• Explore the UNESCO World Heritage sites at Cappadocia
  • Ancient monasteries and temples carved into natural rock chimneys
  • Day hike through the Uzengi & Pancarlik Valleys (Kepez and Sacria churches along the way)
  • Ortahisar village & hike through Akvadi Valley
  • Extraordinary underground city of Derinkuyu
  • Ihlara Valley canyon and Meskendir Valley
  • Discussions about nature, geography & religion
  • Zelve Monastery & Pasabaglari (Monks valley)

Join us to uncover the geographical wonders of Turkey. In just a week students can explore the unique UNESCO World Heritage sites of Cappadocia. Here monasteries, temples and homes have been carved into the rock in extraordinary honeycombed complexes, and also intricate underground settlements like at Derkinuyu. On this experiential learning trip, we will study the influence of landscape and geography on the culture, history and religion of human beings, demonstrated by the Byzantine churches built into rock formations and monasteries hidden down secret pathways leading into the earth. How do nature and our surroundings interact and shape our beliefs? We will discuss this and see whether it can be applied to our own culture.

Surrounding Cappadocia are some stunning valleys shaped by millennia of erosion and volcanic activity, where sleepy villages carry on their way of life, mostly unchanged for generations. We will hike through them and explore this rural area of Turkey, far away from the buzz and noise of the big cities where the modern population are looking to move away from their ancient roots, traditionally tied to this land.


Start and Finishing Point:

Kayseri, Turkey and Kayseri


Grading:Introductory to Moderate   


Today our exciting adventure begins as we are greeted at the airport in Kayseri (or Ankara) by a friendly local team from World Expeditions and driven to the group hotel in Cappadocia. With its wonderfully unique landscapes and ancient culture, arriving in this region of Turkey can sometimes feel like visiting a set from Star Wars, yet it is much more interesting as it is real! Wind, rain and frost have sculpted this superb scenery into the volcanic rock over millions of years. The region is largely underlain by sedimentary rocks formed in lakes and streams, and ignimbrite deposits erupted from ancient volcanoes. The rocks have eroded into hundreds of spectacular pillars and forms, many of them inhabited over hundreds of years, and shaped by the local people. After a group meeting to discuss the tour we will have an explore around the local town before enjoying a hearty dinner to celebrate our arrival and enjoy some delicious Turkish cuisine.

Meals:  D

In the morning we start today’s first activity and drive to Goreme Open Air Museum; one of the most beautiful valleys in Cappadocia. The Christian people at the heart of the Cappadocia realized that the soft rocks could be easily carved out to form houses, churches and monasteries. These Christian sanctuaries contain many examples of Byzantine art from the post iconoclastic period. The frescoes inside the Goreme Open Air Museum are a unique artistic achievement from this period. Afterwards we start our walk in the Meskendir valley where we follow a path which is full of old cave houses and complexes from the old Christian civilization. Via Meskendir we cross over to red valley area, another beautiful valley in Cappadocia with its spectacular formations and colours. In Red Valley it is possible to visit the hidden Uzumlu (Grape) Church, Cross Church and the Church of the Three Crosses. These churches have been carved out of the cliff face, although it is not definite, the common believe is that these churches date back to the 8/9th century; the decorative reliefs and frescoes are added in the 10/11th Century. After walking through the Red and Rose Valleys we will arrive in Cavusin. Walking time: 4 h; walking distance: 9 km (5.6 mi); ascent: 82 m (246 ft); descent: 134 m (402 ft)

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast we hike along the ruins up to the Boztepe Plato, an 8 million year old volcanic ash filled lake, which looks like a kind of Table Mountain today, with a breath-taking backdrop and with beautiful views over whole Cappadocia. Crossing the Plato, we reach the cave village Zelve, the visit is optional, the Zelve Village consists of three valleys whose walls are carved into the soft tuff by the residents. Among them are apartments, utility rooms, churches, a mosque and a large monastery complex. From Zelve we hike to the nearby Pasabaglari, known as the Valley of the Monks, with unique tuff formations. Here are hermit caves and a chapel dedicated to St. Simeon in a three-headed fairy chimney. We pass Pasabaglari at the slopes of Bozdag and reach Cavusin village, where we end the day with a cup of Turkish coffee. We spend the night in hotel as the day before. Students have the opportunity to join in a pottery workshop and make some pieces in the using traditional methods. Walking time: approx. 4/5 h; walking distance: approx. 10 km (6 mi)

Meals:  B,L,D

Transfer to Zemi valley, where we start our walk in Zemi Valley, a green valley with wind eroded volcanic rocks, beautiful rock formations, caves in cliffs and tall poplar trees. At the end of the valley there will be the opportunity to visit the El Nazar church. We continue our hike via Gorkundere, known as one of the love valleys of Cappadocia because of the extraordinary shapes of the fairy chimneys. The trail takes us to the sunset point of Goreme. After having lunch in Goreme we continue our walk through Pigeon Valley with spectacular views of the natural cliffs and handmade caves and pass through a few tunnels carved into the rock. Our walk leads us directly to Uchisar village, where it is possible to visit the high viewpoint known as “The Fortress.” Many rooms hollowed out into the rock are connected to each other with stairs, tunnels and passages. The top of the citadel provides a magnificent panorama of the surrounding area. Walking time: 3/4 h; walking distance: 10/12 km (6 - 7.5 mi); (Zemi valley to Uchisar via Gorkundere & Pigeon Valley)

