Hot air balloons, trekking, turkish baths and whirling dervishes
Boutique hotels, village home
$2,000 per person
Trekking, Van, Flight
Spend four days exploring the unusual Cappadocia valley and another four trekking along the Lycian trail.
This itinerary, created especially for Pygmy Elephant, checks all the right boxes in Cappadocia. Your trip starts with a privately guided tour of Mustafapasa, an ancient greek town with stunning architecture. And it only gets better from there. You can hardly go to Cappadocia and not take a hot air balloon ride. During your early morning accent, the fantastic fairy chimneys below you become emblazoned with the first light of dawn as the sun rises above Mt. Erciyes. If heights don’t make your pace quicken, don’t worry, at Pygmy Elephant, adventure is always part of the deal. Plan on trekking through the hidden valleys and vineyards of Pigeon valley and for the especially adventurous, we’ll throw some some single-track mountain biking at you to ramp things up.
After Cappadocia, a challenge awaits you in Lycia. You will trek 4 days along the storied trail. You will pass through Roman castles and ruins, climb to the top of Mount Olympos and visit the eternal flames of Chimaera. You will be surrounded by nature, but still never far from a good meal with locally sourced products and a soft bed. Your private guide will keep you informed, motivate your spirits and look out for your safety. All you have to do is put one leg in front of the other.
Trek four days along the Lycia Way as well as exploring Cappadocia on foot, including the Love Valley and its beautiful fairy chimneys.
Optional Mountain biking on day 2. Riders can choose from easy to moderate trails around the famous Cappadocia sites, or go farther afield to some technical single track.
Hot Air Balloon
Take a hot air balloon ride and watch the sun rise over Mt. Erciyes. Enjoy a champagne breakfast afterwards.
Explore the ruins of Termessos on the summit of Güllük mountain (Solymeus).
- Learn about the architecture and ethnic history of the ancient Greek town of Mustafapasa
- Explore Pigeon Valley by foot where pigeon houses have been carved into the rocks and cliffs. In the past, the pigeons where the mail service of the region.
- Let your private guide explain the open air museum of Goreme.
- Treat yourself to a revitalizing massage in a turkish bath.
- See the eternal flames of Chimera and learn about its legend
- Support local family run hotels that are charming and personable
- Climb to the top of Mount Olympos and take in the stunning vista all the way to the Coast
Cappadocia is a land so unusual that it would even inspire Dr. Suess
Fairy chimneys, hotels cut into rock outcroppings, hot air balloons and whirling dervishes are just a few of the things which make Cappadocia special. On this trip, we cover them all.
Cover Photo and experience photo by Moyan Brenn
Transfer and soganli
You will be picked up at Kayseri Airport and driven a beautiful corner of Cappadocia; Soğanlı valley. Off the tourist radar, Soğanlı will introduce you to life in a typical Turkish village. You will also visit Christian monasteries which are unique for their wall paintings. After driving by table-top volcanic mountains, you will arrive at Mustafapasa (old Sinasos), an ancient Greek town with spectacular houses - a fine example of late ethnic settlements and architecture. Optional Whirling dervish show at night.
Trekking or optional mountain biking
Your walk through Pigeon valley starts at 9.00 am. You will discover the hidden valleys of the area that contain vineyards and orchards of walnut, quince and apricot trees. It is a great walk from Goreme along the valley floor to Uchisar (4km). The valley is named for the many pigeon houses carved into the rocks and cliffs. Years ago the pigeons were used to deliver messages. You walk around them and after, continue on the path to Uchisar. Here you will visit the Uchisar castle and enjoy a spectacular view. You will have time to wander the town before lunch, Turkish food served in traditional clay pots. The restaurant is family run and you will taste several different delicious and famous Turkish dishes. After lunch, the White valley beckons, with small fields, lush vegetation and strange rock formations. Here you will find the particularly beautiful fairy chimneys (Love valley). After a break of fresh orange juice, the gentle path leads back to Goreme. If you decide to mountain bike, there are several single track routes that can be explored or you can take several dirt paths that link the major tourist sites in the area.
Hot Air Ballooning & Regional Cappadocia Tour
Optional Hot Air Ballooning: This trip entails a pre-dawn start. Despite this, it is the experience of a lifetime! Watch the sun rise over Mt Erciyes and the canyons and fairy chimneys of Cappadocia will light up beneath you as the light suffuses the surreal landscape. The excursion is ended with a champagne breakfast!
Afterwards, you will visit the Zelve open air museum. Looking at the rock formations in the Devrent valley is like looking at clouds. They seem to take on a form as it settles in your imagination. The museum also provides a glimpse into the way of living in the rock dwellings. Lunch is in a local restaurant in Avanos, which is well known for pottery production since antiquity. The open-Air museum of Göreme is up next, which was a big monastic settlement in the early Christian ages and has a number of churches hollowed out of rock with numerous wall paintings on display.
