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Self-Guided Walking in Cappadocia

Turkey, Cappadocia
Available Departures: Apr, May, Jun, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov

8 days from


without flights
Walk & Trek

Explore the intriguing caves, underground cities and fairy chimneys of Turkey’s Cappadocia on this one week self-guided walking holiday

Trip Code: SGCP
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.


Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Self-Guided Walking in Cappadocia

  • Immerse yourself into the UNESCO-listed National Park of Göreme

  • Discover the labyrinthine underground city of Derinkuyu

  • Get up close to Cappadocia's famous fairy chimneys, pigeon houses and rock churches

  • Walk the length of the Ihlara Gorge from Selime to Ihlara

At a Glance
  • Self-Guided
  • 6 days walking and sightseeing
  • Daily departures available
  • Transfers included
  • Join At Kayseri Airport

Accommodation & Meals
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • 5 nights Hotel with swimming pool
  • 1 nights Guesthouse
  • 1 nights Hotel

Discover Cappadocia: a mystical landscape shaped by aeons of geological forces and excavated millennia ago into surprising troglodyte homes, churches and hideouts. On this one week self-guided walking holiday, you can delve into the history of human influence on this unique environment, and on your daily walks discover colourful valleys and quirky pinnacles. As the sun shifts across the sky, the colours of the sand and rock change subtly, and you can be mesmerised by the sinuous shapes and undulating forms of this volcanic topography.

Exploring on foot, you will have the chance to tick off the big hitters that are Pigeon Valley, White Valley, Sword Valley, Love Valley and Rose Valley; explore Goreme and its unmissable Open Air Museum; and discover the lesser-visited Zemi Valley. On our unique itinerary, you will also hike the Ihlara Gorge, following the course of the Melendiz River from Selime to Ihlara. Along the length of this lush valley, you have the opportunity to discover numerous Byzantine cave churches and their painted frescoes. To complete your Cappadocian experience, you will have the chance to explore the astonishing underground city of Derinkuyu; and stay in one of the stone-carved hotels famed in the region.

This trip is ideal for those who love to be active on holiday and explore new landscapes, cultures and cuisines. You will walk an average of around 12km each day, and with average daily ascent/descent of around 350m, on a mix of cobbled tracks, dirt roads and footpaths. Routes are not waymarked, but are well walked and are straightforward to follow with the combination of the detailed route notes and GPX tracks that will be provided with your booking. There are occasional signposts and information boards along the way.

You will stay in carefully chosen 3* and 4* hotels, as well as a charming family-run guesthouse in the lesser-visited Ihlara Valley, where you will be sure to receive a warm welcome and a great taste of Turkish hospitality.

Why KE?

This itinerary, unique to KE, enables you to experience a broad view of this fascinating region and its different communities. You will also get off the beaten track by spending a full day and night at the lesser-visited Ihlara Valley.



Landing at Kayseri Airport, gateway to the fascinating region of Cappadocia, you will be met on arrival and transferred by shared shuttle to Uchisar, where you can settle in to your welcoming hotel base for the next three nights.

Situated on the edge of the Goreme National Park, the village of Uchisar is dominated by the natural rock hill, used as a fortress over millennia. Depending on the time of your arrival, you may have the opportunity today to pay a visit to the top of the castle from where you can gain panoramic views over the valley, a fitting first taste of the unique landscapes of this fascinating region of Turkey.


Hotel with swimming pool

This day is a great introduction to Cappadocia, with the chance to enjoy some of the region’s iconic landscapes and discover the small but well-known town of Goreme, nestled in the heart of the UNESCO-Listed National Park.

Setting off on foot from Uchisar this morning, you will descend into Pigeon Valley, named for the pigeon lofts or ‘houses’ as they are known locally – you will see many excellent examples of pigeon houses on your hikes. Arriving to Goreme, set amid honey-coloured cliffs and tuff cones, you have the opportunity to take your lunch here where there are many options available, and soak in the sights of this remarkable village with its juxtaposition of heritage with development. The Goreme Open-Air Museum is a must-see, however you may prefer to visit this World Heritage Site tomorrow, when you have a shorter walk and therefore more time to spend at this fascinating site.

Continuing your walk out of the town, you will hike through the White Valley and explore one of Goreme’s two Love Valleys, before ascending to exit the valley and return to Uchisar.


Hotel with swimming pool




350 M


350 M


11 KM

Your hike today will start again on foot from your hotel, this time to explore the lesser-visited Zemi Valley. Surrounded by high mountains, this shady valley offers you the chance to admire the colourful structures of the tufa erosions at close proximity.

