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Busabout Sail Turkey Review

A comprehensive Busabout Sail Turkey review of the 8 day Busabout Sail Turkey cruise along the stunning Mediterranean coastline.

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Busabout Sail Turkey

Are there any better ways to explore the Turkish coastline in the Mediterranean Sea than living on board a traditional Turkish Gulet for an 8 Day Sail Turkey cruise? Well we didn’t think so when we first booked our trip and hopefully our Busabout Sail Turkey review will help you choose your next adventure too.

Busabout Sail Turkey Review

Swimming off our Busabout Sail Turkey Gulet

Busabout Sail Turkey Review

Before we booked we did hold a few reservations. We had heard stories from friends about how Sail Croatia, which we were tossing up whether to do or not, can be a real booze cruise. While we love having a few cold ones as much as the next Kiwi we were not that keen on blowing all our money on booze. Plus we didn’t want to spend our days hungover not being able to enjoy some travel adventures.

So when we booked we expected that this would be quite similar. Especially considering we had just been to ANZAC Day in Gallipoli and knew there would be lots of Kiwi’s and Aussies heading to the Turkish coast to lap up some sunshine.

Busabout Sail Turkey Pre-departure

This is the first year that Busabout have run the Sail Turkey adventure and so at the moment it is really cheap.

We were on the first trip of the season as well so £299 per person is great value in our opinion considering that you get 7 nights of accommodation and all of your meals included.

Booking through Busabout proved to be really easy and they were wonderful to deal with. We especially like that you can go on the Busabout website and see who else is on your trip through their MyTrip tab. It allows you to send messages to the other travellers to arrange things like airport transfers or meet ups before your trip if you want.

They also have options through their partner, V-Go, in Turkey. Although we stayed elsewhere in Fethiye which worked out a bit cheaper. It seemed like most people stayed there before their trip although we met a bunch of travellers before we went at our accommodation too.

The trip is from Saturday afternoon to the following Saturday morning. With the last night actually parked at the docks in Fethiye harbour so you really only have 6 nights along the Turkish coastline.

Busabout Sail Turkey

Our awesome crew! Busabout Sail Turkey Review

The Busabout Sail Turkey Trip

We met up with everyone at 4pm at the Busabout headquarters in Fethiye and they split our group of 35 into two groups. Each Turkish Gulet, which is a traditional two-masted wooden sailing vessel, has a crew of three and sleeps 18 guests on board. As a couple we were lucky that we had our own double bed in a room while some rooms had to share with three people on bunk beds.

Busabout Sail Turkey Review

Paddling in the gorgeous Turkish Water

Every room comes with an ensuite. Just be careful that you don’t flush your toilet paper down the loo because just like on land in Turkey the system cannot handle it. You have to place everything in the waste bin next to the toilet.

The rooms are tiny but who wants to spend time in their rooms when you are on a boat in the Mediterranean Sea?

Every night we expected to park up next to the other boat and tie up together. This didn’t happen though and instead we would park about 100m apart. I guess for safety reasons but it would have been nice to be able to mingle with the other boat properly every now and then.

However it was probably for the best because we definitely were on the quieter boat. Sure we enjoyed a few beers every night and had a couple of bigger party nights but we didn’t go overboard (excuse the pun). In comparison, the other boat drank up a storm. There were a couple of dudes crushing beer cans at the breakfast table!

The mornings would usually begin slowly with the Captain getting an early start driving us to another bay along the Turkish coastline. As we would all slowly emerge on to the deck into the bright sunlight we would be dropping anchor somewhere new for our breakfast usually around 8.30am.

For a couple of hours we would lounge around on the decks playing backgammon or cards. Or just relax with a good book in hand. Once it got too hot for us to lie out in the sun we would spend the time diving off the boat and cooling off in the pristine turquoise waters.

Simena Village, Busabout Sail Turkey Review

Busabout Sail Turkey Review – Simena Village

The afternoons would be spent visiting one of the small villages dotted along the coast or again go exploring the shoreline from the water. Evenings would again bring us all together over a few beers. We couldn’t get any more relaxed if we tried!

Busabout Sail Turkey Review

Relaxing onboard with snacks, beer and backgammon

The Food onboard

Simple but delicious is the only way to describe the food on the boat. We were just stoked it was mostly traditional Turkish food. For example the breakfast would be cheeses, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggs, bread, honey and jam. Not to mention the tea and coffee on demand.

