Cappadocia and the High Taurus

Spectacular Taurus trek and incredible walks in Cappadocia




From $1,140 Land only

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Holiday Overview


  • Breathtaking panoramas from the top of Mount Emler - 3723m
  • Hike through Cappadocia`s beautiful Red and Ihlara Valleys
  • Take tea at a nomadic camp and explore Derinkuyu underground city
  • Unforgettable camping on the wildy remote Yedigoller Plateau

This 'Walkers Delight' holiday in Turkey combines a week-long trek through the Taurus mountains, including an ascent of Emler, with 3 days of exploration and walks in the incredible landscape of Cappadocia.  The Taurus range of mountains forms a divide between Turkey's Mediterranean coast and the Anatolian Plateau. It is from this range that the great rivers of the Tigris and Euphrates spring.  We begin the holiday with a week of trekking in the spectacular Aladaglar range, trekking by way of alpine lakes and remote passes to the Yedigoller Plateau where we make an amazing high camp at 3100 metres.  In the high valleys of this rarely-visited range, we will be able to meet and take tea with nomadic Turkish shepherds and learn a little of their centuries-old way of life. The unforgettable highlight of this holiday is an ascent of Mount Emler (3723m), which provides excellent views across the whole of the Aladaglar Massif.  At the end of our trek in the Taurus, we will then transfer to colourful Cappadocia. With its fantastic fairy chimneys, wildly eroded landscapes and rock-hewn dwellings and churches, Cappadocia is one of the world's most surreal destinations!  During our 3 day stay, we will visit many of its highlights, including the carved frescoes of UNESCO Goreme, the spectacular rock pinnacles of the Ilhara Valley and the fascinating underground city of Derinkuyu, once home to over 20,000 people and the deepest underground city in Turkey.  This is a sensational holiday designed for walkers who are looking for something truly dramatic and different.  With it's superb and varied mountain walking, amazing camp locations, fantastic food, experienced local leaders and wonderful Turkish hospitality, this is "the only" trekking holiday in 2016 for exploring Turkey's must see walking destinations!

Is this holiday for you?

This holiday combines an 8-day trek in the Taurus Mountains of Turkey with moderate walks in Cappadocia.  The maximum altitude attained on the holiday is 3723 metres and we spend 2 nights above 3000 metres on the Yedigoller Plateau.  At these relatively moderate altitudes, acclimatisation should not be a problem.  For most of the trek we follow well established trails between valleys and villages which are suitable for mules and very straightforward for trekkers.  However there are a couple of days with a good deal of ascent and descent and we may encounter snow on the Yedigoller Plateau.  At the end of this trek we transfer to Cappadocia for two days of easy walking and sightseeing.  You should ensure you are physically prepared for the trek and able to walk for 5 or 6 hours each day and for several days continuously.

If you are looking for an easier centre-based walking holiday in Cappadocia staying in charming hotels, then our Towers and Trails of Cappadocia is the perfect choice.  This 8 day holiday offers relaxed walks and plenty of time to explore the superb underground city of Derinkuyu.  

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Cukurbag. A single timed transfer from Kayseri Airport is provided.
  • Trek through the foothills of the Aladaglar Mountains and into the Aladaglar National Park to Emil.
  • Through the meadows of Alaca Yayla to the charming grazing area at Alaca Yayla and Emil Valley.
  • Trek though the Siyirmalik Valley passing shepherds` camps and nomadic settlements to Sokulupinar.
  • Follow mountain streams to the high grazing area of Arpalik Yayla and the beautiful Dipsiz Lake.
  • Spectacular trekking to the Karayalak Valley via the superb Celikbuyduran Pass (3450m).
  • Ascent of Mount Emler (3723m) and time to explore the beautiful Yedigoller `Seven Lakes)`Plateau.
  • Trek across the Teke Kalesi Pass (3517m) to Lake Karagol passing the Yildiz `Star` Lake.
  • Morning through the Maden Gorge. Afternoon transfer to the ancient town of Guzelyurt in Cappadocia.
  • Trek through Ihlara Valley on the slopes of Mount Hasan (3268m) and explore the rock-cut churches.
  • Trek through a world of fairy chimneys and vibrant colours in the beautiful Meskendir and Red Valleys.
  • Departure Day. A single timed transfer to Kayseri Airport is provided.
Sat 18 Jun - Wed 29 Jun Code CHT /01/16/ Adult$1,140 Status Guaranteed Book now
Sat 09 Jul - Wed 20 Jul Code CHT /02/16/ Adult$1,140 Status Available Book now
Sat 27 Aug - Wed 07 Sep Code CHT /03/16/ Adult$1,140 Status Guaranteed Book now
Sat 10 Sep - Wed 21 Sep Code CHT /04/16/ Adult$1,140 Status Available Book now
Sat 24 Sep - Wed 05 Oct Code CHT /05/16/ Adult$1,140 Status 2 more to guarantee 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 Heathrow, 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 Cukurbag. A single timed transfer from Kayseri Airport is provided.

