P2. Cappadocia Culture Tour — Private Tour

Tour Summary

This tour is full of colorful local tradition as well as historical places and incredible countryside. You can visit an underground city where locals could hide in safety throughout history, Soganli Valley of churches, the newly discovered Roman/Byzantine town of Sobessos, 14th century mosque, tomb and medrese in Tashkinpasha, Keshlik Monastery, Cemil Village and church, and finally walk around Mustafapasha and can stop for a cup of tea in an old Greek house.

Price

210 Euros total for 1-4 persons. Add 20 Euros for each extra person up to 18 persons.
Included in the price: A/C Vito or A/C minibus, driver & guide & their lunches, gas, car parking, tax.
On the day you pay: your entrances, lunch, drinks and any personal expenditure including any tips that you may feel are appropriate.   Book Now

P2. Cappadocia Culture Guided Tour — Details

Underground City Plan

Underground City If you are not visiting an underground city on any other day, we recommend that you see one on this tour. Although all towns and villages in Cappadocia once had safe and secure secret rooms dug out of the soft tufa (tuff) rock, the underground cities of Kaymakli and Derinkuyu are intrinsically different because their size, scale, and evidence of underground city planning. Up to 50 meters deep and 3 kilometers wide, as many as 5,000 people were able to hide safely underground out of site of the enemy, with their store of food that could last for months if necessary.

Kaymakli Underground City

Life (and death) could continue relatively normally in these well-ventilated cities lit by linseed-oil lamps, which had their own water supply, stockpiled food, kitchens, toilets, churches and even graveyards safe behind their gigantic circular mill-stone doors which could only be opened from the inside. The people could even cook food safely, as multiple chimneys dispersed the smoke imperceptibly so their presence would not be discovered by the enemy.  Book Now

Soganli Valley of Churches

Soganli Valley Soganli, which directly translated means ‘Land of Onions’, is really a corruption of ‘Son-a-Kaldi’ meaning ‘The Last One’. It truly is the last of the line of villages in the valleys south of Urgup, and the most traditional one. Once again, people have built homes in the rock cones created as erosion swept down the hillsides, and until a few decades ago it was home to the highest number of dovecotes in the region, providing guano for the fields around.

Soganli Village Ladies

Its isolation meant it was the ideal place for Byzantines to build monasteries, which were inhabited until at least the 1750s. Today, the visitor can enter 10 different churches with reasonably well preserved wall paintings dating from the 10th to the 13th centuries. The locally made doll is the emblem of the village, but this symbol originated from a tragic event. A local woman lost her baby and, unable to cope emotionally, made a rag doll to take its place. Later on, the women of the village developed the art of making these dolls while their men were out on the mountains grazing their animals. A Soganli doll is a must for every doll collection.  Book Now

Soganli Valley Table Top Mountain

Table Mountains (Mesa Plateaux) The table mountains, of which there are several examples in the surrounding countryside, are an indication of the original height of the volcanic tufa (tuff) deposits in the region through which erosion has cut various deep gorge and canyon-like valleys with many fascinating fairy chimney formations on the slopes. These valleys have provided secure environments for villages to grow on the hillsides, hidden from the main highways. The journey from Soganli passes many interesting rock formations, over the top of a table mountain, and through local villages in which one can see traditional Turkish life.  Book Now

Cappadocian Ladies Working

Shahinefendi is an authentic Central Anatolian village at the foot of a table mountain where you can see villagers carrying out their daily chores around their homes and in their fields. Nowadays, the villagers support their traditional lifestyle by growing potatoes, garlic, squash (for seeds), and clover (for animal feed), as well as many types of fruit and nuts. They store their harvest in huge caves at the foot of the mountain. Both men and women in the village usually wear their traditional shalvar (baggy trousers) which are not just practical but comfortable, too. The Church of the Forty Martyrs, situated in a rock pinnacle, is interesting to visit, and this once again links this region to its Byzantine past.  Book Now

Sobessos Roman Mosaic Sobessos is a newly discovered Roman-Byzantine wealthy city just outside Shahinefendi village. We are very excited about this as nothing so big has been found in the region before. You can see the remains of the 4th century baths with its mosaic of a pair of sandals, and the huge 6th century church with a geometric mosaic floor. It says on the Internet that it could one day rival Ephesus — while this is probably an exaggeration, it nevertheless emphasizes the importance of this ancient town.  Book Now

Taskinpasa Mosque

Tashkinpasha takes its name from the Turkish philosopher, Tashun, who taught in the now ruined local Medrese (Madrasa or Islamic Theological School). The Medrese building, the nearby mosque and Tashun Pasha’s tomb were built in the 14th century by the Karamanids using classical Seljuk style stone decoration. The village houses follow the traditional plan with stables on the ground floor to keep the upper rooms warm. Despite living so close to their animals, the people are noted for their spotlessly clean homes. No dirt from outside is taken into the living quarters, and if you ever visit a Turkish home, don’t forget to leave your shoes outside the door.  Book Now

Keslik Monastery

Keshlik Monastery This monastery complex, situated in a paradise–like green valley, contains the Church of the Archangel, the Chapel of Saint Stephen, a huge dining area, living quarters and a pool of sacred water. The monks and their guests could hide from danger in a room secured by two mill-stone doors, and a secret passage and spy-hole next to this room would have allowed one of the senior members of the monastic order to secretly listen in on their conversations! The Church of the Archangel is one of the few cave churches to have been used by the local population into the twentieth century.  Book Now

Cemil Village Church

Cemil Village is one of the completely authentic farming villages of the region where some people live in former mansions and some in caves. It has a stone-built church with reasonably well preserved decorations dated 1916 and the frescos on the pillars are very unusual. The walk to the church goes through an old village street with traditional houses (animals downstairs and people upstairs) and possibly chickens running across your path.  Book Now

Mustafapasa (Sinassos) Old Greek Village

Mustafapasha (Sinassos) This town remained predominantly Christian throughout the Seljuk and early Ottoman periods, although the Muslim population increased from then on. The Byzantine Greek population in the area kept alive their language over the centuries and even developed their own unique dialect. Sinasos, the Greek name for the town, became wealthy by trading with Istanbul, and some splendid old stone Greek houses rich in decoratively carved symbols are not to be missed. It's still possible to walk into some buildings which have the original paintings on the walls.

Cemil Village Church

The Byzantine Greeks left the village during the exchange of populations agreed in the Treaty of Lausanne, and the incoming Turks took over their houses. While here, take a stroll through the narrow streets of this old town and see traditional Turkish rural life. Don't miss the beautiful ornamentation at the entrance of the 19th century Church of Constantine and Helena in the town centre, one of the biggest in the region. You might like to take a break at Old Greek House so that you can travel back in time as you sit in the authentic atmosphere.  Book Now

 

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