The Express Cappadocia Tour starts at 9.30 from our office after a cup of morning coffee or tea and finishes at about 5 pm. We pick you up from your hotel in Göreme at 9.15 - 9.20 or 9.00 from Ürgüp or Uçhisar.
The first stop is below Uçhisar castle, where you have a nice view of the castle and the fantastic cone-shaped rock formations surrounding it. The magnificent landscape of Cappadocia has been formed from solidified lava streams, ash and tuff stone from volcanic eruptions millions of years ago. The landscape you can see now is the result of thousands of years of continual erosion, which has shaped the tuff deposits into the strangest pyramids and cones. The guide gives you information about how the landscape was formed and the history of Cappadocia.
The next stop is in Derinkuyu, the deepest underground city in the area, which is approximately 85 meters deep and has 16 floors, 8 of which you can see during your guided tour. It was used to hide Christians during enemy attacks in the 5th to 10th centuries. The city was built around 8th century BC, it could accommodate about 20 000 people and had all the usual amenities found in other underground complexes across Cappadocia, such as wine and oil presses, stables, cellars, storage rooms, refectories, and chapels.
Then you go to the village of Çavuşin. The old part of the village was abandoned in the 1950s due to numerous rock-falls caused by erosion. You can also see the famous basilica of St. John the Baptist, cut into the cliffs above the old village, built in the 5th century.
After Çavuşin you have lunch in a local house in Göreme. After lunch you go to the ancient town of Avanos, which was called Venessa in the old times. It overlooks the longest river in Turkey, the Kızılırmak (Red River), which separates Avanos from the rest of Cappadocia. The most famous historical feature of Avanos, which is still relevant and prominent today, is its production of earthenware products. The ceramic trade in this district and its countless pottery factories date back to the Hittites. The ceramic clay from the red silt of the Kızılırmak has always been used. You can watch the potters at work using the kick wheel, a technique that has never changed over generations. Later you can also try making your own pottery.
Next you go to Paşabağ, where highly remarkable mushroom-shaped rock formations can be seen, in the middle of a vineyard, hence the name of the place which means 'Pasha’s vineyard'. 'Pasha' means 'general', a military rank, in Turkish. This sight is also called Monks' Valley. The name has come from some high tuff stone columns which stand apart, looking like monks.
The last stop is in Göreme open air museum, the most famous tourist attraction in Cappadocia, a complex of ancient cave churches cut into the rock by Orthodox monks. There are 9 cave churches with beautiful frescoes in the museum. Along with rectories, dwellings and a religious school, they form a large monastic complex cut into the rock in the stunning landscape of Cappadocia.
The tour finishes with a cup of tea, apple tea or coffee in our office and after that we take you back to your hotel.