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Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel

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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.

Since May 2014, Rebecca has been wearing out her jandals. She loves anything that involves the ocean whether it be scuba diving, wakeboarding, jet skiing or more recently - sailing! Consider following her via RSS Feed, Twitter and Facebook.

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27 Comments

27 Comments

  1. Pingback: Exploring Cappadocia: Why three days is not enough!

  2. Richard Silver

    August 25, 2014 at 10:22 PM

    The view and the journey itself seem to be breath-taking! Sport, nice view and good restaurant create a combination to which nobody should say “no”. The story about rock piles sounds interesting. I haven’t heard that they think it’s a sign of father. Thank you for your article and for giving me an idea to my next trip!

    • Rebecca Barlow

      October 23, 2014 at 2:08 AM

      Hi Richard, glad you enjoyed the blog post! You will have a blast exploring Cappadocia 🙂

  3. Shimla Walks

    August 27, 2014 at 8:20 PM

    The views are excellent and the trek looks fascinating. Thanks Rebacca for the information.

  4. Sofia

    August 29, 2014 at 5:00 PM

    It’s really hard to believe that that badly carved stone house is a magnificent work of art in the inside. Did you say there’s a chimney? that’s nice! This goes straight to my bucket list! 😀

    • Rebecca Barlow

      September 5, 2014 at 2:29 AM

      Hi Sophia, all the rock formations are called ‘fairy chimneys’ and have been formed by nature. They have only carved the inside, therefore the outside appearance is there natural shape 🙂

  5. Kristy

    September 3, 2014 at 5:22 PM

    The place is awesome! I hope I can also visit it this year or next year. Oh I am so excited about the thought of it. For the mean time I will just add the place on my bucket list of must go places.

    • Rebecca Barlow

      October 23, 2014 at 2:11 AM

      I hope you make it there Kristy! Cappadocia is certainly a destination everyone should tick off their bucket list 🙂

  6. Jon and Jenny Stark

    September 16, 2014 at 3:52 AM

    After seeing your photos, we are sorry that we didn’t make it to Cappadocia. It was good to meet you guys (Moss and Rebecca) on the mini-bus to Troy! Keep enjoying your travels.

    • Rebecca Barlow

      September 17, 2014 at 9:22 PM

      Yes it was lovely to meet you! You will just have to plan another trip to Turkey 🙂

  7. Adam

    September 22, 2014 at 10:05 AM

    Excellent photos … funny that they use one of the Fairy Chimneys for a police station 😛

    • Rebecca Barlow

      October 23, 2014 at 2:13 AM

      Hi Adam, yes we couldn’t believe it! It’s the most unique police station I’ve ever seen

  8. D. Jane

    September 22, 2014 at 6:55 PM

    Cool cool Rebecca, good tips.
    That is one place I have wanted to go for ages.

  9. Krisy

    September 23, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    Cappadocia is a coffee drink they sell at Starbucks. 🙂

    Cappadocia, it’s almost other worldly, the landscape is barren, the area is mostly a light tan color, there are “fairy chimneys” everywhere, these are living quarters from ancient times when the people carved the rooms out by hand, some of them have several floors, most have windows wirhout glass and chimney holes to let out the smoke.

    • Rebecca Barlow

      October 23, 2014 at 2:18 AM

      Thanks for the info Krisy! I did not know Starbucks have a coffee called Cappadocia

  10. Kristy

    September 24, 2014 at 5:11 PM

    The rock formation is marvelous and awesome! I would love to go there someday to see it myself.

  11. evening desert safari dubai

    September 28, 2014 at 10:02 PM

    pictures are very nice i really like this pictures very much..

  12. Richard

    October 1, 2014 at 5:31 PM

    The fairy chimneys with the buildings, pigeon lofts and police station carved into them look truly amazing.

  13. Hannah @Getting Stamped

    April 10, 2015 at 9:48 PM

    Loved Cappadocia, we stayed in one of the many cool cave hotels. We didn’t do any hikes it was snowing when we were there.

  14. Hannah

    May 22, 2015 at 4:34 PM

    What an incredible looking place. Love the police station haha. I would love to visit Turkey- one day 🙂

    • Rebecca Barlow

      May 26, 2015 at 6:57 AM

      Hi Hannah, yip that police station is certainly one of a kind!

  15. Neno

    September 8, 2015 at 9:58 PM

    This is one place I want to visit in Turkey ( I am not big fan of seaside resorts they have). Pamukkale also looks like from another world.

    Love the pigeon house photo.