Lunches and dinners were fairly similar and would usually be rice and pasta with really tasty roast vegetables or stews. Stuffed roasted capsicums and couscous! My mouth is watering just reliving the meals. We were also lucky to have fresh fish a couple of nights which was awesome.

All our meals were served around the huge dining table at the back of the boat. It was one of our favourite times as we would all come together every few hours and jokes would fly and shit-talked.

Busabout Sail Turkey Review Food

Busabout Sail Turkey Review – The Food

The Negatives

As we said, this was definitely one of the best trips we have ever done so far on our adventures around the world however it wasn’t all smooth sailing:

  • We wish there had been more information about the optional excursions. Nearly every day we were offered the chance to visit small villages, try adventures like Para-sailing or explore Turkish historical sites. Unfortunately with the limited English from the crew we had no idea the costs of the activities or what was involved.
    Note: At least Busabout has assured us that following our feedback they have now included more information on each boat about these activities.
  • As before, we wish we had a chance to socialise with the other boat a little bit more. Not every night but a few nights during the trip would have been good.
  • “Sail Turkey” should probably be called “Motor Turkey” as there is not a lot of sailing involved. Didn’t really bother us as the crew couldn’t handle it. But it would have been great to do a bit more than the two hours we did.
  • The final negative is that on the second-to-last day our Captain was fired. We still don’t know the reason why or what happened but it sucked as we all thought our Captain was awesome.  Not really Busabouts fault either as it wasn’t their decision but actually the company they lease the boats from.

Like we said, not too many negatives!

Make sure you check out some of our favourite Busabout Sail Turkey photos from our trip here as well to check out the sights. And if you want to book a Sail Turkey trip or any other Busabout adventures then click our affiliate link below.

Disclaimer: We were provided with a discount for the Busabout Sail Turkey cruise, however, as always our thoughts on our adventure travel blog our own.

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36 Comments

36 Comments

  1. Bret@ Green Global Travel

    May 14, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    Sounds like a fun trip, those few negatives aside. Mary has been dreaming of sailing around the Mediterranean for years, so hopefully we’ll get a chance to see Turkey, Greece, etc. next year.

    • Cole Burmester

      May 14, 2012 at 4:37 PM

      Let us know if you go and we will be keen to join you guys! Do you think we could convince the Sea Shepherd to take us around 😉

  2. Stephanie - The Travel Chica

    May 14, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    Sounds like a fun time. A little weird that the Captain was fired and that the passengers actually knew about it… those things should be discreet whatever the reason.

    • Cole Burmester

      May 14, 2012 at 4:35 PM

      It was really bizarre. Especially since it was the second to last day. You think they would just carry on. Credit to Busabout though that it wasn’t their decision but actually the company they lease the boats from.

  3. Ali

    May 14, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    Overall sounds like a pretty good trip. It’s good that your review helped them provide better information going forward.

  4. Christy @ Technosyncratic

    May 15, 2012 at 1:21 AM

    Wow, only 300 pounds for a full week? That’s a steal! We’d definitely consider doing this someday, although it is a bummer that there isn’t more actual sailing.

    • Cole Burmester

      May 15, 2012 at 9:13 AM

      We were hoping for more Sailing but I think it is too much work and just easier to motor everywhere. You don’t cover huge distances either with only about 1 – 2 hours driving a day. £299 for a week but goes up during peak season in the middle of summer. Would recommend the shoulder season as it would be too hot otherwise!

  5. Raymond @ Man On The Lam

    May 15, 2012 at 5:08 AM

    I would love to do this 8 day trip. Is it BYOB?

    • Cole Burmester

      May 15, 2012 at 9:14 AM

      Strictly not BYO. But Efes (beers) are only 6 Turkish Lira each. Our bar tab between 2 came to about £150 after the week. Some dudes on the other boat had a £500 tab each though!

  6. Natalie

    May 15, 2012 at 5:49 AM

    I agree with Stephanie, the customers should not know about the captain being fired. Shame you did not know about the little excursions as well, because there are so many delights on the coastline. All in all though, it sounds like you had a fab time for a very good price.

