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Zelve Open Air Museum

Zelve Open Air Museum: Our most recommended tours and activities

Full-Day Cappadocia Red Plus Tour

1. Full-Day Cappadocia Red Plus Tour

See the top sights of Cappadocia on this guided day tour. Visit Monks Valley, marvel at the fairy chimneys, and see Goreme Valley. You will be picked up from your hotel by a professional tour guide after your breakfast. Your first encounter with Cappadocia will be in Devrent Valley (Imagination Valley).  In this valley, different rock formations can be seen as animals which is why this valley can also be called Imagination Valley. Use your imagination to describe all these rocks. Then, head to Monks Valley or also known as Paşabağları.  There is a bit of a difference between these two meanings in English and Turkısh. Monks used to live here and hide from the religious pressures of the Roman government or local people.  During the Roman period, most of the people were pagans and not Christian. That's why all the history of these places comes from this point.  In Turkish, Paşa means men who have lots of money and land. Bağ means land or area that can be purchased. In the following years, all these rich men bought some part of the land for their own economic power. Afterward, the local people were known as Paşabağları. Avanos town will be your third point of interest. In the art center, you will see how to make pottery and ceramic in the Cappadocia region. The history of pottery making and ceramic dates back to the Hittite emperors (B.C. 4000).  Avanos is the only town that is famous for pottery and ceramic made using red and white clay only. In the art center, you will be shown a pottery-making demonstration and will also be able to try it yourself. Then, head to lunch in a local, clean restaurant as a tour break.  After a short photography break at the Esentepe viewpoint, see the stunning Gōreme Valley and fairy chimneys. The largest and tallest fairy chimney known as Uchisar Castle will be your next point of interest located in Uchisar. It is also a natural structure, not made by human hands. Continue on your adventure as you visit Cappadocia's indispensable leather shop. The most important place for Christianity, Zelve Open Air Museum will be waiting for your visit after Uchisar Castle. This will be completely similar to today's university model. You will see dormitories (for men and women), churches (9 to 10), chapels, dining rooms, mutual places, and classrooms.  You will see wall paintings or frescoes on most of the walls of the churches in this museum. These paintings depict some scenes from the Bible or some other important point in the life of Jesus Christ. People used to live here as students and teachers together. In addition, teachers gave Christian courses to their students from the Bible. Then after their graduation, they would go to some other part of Turkey in order to spread and teach Christianity to the people.  Finally, visit one of Cappadocia's deepest and largest underground cities. Uncover all parts of the underground city that are open to the public and learn how people survived with limited resources.  Mainly, you will see stalls, dining rooms, food storage rooms, churches, kitchens, and other similar places you would normally find in a living area. Your professional art historian guide will gladly explain all the details and the history of the places you will visit during your tour schedule. 

Goreme: North Cappadocia Guided Tour w/Lunch & Entry Tickets

2. Goreme: North Cappadocia Guided Tour w/Lunch & Entry Tickets

Embark on a captivating journey through Cappadocia's stunning landscapes and cultural treasures. Explore Uçhisar Castle, witness panoramic vistas in Göreme, stroll through the enchanting Love Valley, and pass by Göreme National Park's unique rock formations. Discover the surreal Paşabag Valley, delve into the Zelve Open-Air Museum's historical caves, and marvel at the whimsical fairy chimneys. Imagination comes to life in Devrent Valley, while Avanos showcases traditional pottery craftsmanship. Enjoy a delectable lunch and a pottery demonstration before concluding your adventure in the historic village of Çavuşin. This tour promises an immersive exploration of Cappadocia's natural beauty and rich heritage.

Cappadocia: Highlights Tour with Lunch and Entry Tickets

3. Cappadocia: Highlights Tour with Lunch and Entry Tickets

Your tour of Cappadocia's highlights begins with a pickup from your hotel. Head to the Devrent Valley and see why it is also known as Imagination Valley. See countless different types of Fairy Chimney formations, which formed almost 30 million years ago. Head to the Göreme Open Air Museum, one of the oldest settlements in Cappadocia and a UNESCO site. See the cave town's dwellings built into the sides of rock formations. Now a ghost town due to unsafe erosion, this place once housed Christians and Muslims in harmony with each other. Have the opportunity to stop by a local shop to discover the real Anatolia. See how people survived and created beautiful art in this region dating back to the Hittite period. Sit down for lunch in a local restaurant and rest up for the second half of the tour.   Then stop in Pasabag, where we will see the most interesting fairy chimneys, resembling those seen in the Hobbit and Smurfs.

