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Last Updated on April 14, 2021 by Mary Emmer

If you’re visiting Istanbul, Turkey, and find yourself with some extra time on your hands, consider a side trip to one of the most spectacular spots in Turkey.

Consistently found on lists like “The Top 10 Best Day Trips From Istanbul”, Cappadocia is well worth a visit.

But, it’s not as simple as hopping in your car and driving yourself out for a quick day trip out of Istanbul.

What Is Cappadocia?

Cappadocia is a spectacular region in central Turkey that is at the same time a geological oddity and the whimsical scene of a fairy tale.

Cappadocia, Turkey

The geological oddity of the place is evident through its towering boulders which make it look somewhat otherworldly, while the whimsical fairy tale pillars give the whole area an almost mystical feel.

There are thousands of cave dwellings here, sandstone houses located in gorgeous red-colored canyons.  And one of the most remarkable things about it is that many of these dwellings have been lived in for centuries and they are still inhabited today.

The vista here is beautiful and strange all at the same time.

Cappadocia is like one big open-air museum and includes the towns of:

  • Aksaray
  • Avanos
  • Derinkuyu
  • Goreme
  • Guzelyurt
  • Kaymakli
  • Ortahisar
  • Mustafapasa (called Sinasos by its Ottoman Greek residents)
  • Nevsehir
  • Nigde
  • Urgup

The town of Goreme is perhaps the most well-known because of it’s proximity to the Goreme Open-Air Museum.

Cappadocia is quite a large area with a lot of ground to cover if you want to see everything.  When you’re planning your visit to Cappadocia it’s important to consider what you want to see and how long that will take you.  Then you can determine if you want to do a single day trip or a multi-day trip to this region.

Distance From Istanbul To Cappadocia

Cappadocia is located in the center of Turkey, about 795 kilometers southeast of Istanbul.  So, considering that the drive takes an average of about 8:45 – 9 hours by car, you can see why getting from Istanbul to Cappadocia is a bit more complicated than just hopping in a rental car and going on your way.

Turkey map

If you’re going by car or any other vehicle via the road, you really cannot do a day trip to Cappadocia.

How To Get To Cappadocia From Istanbul

By Car –

Traveling by car is possible, but since it will take almost 9 hours one way without stops, it may not be the best way to go.  You should only consider driving to Cappadocia if you plan to spend multiple days in the region.  You should not consider driving if you only want a day trip or even a weekend trip.  The distance is simply too far.

By Bus –

Well, if you think the car journey is too long between Istanbul and Cappadocia, then you’re in for even a longer journey by bus.  Figure on 10-12 hours.  There is some limited bus service, but some of them operate overnight and unless you’re on the most limited budget, then going by bus is not recommended.

By Train –

There are high-speed trains from Istanbul to Ankara and Konya.  From Konya, you can get to Cappadocia by rental car or bus, but this will still be a long journey as it’s 235 km and may take around 4 hours one way.  So, unless you plan to spend time en route in either Ankara or Konya, I don’t recommend trying to get to Cappadocia via train.

By Air –

You can fly from Istanbul to NEV (Nevsehir-Kapadokya Airport), or from Istanbul to ASR (Kayseri Erkilet Airport).  Traveling to/from Cappadocia by plane makes it possible to do a day trip or shorter multi-day trips to the region.

Day Trips From Istanbul To Cappadocia

If you only have time for a day trip to Cappadocia, they are offered from Istanbul and will last from 7 to 14 hours in duration depending on the tour and exactly what it will include once you reach Cappadocia.  You will travel from Istanbul to Cappadocia by air.  You will be able to see some of the best highlights of the Cappadocia region on a day trip and I highly recommend taking a tour like this:

From Istanbul:  Private Cappadocia Day-Tour Including Flight

From Istanbul:  Private Fairy Chimneys & Underground City Tour

2 Day Cappadocia Tour From Istanbul

If you want a little extra time in Cappadocia, then consider at least a 2 day tour like one of these:

From Istanbul:  Private Cappadocia 2 Day Tour

From Istanbul:  Cappadocia 2 Day Discover Tour

Hot Air Ballooning In Cappadocia

Hot air ballooning over Cappadocia deserves a special mention!  It’s an experience you won’t forget anytime soon.

Hot air ballooning in Cappadocia

Some of the tours, like this 2-day tour, include a hot air balloon ride. Or this 2-day tour with an optional hot air balloon.  All I can say is if you have the option to do the balloon, do it!  This is guaranteed to be an experience that you won’t forget.

I hope this article gives you a better sense of how to get from Istanbul to Cappadocia and also gives you some insight as to why you shouldn’t miss this incredible place.

If this is your first visit to my blog, be sure and visit my about here!

Mary Emmer

About Me

Hi, thanks for stopping by.  I’m an online entrepreneur here at Still en Route where I write about everything travel-related, with a baby boomer twist!  My goal is to inspire you to be adventurous and teach you how to fit more life into your lifestyle, even if you’re a baby boomer like me!  You can also find me at Looks Like Books because I’m a book geek.  And at Affiliate Cents because…well, I’m just a geek.

2 thoughts on “Istanbul To Cappadocia Tours – What You Need To Know”

  1. Cappadocia looks like its taken out of a fairytale! Very interesting, and looks like it would be well worth a visit. Doing a hot air ballon tour over Cappadocia looks magical, this is added to my bucket list! Thank you!

    • You’re welcome. Glad you enjoyed the article, and I always love to hear when things get added to someone’s bucket list!


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