    • Cole Burmester

      May 15, 2012 at 9:15 AM

      They have changed the information at least so that is good. And while it was not Busabouts fault he was fired (separate companies) it shouldn’t of happened in front of us.

  7. Angela

    May 15, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    Wow, it looks amazing swimming there!

    • Cole Burmester

      May 15, 2012 at 7:39 PM

      The water was really amazing! Just wish it had been a degree or two warmer.

  8. LozinTransit

    May 16, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    Hmmm… Wow! So I guess they make their money on the beer tab then. That’s a pretty hefty amount for the quiet boat, not to mention the £500. I went to Fethiye during the low season which isn’t so bad, there’s definitely a different energy to a place when the party people descend upon it.
    An experience worth having.

    • Cole Burmester

      May 18, 2012 at 2:04 PM

      Apparently the crew basically only makes money on the trip if we drink a lot. Since we liked them all a lot we decided to drink lots to pay them back 🙂

  9. Trudy Florence

    June 5, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    We did the Busabout Croatia sail last summer and that was amazing, like you we were so glad we were on the ‘quieter’ boat. The other boat had a group of Aussie girls drinking 24/7 and even putting on live sex shows on the deck… not really my idea of a relaxing time! We had an amazing group of people who I’m still in close contact with. Turkey has been on the list for awhile so I’m keen to check this one out, I wonder if it’s still on sale – off to investigate!!

    • Cole Burmester

      June 5, 2012 at 4:28 PM

      Hmmm the “live sex shows” are definitely a bit much! Why is it that when people go on holiday they also leave their inhibitions behind? So disgusting most of the time.
      Definitely book through our link if you want to go Trudy 🙂

  10. Nick Paul

    July 3, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Thanks for the honest review! I’ve been eyeing this trip for some time now, just a bit worried it will be too much of a party boat and not a chilled experience. I’m young but work a fairly stressful job, so the idea of 7 sleepless nights while on holiday doesn’t appeal to me. I’m keen to relax as much as possible. What do you think? Good idea, or bad idea?

    • Cole Burmester

      July 3, 2012 at 7:02 PM

      Hey Nick thanks for dropping by. Our boat was not really a party boat so it was really chilled out and we loved it! The other boat seemed to be a bit more intense but that’s just the way it is sometimes. But both boats were a lot more relaxed compared to Sail Croatia. The Sail Turkey parties happen on the boats and you don’t dock every night so its more fun in that respect. Plus you can head down to your cabins where its quiet whenever you want. Let us know how you get on and click on the link if you want to book 🙂

  11. Hannah

    October 10, 2012 at 4:27 AM

    I’ve been looking at this tour for some time. Love the review. I’m going to Europe next year as a solo traveler, do you think this trip is good for someone on their own?
    Hannah 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      October 10, 2012 at 10:27 AM

      Hey Hannah, thanks for stopping by and checking out the review. Definitely do it as a Solo Traveller! Adela’s sister did it after us on her own and absolutely loved it 🙂 Have you seen the hop-on/hop-off tours that Busabout runs around Europe. That way you can meet other travellers in a friendly environment as well. Can check it out here – Busabout

  12. Jia Lin Luo

    December 13, 2012 at 6:28 AM

    Thanks so much for the review! I’m just about to book for one of next year’s cruises, I was worried whether or not the first trip of the season would be too cold but from what you guys are saying it seems fine. Like some of the previous comments, I too am a bit worried about it being a booze cruise; I like to have a good time and all but not a big drinker and not looking to get smashed all the time. Any tips on maybe picking the quieter boat?

    • Cole Burmester

      December 13, 2012 at 8:56 AM

      Thanks for dropping a comment 🙂 It was definitely warm enough in April for it. I think mid/late May would be perfect as one of our friends did it at the end of July and she said it was wayyyy too hot! Not everyone boozed on the other boat, there just seemed to be more of them. I am pretty sure when you book with Busabout you can leave a comment asking them to put you on a quieter boat too. They are really nice to deal with before your trip and will help out as much as possible.
      All we ask is you book through our link on the page. Doesn’t cost you any extra but gives us a little bonus as affiliates 🙂 Let us know if you go because we want to hear about it!!!

