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Cappadocia culinary tour

Overview 

Feel, cook and feast like a local on this engrossing private food and culture tour in Turkey's Central Anatolia region. Traveling by private vehicle with a private guide, head to the village of Ayvali to experience its cuisine and customs. Be welcomed into a villager's home, help them prepare a delicious Anatolian lunch of 'yaprak sarmas' vine leaves and 'börek' pastries, and sit down to eat with the family! Explore a market, orchard or food storage cave; learn about the villagers' lifestyles, and sample Cappadocian wines in an authentic wine cave.

  • Departure point:Your centrally located Cappadocia hotel (Nevsehir, Uchisar, Goreme, Urgup, Avanos, Ortahisar, Mustafapasa and Cavusin only)
  • Departure time: 8.30am 
  • Duration: 4 hours (approx.)
  • Return details : Concludes at original departure point

Rate: $85 per person


 Highlights

  • 4-hour private Cappadocia food and culture tour with private transport
  • Visit the traditional village of Ayvali in Cappadocia in Central Anatolia
  • Help prepare a typical Anatolian meal with a villager inside their family home
  • Lunch on the specialties you help create, such as yaprak sarmasi vine-leaf rolls and börek pastries
  • Sample Cappadocian wines in a traditional wine cave
  • Enjoy Turkish coffee and learn about local customs at the kiraathane, the male villagers' meeting place
  • This private tour ensures an in-depth experience and undivided attention from your guide

Cappadocia Tour Itinerary

Meet your private guide at your centrally located Cappadocia hotel and board your comfortable private vehicle. Then, with your guide serving as driver, travel to the remote village of Ayvali in Turkey's Central Anatolia to meet its friendly people, join in age-old customs and sample its distinctive cuisine and wines.

Start with a leisurely walk around the local food market, checking out the most interesting stalls and chatting to traders with your guide. On days when the market is closed, either walk to the village orchard to pick your own organic fruit, or visit one of the cool storage caves, to see where the villagers hoard their citrus fruits and potatoes throughout the year.

Stroll through Ayvali's tiny streets with your guide, and pass houses where locals may invite you in for tea or to try homemade desserts from their kitchens. Stop at the kiraathane, a bustling little place that loosely translates as 'reading room,' but is in fact a meeting place for village men. Try a traditional Turkish coffee here and find out about the male villager's lifestyle from your guide.

You'll then be invited into a villager's home to meet their family and chat about their daily lives. After checking out their garden to see the crops of fruit and vegetables, help create a typical Anatolian 'small-plate' meal under the watchful eye of your guide.

While traditional bulgur soup bubbles away on the stove, you can help prepare a portion of yaprak sarmasi — a delicate starter of seasoned rice wrapped in grape leaves — and then roll out the manti dough needed to make Turkish ravioli. Fill a börek pastry with a local cheese that's been ripened in an earthenware jug, and then mix ingredients for the dolaz — a delicious fried dessert served with local honey.

Sit down with the family and your guide to eat, chatting about the local delicacies and cooking techniques. Finish your meal with a strong Turkish coffee and then bid your friendly hosts goodbye.

To walk off your Turkish feast, take a stroll through one the village's secluded valleys before heading off in your private vehicle with your guide to a wine cave. Here, you'll spend roughly half an hour exploring the caves, learning about Cappadocian wines, and sampling a few glasses of the wine yourself.

Then, hop into your private vehicle for your return journey, and finish your tour with a hotel drop-off.

Cappadocia Tour Includes

  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Lunch in Ayvali village
  • Turkish coffee
  • Local guide
  • Wine-tasting session

Cappadocia Tour Excludes

  • Food and drinks (unless specified)
  • Gratuities (recommended)

Additional Information

  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Please advise any specific dietary requirements at time of booking

 

Culinary Cappadocia Tour Reviews

Cappadocia Travel Center | Cappadocia Tours
Cappadocia Travel Center | Cappadocia Tours 5/ 5 based on 1 1 ratings.
 
A splendid day in Cappadocia
As this was our second trip to Cappadocia, I already knew many of the local tour companies who all operate pretty standard and similar tours, so I was delighted to find Cappadocia Travel Center offering something a little different.
 
I had never heard of Cappadocia Travel Center, but a little research revealed that it is a fairly new company, owned by Yasemin, who has considerable experience in the travel industry and particularly, locally, in Cappadocia.
 
We exchanged several emails as Yasemin ensured our tour would be exactly to our liking, explaining which local markets operate on different days, and allowing us to choose where we would like to do the actual cooking part. We chose to cook in the kitchen of the hotel she is also running – the Buket Hotel in Uchisar, as I’m a sucker for having a look at all the lovely cave hotels.
 
We did not visit the bedrooms but the public areas were lovely – and any hotel, which is not afraid to allow visitors into their kitchen is commendable, as far as I am concerned! This hotel would certainly be on my shortlist if we visit Cappadocia again.
 
Anyway back to our tour! Yasemin picked us up from our hotel in Goreme and we headed straight to the local market to buy fresh herbs and vegetables for our cooking class later in the day. It may sound stupid but it was great to actually be able to buy some of the lovely veg we always see in Turkey - so much bigger and tastier than the supermarket stuff we get at home. 
 
Our next stop was at a local farm where we picked our vine leafs, onions and herbs straight from the field, before continuing on to explore some of the local villages, by car and by foot. We stopped for coffee, visited the Ethnographical Museum and my daughters climbed to the top of Ortihisar castle with Yasemin. I opted out of this climb and explored an excellent antique shop just at the foot of the castle instead! Some of the streets we travelled down by car were hair-raising – Yasemin was determined to show us places I would not have dared to drive!
 
I found that as well as being very knowledgeable about the historical facts, etc that you usually learn from a tour guide, Yasemin was very good at giving us a better insight into daily life, etc. I learned lots about things like farming and daily village life which I did not know despite our previous visit to Cappadocia, and several visits to Turkey. 
 
Now to our cooking class – it’s a good job all the kitchen staff are so good and understanding with our pathetic efforts! First we helped prepare the herbs and veg for the many dishes that were going to be prepared, we could just about manage that! Then we moved outdoors to make some stuffed vegetables – our attempts at rolling vine leaves caused much amusement, despite the fact that we think we’re quite good having made then at home few times! The peppers were easier - and we also stuffed some pumpkin flowers – a very unusual, regional and tasty dish.
 
It got worse with out attempts to roll out the pasta and make the tiny little manti. Luckily the ladies had made plenty extra! What a great way to spend a day – sitting out on the terrace, in the Turkish sun, on traditional cushions with the low tables, and a drink, preparing - or attempting to prepare - this food!
 
The chef must have been working much harder than us, as all the dishes we had helped only a little with, were soon presented for our lunch – lentil soup, stuffed vine leaves, pumpkins and peppers, manti and rice pudding – and our okra! It was all so delicious and we ate so much that it was quite an effort to get moving again for our last stop of the day, Goreme Open Air Museum.
 
We had ran out of time and energy for this “must see” on our previous visit so it worked well for us, and leaving our visit until later in the afternoon meant it was not too busy. We were able to view the various churches and amazingly well preserved frescoes quite easily, with Yasemin giving us just the right amount of time and information. 
 
We shared a drink with our hotel owner and Yasemin to end of a splendid day, on a very unusual “tour,” which I would happily recommend to anyone.
 

Rating: 5star
5 out of 5

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