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.
BEST TOURS IN CAPPADOCIA COMPARISON TABLE
TOP 3 PLACES TO STAY IN CAPPADOCIA
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.
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.
Book your tour: Hot Air Balloon Ride
BEST RENTAL CAR COMPANY IN TURKEY
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!
Book your tour: The Red 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.
Book your tour: The Blue 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. Green Tour 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 at 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!
Book your tour: Green Tour with Ihlara Valley
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.
Book your tour: Sunset ATV Tour
Tour: Horse-riding Tour
This 2-hour horse ride includes 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.
Book your tour: Horse-riding 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 the 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.
Book your tour: Turkish Night Tour
- Authentic Turkish style experience
- Night-filled music, dancing
- Night of pure relaxation
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.
Book your tour: Red Valley & Underground City Tour
BEST OF CAPPADOCIA DAY PRIVATE 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.
Book your tour: Best of Cappadocia 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 the largest cathedral.
Book your tour: Full-day Discovery Hiking 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 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 of 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!
Book your tour: Goreme Open Air Museum & Fairy Chimneys
- Enjoyable and memorable
- Imagination Valley
- Animal-shaped natural rock
UNDERGROUND CITY AND IHLARA TOUR
On 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 in Cappadocia 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.
Book your tour: Underground City & Ihlara Tour
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 (the 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 it 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 or a private transfer from $50.
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. The buffet breakfast spread was amazing as were 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 Suites – This 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!
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:
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
I hope you enjoyed this guide to the best Cappadocia tours. Enjoy your trip!