Cappadocia & the Mediterranean
Looking for ways to satisfy your adventure cravings? Here's the ultimate buffet of multi-sport activities with an itinerary that highlights many of Turkey's truest gems, from ancient Istanbul to the turquoise seas of the Mediterranean. We begin in Istanbul, the great city that links Europe to Asia across the Bosphorus. We wander through active bazaars and colourful medinas. We visit Topkapi Palace, the stunning Blue Mosque and the 1,500-year old Hagia Sophia. We fly to Cappadocia, where wind and water have carved the volcanic bedrock into sculptures that resemble fairy chimneys. Here we'll bike and horseback ride with an option to hot air balloon. We spend two days trekking through the Taurus Mountains with overnights in tents below starry skies. Then we head for the coast, and spend a couple of days paddling amongst sugary beaches, rocky cliffs and steamy thermal baths. These self-propelled journeys are the definitive turkey adventure holidays.
- Strolling through Istanbul visiting the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, and The Grand Bazaar
- Trekking deep in the Taurus mountains before camping under the stars
- Hot air ballooning above the sculpted fairy chimneys and rock-cut dwellings of Cappadocia before sleeping in an authentic cave hotel
- Kayaking on the isolated Sebeda coast amongst ancient tombs carved into the shoreline
|2||Istanbul, Kayseri & Cappadocia||City Tour||Hotel||B,D|
|3||Cappadocia||Biking & Hot Air Balloon||Hotel||B,L,D|
|5||Cappadocia & Taurus Mountains||Hiking||Camp||B,L,D|
|7||Taurus Mountains & Antalya||Land Transfer||Hotel||B,L,D|
|8||Anyalya, Kekova & Kas||Sea Kayaking||Hotel||B,L|
|9||Kas & Limanagzi||Sea Kayaking||Hotel||B,L|
|11||Kas, Dalaman & Istanbul||Land Transfer & Flight||Hotel||B|
Day 1: Arrival Istanbul
This Turkey adventure holiday begins with a BikeHike Adventures representative greeting you at the international airport and transferring you to a comfortable hotel in Istanbul. We’ll meet in the afternoon for a brief introduction to the tour, then take a stroll to the Blue Mosque, a 17th Century Ottoman Imperial Mosque dominating the skyline of the Old Town.
Day 2: Istanbul - Kayseri- Cappadocia (City Tour, Walking)
Today we explore The Old Town of Istanbul, wandering through the colorful streets crowded with locals going about their daily routine. We’ll get behind the scenes into the workshops and markets that are centuries old. We’ll visit Topkapi, the administrative palace for the Ottoman dynasty for over 400 years and Hagia Sophia, the masterpiece of Byzantine art and architecture. Then we’ll meander through the narrow streets of The Grand Bazaar and Spice Market, bargaining for goodies. Moderate walking in the city about 5 hours. Late afternoon we'll transfer to the airport and fly to Kayseri. A driver and vehicle will be awaiting us at the airport and will transfer us to a Cappadocian house that is over two centuries old, still intact with original decorations and frescoes. This is our home for the night. (B,D)
Day 3: Cappadocia (Biking)
Cappadocia is world renowned for the unique rock formations, sculpted from the continuous erosion of volcanic ash and lava rock. It is also one of the few places where ancient traditions still shape the lives of the people. Today we start our fat tire biking adventure through Cappadocia's fairytale landscape, scouting a scenic loop from Goreme and descending through the Kiliclar Valley. We'll stop in Cavusin for lunch. This small village is made up of rock cut dwellings and elegantly carved stone houses. We'll also visit some 5th century Christian churches here. In the afternoon we will be pedalling in the backyards of Akvadi (white valley), where white fairy chimneys sprawl through the village. We end with a descent from Uchisar to Goreme along a rolling paved road. Total ride about 15 km/9 miles. 10 km/6 miles of this is off- road. Overnight at the same hotel. (B,L,D)
*Optional hot air ballooning takes place during our stay in Cappadocia. Scheduling is dependent on weather.