From Göreme: Cappadocia Electric Trike Tour

4. From Göreme: Cappadocia Electric Trike Tour

Your driver will pick you up from your hotel and drop you off to your electric trike. Your tour will start from Göreme towards Çavuşin. In Çavuşin, we see the old Cappadocia life, the old church, the dovecotes on the rocks and continue on our way. We stop at the paşbagh to get information, see the fairy chimneys of different types and ages, and after the photo break, we visit the perfectly beautiful fairy chimneys made up of different color layers in the Zelve valley, and we return with our electric vehicles to get information and see after the photo shoot. Your driver will pick you up from the center of Göreme and drop you back to your hotel.

From Göreme: Best of Cappadocia Guided Tour with Lunch

5. From Göreme: Best of Cappadocia Guided Tour with Lunch

Explore historic Göreme and the surrounding Cappadocia region and Nevsehir Province during this full-day, guided walking tour, including lunch and bus transportation between locations. Begin your tour with a short ride to Kaymakli Underground City, the deepest underground location in Cappadocia. Then continue to the highest point in the area: the breathtaking Uchisar Castle, a centuries-old citadel perched atop a rock spur with a commanding view of the surrounding region by viewing from a panaromic spot. Pause to marvel at the surreal landscape, dotted with fairy chimney rock formations, while your guide details fascinating facts and anecdotes about the area's rich history.  Then it's time to visit charming Avanos. Take a photo on the sweeping banks of the Red River, and tour the local pottery shop.  The tour continues to Monks Valley, where you can view the unusual rock cone formations. Finally, visit Devrent Valley's unique fairy chimneys that are shaped like animals, before being transported back to your hotel.

Cappadocia Red Tour

6. Cappadocia Red Tour

1: Open Air Museum 2: Uçhisar Castle 3: Pasabag Monks Valley 4: Devrent Valley 5: Avanos Pottery Demondtration 6: Love Valley

Cappadocia: Full-Day Highlights Tour

7. Cappadocia: Full-Day Highlights Tour

Your tour will begin as you are picked up from your hotel in the morning. From here your first stop will be a meeting with the lunar landscape of Cappadocia, where you will discover rock formations beyond belief in the Devrent Valley. You will visit the famous Pasabag "fairy chimneys", where the sound of the of wind mixes with the "songs of fairies" near Zelve. You will later have lunch in Avanos, the center of the terracotta art medium since 3000 B.C. It is at this location that you will enjoy a demonstration in a traditional pottery workshop. In the afternoon, you will visit the famous Zelve Open-Air Museum, where you will be able to see the best examples of Byzantine art in Cappadocia. This is demonstrated in rock-cut churches with frescoes and paintings which date from the 10th to the 13th century. Next, you will continue to the panoramic viewpoint of Esentepe, which will provide you with a spectacular view over Goreme. You can see the complete view of the Goreme Valley and Goreme Village, including fairy chimneys, rock formations, and cave houses. You will later end your day with leather shop and Uchisar Castle, a tall rock which is the highest point of the Goreme region. At the completion of your tour, you will be returned safely back to your hotel.

Cappadocia: Highlights 2-Day Guided Tour with Lunches

8. Cappadocia: Highlights 2-Day Guided Tour with Lunches

Your adventure in Cappadocia begins with a morning ascent to Uçhisar Panorama, the highest vantage point between Nevsehir City and Goreme Village. Here, explore the strategic Uçhisar Castle, an ancient observatory that once stood guard over the region. The journey continues underground to either Kaymakli or Derinkuyu, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, showcasing Cappadocia's remarkable subterranean cities. Marvel at the ancient engineering before heading to Nar Crater Lake, a natural wonder with hot sulfurous waters known for their therapeutic benefits. After enjoying a delightful lunch at a local restaurant, your guide leads you to Ihlara Valley. Carved over millennia by the Melendiz River, this serene canyon offers a peaceful walk amidst breathtaking scenery. The day's exploration culminates at Pigeon Valley, famous for its historical pigeon houses essential to local agriculture. As the sun sets, you'll return to your hotel, enriched by the day's encounters with Cappadocia's historical, natural, and cultural treasures. On the second day, dive deeper into the heart of Cappadocia with a visit to the Goreme Open Air Museum. This cave monastery complex, built by early Christians, houses incredible cave churches set against a mystical landscape. Next, experience panoramic views of Cappadocia from Goreme, followed by a venture to Monk's Valley, where fairy chimneys create a surreal atmosphere. Lunch at a local restaurant will recharge you for an afternoon in Devrent Valley, where the landscape's red hues and animal-shaped rock formations seem otherworldly. The day ends in Avanos Town, where the Red River's banks have nurtured generations of artisans. As you return to the hotel, you carry with you the day's memories, a testament to Cappadocia's enduring allure.