      • Lachie

        February 11, 2013 at 8:29 PM

        Hi there,

        Review sounds great, I’m probably a bit more geared towards doing this trip as a party trip though, crushing beers at the breakfast table etc haha. My friends have already booked and I’m just weighing it up now. Of the 8 nights how many are you in a port where you can go ashore to party it up to the wee small hours? The trip itself sounds like it will really suit me during the daytime hours I’d just love it push on a bit after dark each night.

        • Cole Burmester

          February 12, 2013 at 8:17 AM

          Hey mate. This trip only stops twice to go ashore for a few brews at night. However they do party pretty hard all night on the boats, which I enjoyed more anyway. Also all the boats are in the same bays so you can mix it up on other boats etc.
          The Sail Croatia cruises are the ones that pull into port every night and you might prefer those, but definitely don’t discount Sail Turkey!

  13. Amity

    April 3, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    I just booked this trip for late May this year. Can’t wait to escape cold London for a week on a boat 🙂

    Just wondering what the power supply was like on the boat, I read on V-Go’s website that you can only charge cameras etc when the boat is docked to land. Was this ever an issues? Thinking I may invest in a spare camera battery.

    Thanks for the blog, gave me a great idea of what to expect!

    • Cole Burmester

      April 4, 2013 at 8:19 AM

      We went at the end of April and it was already so hot! You will love it Amity 😉
      For the power supply we had no problems charging everything from phones to camera batteries. Most of the time you are using the motor so there wasn’t a problem with charging things. Just a limited number of plugs. We always carry spare batteries anyway just in case 😉

  14. Ricardo

    April 12, 2013 at 1:40 AM

    This all sounds so great. I am heading for Fethiye in a few weeks to look at properties. Hopefully I will be able to go on one of these boats next year, once I am permanently established there. Have been to Turkey many times (my friend is Turkish), and cannot wait to start this wonderful adventure… retiring to Turkey!!! Just turned 51, so hope to be on ok shape for a few years to enjoy my life in Turkey!!!

    • Cole Burmester

      April 12, 2013 at 9:45 AM

      Exploring the coastline by boat is a great option. Hope you find a wonderful new home too!

  15. Jon

    May 29, 2013 at 12:41 AM

    Hi Cole,

    Just read your review, I’m very tempted to book the trip in August 13′. Me & a mate, both single teachers, 27 & 29 are looking for a blend of chilling, sunbathing, swimming & will be keen to drink most nights, some till the early hours. Having said this, would you recommend this trip to us? Also what are the average age range and boy to girl ratio’s on the boats?

    Regards,

    Jon.

    • Cole Burmester

      May 31, 2013 at 12:52 PM

      Definitely recommend it Jon. Loads of fun and lots of drinking if you want to do it. Plus plenty of relaxing time too in the sun. August will be scorching!
      At least 2:1 Girls to Guys as well so that works in your favour 😉

  16. Kirsty J

    July 7, 2014 at 2:57 PM

    Hey ya,

    Thanks for the review. We are going in August this year, and as you can imagine the price has gone up since 2012. I’ve seen you have to buy booze and water on board, so just wondering how easy is it to bring that on yourself (esp water!) if your discreet enough and within reason..

    Thanks,
    Kirsty

  17. Kirsty M

    February 16, 2015 at 2:33 AM

    Hey

    I just thought id add to this message after doing the busabout turkey trip. It wasnt worth the money we paid for it and we got 20% off the price. Busabout sublet to a turkish company and dont have guide like on the croatian sails (if you’ve done them). We were really disspointed with the tour and even complained as there were several ‘hidden’ costs eg. when we stopped at a port one day, which was miles from the town, we were told (once we had all boarded this mini bus/shuttle) that we needed to pay the driver to get into town. No other options were given – lunch wasnt provided that day even though it was stated on the itinerary. You cant lock the doors to your cabins and the crew went into our rooms and took any booze we had brought on boardl even if you werent going to drink it. Again we complained and nothing came of it.

    I wouldnt recommed pre booking a company do to a turkish sail – you can basically turn up and book a few days beforehand. Obviously a lot has changed since 2012 and its quite a shame. I’ve done a lot of busabout tours and I was ashamed at this sail.