Day 4: Cappadocia (Horseback Riding)
We start the day with a traditional breakfast of robust Turkish coffee, black olives, tomatoes, feta cheese, cucumber and fresh breads. We then transfer to a ranch in Avanos. We'll mount our horses and set off on a 3 hour journey to Sarihidir Village, located alongside The Kizilirmak River, the longest river in Turkey. We'll canter to Saruhan, a Seljuk Caravanserai dated back from 13th Century and also along an ancient Silk Road towards the Devrent Valley. Later in the afternoon we'll drive to Goreme Village where we have the remainder of the afternoon free. You can either try a Turkish bath, have a massage or just simply relax. (B,L,D)
Day 5: Cappadocia - Sokuluplinar - Taurus Mountains (Hiking)
This morning we set off by vehicle into the Taurus Mountains. On the way we'll visit Derinkuyu, a huge underground city buried under the plains of Central Anatolia. It's 8 floors deep and was used by the early Christians, hiding from Roman persecution. We'll drive to Demirkazik for a delicious trout lunch at an open-air restaurant on the riverbank. Then carry on to the Cimbar gorge, the starting point of our trek. We'll hoof up to Arpalik Yayla and have spectacular views of narrow passages and towering rock walls surrounding us. After 4 hours of trekking, we reach Sokulupinar, our campsite located at 2.000m. The views here are gorgeous, especially as the sun is setting on the horizon. Overnight camping. (B,L,D)
Day 6: Taurus Mountains - Sokulupinar – Emli Valley – (Hiking)
We rise early in our tents and head to the dining tent for a homemade breakfast. Then we set off on foot, ascending to Sakartas at 2.300m. We traverse along the path to Eznevit, a semi-nomad campsite at 2.538m, where we may meet some local families herding their flocks of animals. After having lunch we gradually descend to the Siyirmalik valley, with wonderful panoramic views of the high rocky pinnacles of the Aladaglar region and forested with fragrant Cedar and Juniper trees. We eventually end at our campsite in the Emli Valley, located at 1800 metres. 6 hours trekking. Overnight camping. (B,L,D)
Day 7: Taurus Mountains – Antalya
Today we depart from our campsite by foot, for a 30-minute hike before reaching our vehicle. We are headed to Antalya today, located on the beautiful Mediterranean coast of Southern Turkey. It's a long journey, 500 km/325 miles but we'll break it up with some interesting stops along the way, including a visit to the Whirling Dervishes museum and lunch in Konya. We'll arrive into the beautiful coastal town of Antalya in the early evening. Antalya is set atop a limestone plateau, with the Beydaglari Mountain peak looming to the west. Our accommodation here is in an authentic Ottoman guesthouse in the old city centre, near the old harbour. It's a great location to wander at night through the narrow streets for an evening stroll on the promenade. Overnight at a comfortable hotel. (B,L,D)
Day 8: Antalya – Kekova – Kas (Sea Kayaking)
Early this morning we transfer to Kekova where we will explore the ancient ruins of Simena and the sunken city by sea kayaks. We'll get geared up and have an introductory discussion teaching us paddling techniques and about all of the equipment before launching our sleek kayaks into the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean. We’ll then head to Tersane Bay, which was used as a shipyard in ancient times. After a short swimming break, we carry on paddling to the Sunken City and then to Simena Village for another short break before paddling back to Ucagiz Village. From here we’ll drive to Kaş, where we transfer to our hotel and have the remainder of the night at leisure. Overnight at a comfortable hotel. (B,L)
Day 9: Kas – Limanagzi – Kas (Sea Kayaking)
