Classical Cappadocia Tour
This is the tour of central Cappadocia covering all of the most important places of interest. You could call it 'The best of Cappadocia Tour'. If you have limited time in the region, this is the tour for you.
Pigeon Valley Panorama is located in Uçhisar. This ancient city sits at the top of Cappadocia – with its rock-cut “castle” fortress at the highest point, the ancient village of cave dwellings running down along the sides of the peak and gorgeous vistas in all directions – Uchisar is an impressive mix of ancient dwellings and quaint stone alleys. From the panoramic viewpoint you can see hundreds of pigeon houses cut into the rocky cliffs by the local farmers.
Göreme Open Air Museum has been a UNESCO World heritage site since 1985. It houses many rock-cut churches adorned with colorful Byzantine paintings depicting elaborate scenes from the New Testament. You will visit Apple Church, St. Barbara church, Serpent church, Church with Sandals and the Dark Church decorated in the 11th century. These will provide you with some of the best examples of early Christian art.
Paşabağ Valley houses beautiful, conical rock formations emerging from the side of the mountain, Pasabag offers fantastic close-up views of impressive natural erosion at work.
Some of these cones split into smaller cones in their upper sections, in which stylites and hermits once hid. The hermitage of Simeon monks was also here. A chapel dedicated to St. Simeon (Simon), and a hermit's shelter is built into one of the fairy chimneys with three heads. The entrance of the cell is decorated with antithetical crosses.
Imagination Valley offers some of the most unique conical rock formations, with many animal and fantasy shapes created by natural erosion. It reveals many different rock formations and is only a 10 minute drive from Goreme. The small fairy chimneys in the valley form a lunar landscape, or moonscape, by their strange look. The valley also has many animal shaped rocks. It looks like a sculpture zoo made by nature. Some of the most important, or the easiest seen animal shapes are camel, snake, seals, and dolphin. If you let your imagination run free you will find many others. It is like looking at clouds and seeing a dragon. There is even a rock pillar which looks like Virgin Mary, holding Jesus Christ.
Zelve Open Air Museum is situated about 10 km out from Goreme on the Avanos road. Here, the Christians and Muslims lived together in perfect harmony, until 1924. Then Christians had to leave the Valley because of the exchange of minorities between Greece and Turkey, and the Muslims were forced to evacuate the Valley in the 50's when life became dangerous due to risk of erosion. They left the site to set up a modern village, a little further on, to which they gave the name Yeni Zelve (New Zelve).
Now old Zelve is a ghost town and the erosion still continues. The three valleys in the Zelve open air museum offer a heaven for the rock climbers. It takes at least two hours for a good trekker to walk through these valleys, which also house the oldest examples of Cappadocian architecture and religious paintings.
Avanos is the town of Avanos is set on the banks of the Kizilirmak, the Red River. The Kizilirmak (red) river (ancient Halys river) is the longest river in Turkey and it does not only separate the town from other parts of Cappadocia, but also gives the supplies the clay for pottery. It is by this river that the red pottery clay is found from which Avanos derives its main livelihood and its foremost claim to fame. Pottery has been produced in the Avanos area for centuries and some of the techniques still used date back to Hittite times to 2000 BC. The Hittites named the town "Zu Wanes" and it became "Venessa" during the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire.