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12 BEST TOURS IN CAPPADOCIA, TURKEY

12 BEST TOURS IN CAPPADOCIA, TURKEY

Cappadocia is a well-known tourist destination for hot air ballooning and breathtaking landscapes such as fairy chimneys and rock formations in particular. However, before the hot air balloon industry was even around, Cappadocia was popular for small hikes and historical tours. This region in Turkey is so stunning to explore for so many reasons whether it’s cultural, historical, or geological. In this article, I will share with you the 12 best tours in Cappadocia so you can explore this beautiful region.

QUICK PICKS: TOP 3 TOURS IN CAPPADOCIA

Don’t have time to read my entire article about the best tours in Cappadocia? No worries! I’ve shortlisted my three favorite Cappadocia tours here to make things easy for you.

Hot Air Balloon Ride

  • During sunrise
  • Fairy tale
  • Very safe

The Red Tour

  • Top attractions
  • Very knowledgeable tour guide
  • Amazing viewpoints

Sunset ATV Tour

  • Dunes, valleys, trails
  • Rock-cut valleys
  • Easy to use bikes

BEST TOURS IN CAPPADOCIA COMPARISON TABLE

CAPPADOCIA TOURSPRICE
Hot Air Balloon Sunrise Tour$150
The Red Tour$38
The Blue Tour (Full Day)$71
Green Tour with Trekking in Ihlara Valley$44
Sunset ATV Tour$37
Goreme Horse-riding Tour$41
Turkish Night at Cave Restaurant$30
Red Valley and Underground City Tour$45
Best of Cappadocia Day Tour with Lunch$55
Full -day Discovery Hiking Tour$56
Goreme Open Air Museum and Fairy Chimneys$56
Underground City and Ihlara Tour$62

12 BEST TOURS IN CAPPADOCIA

In this article, you will first find a comparison table, which shows you the price, duration, and average review score for each activity. Below the comparison table, you will find a detailed description with photos for each individual activity as well as the link to the booking site so that you can easily navigate to book the tour that you find most exciting! Hope you enjoy the article.

HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE

Tour: Hot Air Balloon Ride (book in advance)

I did this tour and it was beyond epic. It’s truly a fairy tale and it definitely lives up to the hype. The sunrise hot air balloon ride is the most expensive tour in Cappadocia but you simply have to do it. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime type of experience. You can view my full blog post about my hot air balloon tour in Cappadocia.

Before the flight, there’s a complimentary breakfast with tea or coffee. You’ll be flying over Cappadocia’s wonderful landscapes and unique rock formations. Have a 360-degree panorama of the entire region and get a satisfying view of its valleys and mountains. After landing, get a toast of free champagne as you enjoy watching hot air balloons flying over you. Finish off with a comfortable drop-off at your hotel. This is one of the best tours in Cappadocia for couples. It’s important to book this one in advance as often the entire town is sold out of bookings during peak season and there is a 2-3 day waitlist.

Click Here to check the rates and availability of this tour on the booking website.

Hot Air Balloon Ride

  • During sunrise
  • Fairy tale
  • Very safe

If you want to check out all of the photos I took from my hot air balloon ride you can see them all in this blog post.

THE RED TOUR

Tour: The Red Tour

This is the most popular day tour in Cappadocia. A tour that will bring you to the most known attractions around Cappadocia.

  • Explore Çavusin, one of the area’s oldest settlements.
  • Walk among the Devrent Valley’s fairy chimneys
  • Visit the Göreme Open-Air Museum and see centuries-old rock-cut churches and monasteries.
  • In the Pasabag Valley, marvel at the best collection of fairy chimneys in Cappadocia.
  • Reaching the top of Uchisar Rock Castle is the area’s highest point.
  • Stop in Ürgup to visit a winery for a tasting.

The tour will last for a whole day so you will be provided with convenient transportation and a very knowledgeable tour guide. This is undoubtedly one of the best tours in Cappadocia!