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast we drive to Ihlara, en route we visit the incredible underground city of Kaymakli. The underground city is built under the hill known as the Citadel of Kaymakli and was opened to visitors in 1964. The people of Kaymakli (Enegup in Greek) village have constructed their houses around nearly one hundred tunnels of the underground city. The inhabitants of the region still use the most convenient places in the tunnels as cellars, storage areas and stables, which they access through their courtyards. The Kaymakli Underground City has low, narrow and sloping passages. While the underground city consists of 8 floors below ground, only 4 of them are open to the public today, in which the spaces are organized around ventilation shafts. Our hike starts in famous Ihlara valley, a 14 km (9 mi) long canyon with hundreds of rock cut rooms and churches. This valley proved to be an ideal place for monks to worship in seclusion, as well as provide a safe hideaway and place of defence for people during times of invasion. There are numerous dwellings, some of which are connected by tunnels and corridors. The decorations in the churches date from the 6th to the 13th centuries. After having lunch in Belisirma it is possible to continue our hike to Selime village where we visit Selime monastery, undoubtedly one of the most astonishing rock-cut constructions and given its size, one of the largest religious buildings in Cappadocia. The monastery contains monks’ quarters, a large kitchen, stables, a missionary school and most important, an impressive cathedral-sized church cut directly into the volcanic tuff. A visit to this complex of buildings on a steep mountain slope is a must in the region. In the late afternoon, on our way back to Cappadocia, we also visit Guzelyurt village, formerly Gelveri, an area of great natural beauty and an important place in the history of Christianity. Guzelyurt (beautiful home) is most famous as the home of St Gregory of Nazianus, one of the fathers of Cappadocia whose teachings and writings helped establish some of the fundamental tenets of Christianity in the region. Walking time: 2 h; walking distance: 5/6 km ( 3 - 4 mi) (from Gate 1, Ihlara to Belisirma) Optional walking time: 2 h; walking distance: 5/6 km ( 3 - 4 mi) (Belisirma to Selime monastery) Transfer time: 1 h; transfer distance: 95 km (59 mi) (Cappadocia to Ihlara via Derinkuyu / one way.

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast we walk through narrow and pictures streets of Uchisar village and walk down to Akvadi, a famous valley following an old river bed, used today for vineyards. Especially a distictive section at the end of the valley is worth seeing. At the end of the valley, we meet with our vehicle and continue the day with a visit to Saruhan Caravanserai, considered to have been built in 1238 and known as the last caravanserai to be built in the area. Students have the opportunity to participate in a traditional carpet weaving workshop and learn the techniques that have made these rugs famous throughout the centuries. We conclude the day with a visit to Avanos, where the most famous historical feature, which is still relevant and very visible today, is its production of earthenware pottery. It is also the most economic activity in the town. The ceramic trade in this district and its countless pottery factories date right back to the Hittites and the ceramic clay from the red silt of the Kizilirmak has always been used. We will take time to visit one of the pottery studios and you will try to shape on your own. In the late afternoon we drive back to our accommodation in Uchisar. Walking time: approx. 2 h; walking distance: approx. 6 km (3.5 mi).

Meals:  B,L,D

The school adventure comes to an end this morning as we transfer privately to the airport for our flight homes.

Meals:  B

Addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Quality Education:  Obtaining a quality education is the foundation to improving people’s lives and sustainable development.

Reduced Inequalities:  To reduce inequalities, policies should be universal in principle, paying attention to the needs of disadvantaged and marginalized populations.

Learning outcomes for students

World Expeditions Schools journeys are designed to encourage positive personal development and the learning of life skills, while leaving the communities and environments we travel to, in a better condition than when we arrived.
The programs are designed to:
• build strong friendships and bonds with their peers, their teachers, and the local people they meet.
• increase the confidence to engage with new people, and collaboratively make informed decisions.
• discover the benefits of working cooperatively together as a cohesive team, to achieve a common objective.
• Increase the ability to face, and cope with, mental and physical challenges and therefore increase resilience.
• give students a chance to appreciate and care for the natural world. The environments we travel through are beautiful and often pristine, invariably the students will gain a deeper appreciation and understanding about how their individual actions impact on the environment.
• Learn personal skills i.e., time management, personal hygiene, responsibility for personal gear, patience, tolerance, and public speaking.
We help encourage students to learn what it means to be a true global citizen.


  • 6 nights accommodation
  • 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 6 dinners
  • All internal transport by private vehicles
  • All entrance fees and national park fees
  • Expert multilingual local guide
  • Airport transfers
  • All treks and excursions as mentioned in the itinerary

  • International flights from your home country
  • Visa
  • Travel insurance


Introductory to Moderate

Why travel with us

Why travel with us

Assisted over
14,000 Students Worldwide

Since the 1980's, we have helped students from around the globe to experience the world's most exciting destinations, allowing them to travel, give, grow.

400+ Service Learning

Together with students, we have completed over 400 Service Learning programs in developing countries. We will always continue to support causes including social justice, animal welfare, the environment and more.

Fully Customised
School Travel Programs

Want to include service learning, your school curriculum and a physical challenge, or any of the above? Contact us and we can design a program fully catered for your students and budget.

Safety and
Support - Our #1 Priority

Every school receives a detailed risk management plan that is guided by government advisories and the local partners we work with. We never compromise on the safety of your students to reduce the price of the program.


Want to find out more?

Our educational travel experts are ready to help you tailor an itinerary or service learning project to suit your school’s needs and budget. Contact us today to receive a free consultation.

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