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Book From Locals > Cappadocia > Cappadocia Whirling Dervishes

Cappadocia Whirling Dervishes

Would you like to learn more about the Ottoman culture? Get to know its religious movements and watch a unique breathtaking show of whirling dervishes?

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Dervish show in Cappadocia is not just a way to relax after an active day filled with various tours, but also an opportunity to learn about such a mysterious Turkish tradition as the ceremony of the whirling dervishes, also called Sema.

Show will take place in the Caravanserai, built from volcanic stone in the 13th century by the Seljuk Empire. This place was a temporary refuge for travelers of the Great Silk Road. This rite originated about 700 years ago and to this day arouses interest in people. Ceremony includes prayers, Quranic reading and dance performance. Dressed in white with arms crossed on their chest, dervishes receive a blessing and begin their whirling.

During the ceromony, they fall into an ecstatic state caused by music and movements. You will be impressed by this prayer dance of the monks, by their smooth and euphoric movements. After this unforgettable ritual, you will be treated with a traditional Ottoman drink – Sharbat. It will help you to fully immerse yourself in the atmosphere of ancient oriental culture, relax and enjoy its refreshing fruity taste.

Dervish show in Cappadocia will reveal the secret of one of the most mysterious customs of Turkish people. It will acquaint you with the historical cultural heritage of Turkey and give you an unforgettable feeling of euphoria during the performance!

Cappadocia Whirling Dervishes Ceremony Price

In 2022, price of Cappadocia Whirling Dervishes Ceremony is 30 € for people over the age of 10.

Includes / Excludes

  • Hotel transfer (both ways)
  • Entrance ticket
  • Sharbat drink
  • Personal Expenses

Days & Time

Everyday, all year round 20:30 to 22:00 in summer, 17:30 to 19:00 in winter.

Cappadocia Whirling Dervishes Ceremony Itinerary

A comfortable bus will pick you up from your hotel and take you to the Caravanserai. You will arrive to the place half an hour before the Dervish ceremony, so you will have the opportunity to wander around the Caravanserai – the ancient refuge for the travelers of the Great Silk Road. You will see the ceremony of whirling dervishes, get acquainted with this rite, learn its history and significance in the Turkish culture. After the ceremony, you will be treated to a traditional Ottoman drink – Sharbat. At the end of the tour, you will be driven back to your hotel.

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Dervishes are hermits who have dedicated their lives to God. Dervishes are adherents of Sufism, one of the branches of Islam. A distinctive feature of dervishes is the complete absence of any property. They didn’t even have their own clothes and shoes. Refusing worldly possessions, they had committed themselves to the service of God. Some of the dervishes lived in monasteries – Khanaki, others wandered from one place to another. Although dervishes are called monks, unlike them, they could have families. You are going to get acquainted with this interesting “character” with a long history.

History of the ceremony

Whirling Dervishes is an order founded by the Persian poet and mystic Muhammad Mustafa Jalal ad-Din (1207-1273) – an adherent of Sufism. In history, he is better known as Rumi or Mevlana, and his teaching is called Mevlevi. Therefore, the dervishes were also called adherents of the Mevlevi brotherhood. Rumi founded a monastery in Konya, where he lived and preached Sufism.

In the Mevlevi teaching attaches particular importance to music, singing and dancing. During the services, Rumi began to use music. This is how the main ritual of the Mevlevi order appeared, the source of inspiration was Sema. Sema rite is a whirling rite. To do Sema means “to hear the voice of the Universe,” while the movements in Sema symbolize the origin of the Universe, the birth of man, love for the creator, the desire to serve him, the desire to be a perfect man. Music has the rhythm of a human heartbeat. In 1925, during the Ataturk reign, the Sufi orders were abolished, and the Rumi monastery became a museum. But after several decades, sacred knowledge and faith found their place in life.

Whirling Dervishes Ceremony

Ceremony of the whirling dervishes, or Sema, includes music, dance and prayer. Participants of the ritual are dervishes and sheikhs. They wear symbolic garment, that includes a white dress with a broad skirt, a black waist-length jacket and a tall conical felt hat. You will learn the history of the great Ottoman culture by attending this ancient ceremony. First, the dervishes sit in a circle for prayer. Then they stand up and follow the sheikh in a circle.

Dervish takes off his jacket and with his arms crossed on his chest again approaches the sheikh, this time for a blessing. Having received the blessing, dervish begins to whirl. At the beginning of his whirl, dervish holds his hands folded crosswise. Then, as he whirls, sheikh lifts them up. His right hand is directed to heaven, ready to receive the mercy of God, while his left hand is facing the earth in order to give it what he received from God. Whirling from right to left, dervish transfers the spiritual gift of God to people and shares love with all the humanity. This performance will evoke incredible emotions in you. Fascinating, mysterious atmosphere, filled with energy of dance movements, bright costumes symbolizing death and resurrection – all of these will leave an indelible impression on you.


You are going to try a traditional Ottoman drink made from fruits and berries with added sugar – Sharbat. It comes from the word “shariba”, which means “to drink”. Since ancient times, it helped to quench thirst even in the hottest weather. Sharbat was served both in wealthy families and in common ones. It always was an integral part of the guests’ treat.


How much is Cappadocia Whirling Dervishes Ceremony?

Cost of Whirling Dervishes Ceremony in Cappadocia is 30 € per person in 2022. Children under 10 years old are not able to attend this ceremony.

What time does the Cappadocia Whirling Dervishes Ceremony starts?

Cappadocia Whirling Dervishes Ceremony starts at 20:30 and ends at 22:00.

Where to book Cappadocia Whirling Dervishes Ceremony?

You can book Cappadocia Whirling Dervishes Ceremony online. No downpayments are required while making your reservation.

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