SKIP-THE-LINE: Fairy Chimneys of Cappadocia w/LUNCH

9. SKIP-THE-LINE: Fairy Chimneys of Cappadocia w/LUNCH

Enjoy a full-day tour of Cappadocia via a compact itinerary with lunch included. Visit Goreme Open Air Museum, Devrent Valley, and Pasabag. Walk around the fairy chimneys, see the first cave houses of early Christians, and visit local pottery experts. According to your tour pickup time, you’ll meet with your guide, then start your tour by exploring Goreme Museum. The museum consists of many rock-cut churches from the second half of the 9th century with colorful frescoes decorating the walls. Next, visit Devrent Valley, famous for its quirky animal-shaped rocks. It looks like a sculpture zoo made by nature. There is even a rock pillar that looks like the Virgin Mary, holding Jesus Christ. Take in the unique lunar landscape of the valley and feel like you're in another World. Continue to Pasabagi, which means the pacha's (general’s) vineyard. This site is also called Monks Valley. The hermitage of Simeon monks was here. A chapel dedicated to St. Simeon (Simon) and a hermit's shelter is built into one of the fairy chimneys with three heads. Pasabag Valley contains some of the most striking fairy chimneys in Cappadocia with twin and even triple rock caps. This style of fairy chimneys is named mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys, unique even for Cappadocia. Visit Avanos next, where you will enjoy a typical Turkish lunch and experience local pottery experts in action. With your stomach full, continue to Goreme Panorama, featuring one of the best panoramic views of the fairy chimneys. Round off your trip at Uchisar. See the famous Uchisar Castle made up of rocks that provides a clear panorama of the surrounding area. At the end of the tour, get transferred back to your hotel for drop-off. 

Cappadocia: Best of Cappadocia in 1 Day

10. Cappadocia: Best of Cappadocia in 1 Day

Get an insider’s view of Cappadocia’s most iconic spots in one day. Hear commentary from your guide along the way about fascinating sites like Goreme Open Air Museum, Avanos Village, Uchisar, Zelve and Pasabag. Begin your tour with a hotel pickup. Find yourself at the Goreme Open Air Museum, a cave city in the Goreme Valley. See rock-cut churches, kitchens, and wineries left from Anatolian Christians. Gaze at Byzantine frescos at this Unesco World Heritage Site and learn about its history. Make your way to Avanos Village, the region known for its pottery, silk, wool and carpet weaving, wine cultivation, and agriculture. See the natural as well as human-made masterpieces of this charming old town. Stop in between Nevsehir and Goreme road to explore Uchisar. Get to the top of the rock castle in the center of the town, the highest point of Cappadocia, a perfect vantage point for a panoramic view of the stunning Cappadocian landscape. Then, head to the cave town of Zelve, honeycombed with dwellings, religious and secular chambers. End the tour with a visit to Pasabag to see fairy chimneys, tall rock formations with caps on top.

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What people are saying about Zelve Open Air Museum

Overall rating

4.6
(18 reviews)

The tour was planned extremely well, our guide Mehmet is very knowledgeable and provided us with excellent details throughout the day for every activity. Our day was packed with great fun and we all enjoyed it thoroughly. Many thanks to Mehmet.

Awesome service!Our guide Ozay was so good.knowledgeable and helpful about everything.Everything was perfect except weather.I wish I’d had this tour on good weather.cheking the weather before tour is highly recommended!

They picked us from olur hotel ana they dropped bacak when tour is done.Our guide explained every single places where we visited.Tickets and lunch were included.thanks to Mustafa and his team for this unique Trip!

They picked me up just on time.Our guide(Mustafa)was Excellent!He explained everything very well.They were so punctual so I did not miss my following activities.Definitely they are so professional!

It was a great experience and the guide Mustafa was very knowledgeable about the history of Kapadokya.