Whirling Dervishes for a Day in Cappadocia + Best tours advice

Suppose you would like to add some spice to your cultural trip and experience a different perspective on life and spirituality with the Whirling Dervishes Show or Ceremony (Mevlevi Culture Tours) in Cappadocia. In that case, this majestic tour is for you. The one-hour show will gift you this unforgettable mystical, magical, and fascinating experience!

On this tour, your experience will be like no other. You’ll immerse yourself in Sufism, an 800-year-old mystical movement seeking the discovery of truth and unity with God through devotion and love. UNESCO declared these shows “Masterpieces of the Word and Heritage of Humanity” in 2008.

An exquisite whirling dervish show in an enchanting atmosphere accompanied by live mysticism music intertwined with history, enabling you to listen to your soul!

Whirling Dervishes for a Day in Cappadocia Tour

Here we rounded up some heads up before you dive into this unforgettable experience, giving you the meanings of some terms and concepts. Let’s read on to learn more about them.

Who are Dervishes or Sufis?

They’re the followers of Celaleddin Rumi (Mevlana)-the famous poet of the 13th century. Not everyone can perform the whirling dervish ceremony; they must complete rigorous spiritual and physical training that takes them on a spiritual journey. A Sufi (Sema) is a person who prays, whirls, sings, and says prayers in ceremonies.

Rumi’s most famous teachings are based on peace, love, progress toward goodness, acceptance, and seeking divine truth directly with God by getting rid of personal passions. The Sufi (Sema) community developed certain practices that focused on self-control that led to mental and mystical enlightenment and the disappearance of the self or deserting your ego, representing a spiritual journey toward perfection.

What to Expect?

A whirling dervishes show in Cappadocia is a unique and unforgettable cultural experience that showcases the spiritual traditions of Turkey. Here’s what you can expect from a whirling dervishes show in Cappadocia:

  1. Spiritual Tradition: Whirling dervishes are members of the Mevlevi order, a Sufi Muslim group that follows the teachings of the 13th-century poet and mystic Jalaluddin Rumi. The whirling dance, known as the Sema, is a spiritual practice that aims to bring the practitioner closer to God. A whirling dervishes show is a rare opportunity to witness this spiritual tradition up close.
  2. Ritual Performance: A whirling dervishes show is a ritual performance that is steeped in tradition and symbolism. The performers wear traditional white robes and tall felt hats, which represent the tombstone of the ego. The Sema is a carefully choreographed dance that involves spinning in a circle while raising one arm to the sky and the other arm to the ground, symbolizing the connection between heaven and earth.
  3. Musical Accompaniment: The whirling dervishes are accompanied by live music played on traditional instruments, such as the ney flute and the kudum drum. The music is an integral part of the Sema, providing a meditative and trance-like atmosphere that supports the dancers in their spiritual practice.
  4. Cultural Insights: A whirling dervishes show in Cappadocia provides an opportunity to learn about the history and traditions of Turkey. Your hosts may provide cultural insights and historical context for the performance, helping you to gain a deeper understanding of the culture and the spiritual practice of the whirling dervishes.
  5. Spiritual Atmosphere: A whirling dervishes show is a deeply spiritual and meditative experience. The music, the dance, and the atmosphere combine to create a unique and memorable experience that can be both awe-inspiring and transformative.

The fascinating Whirling Dervish Shows are one of the most popular shows among domestic and foreign visitors. The whirling takes place in Mevlevihanes, yet it is possible to perform dervishes in various venues with different concepts. The whirling dervishes wear conical hats, representing the tombstone. The cardigan on their back indicates the grave, whereas the white linen refers to the shroud.

Whirling dervishes begin whirling after their traditional and sacred routines by crossing their arms, thus confirming the unity of God. They turn their right hand upwards to the sky as if in prayer, while their left hands point to the ground (with the eye of God) with mystical music in the background. This stance represents Mevlana’s “delivering what he received from God to the people.”

Overall, a whirling dervishes show in Cappadocia is a unique and unforgettable cultural experience that provides a rare opportunity to witness a spiritual tradition that has been passed down for centuries. Whether you’re a culture enthusiast or simply looking for a unique and meaningful experience, a whirling dervishes show in Cappadocia is sure to provide an unforgettable experience.

The divine Dervish shows in Cappadocia’s caves will fascinate you with their unique beauty!

About Typical Whirling Dervishes Tour

You can watch the Whirling Dervishes Show in 2 ways:

Option 1: 15 minutes Dervish Show, which is held at the end of your full-day tour.

Your full-day tour begins with sightseeing across Cappadocia’s valleys and underground cities, combined with many other natural activities, blended with a nice dinner and a whirling dervish show.

Option 2: A 1h-long full Cappadocia Whirling Dervish Show is held in 2 different sessions,

18:00 – 19:00 or 21:00 – 22:00, in the nostalgic and mystical atmosphere of Saruhan Kervansarayı. The show consists of 7 different parts of a mystic cycle to perfection and will be performed by 5 musicians, 5 whirling dervishes, and 1 whirling dervish-lead.

Typical Whirling Dervishes-Tour Itinerary Details

  • Duration: 1 hour ( pick the best: 18:00 – 19:00 or 21:00 – 22:00)
  • Complimentary Hotel Transfer (be ready 30 min before)
  • Easy Cancellation
  • Full refund within 24h cancellation


  • Complimentary hotel Pickup&Dropoff
  • Tea after the show

Online Booking Channels

Here we only suggest the proven ways and top rated ones with travelers’ comments. You can feel free to book one of the below top selling Cappadocia Whirling Dervishes Tours.

Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts

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Local Recommendations from Cappadocia4U team

If youʻre visiting Cappadocia for the first time, we have you covered. Below are some of the top recommendations, tours and experiences!

Some useful info

  • Cappadocia is the name of the region situated in the middle of Turkey. It is mostly known by the three popular towns of Goreme, Urgup and Uchisar but actually it is the name of the very big region spread through the cities of Nevsehir, Kirsehir, Nigde, Aksaray and Kayseri.
  • If you are first-time visitor, want to get familiar, please read our Cappadocia for first timers guide.
  • If you are not sure how to travel, please read our Traveling to Cappadocia guide.
  • If you don't know where to stay, please read our Where to Stay in Cappadocia guide for regions, and Accommodation guide for hotels.
  • If it is hard to plan your days, please read our Ideal 3-Days Cappadocia itinerary.

Top Attractions & Sights

There are 6 must do and see in Cappadocia that you won't want to miss!

  1. Hot Air Balloon Rides (the most exciting attractions in the world)
  2. Goreme Open Air Museum (some best-preserved examples of Byzantine rock-cut architecture and frescoes in the world)
  3. Pasabag Monks Valley (one of the most popular fairy chimneys areas)
  4. Uchisar Castle (highest point, the biggest fairy chimney)
  5. Derinkuyu Underground City (one of the largest underground cities in the world, 8th century BC)
  6. Ihlara Valley (fantastic canyon with a depth of about 100 mt. and 14 km. length)

Tip-1: One of the best ways to explore Cappadocia is by taking a sightseeing tour, so that you can cover all the top sights. Three main sightseeing tours available: Red Tour (covers the highlights of the region), Green Tour (best of natural and historical sites), and Blue Tour (lesser-known sights, off-the-beaten-path experience)

Tip-2: Private Tours are also good choice within a well-planned and custom itinerary along with a private vehicle, driver and professional guide. Great for those who don't have a car or don't know the region well.

For leisure activities we'd recommend 2 must-take attractions! Don't miss! Wine Tasting and Photo Shooting