hiker in cappadocia turkey rock formations

Otherworldly Beauty in the Anatolian Plains

Overview

On this pre-voyage extension, explore the magical moonscapes of Cappadocia, renowned for its surreal geological oddities, eroded volcanoes, and ancient dwellings. Discover the underground city of Kaymakli with its carvings and caves, and the peaceful valley of Pashabagi—famous for its three-headed fairy chimneys. Spend a full day on a guided tour of Ankara, Turkey’s capital, and enjoy a walking tour of the historic Galata and Beyolu districts of Istanbul where you meet up with the main group for your voyage on the Black Sea.

Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-2, June 21-22, 2020
Depart / Ankara, Turkey

Depart on your independent overnight flight to Turkey. Arrive in Ankara on June 22 and check in to the Swissotel Ankara with the afternoon at leisure. Gather at the hotel this evening for a welcome dinner...D

Day 3, June 23, 2020
Ankara

Today, embark on a full-day tour of Ankara, Turkey’s capital. Visit the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, which houses a rich collection of Turkish artifacts from prehistoric peoples to Hittite, Phyrgian, Lydian, and Urartian cultures; as well as the ancient Citadel of Ankara, with a history dating back to Phrygian times. After lunch, proceed to the Mausoleum of Atatürk, a national shrine dedicated to the founder of modern Turkey. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight...BLD

Day 4, June 24, 2020
Ankara / Cappadocia

After breakfast, depart overland for magical Cappadocia. En route, make a stop at Hattusha. This World Heritage Site was the capital of the Hittite civilization, which thrived from 2000 to 1200 B.C. The nearby Yazlikaya Temple, which means “inscribed rock,” is a natural rock shrine that was a place of worship for thousands of years. Arrive in Cappadocia and check in to the Argos Hotel for dinner and overnight...BLD

Days 5-6, June 25-26, 2020
Cappadocia

During two magical days in Cappadocia, explore the extraordinary underground city of Kaymakli, where early Christians carved stables, kitchens, tunnels, and churches from the volcanic rock; Pigeon Valley, where hundreds of small caves were used to house birds; and Uchisar Castle, a solid rock used as a watchtower. The peaceful valley of Pashabagi is famous for its photogenic three-headed fairy chimneys. At Zelve, view the traditional rock village and cave homes that were inhabited until the 1960s. You will also visit Mustafapasa with its impressive Greek and Ottoman architecture and tour the open-air museum of Goreme to view dozens of homes and churches with well-preserved frescoes. A highlight here is a whirling dervish performance during dinner at a local restaurant...BLD

Day 7, June 27, 2020
Cappadocia / Istanbul

This morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to Istanbul. After lunch at a local restaurant, take a walking tour of the historic Galata and Beyoglu districts. This evening, check in to the elegant Pera Palace Hotel and meet with the main group for dinner and overnight...BL

Details

Length: 7 days
Cost From: $5480  
Arrive: Ankara, Turkey
Depart: Istanbul, Turkey
Lodging: 5 nights in hotels
Meals: All group meals included (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Archaeology, Walking, Special Interest, Photography
Trip Level:

Cultural explorations and walking tours.