Anatolian Family Adventure

Rock spires of Cappadocia and the spectacular Taurus Mountains







From $1,060 Land only

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Holiday Overview


  • Real family adventure holiday in hidden Turkey
  • Horse riding, mountain biking and hiking!
  • Visit the underground city of Derinkuyu
  • Taurus Mountains Mini Trek

The world-famous rock spires of Cappadocia and the nearby rugged Taurus Mountains, provide an unbeatable destination for a family adventure holiday in Turkey. Flying into Kayseri, the first part of our trip highlights the outlandish scenery of Cappadocia, famous for its weird and wonderful rock formations. Millions of years of wind, rain and frost have sculpted the area's volcanic rock into a landscape of bizarre spires and 'fairy chimneys'. After exploring the Meskendir and Red valleys on foot, with visits to hidden rock-carved churches, we spend an afternoon on bikes, whirling around the rock formations in the vicinity of Goreme. We have time to check out the open air museum at Goreme,  hike in the White Valley, try our hand at making pottery in an artisan's studio and enjoy a horse riding adventure on an ancient caravanserai route leading to a hot spring. We end our time in Cappadocia with a visit to the amazing troglodyte city of Derinkuyu. Moving on to the Taurus Mountains, the source of the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers, we find ourselves in an idyllic area, where the local people still travel with their animals to high pastures during the summer months. Here, we will embark on a 2-day trek in the valleys beneath Demirkazik (3756m), the highest peak in the range. A holiday full of Turkish delight!

Is this holiday for you?

Suitable for children from 7yrs old

If you enjoy walking in beautiful mountain scenery and soaking up rich culture, then this trip is for you and your family. The holiday includes sightseeing, relaxation, 2 days of walking at moderate altitudes, biking and horse riding. The biking is on easy dirt trails and is suitable for youngsters who ride at home. The horse riding is also introductory level, so those with no previous experience can take part. There are 3 nights camping and sleeping bags are provided.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Mustafapasha. A single transfer from Kayseri Airport is provided.
  • Walk through the Meskendir Valley, past cave houses, painted churches and famous fairy chimneys.
  • Goreme Open Air Museum visit. Cycle ride to Uchisar Castle through the fairy chimneys back to Goreme.
  • Horse riding morning along Kizilirmak River, near Avanos village. Option to 'throw' your own pot!
  • Drive to Taurus Mountains. Visit underground city and afternoon walk to campsite on high plateau.
  • Walk to the Eznevit Plateau, descend through the forest to the Siyirmalik valley. Camp Emli (1800m).
  • Circular walk to the Mangirci Gorge through oak forest. Return back to campsite at Emli.
  • Departure day. A single transfer to Kayseri Airport is provided.
Sat 17 Oct - Sat 24 Oct Code FTM /08/15/ Adult$1,060 Child$900 Status Guaranteed Book now
Sat 24 Oct - Sat 31 Oct Code FTM /09/15/ Adult$1,060 Child$900 Status Available Book now
Sat 26 Mar - Sat 02 Apr Code FTM /01/16/ Adult$1,060 Child$900 Status Available Book now
Sat 02 Apr - Sat 09 Apr Code FTM /02/16/ Adult$1,060 Child$900 Status Available Book now
Sat 28 May - Sat 04 Jun Code FTM /03/16/ Adult$1,060 Child$900 Status Available Book now
Sat 30 Jul - Sat 06 Aug Code FTM /04/16/ Adult$1,060 Child$900 Status Available Book now
Sat 27 Aug - Sat 03 Sep Code FTM /05/16/ Adult$1,060 Child$900 Status Available Book now
Sat 29 Oct - Sat 05 Nov Code FTM /06/16/ Adult$1,060 Child$900 Status Available Book now
The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining in Kayseri. For clients making their own flight arrangements, Kayseri airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Turkish airlines is the logical choice of airlines for flights to Kayseri although it is possible to use a different carrier to Istanbul and connect there with the Turkish Airlines domestic flight to Kayseri. Turkish Airlines operate flights to Kayseri via Istanbul from London Hethrow, Manchester, Edinburgh and Birmingham airports. Please check the timings of arrival and departure for your prefered flights and be aware that some flight schedules may require additional nights in Istanbul or extra transfers in Kayseri. Please refer to the 'Joining arrangements & transfers' section in the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee*

* Against Land Only services.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • airport
  • point
  • peaks
  • trip direction
  • transfer
  • trek

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in Mustafapasha. A single transfer from Kayseri Airport is provided.