Click Here to check the rates and availability of this tour on the booking website.

The Red Tour

  • Top attractions
  • Very knowledgeable tour guide
  • Open-air views

BLUE TOUR

Tour: Blue Tour

After the Red Tour, this is the second-most popular day tour in Cappadocia. After a pickup from your hotel at 10 AM you will see the following sights on this all-inclusive tour.

  • Hike along the Red and Rose Valley
  • Conclude your hike at the Cavusin Cave Village
  • Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant
  • Descend towards the center of the earth with a trip to the Underground City
  • Visit the Pigeon Valley
  • Marvel at the old Greek houses of Uchisar
  • Visit Ortshisar Castle, the biggest mass of fairy chimneys in Cappadocia.

Click Here to see the rates and availability of this tour on the booking website.

The Blue Tour

  • Mysteriously beautiful valleys
  • Spectacular view
  • Underground city

GREEN TOUR WITH TREKKING IN IHLARA VALLEY

Tour: Green Tour with Trekking in Ihlara Valley

This tour is a little bit cheaper than the Red Tour and it lasts for approximately 8 hours. The Green is among the tourists’ favorites as there are more places to see. After the pick-up at your hotel, you’ll be headed directly to Goreme’s Underground City, the highlight of this tour.

You’ll be amazed at how people lived their lives during this time. I hope you won’t forget to bring your cameras as you’ll be taking shots of their amazing landscapes along the way. It also includes pit stops to the place’s famous sites, including the Ihlara Valley. The trip is kind of hassle-free with pick-up and drop-off in a luxury van! It is guaranteed to give you comfort and relaxation. If you love to hike and trek, this tour is perfect for you!

Click Here to see the rates and availability of this tour on the booking website.

Green Tour with Ihlara Valley

  • Bit cheaper
  • Amazing landscapes
  • Luxury van

SUNSET ATV TOUR

Tour: Sunset ATV Tour

The most popular ‘short’ tour in Cappadocia. As you travel on a sturdy ATV (quad) bike, you will be greeted with spectacular rock-cut valleys that will leave you in awe. This activity is a good option for sightseeing as this will give the opportunity to wander the dunes, valleys, trails, and hills of Cappadocia. The tour finishes right at sunset out in the valley of rock formations for an amazing sunset view.

Click Here to check the rates and availability of this tour on the booking website.

Sunset ATV Tour

  • Dunes, valley, trails, and hills
  • Rock-cut valleys
  • Easy to use bikes

HORSE-RIDING TOUR

Tour: Horse-riding Tour

This 2-hour horse ride includes a pick-up and drop-off at Cappadocia area hotels. You’ll ride through the valleys of Goreme with their beautiful horses and witness the enchanting fairy chimneys. Explore the peaceful environment with a professional guide.

Among the highlights of this ride are the rock-cut Hallacdere Monastery, the orchards and vineyards with their picturesque landscapes you’ll pass by. The best thing is that you can choose your own schedule and I highly recommend you’ll tour at least 2 hours before sunset.

Click Here to see the rates and availability of this tour on the booking website.

Horse-riding Tour

  • Pick-up and drop-off
  • Beautiful horses
  • Peaceful environment

TURKISH NIGHT AT CAVE RESTAURANT

Tour: Turkish Night at Cave Restaurant

Looking for an authentic Turkish style experience with a combination of night-filled music, dancing, and drinks? You will definitely love what the Cave restaurant in Cappadocia offers. I must say I enjoyed the night of pure relaxation with a touch of Turkish culture.

The onstage performers will keep you entertained the whole evening, so you won’t notice the passing of time.  The location of restaurant is uniquely situated in a rock-cut cave which makes it more appealing. When it comes to culture, this is the best tour in Cappadocia to really soak it in. You don’t have to worry you might lose your way of getting there, the restaurant also provides free transportation to and from your hotel.

