5 Days / 4 Nights - Cappadocia by Private Car and Balloon: DAY 1: ISTANBUL > ANKARA
Early departure from Istanbul, for a drive to Ankara, the Turkish capital. Your half day tour in Ankara will include the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations and the Mausoleum of Atatürk, the founder and the first president of Turkish Republic. You will have dinner and spend the first night in Ankara.
DAY 2: ANKARA > CAPPADOCIA
After breakfast, you will leave the hotel to travel to the Cappadocia region. Cappadocia was an object of desire to men, even before it was mentioned in the Holy Bible. Once the capital of the powerful Hittite empire, later a refuge for early Christians; it is a land of magic, a region of exceptional natural wonders (in particular characterized by fairy chimneys) and a unique historical and cultural heritage. Prepare yourself to travel back in time, and prepare your mind to wander between the images of ancient people and the breath taking beauty of the landscape. The drive to Cappadocia will take you to the shores of the picturesque Salt Lake, a vast ocean of white. Have a chance to see the Turkish village lifestyle at short stops at the villages of Yaprakhisar and Selime. The first spot to visit in Cappadocia will be the Ihlara Valley, which was formed by volcanic eruptions; and where the scenery is fascinating. You will also visit the rock chapels with amazing frescoes. Then visit the Derinkuyu Underground City, where the early Christians seek refuge as they fled the wrath of none-believers. This long day’s journey will end at Nevsehir, the center of the Cappadocia region; where you will have dinner and stay for the night.
DAY 3: CAPPADOCIA
Your day of wonders will begin early, even before breakfast. You will be picked up from the hotel to watch the sun rise over this magnificent land, from a hot air balloon. You will have a unique, fairy tale-like experience, dipping down to pick fresh from the tree tops, or soaring above the landscape, picking out landmarks never before noticed. You will then return to the hotel for breakfast; before continuing to explore Cappadocia; Climb up to the citadel of Uchisar, which was used as a watch tower. See the Pigeon Valley with pigeon houses on slopes of the valleys. You will enjoy the amazing panorama from Esentepe and Cevizlibag. Visit the Göreme Open Air Museum. The area is populated by chapels, with awe-inspiring paintings made by exiled Christians during the Roman era. Take a short walk to Zelve – Pasabag where you will find the most interesting rock formations, called “fairy chimneys”; as well as the first examples of a monk’s chapel. Then visit Avanos, the pottery village, where tiles and plates are crafted, using the millennia-old Hittite technique. At the end return to your hotel for dinner and overnight stay. Optional tours to a simple wine house or to a local folkloric performance after dinner are available).
DAY 4: CAPPADOCIA
After breakfast at the hotel, you will depart for Soganli Valley to enjoy a little trekking and visit the churches. You will then stop at Sahinefendi, a unique village, where you will find an opportunity to visit Sobesos, an ancient Roman city, which was very recently discovered. You will explore the Keslik Monastery and the ancient Greeek village of Mustafapasa. On your way back to the hotel, you will visit the Saruhan Caravansarai, which was a pit stop for the travellers of the Silk Road and their camels, as well as a local wine factory, to taste the delicious Cappadocia wines.
DAY 5: CAPPADOCIA > ISTANBUL
You will leave the hotel after breakfast, and proceed to Istanbul by land.
Meeting/pick-up point: Pick-up at the hotel.
Start/opening time: At 5am (first day).
Duration: 5 days.
Includes: Transportation by air conditioned vehicles, fully escorted by an English speaking tour guide and accommodation in a 4* Hotel.
Excludes: Drinks, all personal expenses, admission fees and lunch.
Others: Rates for tours out of Istanbul that has overnight stay include BB accommodations in a 4 star hotel. Rates are per person with double occupancy. Upgrades are available upon request for an additional fee.