    Rendezvous at Kayseri Airport. KE Land Only package services begin with a 2 hour transfer to Cukurbag village in the Aladaglar Range. We have our first night's camp here.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals d

  • Trek through the foothills of the Aladaglar Mountains and into the Aladaglar National Park to Emil.

    After a traditional Turkish breakfast, we start our trek walking through the foothills of the Aladaglar Mountains. Our trek takes us into the Aladaglar National Park and after approximately 4 hours walk we will reach our
    camp in the Emli valley.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 4 hrs walking

  • Through the meadows of Alaca Yayla to the charming grazing area at Alaca Yayla and Emil Valley.

    Our trek today takes us through the Mangirci Gorge and onwards, through cedar and juniper woodland to the grazing area at Alaca Yayla. There are superb views of the southern part of the Aladaglar region and we should also meet shepherds in this area, who spend much of the summer season here with their flocks. We will stop for our picnic lunch by a spring, then descend back to the Emli Valley by way of the seasonal shepherds' camp at Oluk Sekisi.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs walking

  • Trek though the Siyirmalik Valley passing shepherds` camps and nomadic settlements to Sokulupinar.

    Leaving the Emli Valley behind, we trek into the Siyirmalik Valley, passing a shepherds' camp at Eznevit, where we should have the chance to meet and take tea with some of these friendly people and learn a little about
    their semi-nomadic way of life. There are good views across the surrounding mountainous terrain, as we continue our walk to Sakartas. From here, we descend to our camping place at Sokulupinar.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs walking

  • Follow mountain streams to the high grazing area of Arpalik Yayla and the beautiful Dipsiz Lake.

    Leaving our camp set up, we trek alongside a mountain stream to the high grazing area of Arpalik Yayla. Then, we ascend to Tekepinari (Goats' Spring) where we may see ibex grazing on the high plateau. The high point of our walk is at beautiful Dipsiz Lake (2900m) and after taking a picnic lunch here, we descend via the same route to our camp at Sokulupinar. N.B. So that the horses are not carrying unneeded items tomorrow, we will leave anything we don’t need for the next three days in the vehicles, which will meet us on Day 8.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs walking

  • Spectacular trekking to the Karayalak Valley via the superb Celikbuyduran Pass (3450m).

    Today, we trek to our high camp, accompanied by a team of horsemen and their pack-animals. This involves a relatively tough 5-hour hike through the Karayalak Valley to the Celikbuyduran Pass (3450m), stopping off for lunch at a spring just before we reach our high point.
    Then, it is a straightforward descent to our camping place (3100m) on the Yedigoller (Seven Lakes) Plateau, beside the largest lake in the area.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs walking

  • Ascent of Mount Emler (3723m) and time to explore the beautiful Yedigoller `Seven Lakes)`Plateau.

    Leaving our camp set up at Yedigoller, we will spend the day at this high elevation, with further opportunities to meet the local shepherds and to admire the striking mountain scenery. Particularly prominent are the peaks of Narpuzbasi and Direktas. Our principal objective today will be to make an ascent of Mount Emler (3723m). This involves a straightforward return trek of 4 to 5 hours, taking us back up to the Celikbuyduran Pass and along a ridge from there to the mountain's summit. From this peak, there are great views of the south side of Mount Demirkazik (the highest summit in the range) and of the distant volcanic peaks of Erciyes and Hasan. Descending back to camp, there is time for a bit of relaxation, or maybe even a swim in the lake.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 4 - 5 hrs walking

  • Trek across the Teke Kalesi Pass (3517m) to Lake Karagol passing the Yildiz `Star` Lake.

    After loading the horses, we make an early start and begin our trek out of the Taurus Mountains. We pass the second largest of the lakes on the plateau and then climb up to Teke Kalesi Pass (3517m). Here, once
    again, we can enjoy great mountain views, before starting our descent on a narrow trail. Passing Yildiz (Star) Lake, we reach our camp at Lake Karagol.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 7 hrs walking

  • Morning through the Maden Gorge. Afternoon transfer to the ancient town of Guzelyurt in Cappadocia.

    Our last morning of trekking in the High Taurus takes us down to the mine road which runs through the Maden Gorge. We then follow this to a lunch stop, at the point where we meet our support vehicles at the end of the valley. The walk takes 4 to 5 hours. After lunch we will drive to Cappadocia, a region with a completely different landscape of weird and wonderful rock formations. We stay overnight in a comfortable hotel in the ancient town of Guzelyurt.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 4 - 5 hrs walking

  • Trek through Ihlara Valley on the slopes of Mount Hasan (3268m) and explore the rock-cut churches.

    Today we we trek through the Ihlara Valley lying on the northern flanks of the volcano, Mount Hasan (3268m). The valley is a 14km long canyon running between the towns of Ihlara and Selime and is an excellent example of the incredible rock formations and underground complexes that exist in Cappadocia. As we trek through the valley we pass literally hundreds of rock-cut houses and churches from the Byzantine period, some of them hidden underground and others above the surface. We
    complete the walk and our explorations by the late afternoon and then drive north towards the heart of Cappadocia. On the way we stop to visit Derinkuyu, a famous underground city. 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 very impressive, with 7 floors and a maximum depth of around 85 metres. It
    could have accommodated thousands of people. There are food stores, kitchens, stalls, churches, ventilation chimneys, wells and a missionary school. After our visit, we continue our drive to Goreme at the heart of Cappadocia where we check into our comfortable hotel surrounded by the weird rock formations that are the icons of this region.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

    • Time 5 hrs walking

  • Trek through a world of fairy chimneys and vibrant colours in the beautiful Meskendir and Red Valleys.

    Today's walk takes us through the Meskendir Valley. We follow a trail through the fairy chimneys and other Cappadocian rock formations, passing ancient cave houses and Byzantine complexes. From the Meskendir Valley we cross over to the Red Valley, considered the most beautiful in Cappadocia with its weird and wonderful formations and colours. At the end of the day as the sun begins to set the valley puts on a display that lives up to its name. After our walk we return to Goreme and spend a second night at the group hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Departure Day. A single timed transfer to Kayseri Airport is provided.

    After a leisurely breakfast, we board our tour bus and drive for approximately 1 hour to Kayseri Airport, where KE Land Only package services end.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • A professional English-speaking local guide
  • Single timed Kayseri Airport transfers at the beginning and end of the trip
  • All accommodation as described in the trip dossier
  • All meals
  • All land transport throughout the trip
  • A full trek service including cook and baggage transfer
  • Entrance and camping fees for the Aladaglar National Park

  • Travel insurance
  • Kayseri Airport transfers (other than the single group transfer at the beginning and end of the trip)
  • Tips for local staff
  • Entrance fees at tourist sites and 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 in the afternoon of Day 1. Within the Land Only cost of this holiday, we have arranged for a single timed group transfer from Kayseri Airport to the first night's camp. This transfer will depart at around 5.30 pm on Day 1 of the trip itinerary. The local guide or a representative of the local agent will assist with the transfer. Please try and ensure your chosen flight allows you to meet the group in time for this transfer. However, if your flight schedule does not allow you to take advantage of this transfer, private transfers can be arranged in advance, at extra cost, through the KE Office. At the end of the trip there will be a single timed group transfer from the group hotel to Kayseri Airport in the late morning of the last day of the trip itinerary.

During this trip, the group will spend 2 nights at an hotel in central Cappadocia and 1 night at an hotel in southern Cappadocia. There will also be 8 nights camping. Accommodation is on a twin share basis. It is possible to hire a single tent while on trek for an additional cost. Please note single tent hire does not include single rooms in hotels. For the 3 hotel nights, single rooms are available for a supplementary cost. Additional hotel nights in Cappadocia are also available. For Hotel prices and single supplement costs please refer to the dates and prices page of the trip on our website.