    Neno

    • Rebecca Barlow

      September 10, 2015 at 12:56 PM

      Hi Neno, yes Pamukkale and Cappadocia are certainly unique! But you should not write off visiting the seaside, as the snorkelling is amazing 🙂

  16. Steven

    October 23, 2016 at 4:35 AM

    Great adventure..the cliffs looks stunning and one day i also wanna visit Turkey

  17. Talita Nunes

    December 9, 2016 at 8:34 AM

    I really liked the pictures. This is a place I still want to meet and hope it will not be too long.

  18. Stephanie

    June 19, 2017 at 11:10 AM

    I love your photos of Cappadocia!

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Adventure Travel

Where To Travel To On Your First Surf Holiday

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Since news broke that surfing would make its debut at the 2020 Olympics there has been a lot of interest in this surface water sport. Gone are the days when it was a sport reserved only for the weed smoking beach bums in their floral inspired board shorts. So, if you are feeling extra adventurous and would like to try surfing on your next vacation, we have rounded up the best destinations where you can ride your first wave.

Costa Rica

This populous Central American country is a surfers dream. Whether you are a seasoned pro or a beginner you are bound to catch some neat waves that reach up to 12 feet in height. If you want to take a surfing holiday, Playa Tamarindo is one of the most popular beaches to surf in Costa Rica. Be careful though, as this beach can experience strong rip currents at low tide.

Tamarindo has two main breaks for advanced surfers: Pico Pequeño a rocky point to the right of the Hotel Tamarindo Diriá and the excellent river mouth break across from Cabinas Tsunami called El Estero. The rest of the beach breaks are perfect for beginners.

Nicaragua

South Western Nicaragua receives 300+ days offshore wind and constant southern swells which means that this country is a surfer’s dream. The entire pacific coastline in Nicaragua is peppered with amazing surf spots. From the The Boom in Northern Nicaragua to Popoyo in central Nicaragua and then all the way down to Playa Maderas in San Juan Del Sur.

Nicaragua has a wave for every level of surfer and with water temperatures averaging 27 degrees celsius, long surf sessions are always in order. There are plenty of surf camps dotted all over the country and because Nicaragua is still less developed than Costa Rica, prices are a lot lower than it’s southern neighbour. Don’t forget your surf equipment because you are bound to have a blast.

Portugal

Portugal isn’t just famous for it’s pastèis de natas, this European country also has some of the best surfing spots in the world. Super Tubos situated in Peniche, has been a favourite with locals and tourists alike. The break offers world-class surfing conditions with its hollow powerful waves, and is the site of the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal the World Surf League Men’s Championship Tour event.

The Algarve on Portugal’s southern coastline is famed for white sandy beaches and beach breaks. There are a number of great surf spots in the Alrgarve with Sagres being the epicentre of surfing in this region.

Morocco

Deep in the heart of North Africa there is a fishing vilage called Taghazout. Just north of Agadir. Which comes alive each winter with the sound of pounding pointbreaks and surf banter. It’s a beautiful place with a rich Arabic culture to add  to the magic.

Taghazout is surf, surf and surf.  Taghazout is the premium surfing destination of Morocco with some iconic surf spots, like Anchor Point. Since Anchor point was first put on the surf mpa in the 1970’s, Taghazout has steadily grown to become Morocco’s preeminent surfing destination.

Taghazout now has a plethora of great surf camps to choose from, and all of them mainly cater to beginner and intermediate surfers.

Bali

We had to keep the best for last, Bali has been on the top of travellers favourite destinations for a long time which doesn’t come as surprise. Bali has everything from sun, sea and surfing spots aplenty. Our top pick Kuta is if you are looking for a beach and resort area in the south of the island of Bali.

One of Bali’s first tourist developments, it’s best known for its party-centric atmosphere and surfing in the Indian Ocean. Kuta’s long, consistent waves make it a popular surf spot, particularly for beginners, with plenty of outfitters offering board rentals and surf lessons.

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Adventure Travel

Here’s How To Make It In Morocco As A Tourist

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Morocco can be a wonderful place to visit and many of us might recall adventurers such as T.E Lawrence who contributed to the region in more ways than one. We may also remember classic movies such as Casablanca which was supposed to be set in the land of Morocco. Lines such as “here’s looking at you kid” and “ What in heaven’s name brought you to Casablanca?” “…My health, I came to Casablanca for the waters.” “The waters? What waters? We’re in the desert.” “…I was misinformed” certainly ring in our minds.

Who could forget the other classic lines from Casablanca that will go down for the ages? “You know how you sound…? Like a man who’s trying to convince himself of something he doesn’t believe in his heart” and “Where I’m going, you can’t follow. What I’ve got to do, you can’t be any part of. Ilsa, I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you’ll understand that.”

Lines such as those and more certainly will make individuals want to at least go and check the great land of Morocco out, to at least be in the space and discover the country for themselves.