    KE Land Only package services begin with a 1 hour transfer from Kayseri Airport to the group hotel in the traditional Cappadocian town of Mustafapasha which will be our base for the next 4 nights.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals d

  • Walk through the Meskendir Valley, past cave houses, painted churches and famous fairy chimneys.

    Today we will start our walk in the picturesque Meskendir Valley. We follow a path from which we can view traditional cave houses and troglodyte villages dating back to ancient Christian civilization. From the Meskendir Valley we cross over to the Red Valley, one of the most spectacular in Cappadocia with its many different rock formations and variety of colours. We pay a visit to the hidden Cross Church and head into the nearby Rose Valley to visit the Church of the Three Crosses. This church was carved out of the cliff face in the 7th Century - decorative reliefs and frescoes were added in the 10th and 11th centuries. We continue our walk to Cavusin, site of one of the first Christian villages built in Cappadocia. After lunch we’ll explore the amazing Pasabaglari Area, home of the famous fairy chimneys! There will be approximately 4 to 5 hours walking today, interspersed with regular stops to explore and play hide and seek among the rocks.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 80m

    • Distance 9km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 130m

    • Time 4 hours

  • Goreme Open Air Museum visit. Cycle ride to Uchisar Castle through the fairy chimneys back to Goreme.

    Today we will visit Goreme Open Air Museum, which presents an amazing collection of cave churches, constructed between the 10th and 13th centuries and featuring many beautiful painted frescoes. Then we’ll begin our exploration of the area by bike, starting from Goreme we’ll ascend to Uchisar Castle for views of the Cappadocian landscape from the highpoint known as “The Fortress”. After lunch we’ll continue our ride through the “fairy chimneys” via the White Valley, stopping to look at the amazing rock formations. Stopping in Cavusin, we will explore the old village and pedal back to Goreme later in the afternoon where it’s possible to try a traditional Turkish bath, known as a Hamam (optional).

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

    • Time 3 hours

  • Horse riding morning along Kizilirmak River, near Avanos village. Option to 'throw' your own pot!

    Today, we will drive to a ranch in Avanos, where we will meet our horses and set off on a ride to the village of Sarihidir which sits beside Turkey's greatest river, the Kizilirmak. We will be able to visit the caravanserai at Saruhan, built by the Seljuk Sultans in the 13th century. The Seljuks paid for the building of many of these wayside, Silk Road inns which provided food and shelter for travellers and their animals. Avanos is famous for its production of earthenware pottery, still the economic mainstay of the town to this day. Ceramics production and trade in this area dates back to the Hittites who first used the red clay silt from the Kizilirmak river to make pots. We will visit a pottery where there is an option, payable locally, to 'throw' your own pot. Approximately 2 hours spent on horseback.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Drive to Taurus Mountains. Visit underground city and afternoon walk to campsite on high plateau.

    After breakfast, we drive south to the Taurus Mountains (approx 2 hours driving). On the way we visit the underground city of Derinkuyu. In this part of Turkey there are around 200 subterranean towns that are believed to have been built as hiding places in time of war by early Christian people. Derinkuyu is the most impressive, with 7 floors and a maximum depth of around 85 metres (275 feet). It would have accommodated thousands of people. There are food stores, kitchens, stalls, churches, ventilation chimneys, wells and a missionary school and can best be described as being like Swiss Cheese! In Cukurbag village we will take lunch in a local family house and learn about traditional life. Our hike begins at the village of Demirkazik and takes us through the Cimbar Gorge and up to the high meadow area of the Arpalik Plateau from where we walk on a dirt road track to our camp at Sokulupinar.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 500m

    • Distance 6km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 300m

    • Time 4 hours

  • Walk to the Eznevit Plateau, descend through the forest to the Siyirmalik valley. Camp Emli (1800m).

    We head up the valley to Sakartas and then traverse to Ezenevit (2538m), a summer grazing camp where we hope to meet some of the shepherds who spend the summer months in this remote place with their flocks. Whilst staying at the high 'yaylas' these semi-nomadic people spend their time making cheese and weaving colourful flat-weave rugs known as kilims. This is another great place to have lunch, amongst tremendous mountain scenery. We then begin our descent of the picturesque Siyirmalik Valley, which is the only place on the west side of the Aladaglar to have forests of cedar and juniper trees.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 500m

    • Distance 13km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 700m

    • Time 6 hours

  • Circular walk to the Mangirci Gorge through oak forest. Return back to campsite at Emli.

