As a traveler, there are few places in the world that offer the kind of surreal and otherworldly experience that Cappadocia does. This region in central Turkey is famous for its fairy chimneys, underground cities, and hot air balloon rides that offer a bird’s eye view of the stunning landscape. For anyone visiting Istanbul, a trip to Cappadocia is a must-do, and luckily it’s an easy and affordable journey to make. In this guide, I’ll take you through the best ways to travel from Istanbul to Cappadocia and everything you need to know to make the most of your trip.
to Cappadocia from Istanbul
There are three main modes of transport for getting from Istanbul to Cappadocia: coach, flight, and private transfer. The most popular option is the overnight coach, which is comfortable, affordable, and takes around 10 hours. There are several coach companies that operate daily between Istanbul and Cappadocia, including Metro, Kamilkoc, and Nevsehir Seyahat. The coaches are air-conditioned and have reclining seats, making it easy to get some rest on the journey.
If you’re short on time, flying is the quickest option, with flights from Istanbul to Kayseri or Nevsehir airports taking around 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turkish Airlines, Pegasus and AnadoluJet are the main airlines that operate this route, and prices can vary depending on how far in advance you book. Private transfer is the most expensive option, but it’s also the most convenient, as you’ll have a driver waiting for you at the airport in Istanbul and you’ll be taken directly to your hotel in Cappadocia.
Airports in Cappadocia – Kayseri and Nevsehir
When flying to Cappadocia, you’ll arrive at either Kayseri or Nevsehir airport. Kayseri airport is the larger of the two, and it’s located around 75km from the main town of Cappadocia, Goreme. Nevsehir airport is closer, at just 30km from Goreme, but it’s a smaller airport with fewer flights. Both airports have taxi and shuttle services that can take you to your hotel in Cappadocia, and many hotels offer airport pickups for an additional fee.
How long does it take to travel from Istanbul to Cappadocia?
The journey from Istanbul to Cappadocia can take anywhere from 10 hours by coach to just over an hour by flight. If you’re taking an overnight coach, you’ll leave Istanbul in the evening and arrive in Cappadocia early in the morning, giving you a full day to explore. If you’re flying, you can arrive in Cappadocia in the morning and have the whole day ahead of you. Private transfers can take anywhere from 8 to 10 hours, depending on traffic.
Overnight options for travel to Cappadocia
If you’re taking an overnight coach from Istanbul to Cappadocia, there are several options for how to spend the night. Some people prefer to take the coach straight through the night and arrive in Cappadocia early in the morning, while others prefer to break up the journey with a stopover in Ankara or Konya. These cities are both on the way to Cappadocia and offer plenty of sights and attractions to explore.
Things to do in Cappadocia
Cappadocia is famous for its hot air balloon rides, which offer a unique and breathtaking view of the fairy chimneys and rock formations. Most balloon rides take place at sunrise, and they can be booked through tour operators or through your hotel. Other popular activities in Cappadocia include exploring the underground cities, hiking in the valleys, visiting the fairy chimneys, and taking a Turkish cooking class. There are also several museums and art galleries in Cappadocia that showcase the region’s rich history and culture.
Where to stay in Cappadocia
There are plenty of accommodation options in Cappadocia to suit all budgets and preferences. The most popular area to stay is Goreme, which is the main town in Cappadocia and has plenty of hotels, guesthouses, and hostels. Other popular areas to stay include Urgup, Uchisar, and Avanos, all of which offer stunning views and easy access to the region’s attractions.
How to explore Cappadocia
There are several ways to explore Cappadocia, depending on your preferences and budget. Many people choose to take a guided tour, which can be booked through tour operators or through your hotel. These tours can be half-day or full-day and can include activities like hiking, visiting the underground cities, or taking a hot air balloon ride. Alternatively, you can explore Cappadocia at your own pace by renting a car or a scooter, or by taking local buses or taxis.
Visiting Cappadocia is an unforgettable experience, and with its easy accessibility from Istanbul, there’s no reason not to add it to your itinerary. Whether you’re interested in exploring the underground cities, taking a hot air balloon ride, or simply soaking up the unique atmosphere, Cappadocia has something for everyone. By following the tips in this guide, you’ll be able to make the most of your trip and create memories that will last a lifetime.