Today’s trail through this lush valley feels more adventurous and intrepid, taking you over a mix of terrain, clambering over rocks, ducking under trees and through occasionally wet streambeds on the valley floor; before the trail ends at the outskirts of Goreme. Here you can spend the rest of the afternoon at the fascinating Open-Air Museum, delving into the Byzantine churches, chapels and monasteries hewn from the rock and admiring the ancient frescoes. The otherworldly landscapes here will be sure to captivate you. When you are ready to finish your visit, you can either take the bus or a taxi from Goreme back to Uchisar, or you may choose to return on foot via Pigeon Valley, retracing your steps from the day before.


Hotel with swimming pool




95 M


315 M


8 KM

After breakfast, you will be collected for the transfer to Selime, from where today’s hike through the Ihlara Gorge begins. In medieval times, this area was a hive of monastic activity, but in more recent times it receives comparatively fewer visitors. Most visitors to the area are on day tours from Goreme, with only a short amount of time to visit a small section of the canyon, but you will have the opportunity to hike this spectacular gorge trail in its entirety. Before setting off on your walk, you might like to explore the Selime Cathedral, an astonishing blend of human troglodyte habitation and worship with the organic forms of natural erosion.

The trail through the canyon follows the Melendiz River, framed by rugged cliffs and lush greenery. Contained within the valley are numerous rock-hewn churches and buildings, far too many to visit them all, but you will have the chance to visit some of the more accessible sites which are well worth the short diversions. Emerging from the canyon into the old village of Ilhara, you will stay the night here in a simple hotel and enjoy the warm hospitality of your hosts.






350 M


220 M


13 KM

Your driver will pick you up after breakfast to take you to Derinkuyu, one of the best underground cities of Cappadocia. This ancient subterranean city, dating back millennia to the time of the Phrygians in Anatolia, comprises of a staggering multi-level network of tunnels that burrow to 85m below the surface level. Please note there are narrow passages in the underground city of Derinkuyu that may make it unsuitable for those with claustrophobia. You will have the opportunity to explore the underground labyrinths before continuing on your way to the village of Kavak, the starting point of today’s walk. There are some simple shops in Kavak and depending on the season, there may be a café or restaurant open for refreshments in Ayvali, but it may be a good idea to purchase your lunch supplies before leaving Ihlara.

Following a predominantly downhill course, views of sandy lunar landscapes and distant peaks accompany you on your walk today, along with the unique tufa formations and fairy chimneys ubiquitous to the region. After passing through the village of Ayvali, you can descend to the Gomeda Valley to explore its churches and ruins, before continuing on your way to Mustafapasa. The village of Mustafapasa is steeped in history; once home to a large community of wealthy Greek merchants, whose prosperous trade in Constantinople (Istanbul) enabled them to build grand mansions in their home village. Enjoy a Turkish coffee in the town square and languidly watch the world go by. There are several options available in the village for your dinner this evening, before you settle in for the night in one of the stone-carved hotels famed in this area.






250 M


500 M


13 KM

Leaving Mustafapasa on foot this morning, your route will drop into the valleys of Gomeda and Uzgeni for a short while before tracking north through farmland to the village of Ortahisar. This old farming village, whose name is derived from the Turkish “middle castle”, is dominated by the rock castle known locally as Sivrikaya, some 90m high, and of strategic importance in Byzantine times. You might like to stop for a refreshment break in this village, at the convenient mid-point of your route. Continuing on your way, the trail follows the edge of the Meskendir valley then passes the Sword Valley with its numerous tufa pinnacles, before you reach the familiar village of Goreme and your home for the next two evenings.


Hotel with swimming pool




340 M


400 M


15 KM

A short transfer this morning takes you to Pasabag, where you will catch sight of the distinctive mushroom-like fairy chimneys here with their dark brown tops and tapered bases, and the notable triple-headed fairy chimney. Your walk today will initially follow an old wagon track to the outskirts of Cavusin, before ascending up and over the flat top of the mesa-like Bozdağ mountain. From this elevated position, you will gain incredible views over the Rose and Red Valleys. As you descend from Bozdağ with panoramic views of the strange lunar landscapes ahead of you, the trail winds down into Rose Valley. Along the way, you will have the opportunity to explore the Column Church (‘Kolonlu Kilise’ or ‘Direkli Kilise’), so-called for the four tall pillars found in the large nave. Navigating your way around the seemingly endless fairy chimneys, hidden caves and tufa erosions in varying shades of white, cream, red and pink, you will return to Goreme. Tonight, tuck into a hearty meal and reflect on the wonders of the landscapes you have discovered this week, and perhaps raise a toast with a celebratory glass of locally produced wine or raki.


