Underground City Tour
The tour starts at 9.30 from our office after a cup of morning coffee or tea and finishes at about 4.30 pm in summer and 3.30 pm in winter. You are picked up from your hotel at 9.15 - 9.20.
The first stop is at the famous ‘Three Beauties of Ürgüp’, where you can see the mushroom-shaped rock formations and a panorama of the city of Ürgüp. 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 in Mustafapaşa, which was originally known as Sinasos, an old village where Turks and Greeks lived side by side and where old Greek Stone houses can still be seen. The Greeks left the village during the exchange of populations in 1923 agreed in the Treaty of Lausanne, and many of the houses have been abandoned since then or later turned into hotels.
After that you drive through Taşkınpaşa which has some of the best examples of Seljuk architecture in the district. The village houses follow the traditional plan, with stables on the ground floor to keep the upper floor rooms warm. There was also a ‘medrese’, an Islamic theological college there, but to this day only the impressive-looking doorway has been preserved.
Then you visit Sobessos, a recently discovered archaeological site from the Roman era, located near Şahinefendi village. A large meeting hall with beautiful mosaics has been excavated. The site also contains a Roman bath with a well-preserved underfloor heating system.
Next you drive through Şahin Efendi, where you can observe typical local peasants doing their daily chores, dressed in traditional national costumes. You can also see the huge storage caves in the surronding hills where fruit and vegetables are stored.
After that the tour takes you for a short walk in Soğanli valley, where there are many different churches with reasonably well preserved frescoes dating from the 10th to the 13th centuries. You can also buy the most famous local souvenir, the Soğanli doll here. At the end of the valley you have lunch in a local restaurant.
The next stop is in Derinkuyu, the deepest underground city in the area, which is approximately 85 meters deep and has 16 floors, 8 of which you can see during your guided tour. It was used to hide Christians during enemy attacks in the 5th to 10th centuries. The city was built around 8th century BC, it could accommodate about 20 000 people and had all the usual amenities found in other underground complexes across Cappadocia, such as wine and oil presses, stables, cellars, storage rooms, refectories, and chapels.
The last stop is just outside Uçhisar, where you have an opportunity to taste the fanous local Cappadocian wines at Kocabağ winery.