If you are planning on taking a visit to this North African nation and might find yourself taking multiple trips in Morocco do yourself a favor and follow these few tips to have a great experience.

Dress Well

It is important that you pay close attention to the attire and the customs of the region that you go and visit. Women should note to dress modestly, while men can wear regular attire that they might in their home countries. It is best not to dress provocatively as they may attract unwanted attention.

Money

You’ll want to make sure that you have enough Dirhams on hand to be able to move around in a pleasant manner, make sure to have the right amounts of this currency while booking cabs and for conducting other affairs in the region. Do not rely on automated teller machines to spit out the right currencies as they may be out or might not be reliable.

Put on your Negotiating Cap

Morocco is a place where you will want to make sure to get the right substance in exchange for your money. This is not to say that merchants will rip you off, no, it is more to say that you can negotiate as that is part of the culture and prices are not rigid they are flexible. Don’t’ hesitate, learn how to negotiate! You will just have to invest the time into the deal and be rewarded with good prices for quality items.

Tourists are a form of income for many shop owners and people in the region

Make sure to have a good time but stay guarded. Random people may offer to be your guide to the region but they might not be trustworthy. This means that individuals might try to take advantage of your lack of knowledge and urge you to spend more money at shops that they take you to, spend more money on the tour itself, etc. It is wise to look at different options for tours earlier on and go with trustworthy people. 

Watch out

Watch out for a variety of things, pickpockets, the food and the types of water. The food might be prepared differently and not similar to how it is in your home region. Thus is it is necessary to note that for the first few days while in the land, there is a chance that your stomach might feel queasy.

Make sure to follow precautions with important items, from your passport to your money as pickpockets may lurk.

Also, make sure to source water bottles if possible so you can stay refreshed and won’t have any issues from a health standpoint.

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Adventure Travel

Five Steps for Stress-Free Travel

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Many people travel to get away from the stresses of daily life. Vacation is often associated with relaxation and a lack of worries. However, many travelers still find themselves stressing over little things while on the road. Fortunately, some efforts can be taken before a vacation to help reduce these worries. Here are five steps to take before traveling to help reduce stress while abroad.

Research Your Destination

Traveling to a foreign country can be a daunting experience. Foreign languages and other cultural barriers can make it difficult to function during the trip. Even though smartphones make it possible to overcome many of these obstacles within a few minutes, it is still critical to research destinations before visiting. Even the smallest bit of research can help to make the trip much smoother and stress-free. While there are endless topics that can be learned before traveling abroad, there are a few key pieces to keep in mind. All travelers should have a general idea about local transportation, cultural customs, and language before visiting a new location. Furthermore, it’s a good idea to have a sense of the general state of cybersecurity in that part of the world, in order to reduce the chances of a security breach of your laptop, smartphone, or tablet.

Purchase Renters Insurance

When traveling abroad for a trip, there is already enough to worry about on the road. In order to have a stress-free vacation, travelers need to take care of any potential problems at home. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by protecting a house or apartment with insurance. Although a robbery or natural disaster may occur during vacation, travelers can rest assured that insurance will cover the losses. Travelers can research renters insurance online to see what kind of options are available.

Organizing Travel Documents

Seeing vacation pictures on Instagram and watching the Travel Channel can lead many people with an idealistic picture of traveling. While travel is still an amazing experience, it requires a lot more red-tape and formalities than most people think. Many countries require foreign visitors to have visas before visiting. These visas can only be obtained upon request and after showing the appropriate documentation. Even when traveling in countries without visa requirements, it is important to carry some important documents. Some of these include a passport copy, flight details, hotel reservations and more.

Budget Beforehand

There is nothing worse than returning home after a vacation with less money than you had expected. This is often a result of poor, or a complete lack of, budgeting. Some travelers make the mistake of assuming that budgeting can take place on a daily basis. In reality, it is much more effective to budget before traveling to a destination. Tourists should calculate the total cost of a trip by adding up transportation, accommodation, food and activity expenses. This budgeting will help travelers save money in the long-run and can help remove any stress associated with potentially over-spending.

Buy a Local SIM Card

People rely heavily on their smartphones to get through daily life. With accurate information just a few taps away, there is no wonder that these devices have become some of the most popular gadgets in the 21st century. People run into a problem when traveling abroad as their phones don’t have data abroad. Ironically, traveling to a foreign country is one of the most crucial times to have a smartphone for maps and other helpful information. Instead of searching desperately for wifi, tourists should buy local SIM cards to activate their phones. This will make it much easier to find directions, translate foreign languages and calculate conversion rates.

Stress-free travel is something that needs to be prepared beforehand. These five steps can help to ensure that your next vacation is as worry-free and relaxing as can be.

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Meet Cole and Adela

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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