Fairy Chimneys Tour
The Fairy Chimneys tour starts at 9.30 from our office after a cup of morning coffee or tea and finishes at about 4 pm in summer and 3 pm in winter. You are picked up from your hotel at 9.15 - 9.20 or 9.00.
The first stop is below Uçhisar castle, where you have a nice view of the castle and the fantastic cone-shaped rock formations surrounding it. The magnificent landscape of Cappadocia has been formed from solidified lava streams, ash and tuff stone from volcanic eruptions millions of years ago. The landscape you can see now is the result of thousands of years of continual erosion, which has shaped the tuff deposits into the strangest pyramids and cones. The guide gives you information about how the landscape was formed and the history of Cappadocia.
The next stop is at Honey (Love) valley panorama where you can admire the most amazing creations of nature, hundreds of phallic-shaped rocks, created over millions of years by wind erosion.
Then you go to the village of Çavuşin. The old part of the village was abandoned in the 1950s due to numerous rock-falls caused by erosion. You can also see the famous basilica of St. John the Baptist, cut into the cliffs above the old village, built in the 5th century.
Next you go to Paşabağ, where highly remarkable mushroom-shaped rock formations can be seen, in the middle of a vineyard, hence the name of the place which means 'Pasha’s vineyard'. 'Pasha' means 'general', a military rank, in Turkish. This sight is also called Monks' Valley. The name has come from some high tuff stone columns which stand apart, looking like monks.
After Paşabağ you have lunch in a local home in Göreme (if the group is smaller than 10 people) or in a local restaurant in Avanos. After lunch you go to the ancient town of Avanos, which was called Venessa in the old times. It overlooks the longest river in Turkey, the Kızılırmak (Red River), which separates Avanos from the rest of Cappadocia. The most famous historical feature of Avanos, which is still relevant and prominent today, is its production of earthenware products. The ceramic trade in this district and its countless pottery factories date back to the Hittites. The ceramic clay from the red silt of the Kızılırmak has always been used. You can watch the potters at work using the kick wheel, a technique that has never changed over generations. Later you can also try making your own pottery.
The next stop is in Devrent valley, which is also known as Imagination valley. Devrent valley has many different red-coloured rock formations forming a lunar landscape with their strange appearance. The valley has many animal-shaped rocks. Some of the most commonly seen shapes include a camel, snake, seals, and a dolphin. If you use your imagination, you can find many others. There is even a rock pillar which looks like Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus.
The last stop is in Göreme open air museum, the most famous tourist attraction in Cappadocia, a complex of ancient cave churches cut into the rock by Orthodox monks. There are 9 cave churches with beautiful frescoes in the museum. Along with rectories, dwellings and a religious school, they form a large monastic complex cut into the rock in the stunning landscape of Cappadocia.