    In the morning we hike up to the Mangirci Gorge via the Emli Valley, climbing on to the Alaca Yayla plateau where we walk through forests of oak trees. Our viewpoint affords spectacular views of the rocky peaks of the Aladaglar mountains which lie in the centre of the Taurus range. After lunch by a spring, we descend to camp via Oluksekisi, a shepherd’s camp. Most likely they will be here grazing the flocks. We will spend our final night camping in the Emli Valley.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 650m

    • Distance 8km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 650m

    • Time 5 hours

  • Departure day. A single transfer to Kayseri Airport is provided.

    After breakfast in camp, we transfer to Kayseri Airport, where KE Land Only package services end. Transfer time is around 2 - 3 hours.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • An experienced English speaking local guide
  • A single group transfer from Kayseri Airport to the group hotel on Day 1 and back to the airport on Day 8
  • All transfers within the itinerary
  • All accommodation as described in the trip dossier
  • All meals as outlined in the Meal Plan
  • All camping equipment
  • Horse riding and biking including specialist equipment and guide
  • Entrance fees to Aladaglar National park

  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for local staff
  • Airport transfers (other than with the group)
  • Entrance fees to historical sites except Aladaglar National Park
  • Optional activities
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

The group will rendezvous at Kayseri Airport. Within the Land Only cost of this holiday, we have arranged for a single timed group transfer from Kayseri Airport to the group's first night accommodation. This transfer will normally depart at around 5.00 p.m. on Day 1 of the trip itinerary. The local guide or a representative of our local agent will assist with this transfer. At the end of the trip there will be a single timed group transfer back to Kayseri Airport at approximately 7.00 a.m. on the last day of the trip itinerary.

The altitudes attained on this holiday are not extreme and the maximum altitude attained is no more than the equivalent of a pressurised cabin on an international flight. You may ‘feel’ the altitude the first time you trek above 2000 metres but all that is required is a slower pace to compensate. You should pay particular attention to your hydration levels while trekking above 2000 metres.

During this trip, the group will spend 4 nights in a hotel in Cappadocia and 3 nights camping. All accommodation is arranged on a twin sharing basis or in a family room. Single rooms and tents are possible. All camping equipment is provided including sleeping bags. For single supplement prices please refer to the dates and prices page of the trip on the website. Hotels are subject to availability and prices may vary.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

On trek, breakfast options include cereals, fruits, bread, preserves, eggs, salami, feta, olives, melon, dried fruit and nuts, tea and coffee. After breakfast clients will make up their own picnic lunch using bread sticks and a variety of meats, cheeses, tomatoes and cucumber. There will also be plenty of fruit, biscuits and cake. The evening meal is prepared by our cook and served at the camp table. This meal may be a barbecue of local meats or any of a number of excellent Turkish dishes. Vegetarian food is also available but you must inform us if you require an exclusively vegetarian diet. While staying in hotels breakfasts will usually consist of fresh baked bread, butter, jam and/or honey, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, cheese, yogurt, preserved meat, fruit juice, eggs, and tea or coffee. This is most often set out as a buffet. Dinner options in hotels range from simple grilled meats to elaborately baked fish and meat casseroles. There are also plenty of delicious vegetarian options.

All meals are included from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 8.

Approximately €300 per family (mum, dad and 2 kids) should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses. This will cover your bar bills and reasonable tips to the support crew. If you intend to buy expensive souvenirs, you should budget accordingly (credit cards can be useful in this respect). Turkey’s unit of currency is the New Turkish Lira. By far the easiest way to obtain your travel cash is from ATM's using a credit card or a debit card linked to the International Plus or Cirrus system - remember you will need your PIN number to do this. ATM’s are available only at the Kayseri Airport and in Goreme. Credit cards can be used to purchase goods and services in some shops, hotels and restaurants in Turkey.

An experienced, professional, English-speaking local guide will lead the trip.

Tips are the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ to your local guides and other support staff. They do not form part of their wages. KE always pays local crews the best rates of pay, no matter what country they are in and any tips they receive are seen as a personal thank you from group members. For our part, we advise local teams that tips are not something they should expect, but are a bonus and entirely dependent on the service that was given. We recommend that you give a tip only if you have received satisfactory service. As a rough guide we suggest you allow a total of €100 per family for tipping. More detailed guidelines on tipping will be provided with your final joining instructions

Your baggage on trek will be carried by pack animals. The packed weight of your trek bag whilst trekking should be no more than 15 kgs (33 pounds).

KE Trek Bag / Free Gift

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

A passport with a minimum of 2 months remaining validity from the date of entry is required (at least 6 months remaining validity is recommended). Visas are required by US, Canadian, UK and most European passport holders (but not by nationals of France, Germany, Greece, Denmark, Finland or Sweden).