Click Here to check the rates and availability of this tour on the booking website.

Turkish Night Tour

  • Authentic Turkish style experience
  • Night-filled music, dancing
  • Night of pure relaxation

RED VALLEY AND UNDERGROUND CITY TOUR

Tour: Red Valley and Underground City Tour

This full-day tour in Cappadocia will give you everything there is to offer. You’ll be picked up from your accommodation and headed right away to the first stop, Red Valley as you witnessed its stunning rock formations and iconic landscapes. You can also hike through the colorful fairy chimneys of the place. Among the highlights are the stops at Pigeon Valley and Ortahisar Rock Castle, both are popular spots.

Click Here to see the rates and availability of this tour on the booking website.

Red Valley & Underground City Tour

  • Stunning rock
  • Iconic landscapes
  • Underground City

BEST OF CAPPADOCIA DAY PRIVATE TOUR WITH LUNCH

Tour: Best of Cappadocia Day Tour with Lunch

The best way to see all of the sights is on this all-day guided, private tour of Cappadocia’s best spots. You can customize the itinerary or go with the popular spots the guide recommends.

  • The panoramic viewpoint of Göreme
  • Visit the Underground City 
  • Visit Pigeon Valley
  • Tour Goreme Open Air Museum
  • Çavuşin, which is the Old Greek Village
  • Visit Paşabağı to see mushroom-shaped rock formations
  • Devrent Valley, which is also known as İmagination Valley.

Click Here to check the rates and availability of this tour on the booking website.

Best of Cappadocia Tour

  • Unforgettable experience
  • Convenient
  • Worth paying

FULL-DAY DISCOVERY HIKING TOUR

Tour: Full-day Discovery Hiking Tour

When it comes to hiking in Cappadocia, it’s hard not to pick this tour. Get ready for some trail adventures as you descend and find yourself in the underground cities in the region, hike in one of the most attractive valleys, and visit one of the biggest monastic settlements and largest cathedral.

Click Here to check the rates and availability of this tour on the booking website.

Full -day Discovery Hiking Tour

  • Hiking
  • Attractive valleys
  • Unique beauty

GOREME OPEN AIR MUSEUM AND FAIRY CHIMNEYS

Tour: Goreme Open Air Museum and Fairy Chimneys

The tour kicks off with a visit to the Imagination Valley wherein you’ll get to witness animal-shaped natural rock formations. You’ll then be headed to the Monk’s Valley with its amazing mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys. It also includes a stop at Avanos town, famous for its pottery works.

Of course, lunch is included at a famous local restaurant before you head to Goreme Open Air Museum, the main attraction. You’ll be in awe with its stunning panoramic views all over and churches dating from the Byzantine Empire. The last stop is at Rock Castle and it’s worth a visit. You’ll be dropped off to your hotel comfortably. Personally, I think this Cappadocia tour is value for money! 

Click Here to see the rates and availability of this tour on the booking website.

Goreme Open Air Museum & Fairy Chimneys

  • Enjoyable and memorable
  • Imagination Valley
  • Animal-shaped natural rock

UNDERGROUND CITY AND IHLARA TOUR

Tour: Underground City and Ihlara Tour

In this tour, you’ll get a chance to discover the unique rock formations of Cappadocia. Personally, I like to explore ancient tunnels like the famous Derinkuyu Underground City and learn the traditions of the locals on how they lived during those times. If you join this tour, you’ll feel close to nature as you go on your journey to Ihlara Canyon which was formed by volcanic activity, with its scenic views. As you visit the Ihlara Valley, you’ll know how the early Christians made their churches from rocks. This Cappadocia tour also includes quick stops at the Selime Monastery, Pigeon Valley, and the famous Onyx factory to watch how a volcanic stone is formed.

Click Here to see the rates and availability of this tour on the booking website.