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

Turkish cuisine is world renowned for its variety, colour and fresh produce.  Breakfast options include cereals, fruits, bread, preserves, eggs, salami, feta, olives, melon, dried fruit and nuts, tea and coffee. After breakfast and whilst on trek, 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 freshly prepared by our cook and served at the camp table.  This may be a barbecue of local meats or any of a number of excellent Turkish dishes.  Vegetarian food is also available, so please inform us if you require a vegetarian diet.  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 in the trip price from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 12.

Approximately £150 (or equivalent in US dollars, Euros etc) should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses including 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 in Goreme. Credit cards can be used to purchase goods and services in some shops, hotels and restaurants in Turkey.

A professional English-speaking guide will accompany the trip. The group will also have a support vehicle and driver and a trek crew including a cook. On days 6 - 8 the group's luggage will be tranported by baggage animals and their handlers.

Tips do not form part of the wages of local staff but they are very much appreciated. It is important to remember that tipping is voluntary and should be dependent on good service. It is best if the tip is given at the end of the trip by the group as a whole. We recommend that each group member contributes around £25 (or equivalent in US dollars, Euros etc) and that tips are then distributed between the guide and support staff as the group feels is appropriate.

Your baggage on trek should weigh no more than 15kg. During the holiday your main bag will be carried in the support vehicle from day 2 to day 5 and by pack animals from day 6 until day 8. Any items you do not require between days 6 and 8 can be left in the tour vehicle and you may wish to bring an extra (fold away) bag for this.

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.

This holiday involves going to high altitude. During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 3500 metres. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude. You can also talk to one of our trekking experts if you have any concerns about altitude.

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
  • Socks
  • Gaiters (to protect boots from scree/talus and occasionally snow)
  • Spare laces
  • Trekking trousers / pants
  • Waterproof over-trousers / rain-pants
  • Underwear
  • Baselayer shirts (2 short sleeve, 2 long sleeve)
  • T-shirts or casual shirts
  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper
  • Windproof/waterproof jacket
  • Sunhat
  • Fleece hat or balaclava
  • Eyewear – Sunglasses
  • Thermal or fleece gloves
  • sleeping bag – comfort rating down to -5°C
  • Daypack c.30 litres – 1800 cu in
  • Second ‘hold-all’ type bag*
  • Headtorch / headlamp with spare bulb and batteries
  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
  • Water bottles 1 Litre / 2 pint (x2)
  • Washbag and toiletries
  • Small towel
  • Antibacterial handwash
  • Selection of dry bags (to keep trek bag contents dry)
  • Small padlock (to lock your KE kit bag)
  • Basic First Aid Kit including the following: antiseptic cream; throat lozenges; diarrhoea treatment (Diocalm or Immodium); painkillers; plasters/band-aids and blister treatment; and re-hydration salts (Dioralite). Glucose sweets and vitamin tablets are a useful addition.

The following items are optional:

  • Trekking poles (recommended)
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Thermarest (note that foam camping mats are provided)
  • Trainers / sneakers or sandals for camp
  • Long johns (thermal underwear)
  • Shorts
  • Light down jacket or smock
  • Insect repellent
  • Camera, media, batteries
  • Travel clothes
  • Pocket-knife
  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)
  • Water purification tablets/solution **


  • * Second bag: You will need to bring a bag which is large enough to store items not required for the 3-day trek on the Yedigoller Plateau. This bag will stay with the vehicles and does not have to be waterproof or particularly robust. It should be able to fit in your main baggage when not being used.
  • ** Water purification tablets: At all the camps on trek spring water is available and good to drink. However you might wish to treat this water to be extra safe.


A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

Visa Turkey

All nationalities require a visa. The visa fee is $20 and you need to apply for this online prior to departure at Please download the detailed information document: Visa PDF Turkey.

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

The unit of currency in Turkey is the Turkish Lira.

It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on an active holiday getting some additional exercise.  While regular hiking in hill or back country is the best preparation, running, cycling and swimming are also good for developing better cardiovascular fitness and stamina.  Before departure, we suggest that you try to fit in a number of long walks in hilly country.

You should contact your GP 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.

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.

Daytime temperatures in Cappadocia will vary between 22ºC/72ºF and 28ºC/82ºF 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. Typically, we will be trekking at temperatures around 15°C / 59°F. At night at our highest camp, we can expect the temperature to fall close to freezing point. In common with many mountain areas, cloud can build during the day resulting in late afternoon rain.

  • 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.

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