All visitors to Turkey are required to purchase their entry visa via the Turkish Government website prior to travel. You will need an email address and a printer connected to your computer in order to do this. After you have submitted your application you will be sent a verification email. Once you receive the “e-mail address verification message”, you will need to click the “approve” button and then proceed with the payment within 24 hours otherwise your application will time out and you will need to make a new application. Currently, the cost of the e-visa is 20 US Dollars. Payment can only be made with Visa or Mastercard (debit or credit cards). Once payment has been made you will receive a further email with a link to download the e-visa. Please print out and keep your e-Visa with you while entering and exiting Turkey.

Visas are valid for 180 days from the date of application for a stay of up to 90 days.

Note for Clients on Mount Ararat ONLY, we also require that you send us the following information by e-mail or by post at least 4 weeks prior to departure:

Your place of birth

Your Father’s full name

Your Mother’s full name

Please note that Mount Ararat permits will not be issued without these details.

We do keep our information up to date but be advised visa requirements are subject to change. It is recommended that you contact the relevant commission in the case of recent alterations.

Passport validity

You should ensure your passport satisfies the following criteria:

Valid for a minimum of six months from the date of entry into Turkey

Valid for at least three months from the date you leave Turkey

Valid for at least 60 days beyond the expiry date of your visa, e-visa or residence permit (visas and e-visas are often issued with 6 months validity so your passport may need to have eight months validity at the time your visa is issued).

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

You must bring the following items:

  • Hiking boots
  • Sandals
  • Trainers / sneakers
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Trekking trousers /pants
  • Lightweight waterproof overtrousers / pants
  • Shorts
  • Thermal baselayer shirts
  • T-shirts and/or casual shirts
  • Loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirt with collar (for sun protection)
  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper
  • Lightweight waterproof jacket
  • Sunhat
  • Warm hat
  • Eyewear – Sunglasses
  • Earplugs (Especially if you are not the one snoring in the campsite)
  • Lightweight thermal or fleece gloves
  • Warmer gloves or mittens
  • Daypack c.30 to 40 litres / 1800 –2000 cu in (depending on how much of the kids' stuff you want to carry)
  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
  • Water bottles (approx 1 litre / quart per person)
  • Washbag and toiletries
  • Antibacterial handwash
  • Small towel
  • Headtorch/flashlight and spare batteries
  • A basic medical kit will accompany each group. You should bring your own personal first aid kit consisting of the following: antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters (band aids) and blister treatment, Insect repellent (DEET), and re-hydration salts (Dioralite). Glucose tablets and multi-vitamin tablets are also a good idea

The following items are optional:

  • Spare laces
  • Sheet Sleeping bag
  • Swimwear
  • Trekking poles
  • Insect repellant – (DEET)
  • Travel clothes
  • Pocket-knife (note: always pack sharp objects in hold baggage)
  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)
  • Small padlock (to lock your KE trek bag)
  • Camera, media, batteries
  • Notes:All specialist equipment required for the activities on this trip are provided, including sleeping bags – however you may wish to bring a sheet sleeping bag.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

Know before you go

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: 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 FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

It makes a lot of sense to do a bit of additional exercise before coming on a trekking trip. Even very fit youngsters will benefit from some kind of training regime and it can be great fun as you head toward your holiday. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. For this trip you need to be aerobically fit and also capable for walking up to 6 hours on each of 3 successive days. Before departure, we suggest that you try to fit in a number of long walks in hilly country.

Daytime temperatures in Cappadocia will vary between 22ºC and 28ºC at the times of year we operate this trip. The weather in early and late summer is generally excellent - with hot days, clear skies and little rain. In the Taurus Mountains, the temperature will, of course, decrease as we climb. At 2000 metres, we can expect to be trekking at temperatures of between 15ºC and 20ºC. In April and October, we can expect the night-time temperature at our highest camp to fall close to freezing point. In common with many mountain areas, cloud can build during the day resulting in late afternoon rain.

Turkish is part of the Altaic family of languages and is widely spoken across much of central Asia, with true ‘standard’ Turkish spoken in Turkey itself. In tourist regions of Turkey, English is widely spoken, though not by everyone. In remoter regions, English is less widely used so we recommend you try to learn some simple Turkish phrases and greetings. Attempts to speak in the local language will always be appreciated and is all part of the fun.

Turkey. Lonely Planet Travel Survival Kit. The Rough Guide to Turkey. Turkish Odyssey. A Traveller’s Guide to Turkey and Turkish Culture. Serif Yenin. Landscapes in Panoramic Turkey – from Istanbul to Ararat. Gerold Yong.

Turkey: Freytag & Berndt Publishing

1:800,000 map of the entire country

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