Day 1: Istanbul - Cappadocia (D)
Start your tour with a transfer from your Istanbul hotel to Istanbul Airport. Board your flight to Kayseri Airport, and on arrival, meet your driver who will transfer you to your Cappadocia hotel. After a quick break to freshen up, set off on a morning hike through Rose Valley – a beautiful stretch of land that takes its name from the red-hued rock that abounds throughout it. Wedged between the villages of Göreme and Çavuşin, the valley is studded with rock-carved churches and tunnels, and your guide will point out the best ones on your hike. Finish up in Çavuşin, and after visiting its cave mosque, enjoy some free time for lunch (own expense).
Hop aboard your minibus and continue your day’s tour to Kaymakli Underground City, one of Cappadocia’s best-preserved subterranean sites. Explore its maze of passages, seeing underground stables and cellars while learning about the early Christians who once hid here to escape persecution. Return to your coach and travel to Ortahisar – your final stop of the day. On a stroll, admire its stone houses that surround its crowing rocky glory -- Ortahisar Castle. Stop for photos by this unique fortress and then return to your hotel in time for dinner.
Accommodation: Lykia Lodge, Alfina Cave Hotel or similar superior hotel in Cappadocia
Day 2: Cappadocia (B)
Upgrade to start your day in style with a hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia! It’s an early start from your hotel, but once at the hot air balloon office, a buffet breakfast awaits. Tuck in and then take to the skies on a 1-hour flight! Cappadocia’s volcanic origins have left some truly captivating sights, with fairy chimneys punctuating the rocky landscape that you’ll see below you. Finish with a glass of Champagne and then return to your hotel.
If you choose not to take the balloon ride, then enjoy breakfast in your hotel and spend the early morning at leisure. Both groups meet up in the late morning for an excursion to Imagination Valley, where intriguing animal-like rock formations are abundant. Admire the landscape and stop in Pasabag (Monk’s Valley) in the region of Zelve, to walk through the area’s cone-like rocks where monks and hermits once lived in peaceful seclusion.
Continue by minibus to the pottery town of Avanos, and after a break for lunch (own expense), travel to Pigeon Valley. See its famous bird-nesting caves and then head to Göreme Open-Air Museum. Exemplified by dusty-looking beige buildings and fairy chimneys, this open-air museum comprises a cluster of rocky monuments that attest to Byzantine life in Cappadocia.
Check out of your hotel and then finish your tour with a transfer to Kayseri Airport or another Cappadocia hotel.