Trekking and optional Turkish bath, fly to Antalya
This tour is an opportunity to break away from the classical trekking routes in the area; it’s for people who like heights. You will depart your hotel at 9.00 am for the village of Cavusin. After exploring the village, you will ascend through the deserted houses to reach the little known church of John the Baptist, with its unique paintings. Your path continues to the summit of Bozdag Mountain, where a panoramic view of the region awaits, including Uchisar, Goreme, Cavusin, Avanos, Ortahisar and Zelve open air museum. You will then follow a smooth path over a plateau and descend for lunch in a small family run restaurant in Red valley. A visit to the winery and the Grape church is on tap in the afternoon, as well as a walk in Rose Valley, where you will visit pigeon houses and the Cross Church. Afterwards, there is the option to visit a Turkish bath to relax and get a massage. Afterwards, you will fly to Antalya and transfer to your hotel in the historic city center.
WALK GÖYNÜK YAYLA – YAYLA KUZDERE
You will transfer from your hotel in Antalya south to Göynük. You will begin hiking along the storied Lycian way, up to Gedelme and have lunch at the village restaurant. Afterwards, you will explore a Roman castle and walk up to the village of Yayla Kuzdere (alt. 900m) where your accommodation is for the night. Dinner and overnight in village house in Yayla Kuzdere.
WALK YAYLA KUZDERE - BEYCIK
From Yayla Kuzdere, you will climb up a stream bed to the pastures of Çukur Yayla, just below Mount Olympos (Tahtalı Dağı). You will then hike to the pass (alt. 6,400 ft / 1950m) or, if you feel like tackling a challenge, to the top (7,757 ft / 2,366m). Next, you will descend down the mountain via a mule path to the village of Beycik (alt. 2,950 ft / 900m) where you will meet the transfer vehicle to your hotel in Çıralı. Dinner and overnight in Çıralı.
Walk to Ulupınar
After breakfast, you will explore of the ruins of ancient Olympos (total appr. 4 mi / 6km along the beach). After lunch there is free time until dinner. You can swim and lie on the beach or do other activities as desired (eg. sea kayak). After dinner you will make a short night walk to admire the eternal burning flames of
Chimaera (natural gas coming from the bowels of the earth in the location called Yanartaş) in the dark.
Hike to Moses Mountain and Transfer
We explore the ruins of Termessos on the summit of Güllük mountain (Solymeus). Termessos is quite a unique site with its settlement on the steep slope of the mountain that offer wide views across the Antalya Plain. The ancient city was never occupied by its attackers; even Alexander the Great could not capture it! The site of the necropolis is one of the most amazing parts of the city. You will then transfer back to the airport and fly back to Goreme.
Pygmy Miles Total
You earn 1 Pymgy Mile for every $1 you spend with us.
Flight from Cappadocia to Antalya
You will be doing a considerable amount of hiking on this tour. For every 1 mi you hike, we reward you with 10 Pygmy Miles.
Climb Mount OIympos
For those looking for a challenge, this itinerary includes the chance to climb the pass at Mount Olympos. If you do, we will reward you with a 25% bonus on your Pygmy Miles.
Benefiting local communities
The journey supports local families and economies along the Lycia Way that would most certainly be skipped during a road trip. Also, we think meeting local people is pretty important. You will have the opportunity to meet and interact with a local woman at her home.
Total Pygmy Miles
Sultan Cave Suites
The hotel is a visual delight…each room, corner and terrace is tastefully decorated with simple artifacts showing the unique history of the area. With 30 rooms, there are three types of accommodation: junior suites, suites and king suites. Built over the ancient cave dwellings used for centuries by locals, all the original cave walls have been preserved and integrated harmoniously into the room designs.
This 3 star accommodation in front of the Taurus mountains is secluded and just 300 m from the beach. The rooms feature all modern conveniences including air conditioning and private balconies. The rooms are made with natural pine wood and made to keep with the rustic feel of the surroundings. On site bar, pool and volleyball courts.
Village house in Yayla Kuzdere
Our local partner has contacts with several local families in Yayla Kuzdere. This is a rare chance to spend time with locals and learn about their culture and heritage.
Offering air conditioned bungalows and located fifty meters from the beach, Baraka Cirali combines traditional hospitality with modern amenities. Each Bungalow has a separate living room and bedroom and traditional turkish breakfast is served each morning.
2 people: €1,775 per person (current exchange rate = ca. $2,000)
3-4 people: €1,475 per person (current exchange rate = ca. $1,680)
5-8 people: €1,100 per person (current exchange rate = ca. $1,254)
Upgrade to Hotel Argos in Cappadocia: €115 standard / €165 deluxe (per room)
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Pygmy Elephant has partnered with a local guiding company to create this itinerary. We will help you understand and customize the itinerary to suit your time constraints, preferences and activity level.
Pygmy Elephant also provides:
- Transfer arrangements: International and connecting flight consultation
- Pre-departure support: what to pack, arranging travel insurance and informing on travel advisories
- 24 hour customer service: if something goes wrong, we have your back
- Pygmy Miles: receive discounts off future travel
This trip can be done from early Spring to late Fall, however many people find the heat a bit uncomfortable during peak summer months of July and August.
Privately guided trips allow you to be in control of all the details of your trip - departure times, accommodations, extra nights, extra activities, extra experiences - what you want and how you want it.
Level : Low
Level : Low
Level : Medium
- Technical ability is rated low, as there are no special skills necessary to enjoy the trip.
- Furthermore, a high level of comfort and attention is given on this trip. Mental strength is thus rated low.
- This is a very active trip and hiking is a major component. Individuals should be used to hiking and not adverse to walking 10 to 15 miles per day. If you would like a more relaxed itinerary, that can be arranged as well.