Hiking and exploring in Cappadocia, Turkey.

Cappadocia, Turkey.
April 22nd – May 1st, 2025.

Brochure download below:
Download the brochure (PDF)

Here I am (me, Martin!) – checking out the wonderful and very dramatic Ihlara Valley. Come and experience it with me next year –  and with about 300 days of sunshine per year, Capadoccia is the perfect destination for almost guaranteed good weather and for witnessing some most dramatic scenery and unusual hiking opportunities.

In the distant past, millions of years ago, the whole area was subject to intense volcanic activity, which has eventually (through erosion) resulted in a landscape that is really quite remarkable. There are several huge volcanos nearby (up to almost 4,000M) which dominate the distant skyline, usually snow capped.

Long ago, they erupted massively and poured out vast quantities of lava, ash and tuff – and the ash fell from the sky like hot rain and gradually drowned the existing landscape, covering it with thousands of feet of what we now call tufa. This tufa today makes up a large part of the area and it is in this unusual rock that for thousands of years, people have literally ‘carved out an existence’.

Since those ancient times, erosion has set to work over many thousands of years and the resulting landscape is an amazing mix of deep valleys and gorges carved out of the tufa, with what are locally known as ‘Fairy Chimneys’ (right), high plateaux, and some fertile plains too.

For many centuries, people have utilised this particularly malleable material, carving out their homes, churches, store rooms and pigeon houses, what we might call dovecots. Did you know that pigeon manure is so rich and fertile that one handful is enough to fertilise a vine for a whole season?

Staying in good quality hotels throughout, this walking tour will take you on a journey through time – one which you would not have wanted to be on back when the volcanoes were erupting, some few million years go! However, what now remains of that eruption is an amazing landscape hewn by erosion from the vast quantities of material that spewed out of those volcanoes, completely submerging the previously existing landscape under thousands of feet of ash, tuff and lava.

With many churches carved into the rock, complete with frescoes dating back as much as 1,500 years, this is a truly remarkable region. I was staggered to discover that this was once a retreat (safe place) for Christians fleeing Roman persecution and found it ironical that even though The Roman Empire eventually adopted Christianity in a big way, back in about 500 AD, the Christians literally had to hide from them in hidden valleys, where they carved out their churches in the cliffs of tufa. Although somewhat damaged by various  earthquakes and some modern graffiti, the artwork is still nevertheless exquisite..

I have met and hiked with a very good and friendly local guide who speaks good English – he is called Faruk. He has a lovely wife who is Kurdish and a sweet baby boy – we often had dinner together! I have informed Faruk that many of my regulars are not exactly Spring Chickens any more (including myself!) and so we can lengthen or shorten the planned hikes accordingly. 

We will have a bus and driver at our disposal and I have chosen much better than average hotels, several with pools. All meals will be included. We will also have an option to take a hot air balloon flight – to be decided when there, as prices vary wildly.

Before the actual tour commences, you will probably want to see Istanbul or some other ancient sites in Turkey. I have specifically not included any of that, but am happy to advise and the brochure contains more information on that. And now that you can download the brochure direct from the top of this page, please do so and there you will find all the details.

My son Pete designed the brochure and I am very grateful to him for the magnificent job he has done! I will be trying to persuade him to come with us next April… as his favourite hobby (like his dad) is walking!

Hope to see you there!  Martin.

 

All participants of our International holidays will be required to sign a Liability Release form upon arrival at the destination.

Images of Capadoccia

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