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.