    Kirsty

    • Rebecca Barlow

      February 19, 2015 at 5:38 PM

      Hi Kristy,

      That is a shame to hear that you were disappointed with your Busabout sail Turkey trip. Moss and I recently did the trip ourselves in August 2014, however our guide was very informative and clear about the ‘hidden’ costs you have mentioned. For example, we were given the choice of catching the shuttle bus and everyone on the boat voted to give the chef a break and go buy our own lunch. I can understand why you were disappointed though, every penny counts when you are travelling on a budget!

      Thank you for your honest feedback, and for any one considering Sail Turkey, you can read the post from our August 2014 adventure. Simply use the search bar at the top of the page and search ‘sail turkey’ 🙂

  18. Pingback: Sailing in Turkey with BusAbout - Caroline in the City Travel Blog

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Europe

5 Unmissable Northern Ireland Attractions

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Northern Ireland is a beautiful part of the world, yet one which often lies off the usual tourist track. However, there are many great places to visit and things to see and do in this region – offering the perfect getaway from packed tourist destinations and a chance to see a largely unspoiled natural landscape.

Despite this, there are still many different attractions within the area that are well worth a visit. From city scenes to geological wonders, the sheer versatility means that there is guaranteed to be something for everyone in the region.

If you are thinking of paying Northern Ireland a visit, here are five of the best attractions that the area has to offer – just waiting for you to arrive!

Giant’s Causeway

Instantly recognisable and famed across the world, the Giant’s Causeway is a definite must-see. Northern Ireland’s only UNESCO world heritage site, the Causeway is a unique example of natural beauty and wonder. Take time out of your schedule to explore, clambering over the rocks and discovering the science, myths and legends behind this ancient monument. A Giant’s Causeway tour also makes the ideal way to learn about the Causeway and get to know the area, as you are shown around by a knowledgeable tour guide.

Belfast

Northern Ireland’s capital, Belfast is a city steeped in years of history. Boasting plenty of varied attractions, there is guaranteed to be something to suit every taste in Belfast. Spend some time wandering the streets and exploring the city’s shops and eateries, or instead, head out and visit one of the dedicated tourist attractions. As the birthplace of the ill-fated Titanic, history buffs are sure to enjoy a visit to Titanic Belfast, the museum which commemorates the ship and the tragedy that followed her maiden launch. Alternatively, a visit to Crumlin Road Gaol is another favourite on Belfast’s tourist trail. Explore the gaol and learn all about its rich history, right through to its eventual closure as a working prison in 1996.

Murlough National Nature Reserve

For those who prefer a taste of the great outdoors, head out to the stunning landscape of Murlough National Nature Reserve and spend some time getting back to grips with nature. Ideal for a fun-filled family day out or a relaxing day spent exploring, the reserve offers the perfect example of an unspoiled wilderness situated in the picturesque Irish countryside. There are plenty of walking routes and trails dotted across the reserve, so pick your favourite and head off to explore more of the beautiful scenery!

Dunluce Castle

Brooding and full of a unique atmosphere, Dunluce Castle is a perfect example of cultural history and architecture. Located on the coast, this impressive ruin offers stunning views across the water and is also an understandable favourite among budding photographers. A must-see landmark along the Antrim coast, the castle offers a real mix of Irish history and different time periods.

Derry

Perfectly combining tradition and history with a quirky, contemporary twist, Derry is Northern Ireland’s second-largest city – a city with something to suit everyone. From its vast array of quaint cafes and eateries to the traditional architecture, history buffs are sure to want to pay Derry a visit. If you do decide to head down to Derry, make sure not to miss the historic city walls. Striking and memorable yet also enlightening, a walk around the walls is sure to help you step back in time and discover Derry’s past and rich history.

Are you feeling inspired? These are just a few of the many exciting places to visit on offer within the region. Northern Ireland truly is a hidden gem – why not discover the beauty of this area for yourself on your next trip?

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Europe

Worlds’ Best Surfing Breaks: Lanzarote’s El Quemao

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Lanzarote plays host to some serious, world-class level surfing. The volcanic island rises straight up through the water, and because it lacks a continental shelf the waves it gets from the Atlantic are completely unobstructed. With low precipitation, balmy winds and endless sunshine, this laid-back island is every surfer dude’s dream.

