Make your own way to the bus station on Istanbul’s European side this evening for your 21:00 night bus from Istanbul to Cappadocia. The journey will take around 10 hours however, there are some comfort stops along the way, as well as snacks and soft drinks served on the bus.
Overnight on the bus
You will arrive in Cappadocia at approximately 07:00am. We will meet you at the bus station and transfer you to your hotel, where you will have the chance to have some breakfast before being picked up for your tour at 09:30am.
Our first stop of the day will be at the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Göreme Open Air Museum which was once a Byzantine monastic settlement comprised of more than 10 churches, rectories, accommodation and a theological school. You’ll be amazed at the tiny churches carved into the rocks and decorated with frescoes, many of which are in good condition.
Our second stop will be Paşabağ Valley, also called the Monks Valley, home to some of the best examples of mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys. This valley was previously home to a settlement of monks, and today you can climb up into one of the fairy chimneys and see part of their former quarters.
We then drive to Devrent Valley, also known as “Imagination Valley”, where some of the most surreal rock formations can be found, many of them shaped like animals. See if you can spot the camel, snake, seal and dolphin-shaped rocks.
We will have lunch at a local cave restaurant in the town of Avanos, which is famous for its pottery. After a tasty lunch of traditional Turkish cuisine, we will visit a local family-run pottery workshop for a kick-wheel pottery demonstration.
Our last stop will be Uçhisar Castle & Pigeon Valley. Uçhisar is highest point of the Cappadocia. This is a great opportunity to get some great panorama shots of Cappadocia and the fairy chimneys.
Note: an optional early morning sunrise hot air balloon ride can be arranged for tomorrow morning – ask us for a quote!
Pick up from your hotel after breakfast. Our first stop of the day will be Esentepe, a popular spot for enjoying a panoramic view of Göreme and its fairy chimneys and unique rock formations.
We will then drive to Derinkuyu Underground City, one of the deepest of Cappadocia’s many underground cities, and built by early Christians fleeing from persecution. Including rooms such as stables, cellars, chapels and wineries, you’ll be impressed as you wander through this underground city.
We then drive to Ihlara Valley where we will hike a section of the valley, checking out the tiny churches cut into the rocks, along the way. We will then have some chill time and lunch at Belisirma Village. We will also visit Selime Monastery, the biggest rock-cut cathedral in Cappadocia.
Our last stop is at Pigeon Valley where you will have a great photo opportunity. At the conclusion of the tour we will drop you at the bus station for your overnight bus to Pamukkale.
Overnight on the bus
Note: Pamukkale has some of the world’s best conditions for paragliding, giving you a chance to paraglide over the magnificent travertines (cotton castle) and the ruins of Hierapolis. Please let us know if you would like to enjoy some paragliding in Pamukkale tomorrow, and we will make all of the necessary arrangements for you.
You will be picked up by our driver from Denizli bus station where you will arrive at approximately 6.00am. It’s just a 20 minute drive to Pamukkale from here. On arrival in Pamukkale you will be transferred to a hotel in Pamukkale for an opportunity to freshen up and some breakfast before starting your Pamukkale tour at 9.30am.
Your tour starts with a visit to the nearby village of Karahayit where you will visit the red springs, with waters coloured a rusty-red colour because of the high iron content of the water.
We then drive to the North gate of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed ancient Roman spa town of Hierapolis, and start our tour. Hierapolis was an important place for healing in Roman times because of the believed therapeutic qualities of its waters.
As you wander the ruins with your tour guide, you will see highlights such as the necropolis (graveyard), one of the biggest in the region, with over 1500 graves, the Roman bath, the theatre and the Agora (ancient market). You’ll also hear stories of some of the famous characters from history who visited or lived here including Cleopatra and St Philip, whose tomb is on top of a hill outside the northeastern section of the city walls, and which you will be able to see from a distance.
We’ll then take a break at the Cleopatra Antique Pool where the water is a pleasant 36 degrees celsius and filled with invigorating minerals. Here, you have the chance to swim over Roman columns which believed to have fallen into the water during an earthquake. Please note that entrance to the swimming pool is an additional 200TL per person, payable at the site.
Your guide will give you free time to paddle in some of the pools as you wander down the hill to Pamukkale’s natural park and lake. You will then meet your tour guide for a late lunch.
The tour finishes at approximately 15:30-16:00 depending on the size of the group and its interests.
You will then have a few hours of free time before we transfer you to Denizli bus station for your 20:00 overnight bus back to Istanbul. End of services.