Underground City & Ihlara Tour

  • Unique rock formations
  • Traditions
  • Stunning views of the chimneys

HOW TO GET TO CAPPADOCIA

Cappadocia isn’t actually a town as many people think but it is an entire region. Within this region are towns such as Goreme (most popular tourist spot), Uchisar, Urgup and Ortahisar among others. There are two airports that serve Cappadocia.

  • Kayseri Airport (70km/60 minutes) is the main airport and takes just over an hour by van/bus to reach Goreme Town
  • Nevsehir Kapadokya Airport (/40km/40 minutes is the secondary airport, which is closer to Goreme but only by about 20-minutes.

The big difference here is that Kayseri is a bigger airport, with more flight options and often has cheaper flights. It is very convenient and quick to fly into Kayseri and I did twice.

To get from Kayseri (or Nevsehir) you need to pre-book your shuttle or be prepared for an expensive taxi. The cheapest and easiest way to do that is to book online here.  For under $15 you can ride in a shared, air-conditioned airport transfer. They will pick you up from your hotel or if you are arriving they will be waiting with a sign and your name on it. If you prefer a private transfer, it actually isn’t that expensive and for under $50 you can have a private, air-conditioned car transfer you from the airport to your hotel by booking online here.

I hope you enjoyed this guide to the best Cappadocia tours. Enjoy your trip!

 

BEST TIME TO VISIT CAPPADOCIA

The beauty of Cappadocia is that while it is a fairytale location in summer, it only gets more and more beautiful in the winter. When it snows in Cappadocia it is truly a mesmerizing sight and something out of a dream world. Snowcaps cover rock formations and paint the valleys white. I visited during the summer but am seriously considering returning to fly again in the winter although the flights are a little more irregular due to the weather of course. Below are some recommendations for the best times to visit Cappadocia.

April to October: Most favorable time for the hot air balloons in Cappadocia with warm nights, clear skies and cool air. The hiking trails were quite hot, especially in the middle of the day.

November to February: If you do visit in February the weather is a bit more up and down but you have the chance to fly over snow, which would be a once in a lifetime experience. Some of the hiking trails will be great in the snow also!

 

HOW MANY DAYS TO SPEND IN CAPPADOCIA

Something most tourists don’t realize before they arrive in Cappadocia is that the hot air balloons don’t fly every day. In fact, when the wind is too strong they can’t fly because there are no brakes on the balloons and it can be dangerous. They need calm weather. This means that many tourists book 1-2 days in Cappadocia and expect to be able to fly in that window. Unfortunately, all too often the weather doesn’t agree and tourists leave without having seen a hot air balloon in the sky.

  • Firstly, book in advance and make sure you book for the first morning of your trip. If your flight is canceled, you don’t lose your booking or money, you simply get bumped to the next day. Therefore if you arrive and try and book in the town, there may be a backlog of people waiting because the hot air balloons haven’t flown for three days. So the best thing to do is to book in advance online for the first morning of your stay to give yourself the best chance of flying. You can Click Here to visit the booking page to get your tickets online for a set fee without having the hassle of bartering once you arrive and possibly missing out because of availability.
  • Secondly, you should stay for more than 1-2 nights to give yourself a window big enough to allow for unfavorable weather. I stayed for ten days to explore the trails so I had a huge window, which isn’t necessary but I would suggest allowing at least 3 days if not 4. I know most people have limited time and want to see lots of Turkey but trust me, there are so many spots to visit and trails to walk in Cappadocia that you are making a mistake if you only stay for two nights anyway!

My final suggestions are to stay for at least 4-5 days that way you guarantee you will fly in a hot air balloon and you can explore some of the hikes that you find in this guide!

 

WHERE TO STAY IN GOREME, CAPPADOCIA

Where I stayed: Design Cave Suites Cappadocia – I was lucky enough to stay at the Design Cave Suites in Goreme. The location was great and I walked to all attractions. The rooftop garden was awesome for sunrise balloon watching. Buffet breakfast spread was amazing as was the cave style room designs.