In the northwest, El Quemao is a commanding left and right-hand reef break. You can experience colossal swells of up to five metres high, rivalling those in Hawaii. This area is meant for the expert. The waves continuously form quick tubes with vertical descents, perfect to enter, descend and ride the tube.

Restaurants in Fethiye

Seven of the Best Restaurants on Lanzarote

Table Arrcife Known for their burgers, tapas and their large selection of beer.

Casa de la Playa, Arrieta Go for authentic Canarian seafood cuisine overlooking the beach.

El Mirador, Playa Blanca Enjoy seafood by the ocean!

Cofradia de Pescadores, Playa Blanca Specialising in seafood; ask for the fresh fish of the day.

Restaurante del Diablo, Timanfaya This lunch-only restaurant utilises volcanic heat to cook their various meat dishes.

El Tenique, Tiagua They offer delicious meat fare. Their popular Cabra is served on Sundays.

El Chupadero, La Geria Situated in wine country, enjoy a glass of vino, tapas and live music.

Hippy Holidays – Low Impact Lanzarote

Pack a lunch and explore former Hippy Heaven, Papagayo, by bike. There is a family-friendly beach with calmer waters to paddle in and swim. There are also out-of-the-way places for older children to explore.

Visit Timanfaya National Park. It is 50 km² of expansive plains, volcanic ash, fossilised lava, geysers and boulders. Amp up the exotic by joining a Camel Train to explore this region.

Consider getting around by bicycle to get exploring areas off the beaten path, as well as beaches, finding smaller towns and farmers’ markets.

Fancy a Holiday in Malta? Now You Can Fly from Southend

As of October 29, 2017, EasyJet is scheduled to fly twice weekly from London Southend Airport to Malta year-round. London Southend has its own train station that runs up to six trains per hour to and from central London. This will carry passengers from Essex to the South End.

Malta, south of Sicily, has grown in popularity. The weather is great year-round (19 to 30 degrees). It is also the home of three World Heritage Sites.

Inland from Alicante: Seven Out-of-the-Way Places

Alcoy Here you will find Barchell Castle, the convent of St. Augusti and church of Santa Maria. The Moors and Christians festival is a must see.

Le Romana See cave houses; there are some cave properties currently in use.

Aspe Grapes grown in this region are tied to a custom of eating 12 grapes at New Years.

Cocentaina While at the village of La Villa, visit the Comtat Palace.

Ontinyent Archaeological finds around the area date back to the Bronze Age and Iberian period.

Bocairent Cobbled streets and architecture allow you to see what life was like many centuries ago.

Guadalest Go see the castle of San Jose. Access to this fortress is via a natural tunnel through the rocks.

Benidorm by Drone

Viewing Benidorm by a drone shows the magnificence of this area. The ocean is a stunning blue-green; the eye never tires of it. Numerous apartments and hotels hug the beaches of Playa Poniente and Playa Levante. In between these seafronts lies the Canfali vantage point with the majestic Mal Pas cove at its foot. You can also see the energetic lights of theme parks. Benidorm has five of them. The Las Vegas-style Benidorm Palace can also be seen. The beautiful Villaitana golf course looks smaller than its actual two 18-hole golf courses. These landmarks invite you to come and play.

Responsible Travel – Surfing in Lanzarote- https://www.responsiblevacation.com/vacations/lanzarote/travel-guide/surfing-in-lanzarote
Surfing in El Quemao http://www.hellocanaryislands.com/surfing/lanzarote/surfing-el-quemao/
Surfinglife.com (by Rich) http://www.surfinglife.com/surfing-in-lanzarote-canary-islands-3/

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Adventure Travel

Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel

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Top of Cappadocia day trek with Middle Earth Travel

Trekking through the valleys of Cappadocia’s fairy chimneys with Middle Earth Travel feels more like the set of a Star Wars movie than a historical region once carved out and lived in by humans. Churches, homes and pigeon houses are scattered throughout the valleys, all waiting to be explored. The best part is, Middle Earth Travel know all the hidden secrets.