Hotel with swimming pool




530 M


450 M


12 KM

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and drink in the views of the enchanting Cappadocian landscape. You will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the airport by shared shuttle, in time for the check in of your departure flight.


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The Route
Point Point

Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • All accommodation as described

  • Luggage transfers

  • Meals as described in the Meal Plan

  • Self-guided information pack containing your map and route notes

  • Shared shuttle transfer from Kayseri Airport to Uchisar

  • Shared shuttle transfer from Goreme to Kayseri Airport

  • Transfers to / from your walk as per the itinerary (days 4/5/7)

  • Tourist tax if due is not included in the price

  • Travel insurance

  • Visas (if applicable)

  • Some meals as described in the Meal Plan

  • Personal equipment

  • Entrance fees

  • Any additional activities/excursions indicated as optional

Each self-guided holiday comes with comprehensive route notes and a map or pocket guidebook of the area you are exploring. The route notes contain information about the places you will visit, about the local transport you might need, along with the detailed route notes for your daily walks or cycle rides. We even include some tips for the best places to stop for lunch.

You can expect to receive your Self-Guided Pack containing your route notes, a map or guidebook and all your relevant documents no later than 3 weeks before your holiday start date. We will send your documents using signed for courier so that you can track your package and know that they are safely on their way to you. For bookings of more than 4 people we will send an additional Self-Guided Pack. If you do not need this additional pack please inform our sales team. Your pack will be sent to the lead booker so please remind them to pack it before you set off.

Should your self-guided trip be part of a longer adventure requiring you to leave home more than three weeks before your holiday start date, please do inform our sales team so that we can make alternative delivery arrangements.

Our Self-Guided Holidays are perfect for your next family holiday and are suitable for children of all ages.

Our partner hotels and accommodations are able to provide cots for young children, and some offer family rooms. We can also arrange hire of children’s bikes and tag along bikes for our self-guided cycling trips and with trips such as Lake Constance and the Danube offering routes on designated cycle paths you can rest assured in keeping your family safe.

As a parent we trust that you know your own child’s capabilities, please read the itinerary details to ensure the distances covered each day are suitable for your family. If this is a first time walking holiday for your family, a centre based trip is a fantastic option as it allows you to easily opt out of a days walking if a day of building sand castles, swimming in the pool or visiting museums is calling.

Please discuss this further with our sales team who will be happy to assist in picking the best trip for your family.

The trip starts and ends at Kayseri Airport. All of our self-guided holidays are sold on a Land Only basis allowing you the flexibility to choose the travel method which best suits you. For this trip we have included a return shuttle transfer for you from Kayseri Airport which offers many departures from regional UK airports via Istanbul.

It is also possible to fly to/from Nevsehir Airport, however there are fewer flights serving Nevsehir than there are for Kayseri. Shuttle transfers are available for both airports.

Please ensure you inform our customer sales and support team as early as possible of your flight times and airport, so that we can arrange your transfers for you.

This trip is on a bed and breakfast basis to allow you the most flexibility during your holiday.

Water is drinkable from the taps on this holiday. Please fill your personal bottles for your day in the morning. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles.

Food is a real passion among Turks, and you will be sure to find a rich variety of delicious dishes to sample. Fusing cuisines of Central Asia, the Middle East and the Mediterranean, dishes are made with the freshest of ingredients, full of flavour.

Local specialties you might like to try include testi kebabi – a meat stew (usually lamb, beef or chicken) cooked in clay pots; manti – filled pasta akin to ravioli and stuffed with meat or cheese, topped with garlicky yoghurt sauce and spice infused olive oil; and gozleme – a flatbread made of a simple dough rolled thinly, and stuffed with spinach and feta, or spiced ground meat.

There are a number of extensive vineyards in the region of Cappadocia, accordingly you will have the opportunity to sample some locally produced wines made from indigenous grape varieties, as well as other viticulture products such as grape vinegar, pickled grapes and grape molasses.

Whilst we can cater for vegetarians, albeit sometimes with a more limited choice, we cannot always provide special diets.  Due to the nature of some of the trips that we operate and the countries in which we operate them, it can be very hard (and sometimes impossible) to cater for a wide range of dietary choices and you may have to supplement your diet with food/snacks from home.  If you have specific dietary requirements please do speak to our sales team and they will be able to advise you whether or not we will be able to offer your specific choice.  Please note that we are unable to provide separate menus and cannot accept liability for any problems arising from special dietary requirements or intolerances.

