in Ürgüp, one of the largest towns in Cappadoca, perched along the side of the rocky valley. It is mixture of tradition and modern, with its typical Cappadocian stone houses carved into the side of the valley above the bustling town centre filed with boutique hotels, Turkish baths, shops, cafes and bars. If you are a wine lover, Ürgüp is the place to visit as its famous for its wine and is surrounded by vineyards. Its Turasan winery supplies 60% of all the wines in Cappadocia.
We stay in the family run Hotel Akuzun located in the old town of Ürgüp. The hotel is completely built from natural stone and was created in 1989. It is now a blend of tradition and contemporary. Although the hotel is simple, it is in an ideal location within walking distance to all the main areas of the town and an ideal area to discover Cappadocia. You can relax after a days exploration in its beautiful colourful and luscious terrace and garden area. Maybe have a refreshing drink in the lounge and bar area after dining in the outdoor and indoor restaurants. A laundry and irnoning service is available and there is free WIFI. The owner Ahmet Akzun and his family are some of the most welcoming and obliging people you will meet and will make your stay here memorable.
We stay in simple and comfortable en suite rooms. Rooms are spacious, inviting and traditionally decorated, and are equipped with TV, telephone and hair dryer. There are safety deposit boxes available at reception. We are based in the standard rooms, but we do offer a small selection of deluxe stone room upgrades at an additional price.
This Grade 4 moderate holiday includes full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain and is likely to include an element of sightseeing as well. Half day walking will probably include about 3 hours of walking, with full days having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to about 600m. See the 'Proposed Itinerary' section for more information.
Local Transport Costs
All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.
A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.
When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.
Currency in Turkey
Turkish Lire. Euros are sometimes accepted in shops and hotels. Turkish Lire is more convenient for for entrance fees, food, tips, drinks etc. They can be obtained from ATMS in larger resorts but not so available in smaller rural resorts. Euros, pounds or dollars in cash are more difficult to change.
Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.
Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.
Leader's Evening Briefing
Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.
To enhance your experience, as well as your tour leader, each holiday will be accompanied by a well qualified and knowledgeable English-speaking local guide.
Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements?
If you wish to organise your own flights from a non-UK or provincial airport or travel by rail or car to your holiday destination, 'land only' reductions are often available. Please contact us for details.
Before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.
If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at your hotel.
Although airport transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join the group at the overseas airport, depending on your flight arrival time, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details.
Please note that your flight must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your flight number, arrival time and departure point so that the group leader is able to meet up with you.
Regional Flights (R3). We offer regional flight options on this holiday and there will be one or two transfer vehicles between the airport and hotel to minimise any waiting time at the overseas airport on the outward or return journeys.
Luggage Allowance & Travel Documents
For all those booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.
Personal Details Check
To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.
General Passport Advice
It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport. Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country.
Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements.
Passport Information for Turkey
From 2 March 2020, British nationals travelling for tourism or business purposes will no longer need a visa to enter Turkey for visits of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. The Turkish government advise that your passport should be valid for at least 6 months from the date you enter Turkey and that there is a full blank page for the entry and exit stamps. If you plan to remain in Turkey for a period of more than 90 days, you should either apply for a long stay visa before you travel, or get a residence permit from the local authorities in Turkey before your 90 day stay has elapsed.
Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks.
General Kit List
Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.
If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:
This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.
Holiday Specific Kit
We suggest that you take a mixture of lighter and thicker layers; whilst the days can be pleasantly warm the late afternoons and evenings can become quite cool. Waterproofs, umbrella, and a hat plus sun protection are useful. Although Turkey is a secular state that assures complete freedom of worship, 98% of its population are Muslim and people tend to be quite traditional in the more rural areas. Ladies should wear knee length skirts or trousers and also cover their arms and heads when visiting mosques. Shorts are not really appropriate for either sex in religious sites. Binoculars and a torch will be useful for some of the smaller churches and underground city. You may also want to bring a plug for the basin in your room, as they do not always contain one.
Travel Documents Checklist
Documents and Information to take with you:
Electricity in Turkey
Electricity is supplied at 220 Volts. If you wish to use electrical equipment you will need a European two pin adaptor with round pins. More information can be found at https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/
Water To Go
An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.
We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.
Maps, Guidebooks & More
There are a variety of TV programmes, online maps, guides and books on Cappadocia. Below are just a few examples.
Joanna Lumley's Silk Road Adventure - Episode 1 see's Joanna venture through Cappadocia on her way through to the famous silk road. Available on ITV Player.
Simon Reeve's Explore Istanbul and Anatolia - Includes exploration of the Fairy Chimneys of Cappadocia
Captivating Cappadocia: The comprehensive guidebook to the heart of Turkey by Duke Dillard
The Map Shop
Maps and guidebooks relating to the areas you will be walking in may be bought before your holiday from The Map Shop at www.themapshop.co.uk
Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.
Health Advice for Turkey
No compulsory immunisations are required for visits to Turkey. You should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended in the UK. You may wish to consider immunisations against Tetanus, Hepatitus A, Hepatitus B and Rabies. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), is not valid in Turkey. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation. Malaria risk is low and from May to October in all areas including the province of Mardin. Sporadic cases were reported in 2013. There is no malaria in the main tourist areas, including the places we visit.
Further Travel Advice
For further advice please visit:
You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.
You must be adequately insured to join our holidays. We do not insist that you insure with us but we require that you are adequately insured for the nature of your holiday. You will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance.
Please ensure that as a minimum your travel insurance policy covers you for travel to your holiday destinations (country and geographical region) and for medical expenses, mountain rescue (including helicopter rescue) and emergency repatriation to your home country in the event of illness or injury. Your policy should also provide adequate cover for the activities, included and optional, you are likely to participate in during your holiday.
See our brochure or website for further advice regarding holiday insurance.
Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.
Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.
The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.
Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.
We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.
The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.
Heart and Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.
Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements.
Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.
As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.
Visas and Passports
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