Standing at the top of Cappadocia

Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel

On the 26th of July (which just so happens to be my birthday!) Middle Earth Travel took us on their private and guided Top of Cappadocia day trek. From Pasabag, along the top of Cappadocia and down through the Gulludere Rose Valley to Goreme, we trekked 15kms in one day! (We recommend getting your bearings with this map)

Upon arrival to the Middle Earth Offices, we were warmly greeted by our new friend Atil whom we had met a few days earlier while mountain biking through the Kizilcukur Red Valley. We were then introduced to our guide and given a briefing regarding the day. Normally, the Top of Cappadocia tour would start from Çavuşin, however, since we had already explored Çavuşin Castle, they adapted our tour to compensate ensuring we would explore new terrain!

With charged cameras, plenty of water and our running shoes on, we were driven to our starting point of Pasabag. We wandered through the fairy chimneys, coming across camels and markets – then the true hike began.

Pasabag in Cappadocia

The police station in Pasabag, Cappadocia

Camel in Pasabag, Cappadocia

Camel in Pasabag, Cappadocia

It was a slow and gentle incline. With no trees to provide shade, I quickly realised why our tour guide had chosen to wear fully covered clothing! As the sweat quickly set in (a waterfall in Moss’s case) we snapped away with our cameras and enjoyed the entertaining shapes of Imagine Valley and the amazing view. We also passed a lot of rock piles, which according to our guide mean ‘father’ and are built to help lead the way.

Animal shaped formations in Imagine Valley

Animal shaped formations in Imagine Valley

Middle Earth Travel, Cappadocia

Making our way to the top of Cappadocia

Father leading the way (rock pile)

Father leading the way (rock pile)

The higher we trekked, the more breath taking the views became! As we walked along the summit of Bozdag mountain (the Top of Cappadocia) we could see EVERTHING – Pasabag, Çavuşin Castle, Kizilcukur Red Valley, Gulludere Rose Valley and Goreme. We were on the Father of Valleys! After a quick nod of agreement to the guide, we pushed ourselves the extra distance and made our way to the flag, as this HAD to be the highest point and was definitely worth a photo and a selfie or two!

View from the top of Cappadocia

View from the top of Cappadocia

Flag at top of Cappadocia

From the flag we looked down upon Aktepe Hill which is known as a popular destination for watching the sun set and could spot Kizilvadi Restaurant, our destination for lunch! Kizilvadi Restaurant is an attraction of its own. With its own historic winery and Grape church, plus some Middle Earth Travel treks even stay there for the night! After having a massive feed of soup, salad and pasta plus a surprise birthday cake, we made our way down into Gulludere Rose Valley.

Kizilvadi Restaurant

Kizilvadi Restaurant

The scenery is amazing, with strong colours visible in perfect layers on the chimneys, you would wonder what an artist was thinking, had it been a painting. Also, hidden to the side of the track we walked across a little bridge and not expecting anything to be there we were wowed by the massive church carved. It was absolutely huge and hard to believe that its most recent use has been as a pigeon house!

Coloured chimneys in Cappadocia

Coloured chimneys in Cappadocia

Pigeon houses in Cappadocia

Pigeon houses in Cappadocia

Church in Gulludere Rose Valley

Hard to believe this Church is carved inside a fairy chimney!

Middle Earth Travel Review

  • The team at Middle Earth Travel were extremely knowledgeable and certainly know Cappadocia’s hidden secrets. They have friendships with local tea garden owners which is also of benefit as it gained us entry to locked churches and hidden rooms that we would not have otherwise seen.
  • We covered a lot of ground, however we did not feel rushed. The whole day focused on showing us the region, therefore we had as much time as we needed to explore each church and to take ‘just one more photo’.
  • It wasn’t all about trekking. With a whole day and 15kms to cover, there were a few silly poses (especially in Imagine Valley), and we learnt a lot about the myths, legends and way of life in Cappadocia.
  • In conclusion I highly recommend Middle Earth Travel if you wish to go trekking or mountain biking in Cappadocia.
  • Cost: Day treks with Middle Earth Travel range from 50-90 euro, depending on the number of people taking part. This includes lunch, guide, vehicle transfers and entrance fees to historical sites, but excludes alcoholic and soft drinks.
  • Middle Earth Travel are outdoor enthusiasts and offer multi-day over night treks, mountain biking, abseiling, or custom made itineraries, in multiple regions throughout Turkey.
  • www.middleearthtravel.com

Disclaimer: We were provided with a discount for the trek with Middle Earth Travel, however, as always our thoughts on our adventure travel blog our own.

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Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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