For this holiday, we have carefully hand-picked a selection of hotels in four locations, to showcase a broad view of the different communities across the region of Cappadocia. You will stay in a mix of 3* and 4* hotels as well as a charming family-run guesthouse in the lesser-visited Ihlara Valley. Most hotels offer outdoor seating areas from where you can enjoy the view of the surroundings, and some even have a swimming pool, perfect for relaxing and cooling off after a day of exploration.

All accommodations offer Turkish buffet breakfast that includes a spread of eggs, cheese, fresh vegetables, fruit, bread and jam. Some hotels have a restaurant if you would like to take your evening meal at your accommodation, or you may like to try one of the restaurants in town. WiFi is available at all hotels.

Some hotels offer cave rooms; for those who would like to experience these unique rooms these can be requested (upgrade costs apply) and are subject to availability. By their nature, cave rooms do not have windows and are not as well-ventilated as conventional modern hotel rooms.  

It is possible to arrange additional nights accommodation if you would like to enjoy this magnificent region a little longer. Please speak to one of our sales team for more information.

Your main luggage will be transferred between each of your hotels while you are out on your hike. We ask that you please ensure your luggage is under 20KG and that your luggage is ready for collection each morning. You will also need a daypack to carry your daily essentials with you.

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

Visa Turkey

UK passport holders do not require a visa for visits of up to 90 days in any 180 day period.




You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella, along with hepatitis A and typhoid. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

Severe Allergies

Please inform our KE Sales and support team of any severe allergies you may have before travel. We will always do our best to help but we are unable to guarantee an allergy free environment on our KE trips. We advise that you always carry your own treatment for the allergy with you such as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' if required.  We also recommend that you discuss this with your accommodation on arrival so that they can better assist you.

The unit of currency in Turkey is the Turkish Lira.

The advantage of a self-guided walking holiday is that you decide the pace however, getting some additional exercise before coming on an active holiday makes a lot of sense. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable your walks will be. You should be comfortable with walking up to 6 hours for consecutive days and we recommend getting out hill walking, with some ascent and descent, before your holiday to help boost your fitness.

The region of Cappadocia has a continental climate, with warm to hot summers and cold winters that often bring snowfall. At an average altitude of 1200m above sea level, the humidity is lower than coastal areas but the hot sunshine can make the days feel warm.

The most pleasant times of the year for a walking holiday are in spring and in autumn, when daytime temperatures reach an average high of around 23C. Ambient temperatures in the months between June and September can reach highs of around 33C in the daytime and with bright sunshine it can feel hot for walking. The temperature difference between day and night can feel substantial so being prepared with warm layers are a good idea at any time of the year.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

Cappadocia: Cradle of History – Omer Demir

The Underground City of Cappadocia – Edward Feuer

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

  • Hiking boots with good grip soles
  • Functional base layer
  • T-shirts
  • Hat
  • Windproof jacket
  • Fleece / extra layer
  • Long/short hiking trousers
  • Hiking socks
  • Waterproof Jacket
  • Waterproof Trousers
  • Rucksack (approx. 20 l)
  • Small first aid kit for your rucksack
  • Sunscreen
  • Water bottle or hydration pack
  • Camera (batteries/memory card)
  • Mobile Phone (ensure your data package covers your destination)
  • Power bank
  • Waterproof phone cover
  • Sun glasses
  • Personal wash kit
  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping to avoid the use of plastic bags
  • Tupperware for picnics
  • Walking poles
  • Your self-guided route notes

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
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Land Only Information

Please note our 'from price' listed is based on 4 persons in double/twin occupancy, however we can quote for any number of travellers, including solo travellers, contact our sales team for a quote.

All of our self-guided holidays are sold on a Land Only basis allowing you the flexibility to choose the travel method which best suits you. You may even wish to make this holiday part of a bigger adventure or pair it with one of our other holidays. We can arrange additional nights accommodation before or after your self-guided trip, ask our sales team to find out more about this.

Our sales team will be happy to provide you a quote for scheduled flights or alternatively you may wish to book your own flights with a low cost carrier from your nearest regional airport.

Please DO NOT book your flights before you have received your booking confirmation and your deposit has been taken.


Changes to flights

Please be aware that the flight industry is experiencing a high level of service fluctuation and changes to your flights may occur. This may also require amends to the transfers and joining arrangements. Thank you all for continuing your patience and understanding.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

The price of our holidays can change depending on a variety of factors but unlike some other tour operators, KE have undertaken to guarantee the Land Only price of your holiday will not change after you have booked. The price when you book is the price you will pay, whether you are booking for this year or the next. Book early to avoid any tour price increases, get the best flight prices and take advantage of our 'No Surcharge Guarantee'.

KE Adventure is a fully bonded tour operator. We hold an ATOL license (No: 2808) and are bonded with ABTA (Membership No: W4341)

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