Early morning we have a short drive to the put in on the ocean with our kayaks. We launch from Big Pebble Beach or Kaş harbour. We'll paddle to the isolated Sebeda coasts, only accessible by boat, where we'll view ancient tombs carved into sheer rock on the steep hills. We'll break for lunch on Limanagzi Beach with time to swim in the warm turquoise waters. In the afternoon, if the winds are in our favor, we'll kayak on open seas from Inceburun back to Kaş. If we're lucky, we may encounter curious Mediterranean monk seals and sea turtles popping up beside our kayaks. If the sea conditions are favourable and the group is feeling ambitious, we can paddle further to the islands of Antiphellos Archipelago. The small stretches of white sand beaches of these tiny islets and the unique coastline make superb sites for exploring. The opportunities to swim and snorkel are endless. After the adventurous open water crossing, we reach Big Pebble Beach or Kaş harbour to relax and rejuvenate with a swim in the clear waters of Kaş. (B,L)
Day 10: Kas (Biking)
Today we take to our bikes again. We have a brilliant full day’s descent starting on the mountain plateau and finishing near sea-level. The terrain in the hills above Kaş is superb mountain-bike territory. We’ll follow little-used roads and paths, often with breathtaking vistas over the coast. After an initial climb of a couple of kilometres, the morning is mostly spent on a long easy descent into Kaş. There are excellent views over the Greek Island of Castellorizo and the Kaş peninsula. We’ll finish the day with a group dinner. Overnight at same hotel in Kaş. (B,L,D)
Day 11: Kas – Dalaman – Istanbul
In the morning we will transfer to the airport in Dalaman to connect with our flight back to Istanbul. Upon arrival into Istanbul a driver will meet us and will transfer us back to our hotel. There is free time for the rest of the day to do any last minute shopping and sightseeing. Overnight at a comfortable hotel in Istanbul. (B)
Day 12: Istanbul - Departure
We’ll transfer you to the international airport for your flight back home. (B)
All accommodation (twin shared), meals as indicated (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner), internal transportation excluding domestic flights, all equipment (bikes, horses, kayaks), and English-speaking guides.
Trip Does Not Include:
Internal flights, hot air balloon trip, gratuities, departure taxes and items of a personal nature.
11 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 7 Dinners
Hotel: 9 Nights
Tent: 2 Nights
“Loved the trip. One of our most memorable family vacations (and we have had lots). Best part was Cappadocia and the Gamirasu Cave Hotel, visiting the caves, etc. Also loved the Taurus mountains and our trout lunch. Bike trip was great – one of our best meals was at a spot in the middle of nowhere during that trip. Really liked our guide a lot – Seraffetin. Particularly liked the variety of activities and of cultural attractions. It is the combination of things that makes a trip special for us. Also lots of things we couldn’t have done on our own/without our great guide."
– Linda Ortwein, Greenwich, Connecticut
“Thoroughly enjoyed trip! Especially loved trekking in Taurus Mountains and Mediterranean Coast. Cappadocia was great too. It was good!"
– Susan Ridzon, Essex Junction, Vermont
"So many highlights...the Hezen Cave hotel, the Turkish people, the amazing food, and most importantly our guide. He really was phenomenal...organized, timely, flexible, and incredibly knowledgeable about his country and its history."
– Kristen Graham, Carbondale, Colorado
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Both visually and historically rich, Turkey possess a deep legacy of passion and wisdom. It’s tumultuous past is akin the assorted great civilizations of human history that have inhabited its land. Ancient battlegrounds spread across the county amidst ruined castles, giant mosques and extravagant palaces. Atmospheric city centers and colourful markets add to Turkey’s seduction of visitors everywhere. Connecting Europe and Asia, Istanbul has been called “The world’s hippest city.” It is the Turkish epicenter of fashion, energy and innovation. The colourful Taurus Mountains showcase Turkey’s flora and fauna, attracting botanists from around the world. In the heart of Turkey resides the lunar landscape of Cappadocia, with its chiseled cities embedded into stone cliffs. Turkey is also an inspiration to the culinary inclined, home to the world-class cuisine of the Ottoman Empire.