Soganli Valley is located in the south of touristic Cappadocia. The intact old Greek villages embellish the road from the heart of our beautiful region to Sogali village named after the peaceful valley. Due to its location, tourists should include the valley and en route villages to their Cappadocia tour programs if they are arriving with a morning flight to Kayseri airport. This will extend the duration of your drive but it is full of surprises such as the small intact churches of the valley, Sobessos excavation site, Keslik Monastery and the old Greek village of Mustafapasa. Finishing the day with a local wine in the Red Valley area during sun set will be the highlight of the day. This will be the moment you end up coming across with other tourists that are not exploring the route. Majority of Turkey tours lack Soganli Valley. If you are a traveller rather than a tourist, you should follow our intructions in this blog page and explore the south of Cappadocia from the bottom to the top!
One hour drive will take you to Soganli Valley after you leave Kayseri airport. There is a small fee to enter the valley where you can drive in with your car. I recommend you to park your car to the village square and meet with the ladies of Soganli making rag dolls and racing each other for some business with you. You can start walking through the abandoned houses of the old Soganli village. The route meandering up the old village takes you to the Hidden Church and Church with the dome. The churches are all carved into the volcanic ignimbrite layers but Church with the dome is carved from the outside to give an outstanding appeareance visible throughout the valley. The path will finish in a nice little restaurant managed by a local family. They serve limited but delicious food in the end of the valley. Snake church is just a few steps from this cute little restaurant where you can see beautiful late Byzantium frescoes. The asphalt road in front of Snake Church complex will take you to Karabas Church to see another intact monastic settlement. Your car is now five minutes walk away in the middle of the old Soganli Square. Don't miss to picture the numerous pigeon houses embellishing the slopes of the Soganli Village.
Compared to its contemporaneous examples, Sobessos ancient city of the Romans is a very tiny excavation site. However, being the only Roman settlement in the volcanic nature of Cappadocia makes it unique. The area was considered an Early Christian burial site until the mosaics of the city hall were unearthed by treasure hunters. Further researches in the area showed us a trade center, Roman bath complex and the whole city hall of Sobessos. You can loop in the excavation site without paying an entrace fee and see how the early Christian community converted the city hall to a church leaving the impressive mosaics of the Romans underneath the big pieces of rocks.
Keslik Monastery awaits you on the way from Sobessos to Mustafapasa. This little monastery houses 3 churches, refectories, storages, baptism pool and stables used by a little number of Christians. It was abandoned by the Greek community living in the area around 1920s. The area became a fertile agricultural site for the Turkish people living nearby and today our long time friend Mr. Cabir maintains the gardens around the monastery. He is a welcoming Cappadocian who always has black tea on wood fire ready to sip under the trees hiding the monastery from the passers by. If you salute him back in French, he will be more than happy to assist you in the monastery in French.
Last stop before sunset is Mustafapasa. This beautiful old Greek village was called Sinassos until the population exchange in 1920s. The Turks left behind as well as the new comers from Greece took well care of the Greek houses which reflect the late Christian prosperity. Sinassos is located on 3 valleys and each valley hides beautiful old Greek Houses with nice wooden doors. Some houses have impressive paintings and majority of them are small boutique hotels with a warm home environment. Old town square is surrounded by cafes and restaurants because the Madrassah and the old hotel of the town are used as a Vocational Collage at the moment. Little walk in town is recommended to see the craftsmenship in the stone houses and the Greek bridge connecting two neighbourhoods of Sinassos. Stop by Urgup town to taste the local wines of Cappadocia and finish your day with a sunset in Red Valley in the end where you will see the whole eroded valleys and volcanic rocks of Cappadocia.
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