Best Cave Hotel with Pool: Local Cave House Hotel– This cave hotel rose to fame because of its incredible pool. Make sure you click the link and check out how epic the pool backdrop is, with those classic Cappadocia rock formations in the background and traditional cave rooms it is a top pick.

Cave Hotel with Best Roof View (and dogs): Sultan Cave SuitesThis cave hotel became famous because of its epic rooftop area for sunrise viewing. Guests can lay out on traditional pillows and carpets while watching the hot-air balloons flying above. The hotel dog might also join you for a photoshoot on the roof!

Budget Option in Goreme: Emre’s Stone HouseFor just $6 USD per night you can enjoy Cappadocia and this budget accommodation even has an epic rooftop to enjoy. It’s the best value in Goreme, Cappadocia.

OR

Save money in Cappadocia by staying at an Airbnb! Get a FREE $40 Airbnb Coupon by using my code when you book! I use Airbnb on about half of my travels and find you always get more value than a hotel.

TRANSPORT IN CAPPADOCIA

Hire a Private Driver: Hiring a driver for a few hours to take you to several sites will cost about 100 Turkish Lyra depending on the car and your negotiation, which is about $20 USD. This is a good idea if you want to see 1-2 locations in an afternoon.

One of the best ways to get around is to hire a driver that will allow you to create a customized itinerary. That way you can visit all the spots you are interested in. To hire a private car with a driver/guide you can book online here or you might be a bigger group and in that case, it can be cheaper to hire a van in Cappadocia, which also comes with a driver.

Rent a Mountain Bike: We thought about renting a mountain bike but they were 150 Turkish Lyra for the entire day so it would have been 300 Turkish Lyra for both of us just to transit around. That’s almost $60 USD. It would have been fun but once we fund out everyone wanted to help us by giving us lifts there wasn’t much need. We either walked or hitchhiked.

Rent A Scooter/Moped: A scooter costs about 150-200 Turkish Lyra ($30-40 USD) per day and could be handy if you want to explore some attractions a bit further away or venture over to Uchisar.

Rent an ATV: Given the rough terrain in Cappadocia, an ATV is a fun option to help you explore the natural wonders and rock formations of the region. Prices are about $40 USD for two hours. If you are keen to head out on an ATV there is an awesome Quad-Bike Safari Tour that takes you through Sword, Love and Rose Valley during golden hour!

HAVE YOU CHECKED OUT THE REST OF MY CAPPADOCIA BLOG POSTS?

Click on one of the articles below to check out all of the places you should visit while in Cappadocia!

The big guide! This post has all of my favorite activities, which I personally did while in Cappadocia for ten days: 24 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN CAPPADOCIA

The hiking guide! Find out about all of the best hikes in Cappadocia with details, directions and lots of photos: 8 AWESOME HIKES IN CAPPADOCIA

Thinking about flying in a hot air balloon in Cappadocia? Read this first: CAPPADOCIA HOT AIR BALLOONS: THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU FLY

Have you heard about the castles in Cappadocia? Check these out:

THE UCHISAR CASTLE VIEWPOINT

ORTAHISAR CASTLE VIEWPOINT

CAVUSIN CHURCH, VALLEY & CASTLE

Not sure where is the best region to stay? Wondering which hotel provides the best value? Check out this guide that will help you decide: WHERE TO STAY IN CAPPADOCIA: THE BEST HOTELS & HOSTELS

OR… I write a post about the 12 BEST CAVE HOTELS IN CAPPADOCIA that you might find interesting.

I’ve written a blog post for almost all of the places I’ve visited while in Cappadocia. You can find every single one of these articles right here: CAPPADOCIA ARCHIVES

myline

Sunday 10th of May 2020

Incredible. Can't wait to be there! I bookmarked your blog and I'm going to use this as my guide when I got there. Thank you so much!